After one of those annoying slow-revealing image launch campaigns, today we saw the final reveal of the new Polestar 1, the first car from Volvo’s new brand dedicated to electric cars. However, despite its stunning looks and an exciting combination of existing technology and bespoke components, the model’s launch has me questioning whether the brand is off to the best possible start with the 1.
In this section of the blog, you can find articles about things about cars and the automotive industry that blow our minds or just make us laugh out loud.
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The latest, fourth generation Nissan Micra is a huge step-change from its dour predecessor, and a welcome return to form for the Japanese manufacturer. The latest European sales figures for the Micra suggest that consumers appreciate the new car, with sales over the past few months being almost twice as high as they were for the old model in 2016. A huge part of the new model’s appeal is its exterior styling – it is as bold as the third-generation model was shapeless. What’s more, it looks coherent even though the designers seem to have thrown every single design cues that’s trendy: strong character lines, creases, hidden rear door handles and a blacked-out C-pillar. Combined, they all give the Micra a look that’s unique in almost every way.
Just yesterday Volvo finally took the wraps off its latest model, the new XC40. Aimed squarely at the premium compact SUV market, and models like the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Range Rover Evoque, the XC40 is the first all-new model line the Swedish automarker has introduced since it launched the XC60 in 2008. Seeing as the XC60 did rather well in the European (figures) and US (figures) markets, the question on everyone’s minds is: has Volvo done it again?
A few weeks ago when the BMW Z4 Concept came out we asked you, our readers of what you thought of Munich’s latest creation. As you can see below, most everyone thought it was a genuine looker: exactly half of you thought it was gorgeous, while another 30% thought it looked great, but lacked a certain BMW-ness. So, not bad for BMW – now the challenge will be to turn the concept into a production model, which I’m a bit worried about given how the production 8-series looks to lose a lot of what made the 8-series Concept special (not least that hawkish nose).
I think it’s fair to say that the design of the latest Audi A8 has met with a less-than-enthusiastic response. While most of the styling is not in any way ill-judged or controversial, people’s reactions instead fall into a few camps: “wasted opportunity” is a common one, “yawn” is another, while many detractors level the same criticism as they have leveled at most German limousines for the past two decades: “looks too much like the mid-sized saloon blown up by 30%”. While personally I fall into the “wasted opportunity”, there is an aspect of the A8’s styling which actually bothers me, and that is the oversized, chrome-lipped grille that, to add insult to injury, reminds me a of a much-less exclusive car…
Following what feels like a relatively short gestation process, with relatively few spy shots and no teasers (that’s refreshing in today’s world), Hyundai-Kia’s new premium brand Genesis revealed the new G70 model. Designed to compete in the premium mid-sized segment against the likes of Audi A4, BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class, the G70 is Genesis’ first truly new model, following in the footsteps of the premium large G80 (née Hyundai Genesis) and the premium limousine G90 (née Hyundai Equus).
This Look-a-like is going to be a bit different, as it is based on a suggestions from CSB readers. In the metaphorical crosshairs this week: Dacia Duster, a car whose second generation recently debuted ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show, impressing both Bart and myself.
The new VW T-Roc has brought a breath of fresh air to VW’s design, and unlike the most recent batch of Audis, or the new VW Arteon, it has done so without relying on an exaggerated grille. That said, while it all comes together very nicely, there are parts of the T-Roc’s design that immediately reminded me of cars that have come before it.
After many, many spyshots, followed by what seems like even more teasers, VW has finally pulled the wraps off the new T-Roc.
The new BMW Z4 Concept is a good, maybe even great-looking car: it has great proportions, some really nice and aggressive detailing, and is finished in a very eye-catching combination of sunset orange and brushed aluminum. But is it a great-looking BMW? Cover the grille, or simply merge the two kidneys into one single item, and many would struggle to ascribe the car to a particular brand – the Z4 blends a lot of cues, many seemingly from other carmakers, making the finished product seem a bit too un-BMW-like for my taste. And while the outside influences could be ascribed to many different sources, there is one concept in particular that the Z4 reminds me of…