Friday, January 10, 2020

Next generation Fiat 500X illustrations

Apparently, Fiat will not be giving up on the 500X Crossover.

Not sure how well it has been selling in Europe, but here in the US, it has been a huge flop.
As they sold only 5223 in 2018. From a "high" of 12 599 in 2016.
Not only these are terrible numbers, but they are positively pathetic when compared to the Jeep Renegade sales figures of over 97 000 for 2018.
These are basically the same cars with different designs and interiors. Coming out of the same factory.
(Both come from Italy)

I understand that for some reason, the Jeep design is more attractive to more people. 
But Fiat has never pushed the 500X to begin with.
The same old story from FCA. Where they only want to sell Jeeps and nothing else.
Which is really too bad.

Let's hope the new bosses from PSA spend more time pushing all their brands...

Thursday, January 09, 2020

2021 all new Fiat 500 Electric

Although Fiat just released a 'mild-hybrid" version of the current (old) 500, there is still an all new one coming out very soon.
That new one will be an electric only model, longer than the current version.
And there has been a strong rumor of a small rear door, at least on one side.
The illustrations above show what it could look like. With the extra door on  one side only.

Although, we already know these illustrations are wrong, since I have posted pictures of a prototype of the real thing a few days ago (HERE). Where you can see the rear view mirror is in another position.
But the rest of that illustration could be pretty close.

Let's hope this new 500 EV will make a come back to the US.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Genesis GV70

Unlike my previous post about the GV70, most of these pictures (Except the top one) seem to show a base model. (these small wheels don't look upscale at all...)

What we can see of the interior seems pretty stylish. With what seems to be an "oval" theme.
On the door handles, vents etc. 

This is supposed to come out just a few months after the new GV80. And will compete with the Cadillac XT4, Lexus NX and Acura RDX mostly. At least in the US.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Fisker Ocean interior

These are clearer pictures of the all new (so new it is still 2 years away) Fisker Ocean crossover.
As you can see, it doesn't look luxurious.
Which is OK, since it starts at $37 500 before incentives. Which means it will be under $30 000 in most states.
Or about $18 000 less than the Tesla Model Y which will not qualify for federal incentives (and is more expensive anyway)
Also OK since the Tesla interior is not luxurious either.
And it is also cheaper than the Mustang Mach E.

This still seems simple and elegant. especially for the price.

Let's hope it actually reaches production. So much can happen in two years...

2021 Hyundai Elantra

The next generation Elantra looks like it will be a lot sleeker than the current model.
Which, in my opinion, never looked as good as the previous one.

Looks like there will be a pretty large piece of black plastic right behind the rear side window. Unless that ends up being chrome in some versions.
The rear window seems really slick. At least from the angle. Again, this looks like it should be a hatchback. But probably won't be...

Good to see that most manufacturers are still designing sedans. 
(looking better and more modern than ever)

And why not! Hyundai sold over 200 000 of these in 2018.

2021 VW Nivus

I have mentioned the new VW Nivus before. And how much it resembles the small Polo hatchback.

As you can see, the new Nivus "SUV" (top pic) is very close to the Polo (bottom)
It is basically a Polo on stilts, with a different, longer rear end.

Pretty much the same thing Mazda did to transform the new Mazda 3 hatchback into the CX-30.

And why not...

Sunday, January 05, 2020

2021 Chevrolet Equinox

The Chevrolet Equinox will be getting a mid-cycle refresh for the 2021 Model year.

The top picture shows the changes, still under heavy camouflage. So it's hard to say...
Since this is a very popular model for Chevrolet, don't expect anything drastic.

Same thing inside. Even though it is all covered up, it will probably be very similar.
(The door panels are exactly the same as the current one)

I would expect a larger screen, within basically the same dashboard design. 

Fisker Ocean news

Fisker released a few (very few) pictures of the upcoming Ocean SUV today. As well as some info.
From the pictures, it still looks like a concept car to me, not the final production version. ( no bumpers etc.)
Deliveries are scheduled for 2022. And a few things could happen to the design between now and then I guess.

It will get an EV range of 250 to 300 miles. Which is fine. Although we are talking of 2 years away. Which might not be that great by then.

The price is really interesting, since it will start at $37 500 before incentives. So it will be under $30 000 in most states.
A lot less than the Tesla Model 3 or Model Y.

And a "subscription" (very similar to a lease) will be available for $379 a month, with a big 30 000 miles a year limit.
This sounds like a great deal to me. Especially since you can subtract the cost of your monthly gas bill from that payment. (if you are currently driving a gas car)

But, all this is a full 2 years away. So this is still an " I'll believe it when I see it" type of scenario.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Chrysler Portal: What happened?

This picture is at least 2 years old. Showing a "smaller than Pacifica" Chrysler.
Or a mule for something..

Former FCA boss Sergio Marchionne had mentioned a lot of "new and upcoming models" that never happened.
Like a production version of the Portal.
But he was also teasing a new, redesigned Challenger for years. Even claimed that dealers had seen prototypes.
And a smaller sporty car called the Cuda, or Barracuda. Which would have been available as a coupe and convertible.
We were also supposed to see new redesigned versions of the Charger and 300.
A larger Alfa Romeo sedan. Etc...

