Thursday, September 27, 2007

More Golf VI: spy video

It's been around for some weeks but always nice to watch. It's also worth to notice how VW is showing their prototypes, they are much less secretive than some years ago.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

2008 Volkswagen Golf VI

German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reports on the next Golf VI and the possibility of a cabrio version. We thought that the Eos currently on sale would do the job of Golf-based open-air motoring but the new cabrio could be cheaper than the Eos and use a conventional (or old-style if you wish) fabric top. Too much market segmentation if you ask.

The front design of the new car in computer generated images like the one below is getting closer to the real version, namely the shape of the lights that is close to the ones in the Up concept from Frankfurt. The Golf VI (AKA Golf 5.5) is referred by AMS to be presented in September next year at Paris show although other sources told us that it could arrive before that period.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Further evidence of MILF weed in Germany

A short news-story: "Report says VW aims to overtake Toyota by 2015"... in both sales and profitability. LOL, ROTFL, etcetera...
2015 is a long timeframe, maybe they expect us to forget about these claims. Anyway, we want some of that stuff from Agrestic too!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mental disorder

Wow, is that the new Focus? Why didn't we cover its development?... ah, it's just for the United States. Why not here? How can we don't get this car in Europe? Maybe in the future, Ford could make a Euro-version of this car. Looking forward.

Cash cow

Do yoy really love Mercedes? How about contributing to the brand by buying yourself the next C-sportcoupe? The thing pictured below is basically a restyling of the current version, with very few panel changes although, hopefully, with a new interior. But it gets the new face of the C-class. Development and tooling costs for this car are very low (most of this stuff was paid long ago) so if you buy one you are generating a lot of profit for the brand. So a good way to show support for Mercedes is to buy this cash cow. Unless they sell it for less money, errrr... don't think so!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

EV future: Saft confirms Lithium-ion batteries for Mercedes S-class Hybrid

A boring press-release, easily forgotten amongst many novelties at Frankfurt show. But it confirms recent rumours that French battery maker was about to make big waves in the auto market. The relevance?: Lithium-ion in cars is for real, it will happen! Beyound niche applications such as the Tesla roadster. In real-world cars and volume sellers. Not only the next S-class hybrid, others will follow. Concerned about the safety of this Li-ion chemistry?... they are putting it in a Mercedes!

These regular hybrids are just the beginning, plug-in will follow and in smaller city cars full electric Li-ion battery vehicles will be made available in the next 3 years. And from real-world high-volume car makers. Remember that Mercedes slogan "the future of automobile"? They are right. And informed readers of auto-future have been following news on the EV future since about one year. We are not stopping, the future of clean auto transportation is bright. And you read about the future of auto here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Laguna 4RD video

Youtube Laguna Video

The video has some shots comparing the conventional Laguna and the 4RD version. Also very cool to see the rear wheels steering.
Recently CAR magazine reported that at a press presentation Renault brought a Porsche Boxster and showed that in a slalom test the 4RD Laguna was faster than the Porsche. Brilliant stuff! Update: another magazine, a Spanish one, also witnessed the Laguna-Boxster comparison. However, frequent readers of auto-future already knew Laguna's greatness since May.

Monday, September 17, 2007

EV future: IQ concept and Prius Plug-in

This nice video shows the IQ concept without (yet) information on its possible electric drive. But there is also info from Toyota that the next step for the Prius is to go beyond 30km in electric-only range. Current prototypes being tested in Japan and France have a 10km electric range.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

2009 Toyota Prius III

What’s with the lime green? Oh wait,… never mind! There were some new spy pictures of the Prius in the press but those looked like a restyling instead of a completely new model. The image below predicts how the all-new Prius III could look like. But the real interest is not in the design but the technical features. Plug-in or not? If, as rumoured, the Prius get plug-in capabilities then we would like to make some requests.

