Thursday, December 27, 2007

Toyota Avensis 2008?

Maybe yes, maybe no, but the picture could reveal a litlle of the next Avensis. The new European mid-size Toyota will continue to increase its market share against local models, with strong points in reliability, safety and comfort. The design will follow several themes from recent European Toyota models: nothing very exciting, but solid designs that assure profitability in the mid-term.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mercedes GLK

GLK: G-Leicht-Kompakt. The small G is actually a uber-G, a modern interpretation of the old G design in a small package. The picture below links to a Auto-Bild article with plenty of information and more great quality pics of the small-uber-G-SUV. The car was caught in its natural habitat, in a posh place and in the company of movie stars. Its looks, quality, versatility and space will assure commercial success, at least while the X3 is not updated. The biggest drawback of the G-class is that future versions of the X3 will have available a superior AWD system with torque vectoring features. And also the Efficient Dynamics package that has assured superior performance in fuel economy and emissions for BMW. But until then, the new GLK will be the king of the luxury small-SUV class. Other followers will follow, other wannabes will wannabe, but for those that can afford the GLK and the X3 will be the benchmarks of this type of vehicles for many years.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

EV future: Chevrolet Volt

A great video with some insight on the Chevrolet Volt, one can see it's face and a little bit more. Great stuff, it seems GM is really going to make this car. Fingers crossed on another step of the electrification of automobile.

Monday, December 10, 2007


This one will come with an all new acronym for BMW: PAS, that's Progressive Activity Sedan. It's a 5-series based hatchback that's a bit lower than a SUV (and also a bit lower and more athletic than a R-class) and will seat only 5. The real purpose of this thing?... don't really know, I just feel that BMW is very good at finding new automotive ways for people to flash their cash and therefore finding new money-printing operations for BMW. The CGI below looks really nice and the new car will find its place in a new future BMW range where their new sedans will be a bit more sleeker and elegant than today.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Auto-Future's best of the year II: stuff and people

Technical feature of the year: Nissan’s GTR architecture
The image below shows the architecture of the new Nissan GTR. This new and incredible machine uses a turbocharged V6 longitudinally placed as it should be and normally sending 100% of power to the rear wheels, as it should be. It also uses a transaxle, so the gearbox is in the rear for better weight distribution. When needed it also sends power to the front wheels so it uses a central differential that needs to be close to the gearbox, so it’s in the rear too… but it needs a shaft to send the juice to the front… hence the two big shafts you see in the middle of the car!... It’s amazing, brilliant, very effective and makes for a very impressive image like the one below.

Car name of the year: Reventon
And also best car name in all the history of cars! The Lamborghini Reventon is named after a bull that killed some famous bullfighter… we wish more bulls would have that spirit, that stupid spectacle would end very soon! The names is great but the car is not bad either… and I can see myself making conversation with some latina supermodel if I owned a Lamborghini Reventon… “si es el nombre de mi coche pero a mi tambien me llaman reventon…”. In Spain Reventon is also a nickname for some versions of the VW TDI engine that are used in the Seat Ibiza and Leon FR/Cupra models. Don’t ask why!...

Men of the year
The person below is not in the car industry, his name is Jose Barroso and he is the president of the European Commission. So is he like the President of Europe? No, his job is more like that of a burocrat, most of the time… Now in the end of last year he came up with this idea of limiting average CO2 emissions in cars to a mere 120g/km. Car manufacturers were not happy so they made a very strong lobbying against that. We are not sure what the final version of the regulation will be, but during this year something must have happened that convinced car manufacturers that Mr. Barroso’s ideas are for real. Let’s focus on the effects: Porsche made strong moves to buy VW group… VW started developing a new small-car platform…BMW decide on making a new brand focused on small cars and alternative mobility solutions… BMW and Mercedes started negotiations about sharing development of small engines… ECO labels and lower CO2 versions are everywhere in mainstream car brands… All of this is at least partially related to the need to lower CO2 emissions. We thank Mr. Barroso for exerting political leadership in this matter and we hope the response from the European car industry meets the new standards.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Auto-Future's best of the year I: cars

In a not original move Auto-Future presents its awards for the best cars/concepts/stuff of the year 2007. But, considering how special this blog is, some of the winners are already known for some time...
Concept car of the year
The Chevrolet Volt was awarded Concept Car of the year back in January. Please read the original post for the reasons, of course this concept is highly relevant and was the most talked car of the year. In 2008 it will be one of the most photographed mule/prototype... and later our car of the year 2010... unless Toyota arrives first with a plug-in hybrid in the market.

Car of the year
In June 2007 we awarded the Audi R8 as Car of the Year. See the original post for the reasons. We also decided that the R8 is the sportscar of the decade. We totally forgot about the Nissan GT-R... but it is not actually on sale in 2007 and it will have its own very special award in about 5 years... wait and see!

Best surprise of the year
That will be the new Citroen C5. I believe Auto-Future didn't even cover its development phase or presented spy-shots of the prototype. And plenty were available... the thing is the current C5 is so boring that we didn't really care about its replacement. But when the official photos were made available...WOW!... what a gorgeous car. Clearly a follower of the 4-door coupe trend that Auto-Future predicted almost a couple of years ago. This car is really what Citroen needs right now.

Biggest disappointment of 2007
The new Hyundai i30 was an easy task to report: it would be more upscale that its twin, the Kia Ceed, with more mature styling, improved interiors, etc. However, the Hyundai model turned out with a front design clearly uninspired and old-school Korean, the same interiors with just some blue light scheme, and unlike the Kia it only got a 4-star rating in the EuroNCAP crash test.