Geneva 2016: Top 5 production car disappointments

#5 Ssangyong Tivoli XLV

Ssangyong Tivoli XLV

Why is it here? Because it marks a returns to form for Ssangyong as the maker of the ugliest cars on earth. The regular Tivoli may not be a great looker, but at least it’s a decently-proportioned small crossover. And proportions is exactly what this overstretched, under-wheeled monstrosity gets so horribly wrong.


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Geneva 2016: Top 5 production cars

#5 Porsche 911 R

Porsche 911 R

Why is it here? Two reasons: manual gearbox, and natural aspiration. At a time when most other supercar manufacturers are releasing cars powered by turbocharged engines that do with two pedals only, citing emissions and efficiency, Porsche is alone in still offering drivers what they really crave: three pedals and a stick that the driver has to row with speed and precision to extract the best from a wailing, high-rev NA engine. Long may this combo live!


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Geneva Auto Show 2016 Preview

Geneva-Auto-Show-2016-Bugatti_ChironWe’ll be covering the Geneva Auto Show press days on Tuesday March 1 and Wednesday March 2. Make sure you follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with all the news and all the pictures, as we’ll upload them there as it happens. Of course you’ll find detailed reports right here on our site within the next few days.

Here’s a list of all the premieres, facelifts and concept cars:

  • Alfa Romeo Giulia (non-QV)
  • Aston Martin DB11
  • Audi S4 Avant
  • Audi Q2
  • Audi RS Q3 Performance
  • BMW M760Li
  • Bugatti Chiron
  • Citroën Spacetourer, Peugeot Traveller, Toyota Proace
  • Ferrari GTC4Lusso

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Poll: your Top 5 disappointments from Detroit

After Kriss’ list of his Top 5 disappointments from the North American International Auto Show (Detroit 2016 to you and me), now it’s time for you to tell us – what do you think were the Top 5 disappointments?

Also, if you haven’t yet voted, let us know what were your Top 5 cars.… Continue Reading …

Detroit 2016: the Disappointments

1.    Honda Ridgeline

Echoing Bart’s article, I really can’t imagine what Honda was thinking when it designed the new Ridgeline. It looks like a pick-up version of the Pilot SUV, a yummy-mummy favorite, but surely the target audience is on the exact end of the spectrum?

2017-Honda_Ridgeline-left-front

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Poll: your Top 5 cars from Detroit

After Kriss’ list of his Top 5 cars from the North American International Auto Show (Detroit 2016 to you and me), now it’s time for you to tell us – what do you think were the Top 5 cars that made their debut at the auto show?… Continue Reading …

Detroit 2016: Top 5

1.  Chrysler Pacifica

A huge return to form for Chrysler, not only in terms of styling but in terms of innovation: it’s the world’s first plug-in minivan. Looks good enough to lure some people away from their family SUVs.

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Lincoln Continental: missed opportunity

Unlike Lexus, which changed only a few minor details when turning the LF-LC concept car into the LC500 production vehicle, Lincoln has watered down the cool and sexy Continental Concept from the New York Auto Show last year. That doesn’t mean the production version is ugly or dull, it’s still one of the best looking Lincolns of the last decade, but I can’t help feeling a bit let down by the final design. Maybe it just looks better in dark colors and the white of the press images doesn’t really help it, but you’d think the marketing folks would figure that out themselves, wouldn’t you?

Lincoln_Continental-2017

Take for example the rear fenders: the Continental Concept had pronounced shoulders, giving it a bit of a rear-wheel drive look. The flared fenders have been flattened and straightened out in the production version, which makes the Continental looks less energetic and less powerful. It also seems like the C-pillar flows into the rear quarter more smoothly in the concept than in the final version.… Continue Reading …

Honda Ridgeline: the feminine pick-up truck

2017-Honda_Ridgeline-left-rear

Honda introduced the second generation Ridgeline mid-sized pick-up truck at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which is launched at the perfect moment as the US mid-sized pick-up segment is booming thanks to the rebirth of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the new generation Toyota Tacoma and hopefully later this year a new Nissan Frontier (a.k.a. Navara or NP300 in other parts of the world). That would mean all entrants in this segment, which appeared to have been forgotten just a few years ago, will be less than 3 years old by the end of this year. And then there are rumors that Ford may re-enter the segment with a new Ranger (and Bronco!) as well, so exciting times indeed.

The first generation Honda Ridgeline stood out from the crowd both technically and aesthetically and hasn’t really been a huge sales success in North America, peaking at 50.000 US sales in 2006 but quickly dropping to 10.000-18.000 annual sales. But Honda clearly thought that the odd exterior design with the high rear side-panels must have been one of the main stumbling blocks, as the brand has opted for a more straightforward design, not to call it plain dull in a time when the competition is putting some flair into their mid-sized trucks.… Continue Reading …

New Japanese luxury coupes: Lexus LC & Infiniti Q60

Lexus_LC-right-front-banner

The two Japanese luxury brands Lexus and Infiniti stole the show at the North American International Auto Show with sexy production versions of their new luxury sports coupes, and both stunned the audience by looking surprisingly similar to their concept versions. That’s always a good thing, because concept cars are usually sexy, futuristic and out-of-this-world, but then often the resulting production version is no more than a watered down, compromised and ordinary rehash with all the things that made the concept so sexy removed. Ask Subaru, they know all about this strategy.

Infiniti_Q60-side-banner

None of that disappointment with these two, as both have a low, wide look and an aggressive appearance, the Lexus LC clearly even more so than the Infiniti Q60. Lexus has designed a wild looking, widebody coupe with angular lines, a mesh spindle grille, grey detailing around the triangular headlights, and droopy Prius-style rear lights. The Infiniti Q60 is less extreme, but not less sexy with its low grille and long, wide nose and a muscular shoulder line above the rear wheels, ending in a wide rear end.… Continue Reading …