So we wish for some not-skinny tyres, something normal as in other cars. Also we wish for more steering feel, less body-roll, less weird interior design. So not difficult stuff to master, basically make it more appealing for common folks that like cars. And why not make good use of the batteries weight in the new platform to lower the centre of gravity and improve weight distribution. I always thought that if one is going to put heavy batteries on a car then place it in the better possible way to improve handling. Now the plug-in part… NiMH or Li-ion… 12km full electric range or more… please make it happen!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Toyota IQConcept

Our most awaited concept car of Frankfurt show is finally presented: meet the IQConcept. Why is this thing our most awaited car?... you will know later, in the future. And we can tell it's not because of the design, it's something about a future technical feasibility that we really like at Auto-Future. So the thing below it's not particularly beautifull, and it's very small (almost 0.5m shorter than a Aygo!... and it can seat 4 persons!!!). But we like it and we hope to absolutely love it in the future.

Friday, September 07, 2007

What if?... a different Laguna!

Maybe interested readers in spy shots and future cars know this history: the Laguna III had a different front design before Carlos Ghosn arrived at Renault. The new boss decided it didn't suit so ordered a redesign of the front. Recently, in some Renault documents, prototypes using the old front are visible, although with camouflage. Which design is better?... it doesn't really matter now!

First review of Laguna 4RD

Autoexpress magazine published a review of a version of the Laguna equiped with 4RD, or 4WS if you fancy. Generally positive on the handling and dynamics of the car as expected. Meanwhile here are a couple of pictures of the system internals and the rear wheels steering:

It's Laguna day!

Today, just Laguna, nothing else! After following with interest the birth of Renault Laguna III we would like to point to some interesting features that make of this new car the undisputed leader in the mainstream segment. But, will the anonymous styling hurt sales of the most advanced car of its class (and note, we mean the maisntream class: Passat, Mondeo, Vectra, 407, etc.)? So, some of the great features:
- build quality and interior materials that are the best of the mainstream class;

- class leading passive safety (probably, maybe even the first 6-star in euroNCAP);

- class leading active safety in 4RD versions;

- handling that obliterates the competition in 4RD version;

Finally, this just in: the first picture of the Laguna coupe concept that previews the coupe version in 2008. More pics in this site:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

4 roues directrices... or 4-wheel steering in Laguna III

If the interested reader remembers we had some nice histories back in May and June about B91-4RD and some patents from Renault. Those were all about the 4-wheel steering system of the new Laguna. We have not read reviews about the new system yet but there is a new picture below that shows how it works, and it looks very simple and effective. Also notice the simple torsion-beam suspension scheme of the Laguna III (obviously the image shows the rear suspension and in this case steering)... in fact the new Laguna use a lot of the underpinnings of the previous version. Simple but effective, inside sourced have confirmed that in this 4RD version the Laguna will obliterate the competition in handling and active safety.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


The CGI below predicts how the F5 could look like. Although we believe it will not necessarily look like a van-version of the Concept CS. Oh dear, van... that's the forbidden word for BMW relating this model. The F5 will be the R-class equivalent in BMW, so it's a luxury van-crossover-whatever. Being a BMW it will be sportier than the R-class and for sure BMW will use the word dynamic a lot when marketing the new car.

It is interesting to notice how in this particular case BMW is following Mercedes and it will also be interesting to know if the F5 will achieve more success than the R-class that has lacklustre sales. We think it will suceed because the problem is not in the particular type of car but in the front design of the R-class.

Handling beats power

… or business as usual. But Audi started pushing the engine back for better weight distribution and bigger wheelbase and also started delivering more power to the rear wheels. And that has improved the car although not enough. Maybe in the next generation they start sending all the power to the rear wheels and making a proper sports-luxury RWD platform. But notice how the S5 wobbles on track, some better damping could help.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Audi RS6 in Nurburgring

Very close to presentation of this monster rumoured to have in excess of 570hp. Expect the Avant version to be shown in Frankfurt. Are we on the verge of an insane power war?...the power war has been on for years, but close to 600hp in this type of car is insane.

A generic 4-door coupe

It must have been one year since we got all crazy for 4-door coupes here at auto-future. Other than very high praise for the CLS many new models were predicted following that trend. And the influence of the CLS even brought a nice surprise in the new Jaguar XF: a 4-door coupe with a bit of excessive detailing.

The image below is of a new 4-door coupe that is the one for the people. The average people. So it's a bit generic, a nice interpretation of Mercedes leadership in the form of a VW Passat derivative. The generic 4-door coupe from VW will have predictable technical credentials already in use in the current version and, hopefully, better interiors with improved material quality.