Archives for March 2015

Lincoln debuts Frankenstein new Continental

Lincoln surprised the motoring world today by showing off the new Continental. The first surprise is that, after years of producing bland-to-ugly cars (the MKT has forever seared itself into my retinas…) the concept is genuinely good looking, even if those with good memories will probably remain cool, seeing as the gorgeous 2002 Continental Concept paved the way for some unremarkable production cars.


But the bigger surprise comes as you realize how Lincoln arrived at the new concept’s design, splicing design elements from other cars in a manner that Dr Frankenstein would be proud of.

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Unpopular opinion: Ford Mondeo

The latest Ford Mondeo / Fusion has received a lot of praise ever since it was launched, mainly because of its looks. Customers and punters alike seem to be falling over themselves in praising the Aston-esque grille and aggressive headlight treatment at the front, many claiming it’s one of the best looking in its class. I am not one of those people…


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Look-A-Like: Jag XF and… (part 2)

“Look-A-Like” is a new column which is meant as a lighthearted account of all those “I feel like I’ve seen this before…” moments. The first post was about how the interior of the new Jag XF reminded me of the interior of a mass-market compact sedan. Not that I’m picking on the new Jaguar sedan (which I think actually looks good and will probably sell very well), but there was just something about its rear lights that reminded me of another car first and foremost, rather than of the F-type after which they were actually modeled.2016-Jaguar-XF-33Continue Reading …

Design hero to zero: part 1


The automotive world is littered with success stories of automakers coming up with surprising hits, creating design icons from scratch and capturing the attention of the industry out of the blue (VW Golf, Audi TT, Ford Focus). The way down is often much slower – carmakers gradually give up their dominant position in design until they become a shadow of their former selves – think Cadillac post-1960s, or Audi over the past decade. But sometimes the downfall is sudden and sharp, when in one generation the automaker turns a design leader into a design stinker. This article is the first in a series documenting exactly such cars. Browse through the pics to see the first five offenders and nominate your own candidates in the comment box below.… Continue Reading …

Executive salaries in the automotive industry: crazy or justified?

Executive salaries are a hot topic these days, mostly due to the huge bonuses paid out to executives in the financial industry, at companies that needed government aid during the global financial crisis. And the French have always been exceptionally sensitive about this topic, as a country with strong unions and an a socialist government.

Renault_Nissan-CEO-Chairman-Carlos_GhosnSo when the Renault board voted to almost triple the 2014 salary of its CEO and Chairman Carlos Ghosn to € 7,2 million in cash and share options (up from € 2,67 million in 2013), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 5 of the 19 board members voted against the proposal, including those of the French state, which still controls a 15% share in Renault. What these board members must have failed to realize, is that Renault’s net income has also tripled, to € 1,89 billion thanks to sales successes of the Renault and Dacia brands in Europe and continued benefits from the alliance with Nissan.

Ghosn has been in charge of Renault for 10 years and helped to make the alliance with Nissan perhaps the most successful in the automotive world ever, he’s led Nissan for 15 years, and he’s known for setting audacious goals and then achieving them. … Continue Reading …

New Jag XE… XF breaks cover!

Big news for Jaguar-philes as the new XF broke cover today, ahead of its debut in New York. Many of you may not have noticed, though, or even thought the car was a long-wheelbase version of the XE for the Chinese market – so close is the new model to its little brother in terms of styling! And it’s not even like either one is that different from the current XF to begin with… Sure, the new car is made partly from aluminum and promises to be quite a bit lighter than the (porky) current XF, but Jaguar seems to have outdone Audi and BMW in terms offering “same sausage, different sizes” to its customers!


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Poll: Should Lamborghini build the Urus?

With Lamborghini yet again releasing “non-news” that it still hasn’t decided on whether to build the Urus, I am starting to think whether they should bother at all, given how long it’s been taking them to make the decision. Personally, I think the more the merrier as long as the product is right, and the Urus certainly looks right (though I would prefer a more original front end). But what do you think?

Should Lamborghini build the Urus?

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Jeep Chief is retro done well and on the cheap

I am generally not a huge fan of retro cars, though I do have a soft spot for the Chrysler PT Cruiser. I am particularly not a fan of companies spending tons of money on a retro-looking car, when the same amount could be put towards a car that is amazing looking without needing to copy anything else (think new Ford GT versus the previous one, Jag XF vs S-Type, BMW i8 vs Z8).


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Maserati cutting production due to falling demand

2014 was a huge year for Maserati: it sold 36,448 worldwide, some 136% more than the year before. Now, however, there is news out of Italy that the manufacturer is cutting production of its two main models, the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans, due to lower demand. The production this year is expected to fall to around 30,000-35,000 cars.


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CARicature news: GM withdraws from US highways

In a week when Fiat-Chrysler announced its Chrysler brand (pronounce: Lan-Cee-Ya) would quit the UK market and General Motors announced it would stop selling Opel and Chevrolet vehicles in Russia, GM also issued a press release stating management has decided to withdraw sales of its cars and SUVs to customers who want to drive it on North American highways, in order to make up for continued losses of its European operations.

CARicature_News-GM-CEO-Mary_BarraIn a statement, General Motors explains that withdrawing their vehicles from the US highways will avoid any supervision by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and therefore save the company an estimated US$4 billion in recall-related costs. It would also alleviate dealers from having to repair over 30 million allegedly defective cars and trucks annually and as a side effect will have a comforting effect on consumers, who will no longer be frightened by never-ending media reports (un)covering potential safety hazards on their vehicle.

CEO Mary Barra: “This really is a prime example of the post-bankruptcy New GM,… Continue Reading …