Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Finally, an Aston-Martin that runs!

It's the Lexus (Bunch of letters)! Are they going to build it?  Have they already?  I never bothered to find out.  Still, I like the picture.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Does the Jaguar Baudet take too much from an American icon?

What is Jaguar's raison d'ĂȘtre? Everyone has been asking since the E-Type. Their cars should be sleek and luxurious and fast. A modern Jaguar is slightly sleeker than a Toyota Camry, and it's luxurious for those who like sitting around in their cars. The stench of freshly tanned leather is an improvement over the plastic fumes one finds elsewhere. Fast is relative but impossible. With so many cars governed around 240 kph, it's a moot point.

Now, Jaguar is headed in a different direction. Some say that their Baudet concept is a raid on America's past. Whether it works out that way remains to be seen. The Neon was the first New Beetle, and its price was truer to the roots of the original. Similarly, the Daewoo Matiz was more like the Fiat 500 than the design Fiat chose to build. The Baudet might end up being like the BMW Mini, a riff on someone else's past that brings a smile anyway.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Seen but not photographed: Chevrolet Corvette

Some cars can be described as having the pulled taffy look.  The next Corvette looks like taffy that has been left in the sun just a little too long.

Although I can't say there is anything wrong with it, it doesn't look especially right.

GM needs to put the Corvette on hiatus.  It's been done, redone and over done.  A flagship should never be in a rut.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mini GP

Most Minis look fun, and GP is a great retro name.  I wonder about the decreasing sidewall height.  These wheels and tires look great for autocrossing, but wildly unrealistic in terms of our roads.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Seen but not photographed: 2 BMW sedans!

Good grief, these things are everywhere.  I saw two in one morning.  The first one was painted in their usual black.  They're trying out oval tail lights.  The second one was blue.  Any color is an improvement, but the shapes look like products of too many meetings.  The black one looked ok.  The front end of the blue one looks like a fish being stepped on.

I read in one source, but didn't verify with another, that Chris Bangle* said that his shapes would improve as the times caught up with him.  Such is the lament of the insecure and arrogant.  He has never been ahead of his time.  Instead of providing an exciting glimpse of the future, his work is an annoying reminder of what's wrong with the present.  His earlier work shows the defects of the past.

BMW design shows a tortured company.  They did a nice update of the Mini.  Some big Minis look like riffs on the Trabant. The only thing they are unable to successfully design is a BMW.

*Is he still at BMW?  If quality were a consideration, I would look it up.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Suddenly, it's 1996!

Bill Clinton isn't cruising by Bob Dole tonight, but BMW sets the pace with fatter and fatter SUV's.  I saw one today.  The great techniblackandwhite yawn that wrapped the thing magnified the problems.  There are so many misshapen surfaces. It's so big. Has anyone at BMW ever seen a sports sedan? Are they expecting cheap gas? 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Yesterday's Kia Fail, Camouflage

Is Kia using old GM diesels?  I saw a big sedan of theirs yesterday.  There was so much soot on the back that the license plate was almost blacked out.  Although I failed to bring my camera, it wasn't worth seeing.  If they do come out with a diesel, proceed with caution.

It looks like the brain trust at the Here-Comes-A-Prototype® camouflage company might be on to something.  I saw a couple of prototypes going the other way that had rectangles of flat paint mixed in with the usual gloss.  It looked like it might photograph badly without screaming, "Get your camera!"

I suppose the most important job at Here-Comes-A-Prototype® is putting an attractive wrap around corporate egos.  The best camouflage is ordinary paint.  Future cars aren't exciting enough to be noticed.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ridden in, but not photographed: Cadillac CTS Wagon

A relative had it for the day.  We drove around for a bit before lunch.  It's heavy, well anchored to the ground, and very powerful.  The interior was done as well as any Mercedes. 

I wonder about all the screens.  There is nothing wrong with any of them, but it looks like too much aimed at your eyes.  A flat screen can light a room.  You can put them down.

The car is very powerful.  I rode in the 6 cylinder version.  Of course, some people will want the 8 and the label that goes with it.  I wonder if they could get away with a 4.