Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Honda Sports EV Concept

Not much info on this yet.
but it looks like a compliment to the previous "Urban EV" Concept we saw earlier.
and that one is going into production within two years.

So maybe this one too?
Who knows. But I do like the simple design. it has a back to basic Honda feel to it. Which is great. 
If produced, it could be a nice 21st century EV version of the CRX.

What do you think?

Mazda Kai Concept Vs. 2019 Mazda 3

While the new Kai concept is the red car on top, Mazda is also showing us a picture of the new structure of the next Mazda 3.

As you can see, it is, of course, not as sleek and low as the concept.
But it does show a lot of similarities. Which is really good news.

This will be another great Mazda design. 

Lexus LS+ Concept (???)

 This is the weirdest idea for a concept ever.
The all new Lexus LS is barely out, and Lexus is showing what a 2020 model could look like. Why???

The above picture is the current 2018 model which is all new.
You can see the concept is a bit different looking, but not much.
So it's probably a preview of the 2020 facelift. Not sure why they would show that now??

Here is some of the official "PR BS":
-  "The Lexus LS+ Concept suggests the future look of the LS."
-  " The LS+ Concept produces a dignified expression as a flagship and indicates the direction of the next generation Lexus design".
Which is the exact same as now!

I bet dealers are happy. Showing the "next generation" at the same time as the current model is just reaching showrooms.

I don't get it...

Nissan IMx Concept

I must say, I am disappointed in this.
As I was expecting a realistic preview of Nissan's upcoming electric small SUV.

Instead, this is just some crazy concept.
Maybe the general shape will be close to the production model. Or some details like the tail lights...
Besides that, this is just another auto show design not really based in reality.

They claim a range of over 370 miles, which would be great.
It is also supposedly fully autonomous. ( I have zero interest in autonomous cars...)

We'll see...

New for the most boring design of the Tokyo Motor Show: Toyota Crown Concept

There is really no excuse for this in 2017.
Sure, the Crown is a very old model that has always been pretty conservative. And executive car etc...
But this is now 2017! (reminder)
And this is labeled a "concept". Which means the production version is even worse??

Compare this with Mazda's new effort with the Vision Coupe (featured bellow on the  site)
A true world class, inspiring design. Creating something people want and desire. Much classier and expensive looking than this Toyota.
Will the next Mazda 6 look that good? Of course not.
But this is an amazing concept design.
Even if the production model ends up looking 1% as good, it will still be 100 times better than the new Crown.

This is really a disgrace. 

Mitsubishi E-Volution Concept

It's no secret that Mitsubishi is trying to re-invent itself as a truck/SUV manufacturer.
With maybe zero real cars in their portfolio.

So I guess this is what one of these upcoming SUVs could look like.
Seems far fro the real Eco models from years past. Or the Eclipse.

This looks like it would compete with the Nissan Juke. (and why not...)
The concept is an EV.

More pictures of the Mazda Kai Concept

This is all pretty stunning.

I mean compare this to the clumsy Civic hatchback design.
Sure, this is still ONLY a concept car.
But the current Mazda 3 still looks very good. Any improvement and it will really be one of the best looking hatchback around. 

2019 Volvo V60

This is a pretty rare picture of a next generation Volvo V60 wagon.
The 60 series is the next Volvo model to be redesigned.
So an S60 sedan and V60 wagon will still be available.

Hard to tell much with all that camouflage. The tail lights seem to follow the regular vertical look Volvos have had for years. Otherwise, it might just look like a smaller V90.
Which would be OK, since the V90 looks great.

But let's hope (or dream, or even pray) for something a little bit more original...

More over HERE. (not in English)

Mazda Vision Coupe concept

Another amazing looking concept from Mazda. This time previewing the next Mazda 6 sedan design.
There is already a lot of Mazda 6 DNA in this. And I really don't think the next 6 will look close to that.

Still, let's hope some design cues end up in the final design. And that interior looks great!

Mazda Kai concept

This is basically a concept version of the next Mazda3 hatchback, due out next year.
And it looks pretty fantastic.

A very modern looking take on the compact hatchback.
The interior has an all new look and feel. Finally getting rid of the "stuck up tablet" look.
It just looks great.

