Sunday, January 08, 2012

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

The popular Hybrid option is, of course, back with the new design.
The new 2012 Camry Hybrid showed very impressive numbers when it came out a few months ago.
But the new Fusion looks like a winner with 47MPG city and 45MPG highway. Which is quite amazing.
But not everything is in the numbers and we'll have to see if the new Fusion Hybrid is as smooth running as the 2012 Camry Hybrid.

Still. A very impressive showing from Ford.

More pictures of the 2013 Ford Fusion

Turns out the base engine is still the "old" 2.5 liter with 170hp.
I drove a Mazda6 and Mazda3 with this engine and never liked it as much as the previous 2.3 Liter version.
It is just not the smoothest around...

The 2 other, and much more modern, options will be a 1.6 Liter turbo with 179hp. And a larger 2.0 Liter turbo with 237hp.
No more V6 option.
Only the 1.6 Liter can be ordered with a 6 speed manual.
Ford expects the 1.6 L engine to get 37 MPG on the highway and 26 in the city. Which would be good numbers for a smaller car.

2013 Ford Fusion/Mondeo

It looks like our US Fusion is the red car, while the white one is the new Mondeo for Europe.

A much better looking car than the current Fusion, but not as much of a leap when compared to the current Mondeo.

I am not sure this is really better looking than the Kia Optima or other recent mid sized cars.
Still, I am sure this could be a big hit for Ford.
And making life even harder for the Taurus as well...

Hyundai Veloster Turbo

-201 HP from a small 1.6 Liter turbo
-6 speed manual or auto
-27/38 MPG

Sounds fun. I just saw one Veloster in the streets and I thought it looked good. And fun.
It's not for everyone, but most fun cars aren't.

This new version sounds like good news.

2013 Lincoln MKZ teaser

A day after the new Fusion, we will get to see its cousin from Lincoln.

But this is still basically the same car. Almost nobody can really pull it off these days. Except maybe Lexus with the ES. Which is closely related to the Camry, but has also been a constant success for the luxury brand.

We'll see if the new Lincoln will be good enough to command a premium over the all new Fusion.

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan is still calling this a "Concept". Just like they did with the Infiniti JX a few months ago.
And just like the JX, this is pretty much what we will see in showrooms in a few months. It's not really a concept.

It uses the same platform and powertrain as the Infiniti. So expect a CVT with the 3.5 Liter V6.

It looks just fine, but has nothing of a "Pathfinder" in the design...

VW Jetta Hybrid

Will be powered by a 1.4 Liter Turbo engine with 150hp, and an electric motor.
They are predicting 45MPG combined.
Which is much better than the Diesel version.
And better than the all new 2013 Camry Hybrid.
A 7 speed DSG is the only transmission available.

Hybrid seem to be more popular in the US than Diesel cars, so it does make sense for VW to offer both.
They are also much more efficient around town.

Interestingly enough, a slightly more powerful version of the 1.4 Turbo (around 160hp) will become the base engine in the Jetta and Beetle sometime next year, replacing the 2.5 Liter inline 5)

Mystery VW???

This picture was just sent to me .
Apparently taken from the VW display at the Detroit show.
It doesn't look like the Jetta Hybrid.
What is it???

A new coupe concept based on the Passat?
Concept version of the next Phaeton?

2013 Cadillac ATS

Finally. Official pictures of the real thing.

And by now. No real surprise.
The car actually looks really conservative to me. Following that same German sausage recipe of the same design in different sizes.
It just looks like a smaller CTS. The front end is even less original and softer.

Engines are:
-2.5 Liter 4 cyinder. Same unit offered as the base choice for the Malibu and Verano. Hardly something that should end up in a Cadillac.
-2.0 Liter Turbo with 270hp.
-3.6 Liter V6 with 318hp

Both manual and automatic will be available.

So far, all the specs are there to compete. Coupe and convertible should follow in a bout a year.

2013 Ford Fusion.

Now the Fusion and the European model will be the same car.
Just like the Escape and Kuga.
And in the same manner, it is a huge leap forward compared to the US previous model.
But it really seem a small improvement when compared to the Euro Mondeo. Which was already so much more modern looking than the Fusion.

At least on thee pictures. And I am not sure what Ford cannot find an original design for their grille.
The Aston Martin design might end up looking weird on an inexpensive sedan...
Engines in the US are rumored to be 1.6 and 2.0 Liter Ecoboost. As well as the new Hybrid system borrowed from the C-Max Hybrid.