I do understand that market priorities change all the time. But from what was said at the time, some of these cars were almost " ready to go".

I would really love to see some of these designs, or prototypes somewhere.

And for other brands too. Like, what happened to future already designed Oldsmobile or Pontiac models by the time these brands were killed off?

 Like these GM-80 prototypes from the mid-80's.

These were supposed to be the redesigned Camaro and Firebird on a new FWD chassis. (An Oldsmobile version was also planned)
Of course, it never happened. But was canceled pretty late, as you can see.

I think it is really cool to see these things. I always wonder if we will ever see others, like the ones I mentioned earlier.
Unreleased cars from brands killed abruptly. Or so many others...

2021 Fiat 500 Electric

Although the prototype above seems very close to the current 500, (discontinued for 2020 in the US), Fiat has already mentioned it will be an all new car riding on a new EV platform.

The prototype above is also a strange sight since it seems to be a Cabrio version.
Although the new EV is supposed to be a larger car than the current generation. Offered in 2 door with extra "semi-rear doors". And even a longer wagon version.
There has been no mention of a Cabrio/convertible so far.

Even though the interior of the prototype is heavily covered, the few bits you can see are already very different from the current model.

Let's just hope FCA finds it in their heart to bring back the 500 in the US. With this all new model.

2021 Genesis GV80 rear view

Still with some camouflage tape here and there.
Some protective film on the rear lights, etc...

But it gives us a decent idea of what the new SUV looks like from that angle.
No matter what, this will be the new Genesis brand's best seller. Probably by far.
The new brand basically doubled its sales in 2019. And about half of these sales were from the new G70 sedan which sold a bit over 10 000 units.
A new SUV should be able to beat that easily.
(Even the super slow selling Infiniti QX50 managed to sell over 16 000 units last year...)

Chevrolet Equinox Test Drive

 The current generation of the Chevrolet Equinox came out almost 3 years ago.
It is a very popular model for Chevrolet, with over 330 000 of them sold in 2018. So these are basically everywhere, and the design is by now very familiar.
And after 3 years, it still looks really nice.

 Same thing inside. My loaded model came with pretty much everything you can imagine in a modern car.
Except, for some weird reason, an upgraded sound system. So, for over $40 000, it still had the basic stereo. which sounds just OK. But is not acceptable at all in a car of that price.

The seats are very comfortable. Except for the headrests that are positioned a bit too far back and are pretty flat.
The back seats are very roomy. So much that most people would not need to step up to a larger SUV, unless you really need a 3rd row of seats.

The interior has nice, rather upscale details. And everything feels pretty solid and well put together.

 The panoramic sunroof is a great option.

 There is plenty of room behind the back seats.
And once these are folded flat, there is room enough to sleep in there. So this would really make a very decent camping companion.

 I have not driven the Equinox with the standard 1.5 Liter/CVT .
Although I though that combo was very decent in the Malibu I drove a while ago.

The 2.0 Liter in my test car was, as usual, great. Always quiet, smooth with plenty of power.
The steering actually had a nice feel to it. Which was a good surprise.

 The suspension was still a bit too firm for me.
As this is not marketed as a sporty car. But rather a modern replacement for the family sedan.
Not sure if it is because of the large 19 inch wheels, but the ride is just a bit too firm for an every day family car.
Something I had noticed a while ago in my previous Equinox drive. But this was the Redline model which was marketed as a sportier option.
The "regular" models should really be a bit smoother.

The popular Chevrolet Equinox is still a great option for buyers looking for a "large" compact SUV.

Besides the firm ride, its main problem is its price.
Sure, it does have a 2.0 Liter engine with over 230HP. Which is more than most of its competition.
But at over $40 000, my test car was overpriced.
On the "Premier" model, the 2.0 Liter engine is almost $3000 more than the base 1.5 Liter.
Still, at $37 000, it is about $2500 more than a loaded AWD Honda CR-V.

And my test car was actually more than a base Acura RDX.
The RDX does feel much more upscale and substantial than the Equinox, in every way.

If you are really interested in the Equinox, just make sure you pick the options you want. Also make sure you get some discount or incentives.
As it is still a good choice.
Click on the picture above to enlarge my test car's window sticker.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

FCA Airflow Concept

While being an obvious concept car, the general shape looks a lot like a production car.
Inside, the dashboard and console don't look too far off either.

Let's hope this is a first step into the rebirth of the Chrysler brand.
The Concept is just called "Airflow", which is the name of an old Chrysler model.
And while there seems to be no Chrysler badge anywhere, the small logo on the steering wheel
could be a Chrysler one.

PSA, which is merging with FCA, has officially said in November that both PSA and FCA would retain all their brands.
That would mean that Chrysler and Dodge might be given new models.
This Airflow would make a great new Chrysler. Electric or not.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Better/larger pix of the new Genesis GV80

You can click on the 2 pictures above to enlarge them.

Of course, nothing is like seeing the real thing, but at least, it gives you a better idea than the small pictures I posted yesterday...