Let's just hope that Mazda keeps most of this design for the production version. As this has a fantastic modern, muscular look to it...

More pictures of the new VW T-Roc

Let's take a look a that good looking T-Roc one more time.
Even in white it looks good!

But VW will not bring this over to the US. They claim they have another compact SUV in the cards for us.
I wonder why. So far the only "US Special" model is the US Passat. A "lame" version of the European model.
So I wonder if we'll get something based on the new Jetta over here.
Something bigger and not as good looking as the T-Roc, of course....

Monday, October 23, 2017

New Toyota JPN taxi

I don't know anything about taxi requirements in japan. But it looks like Toyota wants to sell a bunch of these especially made models.
Just like Nissan was trying to push a weird version of their NV200 Van in New York a while ago.

This one looks 100% designed for taxi duty.

It has a really weird, almost endearing, 1990s vibe to it.
Especially inside where it looks like a mix of 90's Toyota interiors and Syd Mead designs for Blade Runner.

It is strangely retro...

And by the way, what ever happened to that Nissan one???

VW E Golf test drive

 The E-Golf is a fine looking car. Since the Golf is quite handsome in general.
But that's about it....

The shape is now super familiar. And there is almost nothing to distinguish the rather futuristic E-Golf from any other Golf. Except the wheels and a few details.
The car I was driving was also white. Which really provides as much excitement as a rolling washing machine. Which is too bad.
Better colors are of course available. And also a nice tan/black interior combo.

You also cannot order the really cool super large sunroof on the E-Golf. (Available on the regular and GTI models)
Also too bad...

 Same thing inside. There is just a little bit of blue stitching on the steering wheel.
Otherwise, it's just a Golf. Which I guess will be fine with most people.
As the Golf as an upscale, super solid and very well finished interior.
But there is nothing very modern looking here...

The stereo is not the amazing Fender system, but it does sound very good.
The seats, surprisingly enough, seem a bit harder than the ones I remember in the regular Golf I drove a while ago...
The larger screen is great. And Apple Car Play works fine.

The E-Golf is basically doing amazingly well at not feeling or looking like anything special.

 The trunk seems as roomy as in the other versions.

 Here is the electric motor. Looking a bit weird, of course.

 So again, the E-Gold f drives pretty much like any other Golf.
Except for the instant torque. Which is always an amazing feeling in electric cars.

You get 3 settings. Normal. Eco and Eco+.
Normal is very sporty indeed. Eco was my favorite. Since it has almost the same feel as Normal, while squeezing a few extra miles from the range.
Eco+ is just too slow for normal city driving. It renders the car pretty gutless. Just like the Eco mode in the Nissan Leaf.

The steering feels the same as the regular Golf. A bit light but precise.
The suspension is super comfortable, providing a very smooth ride all the time.

 My biggest surprise with the E-Golf was the range. The car is officially rated at 125 miles.
After a full night of charging ( I never went down to the bottom of the range). The full charge would read a lot more.
That particular morning it was at 134 miles. But other days varied from 150 to even over 160 miles.
And these were not random numbers. After over 50 miles driven, the available range would still read 100 miles.

So I really think VW is being pretty conservative here. I think a real life range for this car could very well be between 140 to 150 miles. At least. 

The only small problem I had with he car during my week test was how slow the screen was to get out of the parking mode. This picture was taken about a minute after I started driving forward. Not parking anymore at all.
It's not that bad. It just makes you wonder if everything is OK.

I would really recommend the E-Golf for anyone looking for an EV.
The range is better than claimed. And I was surprised how I really never needed more.
(Of course I didn't try to go on a road trip...)

As for the price, it does start at around $32 000. My SEL premium version was $37 000.
For a total of about $39 000 including delivery and an option package. (which came with a bunch of not necessary thing like "Park Assist" and "Adaptive cruise control")

I was really not able to figure out what is the difference between the base model and the SEL Premium.
Besides a fast charger (Which I didn't get to use)

So that doesn't seem to be worth the $5000 difference to me...

Of course, you would have to subtract various local incentives to these prices.
So over here, that car actually can start at round $21 000.

Which is pretty great... And about the same as the regular Golf!