Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2013 Buick Encore = US Opel Meriva?

Sure, nothing is exactly the same, when you compare the teaser released today by GM and the small Opel,
everything is very similar. Down to the crease on the edge of the hood.

And they are both (as well as the new Sonic) based on the same Gamma II platform.
We will know for sure in just a few days, but I think it would be quite a gutsy move for Buick to offer an Americanized version of the Meriva. There is nothing like it over here.
It could definitely bring young families into Buick showrooms.

Here are some pics of the Opel, with its original door system.

2013 Buick Encore

Yet another new car for the 2012 Detroit auto show, the all new Buick Encore compact crossover.
And a god idea for Buick to compete in a popular segment.
Not sure what it will look like from that picture, but recent Buicks do look fine.
There were rumors a while ago about a small SUV based on the Chevrolet Sonic platform so this might be it.

Once thing we know for sure, it won't look as modern and aggressive as the Envision concept from last year.
Too bad.

I posted this last year, taken from a CBS documentary filmed in GM's design studio. Many at the time were wondering if this was an upcoming small Buick SUV, or the next Enclave.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

One more teaser of the 2013 Dodge Dart interior

Still looking fine.

We'll have to see the real thing to make sure.
But it doesn't have to have an Audi interior to be competitive in a segment that usually starts at around $16 000.

They do sell tons of the new Jetta.
The new Civic that everyone loves to hate was in 8th in sales last month.
Even the old Corolla made the list of 10 best selling cars in November. (and that's a 20%drop from last year...)

I think the Dart will do quite fine, if people chose to put Dodge on their shopping list again.
Chrysler/Fiat will need to spend tons of advertising money for that.

All new Mercedes SL official pictures

Looks like quite a car. Like every SL has been so far.
But still.
Like I mentioned before, it doesn't look different enough.
It almost looks like a partial refresh of the current design. Which it is not.
It looks like a mix of many current Mercedes designs like the CLS and SLK. Bt nothing that original.

At least it is over 300 pounds lighter, so it should be more efficient and faster.

2013 Dodge Dart Interior

Another picture of the new Dart.

This time a shot of the passenger door.
Which we'll be filling under "so far so good".

2013 Hyundai Veracruz?

Not sure. It could be...
The rear door design does not match the spy photos we have seen so far of the 2013 Santa Fe, so it could be the Veracruz.

To me, this is pushing the Hyundai design theme a bit too far. To many waves and curves for my taste.
And I thought the larger Santa Fe was going to also replace the Veracruz in the lineup.
I guess not...
But I also thought they would give up on the Azera.

It seems that the current market is downsizing, in general. Compact sedans are getting almost as popular as mid sized ones.
And now offering similar features while being almost as roomy.
Same with SUVs/Crossovers.
The new larger Santa Fe seems to be as big as a Hyundai SUV should be.

Monday, December 12, 2011

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

GM has just released a few new pictures of the next Malibu Eco. Which is the only version available at launch.
And I must say, it does look really good. Or maybe it's the black color.

Much better than the new Camry, which seems to be its main competition.

The Eco will start at $25 995 when it becomes available early next year.
It is rated at 26 MPG City and 38 MPG HWY.
Which seems really good, and on par with compact sedans.

But... The all new 2012 Camry Hybrid starts at $26 660. Really not much more.
And the Toyota is rated at an amazing 43 MPG City. And 39 MPG HWY.

This is quite a difference in the city number.
I think the Malibu could be a tough sale as a Hybrid. Although the regular models are more than a match for the Camry.

2013 Dodge Dart interior

These are just small detail teasers.
It seems fine. Except I remember seeing some spy shots a few weeks ago where the interior reminded me of an 80's GM car.
So we'll have to see the real thing to see how good this actually looks.

I really like the GPS between the dials, right in front of the driver. Something Chrysler had a few years ago in the Pacifica.

Dodge has released some info with these 2 pictures:

. Available high-tech features include class-exclusive customizable 7-inch gauge cluster, 8.4-inch Uconnect® touchscreen, heated steering wheel and illuminated floating island bezel.
. Customization was key in the all-new Dodge Dart's development, and with 12 exterior colors, 14 interior color and trim combinations, six wheel options, three engine options and three transmissions, each Dodge Dart can be personalized by every buyer to fit their individual style.
.The high-tech centerpiece of the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart is the class-exclusive floating island bezel, which houses the segment-exclusive available 7-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) customizable gauge cluster display with light pipe surround that also houses the available class-exclusive UConnect® Touch 8.4-inch touchscreen multimedia center – the largest touchscreen in its class.
.Thoughtful storage options throughout fit today's technology. The glove box easily conceals a stowed iPad; the center console features auxiliary jacks to plug in a wide variety of electronic devices, and thoughtful, inventive storage solutions, such as console map pockets, which are perfect for storing mobile phones, receipts, or pen and paper.

