Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ford Fusion

A much needed update to the American Fusion will arrive at the end of the year. The image below shows a notable improvement of the front design while at the rear the modified car is set to loose the "rice" lights. Interior will be even more mature with some subtle chrome detailing added. Great emphasis will be placed in engines also: a new inline-4 is expected to have class-leading mpg numbers and the hybrid version will finally arrive. Ford really needed this car, now!... Anyway, looking at the image below I prefer the new American Fusion to the European Mondeo...

Friday, July 25, 2008

2009 Mazda 3

A new CGI shows a wonderfull design for the next Mazda 3. Too good to be true? Probably!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Spyshot scandal: French magazine Auto-Plus under investigation...

... and our view on the subject one year ago!
The offices of French magazine Auto-Plus were raided by officials, accusing the magazine of industrial espionage against auto maker Renault. Auto Plus published pictures and details of new models not due to launch for two to three years and Renault retaliated with a complaint to authorities resulting in an investigation being launched since last August. So far this has resulted in the confiscation of computers, documents and the detainment of Auto Plus journalist, Bruno Thomas. Renault said the complaint was intended to protect its intellectual property: "It kills creativity, you may as well just give our models to the newspapers and our competitors. What's the point of doing any research?" a spokesman said.
The interesting bit of this newstory is that the complaint originated from the publication of detailed images of the Megane III by Auto-Plus that we at Auto-Future decided not to show at the time, anticipating that these would hurt Renault's business really hard. The original post in Auto-Future is from July 2007 and you can read all of it here, or an excerpt below... our opinion on the subject one year ago!
"Finally, what’s with the “not presented below” picture? Some stolen images of what looks like a final design and unmasked version of the car were presented by a French magazine and could be illustrating this entry. Auto-Future reports on a lot of these scoops (and other stuff like technical information, EV future series, inside tips, etc), but we believe that showing those images means bad business to Renault. We are still more than one year before introduction of the model so this leak is much more serious than photographing masked prototypes or uncovered vehicles a couple of months before presentation. The interested reader can find those images very quickly on the internet so we are doing this as an editorial statement. We love all car brands and wish no harm to the folks that design and build cars all over the world. So if we feel that we could be hurting their business with a scoop image we don’t present it. And in this case Renault had a very serious security problem with this leak, such thing can not happen more than one year before the presentation of the car!"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

EV Future: new picture of 2009 Toyota Prius

A new picture of the highly awaited next generation Prius with Plug-In capability. It actually looks a bit like a photoshop image presented in this blog sime time ago. Anyway it does not have to look spectacular, it will carry the Prius design theme but more modern and a bit bigger. The important stuff is the Plug-In availability.

EV future: Fisker Karma is for real?

Really we never bothered about the fisker Karma because it looked like the series-hibrid was not for real... but now we know that Fisker Automotive has signed a letter of intent with Valmet Automotive to assemble its Karma plug-in hybrid sports sedan in Finland beginning in late 2009. So is this for real after all?... Plug-In series hybrid and 4-door coupe?...Loving it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

EV Future: Comparison of electric cars

A nice video from WhatCar showing a comparison between 4 electric cars. Some of these are not real cars (the Nice and the Reva) but neverthless an interesting review and without some of the prejudice that I've noticed lately of motor-journalists against electric cars.

Friday, July 11, 2008

EV Future: Mitsubishi i-MiEV in 2009?

According to Greencarcongress news the Mitsubishi i-MiEV could be made available for retail sales in mid-2009 in Japan, one year ahead of previous schedule. This is could have been triggered by good results in the current test program although we suspect that since Nissan has been very vocal about its EV plans for 2010 Mitsubishi might want to establish a lead.

Even better than the public availability such news shows how alternatives can be available very soon and is a sign to speculators already buying oil for 2015 futures market: chill down because you could end up loosing money!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

EV future: a Mercedes story

So here is an interesting Mercedes and EV-related story. Recently Mercedes decided to bring diesels to the US market. For that purpose the company invested millions in the Bluetec systems to comply with strict emissions regulations. Eventually, while arriving the US market, the diesel fuel prices in the USA miraculously rised well above gasoline... Mercedes was not happy and bitched against Big Oil.

Well everyone bitches against big oil, but Mercedes is a special company, the next time one notices they are sort of announcing that future A-Class, B-Class and Smart models will have electric versions available. That is Mercedes way of answering the tricks that were played in the US fuel market... One day, sooner than later, we consumers will also be able to give appropriate answers to the current energy market domination.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

EV future: New Toyota Prius CGI

Looking good as it should. Slightly weird to please the green crowd. More important, the specs: plug-in availability (later); option of roof-mounted solar panels to power AC and other equipment. Check the full details here.