Archives for September 2015

Tesla debuts Model X, forgets to remove masking tape… [w/ Poll]

 

Tesla Model XTesla finally debuted the production version of the Model X, following what seems like years of teasing, “concepts” and unmasked testers driving around. So imagine my surprise when the final product, well, surprised me, though unfortunately not for the right reasons – it seems someone forgot to remove masking tape from the front…… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Large Sports segment

US Sports Large

The Large Sports segment in the US stayed pretty much the same size as it was in the first half of 2014 – it did not fall but it did not rise either, broadly reflecting the composition of the marketplace – most cars are recent enough, a few are new and a few are on the way out. As a mature segment it is also likely to stay like that in the forthcoming future, although there are a few notable new models just around the corner: Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe and the Porsche 911 facelift. … Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Small Premium Sports segment

US Small Sports Premium

The Small Premium Sports segment shrank by 20% compared to the first half of 2014, the largest drop from amongst all segments. This is a very surprising outcome, as this segment is full of attractive cars that aren’t all that old, plus one would think that in a recovering economy fun-to-drive and cool-to-be-seen-in cars would do well. It seems not… While part of the decline is due to the Audi TT being pulled from the market in preparation for the new model, the fact is all cars in this segment experienced a drop in sales, bar for the new Alfa Romeo 4C.… Continue Reading …

US sales 2015 first half Small Sports segment

US Small Sports

The Small Sports segment grew by 14% compared to the first half of 2014, a much better performance than either the Large Sports or Small Premium Sports segments, which did not grow and shrank by 20%, respectively. The headline statistic is deceiving, however, as all the growth came from two cars, with sales of the other cars in the segment shrinking quite a bit. It is clear, though, that a large part of the segment is made up from cars which are quickly aging or about to be replaced, and so I would not be surprised if the growth picked up even more in the next year with the release of the new MX-5 and Camaro.… Continue Reading …

Should this be the next Bugatti? (with Poll)

I came across this amazing design by Alexander Imnadze and it got me thinking: shouldn’t Bugatti really be thinking about producing a real GT car rather than simply updating the Veyron into the Chiron? The problem with a brand like Bugatti that produces tiny number of cars is that, once you’ve all but saturated the market for hypercars with a model like they Veyron, can they really hope to sell as many Chirons?

Bugatti Type-6 GT Vision

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IAA Frankfurt report: Crossovers

Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga

The Bentayga is the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV in the world according to Bentley, a statement which could very well be true. The production version of the EXP 9 F Concept is based on the platform of the new Audi Q7, but designed, engineered and handcrafted in Crewe. It sits on the 2,992 mm wheelbase of the Q7, while the overall car length is 5,141 mm, its width is 1,998 mm and height 1,742 mm. It can be selected with four- or five-seat configurations. The four-seat version features two individual rear seats that adjust in 18 different ways and include massage and ventilation functions as well as footrests. The storage space features a leather-trimmed folding seat that matches the style of the cabin seats, according to Bentley “Ideal for those wishing to stop for a moment and enjoy a spectacular outdoor environment or pursuit”. A 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine with a power output of 608 hp and 900 Nm torque powers the SUV, with which it could achieve a top speed of 301 km/h and accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. The engine is mated to an eight-speed transmission, while the CO2-emissions are 292 g/km. In the future Bentley will launch diesel and hybrid variants.

BMW X1

BMW X1

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Random thought: is a unified design important?

Ford SUV lineup

This add popped up while I was browsing around this morning, and made me think whether it is important to have a unified brand design which is represented in all your products. Take this Ford SUV line-up as an example. You have the compact, swoopy (relatively, of course) Escape with a 4-piece grille, the angry-looking Edge sporting Ford’s toughened-up Aston / Audi-inspired SUV grille, the Explorer whose design was meant to mimic the Range Rover and its perforated grille, and the old-fashioned, ladder framed Expedition sporting the simple grille that used to be the staple of Ford SUVs. Four models, four different looks. But is that a bad thing, necessarily?

Continue Reading …

New US Honda Civic tries to recapture old glory (w/ POLL)

Honda Civic

Earlier this week Honda revealed the new Civic model for the US market. The new model follows closely the template set by the concepts shown earlier this year, and marks a big shift in the design philosophy for the model. Whereas previous generations were very much made-to-cost conservative 4-door saloons, the new model looks like a more serious effort, with styling which makes it look more like a 5-door hatchback or, whisper it, a 4-door coupe. … Continue Reading …

Frankfurt report: Part III

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet – a very handsome machine, exactly what you’d expect from a car based on the S-class Coupe. But herein lies the problem – by looking so much like the S-class Coupe, which itself was copied by the C-class Coupe, this car just does not look that special in a class that’s dominated by Bentley and Aston Martin.

Verdict: MissContinue Reading …

Frankfurt report: Part II

Following up on the first impressions from Frankfurt (which focused on VAG’s offerings) here is Part II:

Mercedes-Benz “Concept IAA”

Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA – Mercedes’ typical “out there” concept with a striking front that includes a light-up grille, super-slick silhouette and an extending, well, ass that all contribute to super-low 0.19 drag coefficient. Possible elements of the design will make it onto the next CLS, but I really hope they scale down the grille!

Verdict: HitContinue Reading …