Thursday, April 30, 2009

EV Future: technical bits of the Mitsubishi iMiEV

Some nice info about a car that we can buy next year... hopefully.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

2010 Ford C-Max

The picture shows a test mule of the next Ford C-Max. The car is schedulled for presentation in Frankfurt show so it seems that Ford should be testing prototypes by now... and they are, according to our info source. But not in public roads yet.
The other interesting bit about the image is that it seems the next Focus platform can have different wheelbases for different versions within the Focus range.

The C-Max will arrive first in a new 7-seat version and later as a more sportier 5-seater with a profile similar to the Iosis Max concept, minus the wings.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Just wanted to remind the readers about the best site in the world, if one excludes sites related to free quality-porn. Sniffpetrol is in great shape and now also with twitter. BTW, their twitter thing is frequently updated with stuff that means nothing, a must follow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What's up with the Audi billboard thing?

Last week Audi was in the news because of a billboard advert making a strike at BMW. BMW bothered to answer, which is kind of strange... Here in Europe we don't have that kind of negative advertising, which is a good thing.
Anyway, the billboard episode put Audi in the spotlight and got us thinking about luxury wannabe brands, real luxury brands, marketing, perceived luxury, that sort of things. And bum, here is a billboard manifesto, courtesy of auto-future. Mind you, we will make more...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

2010 BMW 5-series

The image below is not of good quality, just a magazine scan. But it is important, with all the available photoshops of the next 5-series, because it shows a reliable interpretation of the rear section and lights. This according to inside sources. For the rest we can expect typical BMW over-engineering and the rich interiors we know and love from the new 7-series and X5/X6. Modern and cohesive design plus visually-rich interiors are a good improvement in relation to some recent BMW models. Add the leadership in efficient design technology and the new E-class Mercedes soon starts to look old. Well, it already looks old right now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Alfa Romeo 169

This is just a CGI of the future? Alfa Romeo 169. The question mark signals doubts if there is a market for this car... this is a shrinking segment for cars that are not from one small elite of brands. Is Alfa romeo part of that elite?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

2011 Audi A6

The CGI below is the work of theophiluschin based on the Audi A7 sportback concept. It shows a possible interpretation of the next A6. Mind you, why not check his site for some cool photoshop jobs.

The interesting bits about the next A6 are technical and not yet fully confirmed. A source has hinted that the next A6 will have an evolution of the ASF (Aluminum Spaceframe) structure that is found in the A8 model. Other sources, namely mainstream magazines, speak of a steel structure as in the current A6 and A4 with the adoption of the MLP (Modular Longitudinal Platform). The MLP part is probably true but the aluminium structure also makes sense, in part because weight reduction is now an important trend in the auto industry. Furthermore my source is recent and is not yet fully tested, if you know what I mean… So I guess time will tell.

Other than that one can expect the usual range of parts shared with Seat and Skoda models, carefully hidden behind a modern exterior and an interior carefully designed to appear as quality in images. That ASF structure would be good to add a bit more credibility.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

EV Future: Segway P.U.M.A. concept

The image shows a preview of a future production version of the PUMA. Much better looking than the prototype. These things have to look like something from Apple, they can't look like glorified wheelchairs like the concept.

But a lot of rethinking has to go into cities in order to adopt a fleet of PUMAs. Maybe they could be viable in areas closed to cars. In such situation the PUMA or similar personal mobility vehicles could complement the public transport system.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

EV Future: Project P.U.M.A.

This is the PUMA thing, a GM-Segway collaboration for a 2-seat urban transporter. It looks quite dorky in prototype shape but at the end of the video it shows a preview of a possible production version.

The final version is wider to accomodate well 2 persons, the prototype is very tight. The video also hints at the need for changes in cities to embrace this type of concept. It seems difficult for this kind of vehicle to share roads with normal cars and it is too big for sidewalks.

This is another concept of personal mobility, like several others mainly from toyota. It will be interesting to check how they progress and of course, these could be important possibilities for the electrification of transportation.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

2010 Audi RS3

It seems the Focus RS will have company soon in the exclusive uber-hatchback category. Audi is developing the RS version of the A3 model, using the engine from the TT-RS: a 5-cylinder turbo with about 340hp, maybe a bit less in the RS3. This is great news because 5-cylinder engines are ideal for these cars, bringing huge power, a formidable soundtrack, while not making nose-heavy cars as if V6 engines were used. Furthermore the RS3 should have a brilliant design: the current S3 is already a class act. I also would prefer the RS3 to the TT-RS because the TT is more suited for persons who like handbags…

The use of turbocharged 5-cylinder engines in the uber-hatchback class makes all the difference. But, although the RS3 will probably top the Focus RS in power, the Ford model will still retain a very special title: the best FWD car on the planet. This means the Audi RS3 will probably use the Haldex AWD system from the TT-RS.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

2010 Ford Focus III

Guess what, so much stuff on the Focus RS and now autoexpress presentes a new CGI and info about next generation Focus. Let's check what they say: "Meet the most desirable family car ever! This striking machine is about to rewrite the hatchback rulebook, with a stunning combination of head-turning looks, driver appeal and up-to-the-minute technology. Say hello to Ford’s next-generation Focus". Typical autoexpress nonsense.

The CGI also does not seem a Huckfeldt job, it's a very bad one, but raises one interesting point: will the Focus III keep the signature vertical tailights or will it adopt the horizontal design presented in the Iosis MAX concept? Could the horizontal theme be reserved for the next C-Max and the Focus keep vertical units? Maybe some reader knows... I think they should keep the vertical theme for several different reasons, but already wrote more than the usual on this story...