Thursday, June 25, 2009

Audi A5 sportback

This elegant vehicle is really a hatchback. So it's for folks that want the 4-door coupe look but with more practicality. Well, in reality it is for people that can't quite stretch the extra 5k€ or so that the original Mercedes CLS costs. But for a Audi copy it looks really nice.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2010 Opel Zafira

The image below shows a possible interpretation of the next Opel Zafira. It looks too much like a station but then maybe Opel goes for a lower MPV... don't think so.

One interesting bit is the front design, a new boomerang concept presented in the Insignia-Concept and series production Insignia OPC. It looks really nice so one wonders why it is not available in the regular Insignia and new Astra... these cars have a really bland front design. Maybe one can expect in future restylings to see that boomerang feature spread to the rest of the Opel range.

Friday, June 19, 2009

2011 Peugeot 408

The image below is from L'Auto-Journal and it is consistent with information from other sources. It seems the design of the 408 is finally frozen after some last minute changes by Peugeot's new design boss. And from the look of things and his latest designs at Citroen it seems that Peugeot now needs less help than before.

Inside the new car should look really nice judging be recent Peugeot interiors. The French brand has managed to apply some Audi magic in making interiors look really nice in the photograph and first impression. The fact that real quality is or not top standard does not seem to bother Audi customers so Peugeot is not worried also.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

2010 Opel Astra video

This is rather silly...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

EV Future: iMiEV Mitsubishi

The new EV from Mitsubishi undergoing testing. This car is now in series production. Why I'm not enthusiastic about it?... because it's still just for selected fleet sales. I will make a big party when this thing is actually available for everyone to buy.

Monday, June 08, 2009


This car will be a great success. People love SUVs and if BMW can make it more fuel efficient than the competition... and they will.

The other Citroen DS4

According to L'Auto-Journal the Citroen DS4 could also be a "premium" compact hatchback, as previewed in the image below. This one certainly looks nice but I believe the 4-door coupe alternative would have more chances of success: the premium hatchback market is becoming crowded for Citroen to play...

Friday, June 05, 2009

The future of the DS

The future of this strategy by Citroen will be linked to the commercial success and profitability of the first 3 models. Several cars could appear covering, at the limit, the “Distinctive” market of every segment.

The success of the Distinctive Series could also encourage this kind of spin-off by other companies. One such example is the Alpine brand that we know Renault has considered several times to bring back to market in recent years. It could be a great spin-off for sportier and more luxury cars by Renault and without much investment cost in a new brand since Alpine is truly iconic. But we wonder what would be the role for Infinity in the European market… and anyway, it seems Renault should be more worried about their regular cars as things stand today.

Regarding other future DS models one could expect, for example, a cabrio version of the Citroen C5, previewed by the gorgeous C5-Airscape concept below. The future electric car of the PSA group could also be presented as a DS model in the Citroen range, although everyone knows such car is in reality a Mitsubishi. So then, maybe not!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Citroen DS5

This is another model that has been sort of confirmed by Citroen. It will actually arrive in the market before the DS4. The Citroen DS5 is a “New Crossover”. The interested reader might want to recall what the “New Crossover” is here and here, for example.

The DS5 is a Citroen Picasso modified for premium appeal in the spirit of the Distinctive Series. Some of its main features can also be found in the new BMW 5-series GT, namely the “lounge” feel: personalized and relaxing luxury in a contemporary design. What does that mean?... I don’t know, I have been reading information from the press-release of the 5-series GT it’s full of crap like this.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Citroen DS4

According to different French sources one of the future DS models is the DS4 previewed below. It’s a 4-door coupe but one or two sizes smaller than the pioneer Mercedes CLS. So it’s based on the platform used for the next Citroen C4. The design in the CGI looks fantastic but the new car has a major challenge to face: usually 4-door cars of that size look like crap… so can Citroen execute a smaller 4-door coupe properly? I believe they can.

The reader might wonder why doesn’t Citroen make a 4-door coupe based on the C5 model. Fact is the wonderful Citroen C5 already looks a bit like a 4-door coupe and that’s part of its charm. But also it seems Citroen believes it can have more success in pushing a more premium sub-brand based on the smaller cars where Citroen has a more solid market position.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Citroen DS series

The image below shows the production version of the Citroen DS3. This car is kind of a upmarket version of the next Citroen C3. The purpose of this article and the next ones is to analyze a bit what Citroen is trying to do with this new DS range of cars. Yes, a range, or more specifically, a sub-brand since we will see more DS models from the French brand.

So why is Citroen creating a sub-brand or a series of particular models under the DS name? By the way, DS means “Distinctive Series”, an appropriate designation for this distinctive approach. The main point here is that Citroen is looking for more profit. Since they can’t sell their conventional cars for much more money than today because Citroen is just another mainstream brand like Renault or Volkswagen, they try to market a new range of cars that are more special and more… distinctive. Therefore the Citroen DS models will sell for a bit more money, are expected to appeal to people that spend more on optional extras and even personalize the car, according to the first configurators shown by Citroen. All of this is expected to bring more profit than the bread and butter models.

However, creating a new brand or even just a sub-brand is not an easy task and should require a massive investment. But the good people at PSA were smart enough to use an iconic model designation associated to the Citroen DS from the 60s of last century. So the Distinctive Series gets an iconic help from Citroen’s past. Well played, I think Citroen is on a good path here.

In order to assess the success of this strategy one must understand that it is not expected these new cars to be best-sellers. The best thing Citroen can have is to pay the investment in the new series, improve brand awareness and image and establish a new path that brings consistent profit in the future.

The first model seen below is not even the most interesting of the new range of DS models. It falls in a new category that also includes the Alfa Romeo Mito and future Audi models: the MINI-wannabe class. But the DS3 should do well: the design is interesting, cute and “bourgeoise”. And the interior is a highly personalized class act. In following articles we will look at other future DS models that are more interesting than this first iteration.

Citroen DS Inside Concept - Interior Detailed

Starting the Citroen DS week with a video of the first iteration: the DS3.