Friday, January 30, 2009

BMW PAS official teaser

The "New Crossover" concept explained in simple drawings...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Citroen crossover (Airlounge evolution)

French magazine L'Auto-Journal presents some CGIs and information that hint at a confirmation of a new "New Crossover" from Citroen. This car should be based on the C4 Picasso platform and could receive some design inspiration from the much loved Hypnos concept car. It will also have available a hybrid AWD version using PSA's HYMotion 4 architecture.

The magazine presents some CGI images but these are not very good. I prefer this older ones, and something that joins elements of this and the Hypnos concept would be great:

Monday, January 26, 2009

EV Future: electric car for the moon

Very cool. Hopefully we will see many electric cars on earth before this one goes to the moon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

EV Future: Electric Vehicles at Detroit Auto Show

This nice video shows plenty of new EVs at Detroit show. Some very cool like the Cadillac Converj and the Toyota FT-EV. But also some smoke and mirrors like the Chrysler 200C...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Peugeot 408 (Not!)

The image below was shown at French forum "forum-peugeot". It does not present the next Peugeot 408 in its final version because the car will have a new front design. The new design director at PSA, Jean Pierre Ploué, did not like the car so changes will be made. That means a 4 to 6 month delay. This is not very common and it will cost some money but not that much because it will be only a front job. And anyway, in this current market environment it's not too bad to delay a bit a big investment such as the new mid-size sedan.
The rear and profile should keep unchanged: it does have a bit of 4-door coupe design, which it's not surprising.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

EV Future: Ford Focus EV mule

This is a video showing a mule for a future Focus-based electric car. The one that "will be sold outright to retail customers through Ford dealers beginning in 2011". Hopefully... and please, on a better looking car than that American Focus.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

EV Future: Toyota iQ-based electric car

The FT-EV concept presented by Toyota at the Detroit motorshow hints at a production version expected for 2012. Hopefully for everyone, not just for fleets. This is not new around here, when the iQ was presented there were signs that it could serve as basis for future electrification.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

EV Future: BYD F3DM plug-in hybrid

This is on sale China. And only for government agencies. For now...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New car for the compact class (Opel Astra)

The image below shows a new compact car that I can't recognise because can't quite see the badge ;). This new nice looking vehicle seems like the sort of thing that would compete in the European market against the Focus or the Golf. But can't be sure of that because don't know what car this is ;).

Anyway it looks promising unless it lacks a multilink in the rear...
Update: a reader commented on this being the Opel Astra. I actualy knew what car this was but wanted to stay out of trouble at least until some major site picks up the story. Hence the eye-blinks in the original text ;) Well now that I've seen it in I can rest safer.
The car does look really nice but one has to see it in person and on the roads in order to judge if it can make a dent in the Focus or Golf. The main feature is that the car needs to look wide and "substantial", not sure about that from the pictures. We also know how the car will look like inside from recent spy shots: it will look much like the Insignia. Not sure if that is enough to fight the wonderfull Golf VI interiors... And finally on the multilink rear suspension... assuming that the Astra fully uses the Chevrolet Cruze platform it will have an old style torsion beam. Again, it needed something much better to fight the Golf and Focus.

Future trends: active aerodynamics

One of the recent good news on future automotive trends is that the technical bits will be gaining more importance. Stuff like engine efficiency, hybrid powertrains or weight reduction are putting the engineering first again. This article discusses a future trend that is active aerodynamics.

Active aerodynamics is related to the use of moving surfaces or parts to change the aerodynamic behaviour of a vehicle. The most obvious example is the retractable spoilers that you can find in a number of sports cars (Audi TT, for example). Another recent, less famous but equally important application is found on a number of BMW cars with the Efficient Dynamics package. It’s the air flaps at the front that regulate air flow to the engine. These close to reduce drag if engine cooling is not needed.

Future applications might include the referred air flaps that will for sure be copied by other manufacturers. But also other applications seeking to reduce drag at higher speeds, for example the image below shows a proposal by Saab to improve the aerodynamic performance of a hatchback using an extending rear parcel. Such feature would ruin the design of the car but since it moves only at higher speeds it gets more manageable.

The little black deflector shown below on a Citroen C4 Picasso is another example of candidate for becoming an active surface. Reports indicate that such feature could be part of a rear light module including the mechanism for surface actuation. Future cars incorporating possibly this or other examples of active aerodynamics are expected from different manufacturers although one does not have to guess a lot to preview BMW to be in the leadership. As of today their Efficient Dynamics package is still the undisputed reference in fuel consumption and emissions with several technical features (including the referred air flaps) yet to be found in the competition.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Peugeot 208

It seems a bit too early for a preview of the Peugeot 208. After all, the current 207 is not even restyled yet. But anyway, it makes for good magazine cover…

The image below is an unreliable “maquette”. It’s unreliable simply because the design is not frozen yet and this last information is based on inside sources. In my opinion this design proposal is too much of a caricature. Peugeot needs to focus on the proportions first and then on the detailing, this one is “over-detailed”. Clicking on he picture links to the original source.

Monday, January 05, 2009

EV Future:Mercedes BlueZERO Concept

Ugly colour, ugly car, ugly everything. But another step by Mercedes in the right direction. Reportedly Mercedes was very unhappy with the sudden increase of diesel prices in the USA when they were about to start selling diesels there. It's payback time... in a couple of years.