My Two Cents on the Honda Accord Crosstour and the Public Outcry on its Styling

First of all, allow me to say that in all honestly, I'm completely dumbstruck from the amount of attention that the Accord Crosstour received considering the fact that it's just a crossover version of an existing model - nothing more, nothing less. I know Honda maintains a strong fan base which is very active on the net and that these things tend to go 'viral' very quickly on the web today, but still...

I expected more people to be interested, for example, in the new Ford C-MAX, also revealed this week, which is a far more important model (from a global perspective) as it previews the next generation Focus on both sides of the pond.

I'll agree with most of you that the Accord Crosstour is no beauty and style-wise, I'd classify it in the same category with the 'Bayerischideous' X6 and 5-Series GT.

Was I expecting something better? Sure. Am I surprised? Hell no and I can't understand why many are acting as if Honda is some sort of a Japanese version of Alfa Romeo that all of a sudden lost its design touch.

If you want my personal opinion, from a styling point of view, I find a couple of current day Hondas interesting e.g. Euro Civic hatch, the outgoing S2000; some all right but nothing to get excited about like the Accord and the rest, including the Insight, FCX Clarity, Odyssey and Pilot -you get the picture- bland to the point of near invisibility.

Ok, so Honda mucked up in a sub-category that's aimed at more adventurous Camry owners - big deal... Just my two cents.


VIDEO: New Ford C-MAX Film Gives us More Views of Five-Seater Minivan

In addition to the official photos of the all-new C-MAX, the first member of the next-generation Focus family, Ford has also released some static footage of the five-seater compact minivan allowing us to better observe the vehicle's exterior from a variety of angles. There aren't many details on the 2010 C-MAX other than the line-up will include Ford's new 1.6-liter EcoBoost petrol unit that uses turbocharging and direct injection, but our sources claim that aside from the five-seater model there will also be a seven-seater version with sliding rear doors that you can check out in these spy pictures. Video after the jump.

BMW Blue Dynamics Land Yacht: A Conceptual Proposal for a Wind-Powered Sail Car

While BMW has its eyes set on its 'EfficientDynamics' programme, designer Stefan Radev decided to take a different approach to environmentally-friendly vehicles with the creation of a conceptual wind-powered bimmer. Dubbed Blue Dynamics, the concept study is similar in design to Richard Jenkin's Ecotricity Greenbird that smashed the world land speed record for wind-powered vehicles in March 26, 2009, achieving a top speed of 126.2 mph or 202.9 km/h.

The renderings show a three-wheeler land yacht (or so to say) equipped with a rigid sail that can be moved either automatically according to the wind direction or manually by the driver via a special control unit inside the cockpit. All of this in theory, of course.

"The challenge was to incorporate the style of a premium vehicle with the exclusiveness of a yacht, powered by an environmental force-wind," says Radev. "It is an interpretation of the idea through the eyes of a premium automobile brand like BMW, which has taken a path of creating environmentally-friendly cars that carry a distinctive style and emotional character."

Source: Stefanradev , Via: Autobloggreen

Hyundai i10 Electric: World Debut for Mini EV at Frankfurt Show, Goes on Sale in 2010

This is our first look at Hyundai's all-new i10 Electric that will be making its world premiere at this month's Frankfurt Motor Show. The zero emission electric mini is not a concept but a production ready vehicle that is scheduled to go on sale in South Korea in the second half of 2010. Based on the five-door i10 hatchback, the EV is motivated by a 49kW / 65HP electric motor and a 16kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that has been co-developed with Korea's LG.

Hyundai promises a driving range of around 100 miles or 160 kilometers and a top speed of over 80 mph or 130 km/h for its all-electric mini car.

The i10 Electric accommodates dual recharging cycles: a 220V household current which the company says is slower but potentially beneficial if the recharging is performed during off-peak hours when utility rates are lower plus a 415V industrial-strength current which promises to charge the battery much faster.

More specifically, Hyundai said that under the 415V quick cycle, the battery can be replenished to 85 percent of its capacity within 15 minutes while under the normal cycle with a 220V household power source, a full 100 percent charge will take around five hours.

Honda Addresses Critics by Releasing New Photos of Accord Crosstour

Unless your head was buried in a sandy beach the past few days, you probably heard and/or read the negative internet chatter about the new Accord Crosstour on forums, blogs including this one (see what Auto Cars 2011 readers said here) and even Honda's own Facebook page. Well, time has come for Honda to react, but not the way you think, meaning the company is not firing the designers nor is it sending the Accord Crosstour back to the drawing board. No siree...

Honda claims that the two initial press shots are to blame for the public outcry as they weren't the best to show off the vehicle. Having said that, the company decided to address the critics and prove that they are wrong about the crossover's design by releasing a new set of pics which showcase an Accord Crosstour finished in a dark cherry color.

Furthermore, this time we get to see the five-door crossover pictured from different angles and even on the road with a natural background.

We'll let you be the judge if these new photos make the Accord Crosstour look better or not, so just head over to our comment section below and shoot your negative or positive thoughts on the car.

Back to Future Benz: Mercedes Retrofits 190 with Modern 204HP Diesel, Faster than the 190E 2.5-16 EVO II!

We often hear people whining and groaning about modern cars, either because they don't make them the way they used to or because automakers aren't making any technological advances. We say, you can't win them all, especially those that don't have a clue about what they're talking about. Nevertheless, we'd advise them to take a look at this uber-cool 'Back to the future' style Mercedes project that demonstrates the major developments in diesel technology over the past two decades.

In order to do this, the German automaker's engineers retrofitted a 1980's 190 sedan with an ultra modern common-rail diesel from the C250 CDI BlueEfficiency.

The 2.2-liter 4-cylinder clean diesel produces an output of 204 horsepower and a massive 500Nm or 368 lb-ft of torque between 1,600 and 1,800 rpm, which is more than twice the torque of the most powerful model in the old W 201-series, the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II that was presented in 1990 and produced in a limited run of 502 units as a homologation special for the Group A DTM touring cars.

With the new diesel engine, the classic 190 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in a mere 6.2 seconds. Now pay attention; not only does the 190 D BlueEfficiency manage to perform the standard sprint 11.9 seconds faster than a 190 D of the time (18.1 sec...), but more impressively, it literally trumps the 235HP 190 E 2.5-16 EVO II that accelerated from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds!

For the record, the standard, BMW M3 E30 challenging 190 E 2.3 16V upon which the EVO II was based, completed the same acceleration in 7.5 seconds.

Despite the scorching sprint time and the fact that the 190 D BlueEfficiency has 72 more horsepower than the standard 190 D, the new engine in the old body consumes 4.9 lt per 100 km (NEDC) instead of the 7.3 liter figure for 1988 (51.1 mpg vs 32.2 mpg respectively).

In comparison, the larger (160mm or almost 6.3-in. longer than the 190) and heavier (+385 kg or +848 lbs) but also far better equipped C250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY that gets all sorts of safety and luxury features such as seven airbags and ESP, hits the 100km/h mark in 7.0 sec and consumes on average 5.1lt/100 or 46.1 mpg US.

Mercedes-Benz 190 D BlueEfficiency


Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16V EVO II