Saturday, December 10, 2016

Seen but not photographed, Fisker Karma

It's one of the few really new cars besides Tesla.  It looks like a Corvette, but it has four doors and lacks GM's design features to nowhere.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Seen but not photographed: Civic Hatchback

It's great to see it back, but it's not what I had in mind.  It's a bigger, ill-defined Ford Focus.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Seen but not photographed, Volvo SUV

This had a suspension that appeared to be independent and more robust than most.  Other than that, it was a fat brick.  It answers the question, "What if Lotus tuned an ox cart?"

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mustachioed Saturn

It's a shame that Saturn never made it.  When I was working on Japanese Car Magazine, I met some people there.  It was 1995, and they had just decided to ruin it, by folding it into the larger GM empire.  No one said that the other divisions were great, but using their stuff was cheap.  I only talked to the PR people, who were charged with selling a bad idea.

Some people think that the company is continually derailed by "beancounters," but they are wrong. GM is beancounters.  Accounting is the company.  Executives get special editions that rarely leave Michigan, while the rest of us get GM cars.

Occasionally, something slips through that is unusual or that gets a cult following.  If you own a GM car, you might as well decorate it.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mercedes with a Running Board.

The running board might be there for shuttle duty, or it might be part of the design.  This one was outside the auto show, which is another good place to find prototypes.  At times, it's also a good place to check industry people, who often live in an impenetrable bubble.  Many of them think that every product they work on is exciting.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Scion Lowrider

When you get it right, you get it right.  Old school lowriders were and often are big American cars.  Toyota went all out with this Scion and still nailed it.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mr. Fusion

At the time, the movie made the future look interesting and plausible.  Instead, the intervening years had few automotive accomplishments.  Between 1985 and 2015, there was the SUV boom, and we found out that GM was incapable of making cars that start with an ignition.  Oh well.  This Mr. Fusion was on something from Toyota.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cheap Fraud from Subaru

Lots of companies play tricks with their prototypes like this, but this one is from Subaru.  Yes, it's part of the extended coverage, but too many of the same headline makes things hard to find.

Notice the mirror that's too small.  Notice how the roof is the same piece as the front quarter panel!  The only thing that's feasable (done before) is the lack of door handles.  In person, you can see that they innovated by copying Tesla!  Yes, they are planning integrated door handles, now that someone else has done them for years.  Also, the window tint is too dark to be legal in most places.

This is what makes the auto industry frustrating.  Their people have the training to innovate, but instead, they just do stupid things like this every year.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Extended Coverage

Sometimes, you like a car right away.  I have always liked the Chevy Aveo.  It gets bad reviews in the US and good ones in other countries.  The Spark is the same way.  The Aveo is the Sonic in the US.  At least it's not the Whopper.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Extended Coverage

Here's another one from the "Are they still here?" Department.  Smart Cars are still on the market!  Easy to park, nippy, lots of good things.  It's too bad that car buyers are taking current cheap gas prices personally and making other choices.  They'll be surprised later, but Smart buyers won't.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Seen But Not Photographed: Ferrari 3000 GT

I saw a new Ferrari that looks like an old Mitsubishi 3000 GT, which had been designed to look like a Ferrari.  Why is Ferrari still in the car business?  They run a theme park.  They used to lead in style, but did they ever lead in anything other than winning races?   Now, Ferrari is just a logo and some cans of red paint.