Much more very soon.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

More pictures of the Lexus LF-LC Concept

I think this is exactly what Lexus need right now.
Not the clumsy looking new GS.

Last year we saw an ultra conservative looking new BMW 6 series, and later, a disappointing redesign of the Mercedes SL.
The time is right for a new Lexus Coupe to compete with these 2 cars.

Something like this would really help Lexus.

2013/14 Toyota Corolla?

This actually would be a huge improvement over the current generation.
Even using small design cues from the GT 86 sports car.

Not futuristic by any means, but it doesn't need to. The Corolla still has one of the best image in the business. And Toyota still sells tons of the current, outdated version.
Over 240 000 units last year in the US alone. More than newer models like the Focus, Cruze, Jetta and Civic.
So they don't really need to go crazy with the next one.

BMW 8 series?

No, not really.

Just a rendering from Turkish industrial designer Ismet Cevik.
But an interesting idea.

Except for the giant chrome wheels that is...

2013 Dodge Dart R/T Video

Looking fine.
More on this car very soon...

2013 Dodge Dart R/T

Here it is. The first official pictures of the very first Fiat based car from Chrysler.
It does look fine, but I must say, I have never been a fan of the "sporty" R/T versions of Dodge cars.
They mostly end up looking like cheezier versions of the regular model.
Especially inside with all that cheap looking red plastic trim everywhere.

I would like to see other versions of the car. Although the more luxury oriented seems to come with chrome wheels.
The interior seems just fine, but not better than most of the current competition.
And they still have to convince most people to "buy a Dodge"...

Engine choices are revised versions of the old 2.0 and 2.4 Liter engines. As well as the much more interesting 1.4 Liter Turbo from the 500 Abarth with over 160hp.

Friday, January 06, 2012

2013 Mazda6

Still looks like an illustration based off the recent sedan concept.
Which is probably very close to the real thing anyway.

Not sure if it's enough, really. Many people were pretty exited when the current 6 came out.
I test drove one for a week and thought it was a great car.
But not many people ended up buying it.

This next one also looks nice. But not really better than some of the competition.
Unless their new Skyactiv technology can produce miraculous MPG numbers, I am afraid this will be just another sedan lost in the shuffle.

They also need to spend some serious advertising money.

Fiat's version of the Dodge Dart

Fiat is apparently getting serious about the Chinese market with its own version of the Dart.
Chinese press reports it will feature a 1.4 Liter engine and a dual clutch transmission.

This car looks to be a very important model for Fiat/Chrysler around the world.

2013 Nissan Rogue?

Not sure this is the real thing yet.
But the Rogue is due for a redesign next year. Competing with the all new CRV and the next RAV-4.

It will probably use the same Turbo engine as the next Altima. And maybe the same new Hybrid powertrain as an option.
This would also means an all new Qashqai in Europe.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2013 Chevrolet Cruze

The Cruze is getting a very slight "facelift" for the next year.
As you can see on the top picture.
The bigger news for us will be the Diesel version. And maybe the availability of the hatchback version.
A wagon is also supposed to come out soon for other markets.

Sedan, hatch and diesel will surely help the Cruze become even more popular in the US.

Ford Ecosport

Still looking like a bit of a concept to me. Lights etc..
Otherwise, it seems almost ready to go.

It is based on the Fiesta, so we might even see it over here sometime.
Looking like a small Escape.

Power comes from a new 1.0 Liter three cylinder with 120hp.
Seems like enough power, but I wonder how smooth this feels or sounds.

Another option is a 1.5 Liter used in the Fiesta. (Probably what we would be getting if this makes it in the US)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Production version of the Honda EV-N Concept?

Could be.
It looks like Honda might be working on a production version of their 2009 retro concept.
Inspired by the cool N360 from the 60's.

This would give Honda something to compete with e Fiat 500/Mini crowd.
And a good doze of style and personality, which they desperately need.

2013 Acura RDX

Sure, it looks different.
But pretty much more of the same also.

Acura really needs a hit with the RDX. The current one is pretty much a flop. From these pictures, it looks like the new one uses most of the same recipe, with a "same but different" design.
Not sure it's enough...

2013/14 Mazda6 Coupe?

There was a rumor a few weeks ago about a coupe version of the upcoming redesigned Mazda6 mid sized sedan.
Which could be interesting.

Honda and Nissan already offer sportier looking 2 door versions of the Accord and Altima, although it is not sure if these will return with the new 2013 designs.
As far as I am concerned, the more coupes the better.