This all sounds pretty interesting. And it looks like Dodge could have a real contender here.

2013 Mercedes SL

These seem to be from an actual brochure for the car. Which also mentions a December 15th date.
So we might be seeing much more very soon.

I am sure this will be another impressive car in real life. But from these pictures, it doesn't look that different than the current design. At least outside.
Usually, SLs are quite a leap from generation to generation. Mainly because they keep them for so long.

We'll see when better pictures become available.

Thanks to a reader for these.

New Lexus Concept

Dont know much about this yet.
But Lexus might be working on a sporty car based on the New Toyota GT86.
Which should be quite interesting.

This teaser seems to be showing some kind of a concept though... Seems too good for a production Lexus.
More about this soon.

So far, the Detroit show is shaping up to be a great show with tons of new stuff.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How Bentleys are made

Cool Hunting Video Presents: Bentley from Cool Hunting on Vimeo.

A really interesting video, showing why these are so expensive.
And special.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2013 BMW Gran Coupe

Quite a stupid name for a stunning looking car.
Like many have explained before, it is not a coupe. But that's what they do these days...

Quite possibly one of the best looking BMW, at least to me.
Even though there is nothing surprising in the design we have seen 2 years ago in the Grand Coupe Concept.
And later the new 6 series.

This is better looking alternative to the 7 series, for those who don't really need 5 seats.

It will come to the US early next summer with the familiar Twin Turbo 6 cylinder engine called the 640. Then, later that summer a 650 model with a V8 will be available, as well as an all wheel drive version.
(These names don't really mean anything anymore. The "40" used to refer to the 4.0 liter V8, not the 3.0 Liter 6.)

An 8 speed auto is the only transmission choice.

VW GTI Test Drive

Just a little film you can enjoy while waiting for the full review.
Coming soon...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

2013 Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Another official teaser from Jaguar.
Featuring a camouflaged version of the upcoming XF Wagon.

You can pretty much tell what it will look like.
Not surprising in any way, but very nice and classy.
Which should be popular in Europe against other luxury wagons from Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

But we won't see it here as Jaguar has decided not to sell the Sportbrake in the US...

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

2013 Dodge Dart

These are the first official pictures of the all new Dodge compact sedan.
Not full pictures of the whole car, but much better than some teasers from other manufacturers.
At least we can see something.
And so far, it does look great.

This will have no problem competing with the new Focus sedan and the Chevrolet Cruze.
And it is the first US Chrysler model based on a Fiat platform. Also used for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
18 inch wheels will be available.
Engine options will include a new 2.0 Liter called Tigershark, the 1.4 Liter Turbo already used in the new Fiat 500 Abarth (In which it produces 160hp)
as well as a new larger MultiAir 2.4 Liter .

Looks like modern engineering and great design might be back in a Dodge compact sedan. Thanks to Fiat.

Much more very soon.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

2013 Toyota Prius?

Not sure if this is real or not.
But there seem to be a few changes coming up for the Prius.
Mainly small details in the front and back.
And new wheels.
Which, really, do not improve anything.
It seems even worse...

Just a quick reminder of what it looks like now.
Which, I think, is a bit better.

It looks like they need the current model to be around for another couple of years...

Thursday, December 01, 2011

2013 Mercedes GL

Pretty much what is expected. Even blockier than the current version.
The new ML came out a few months ago, so the big brother isn't far behind.

A big expensive trucky thing.With an interior that isn't that impressive.
Go figure....

2013 Scion FR-S

And finally, official pictures of the US version of the new Toyota.

As expected, they are the same cars. Except maybe for the tail lights.
And inside, all I see is a 90's style aftermarket looking stereo instead of a navigation system.
Maybe that'll still be an option.
I don't think leather or a sunroof will make it even as options.

And again, why is this car not a hatchback? It is designed like one, but instead gets this small trunk opening.
I don't get it.

I am sure it is a fun car to drive, but let's hope its also cheap. Because it sure looks it....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

VW GTI test Drive coming up.

Driving a GTI for a week.
One with DSG, sunroof and Navigation.

I'll answer any questions you might have about it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

VW Cross Coupe Concept

Let's just hope this is not just a concept.
It does look pretty production ready to me. Especially some of the interior, like the dashboard and the doors.

The Concept part is the Plug-In Hybrid technology.

They say it is "smaller than the Tiguan but longer than the Golf". So it looks like this isn't the new Tiguan, but instead something all new. Like maybe VW's equivalent of the Audi Q3.

We'll see if it turns out in showrooms or not. And if it does, it might still not come over here...

Who knows.