Curiosity: Tesla’s “upgradable” base Model X [w/ poll]

Tesla Model X

Ever since I checked out the Model S at a Tesla dealer, and put my e-mail down to get a test-drive, I’ve been getting the occasional e-mail from the carmaker. The other day I got an interesting e-mail ad for the new base Model X, the 60D, which suggested that, to quote: “The Model X 60D can later be upgraded through a software update to 75 kWh to increase range by about 20%. ”

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BMW China-only 1-Series Sedan [w/ Poll]

BMW 1-Series Sedan

The other day BMW finally revealed the long-awaited 1-Series Sedan, a fine-looking premium compact sedan that will go head-to-head with Audi A3 Sedan and Mercedes-Benz CLA. The model is a production version of the Compact Sedan Concept (what an imaginative name that was…), and seems to have inherited most of the concepts good looks, including a front that looks better-balanced than the awkward 1-series Hatchback or the Coupe. For now BMW did not reveal what platform the Sedan is based on, leading many to assume that rather than being based on the RWD platform of the Hatch/Coupe, it is based on the FWD “UKL2” platform from the 1-series Active Tourer / X1.… Continue Reading …

Volvo’s new small models previewed [w/ poll]

Volvo Concept 40.2

Today Volvo unveiled two new concept cars that are, as US vice-president Joe Biden would put it, a “big f’ing deal” for the carmaker. Called the Concept 40.1 and Concept 40.2, the cars preview not only a new range of Volvo small cars, including its first compact crossover, but also a new platform that’s the result of collaboration with Chinese owner Geely.

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Poll result: Audi Q2 was your most disappointing production car of Geneva 2016!

Audi Q2

To no one’s surprise our readers have named the Audi Q2 the most disappointing production car of Geneva 2016. Of course, this is not the same thing as calling the Q2 a “bad” car – Audi is probably incapable of making a car that’s outright bad right now – rather, it’s a car that could have, or even should have been so much better. With a styling that’s both conservative and seemingly under-resolved, a standard 5-door body and size that positions it alongside the older, but arguably more attractive Q3, and a complete lack of a “want it” factor, the Q2 seems like a giant missed opportunity for Audi to, for once, get ahead of their arch-rivals at BMW and Mercedes-Benz.… Continue Reading …

Is the US ready for a true value brand? [w/ poll]

Dacia lineup

For a while us here at Left-lane.com have been in awe of the success of Dacia, the first true dedicated “value” brand (re)started by a major car manufacturer. Sure, Skoda was arguably the first attempt by a major manufacturer to buy a lowly brand and have it slot in at the bottom of its brand hierarchy, but it was never truly positioned as a “bargain” brand. Notwithstanding the Felicia, itself a re-skinned Favorit, all its models have been basically current VW models for some 20% less cash – that’s cheaper, but not really cheap. When Renault bought Dacia, on the other hand, it created a line-up of dedicated cars that were based on tried and tested platforms whose R&D costs have long been recovered, thus allowing the models to be sold at a very low price point. Add to that a simplified construction, long-travel suspension that was both sturdy and comfortable, minimal styling and a spartan interior and the first Dacia model, the Logan, was ready to do battle with both more expensive western, as well as long-obsolete homegrown models in the Eastern European markets. But what followed was a success story that exceeded all expectations Renault may have had for the brand – Dacia models became a mainstream hits in Western Europe as well, including in über-demanding markets such as Germany and England.
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Poll result: Alfa Romeo Giulia is your production car of Geneva 2016!

When we asked you what your top production cars of Geneva 2016 were we knew the Alfa Romeo Giulia would be somewhere close to the top, but given that the car had been shown a while back (albeit in Quadrifoglio form) we did not think it would top the list. So color us surprised when the Giulia not only took top spot, but was the only car to have figured in more than half of the respondents’ top-5 lists! Now, it will be fascinating to see whether all this anticipation translates into success in the marketplace.… Continue Reading …

Poll results: Killing the 200/Dart duo is folly

Dodge Dart2015 Chrysler 200C

When we asked you, our readers, whether you thought Sergio Marchionne was right to kill off the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart to concentrate on crossovers, we expected most of you to disagree with him. What we did not expect was just how few of you would either agree with FCA’s action, or would be willing to wait and see if it was the right action.

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Poll results: Volvo V40 most likely to succeed in the US

Volvo V40

A while back we asked you which premium compact model not currently available in the US would have the highest chance of succeeding. The Volvo V40 came out ahead with 32% of the votes – a clear, but not decisive win over its competitors. That many think it could do well does not come as a surprise – Volvo is currently on a bit of a roll, and while the V40 predates the current “hot” XC90 and S90/V90 models, it still represents much that customers like about the brand. It’s even available as the Cross Country, a jacked-up version of the kind that’s ever so popular in the US (think Volvo XC70, Subaru Outback).… Continue Reading …

Poll: what were your 5 biggest concept car disappointments in Geneva 2016?

Following articles on our Top 5 concept cars, as well as our 5 biggest concept car disappointments, as well as a poll asking you about your 5 top concept cars, it’s time for the final poll: which concept cars from Geneva were you most disappointed with?

Also, don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the production cars in geneva:

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Poll: what were your top 5 concept cars in Geneva 2016?

Following articles on our Top 5 concept cars, as well as our 5 biggest concept car disappointments, now we’d like to hear what you thought the concept stars of the show were!

Don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the production cars in geneva:

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