2019 LA Auto Show: Part I

Despite the rather chilly and rainy weather in downtown LA (yes, it actually RAINED in Southern California), hordes of automotive industry professionals and media heads – although I can’t understand how much of a “media” person anyone can be shooting photos with an iPhone – gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the latest edition of the LA Auto Show. Phew. What a mouthful.

There were a handful of new vehicle debuts to speak about, although few are going to raise anyone’s heart rate.

At the Ford Motor Co. booth: So what did Detroit unleash upon us? Their own version the Pontiac Aztec, it seems. While it’s 100% electric, it’s also 100% ugly. Nothing wrong with going all in on electric but the Mustang Mach-E looks nothing like its petrol-drinking brethren. I would be embarrassed to drive this thing around town. Wow. Speechless.

Meanwhile, at Porsche: The Taycan was the rage. Couldn’t get a clean photo because attendees were too busy leaving the fingerprints all over the car, inside and out. Regardless, I am really excited for this all electric car as it will give Tesla a serious run for its money. And frankly, Tesla’s brand cache will take a serious hit once the Taycan hits the road.

Yes, electric Porsches are cool but I was more titillated by their gas guzzling counterparts. Namely, the new 911 Carrera 4S on display (drool) and the IMSA GTLM winning 911 RSR. Oh my…

Nothing to see at Nissan: Perhaps it’s reflective of their horrible sales numbers… There was nothing to see at Nissan, except a “50th anniversary” edition of the GT-R. And a customized Nissan truck. Neither really excited anyone, AFAIK, but here are some photos for shits & giggles.

Still working on other photos. Coverage will continue tomorrow. Stay tuned!

2019 LA Auto Show Coverage – Coming Tomorrow!

The 2019 LA Auto Show kicks off in earnest with a bevy of press conferences tomorrow (November 20, 2019), which we are sure will include new vehicle debuts. Manufacturers holding press conferences include:

  • BMW
  • Hyundai
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Porsche
  • Kia
  • Toyota
  • VW
  • Mazda
  • Alfa Romeo
  • Acura
  • Fiat
  • Lincoln
  • Chevrolet

Look for lots of photos and commentary from the show soon!

2019 LA Auto Show: Debut Vehicles Update

The 2019 LA Auto Show is just around the corner and there’s much to be seen and experienced at Southern California’s premiere OEM auto show. According to the latest information provided to us from AutoMobility LA, here are some of the debut vehicles we can expect to see in November. We’ll be there to cover it all so stay tuned!

AutoMobility LA 2019 Poised To Have One Of The Largest Number Of Debut Vehicles In Show History

More than 65 Debut Vehicles Including 25 Global Reveals Confirmed for LA Auto Show’s Press and Trade Event

BMW, Hyundai, Karma Automotive, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen Set to Make News

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Los Angeles Auto Show (LA Auto Show®) today announced that it will have one of the largest number of debut vehicles in its history, as more than 65 are confirmed for AutoMobility LA, its press and trade days, taking place Nov. 18-21, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This year’s debut vehicles span across all segments, price-points, and powertrains, including electric.

New Automobility LA + LA Auto Show combined logo, March 2019

On Tuesday, Nov. 19, industry and media professionals at AutoMobility LA will share insights around the future of transportation and witness vehicle debuts from Karma Automotive and press announcements from innovative startups and suppliers, including AEye.ai and Vulog.

AutoMobility LA continues on Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 20-21) with many more vehicle unveilings and press announcements by automakers introducing the latest advances in transportation innovation. Among the confirmed debut vehicles, 38 percent will be making their global premiere at AutoMobility LA, with 35 percent of those being hybrid or electric vehicles. 

Confirmed automakers bringing debut vehicles to AutoMobility LA 2019 include (but are not limited to):

  • Alfa Romeo: The debut of the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia and 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio 
  • Audi: The all-new, fully-electric Audi e-tron Sportback and the new line of RS performance models, including the Audi RS 6 Avant 
  • Bollinger Motors: Bollinger Motors’ all-electric models, the B1 and B2, will be making their auto show debut 
  • Hyundai: Hyundai to reveal five vehicles; the marque’s lineup of concept and production models will showcase powertrains including ICE, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric 
  • INFINITI: The INFINITI Edition 30 line will make its auto show debut; the limited-quantity product line will include the 2020 Q50, Q60, QX50, QX60, and QX80 models 
  • KIA: KIA announced that it will have a debut for its press conference 
  • Lexus: Lexus has confirmed debut vehicles, including a global premiere 
  • Mazda: Mazda has confirmed the debut of several all-new and refreshed 2020 models for its press conference 
  • Subaru: Subaru will showcase multiple debut vehicles; two will make their North American premiere 
  • Toyota: Toyota has multiple reveals for its press conference, including vehicles with new and alternative powertrain options 
  • Volkswagen: Volkswagen has confirmed multiple debuts for its press conference, including the global premiere of its latest all-electric concept and the auto show debut of the Atlas Cross Sport

“From a new product standpoint, electrification continues to be the big trend across the spectrum of automakers,” said Terri Toennies, President of the LA Auto Show and AutoMobility LA. “While Los Angeles is all about car culture, it’s also a city that takes environmental consciousness seriously. This makes AutoMobility LA and the Los Angeles Auto Show ideal destinations for our media, industry, and consumer visitors to experience all the latest and greatest ways to get from point A to point B.”

Following AutoMobility LA, nearly 1,000 vehicles will be on display during the 2019 LA Auto Show (Nov. 22-Dec. 1) for visitors to experience, alongside activations, displays and test drives from auto manufacturers including Acura, Audi, Fiat, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Tesla and many more.

2014 LA Auto Show

The 2014 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show came upon us yet again and, for the first time in quite a while, we decided to take a look at what the OE world had to offer. We came away a bit underwhelmed. There was nothing revolutionary. Merely evolutionary at best. Nothing blew us away, really. All signs point to yet another year of dull vehicles. Regardless, we thought these following vehicles have some ability to quicken the pulse. Even if just a little bit.

(Incidentally, all photos were taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Image quality is pretty awesome, especially considering it’s just a smartphone)

The Ford Transit Connect - we LOVE this utilitarian vehicle
The Ford Transit Connect – we LOVE this utilitarian vehicle

The new Ford Explorer - looks very Range Rover-esque; we like it
The new Ford Explorer – looks very Range Rover-esque; we like it

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The redesigned Ford Edge - yet another attractive small SUV from Detroit
The redesigned Ford Edge – yet another attractive small SUV from Detroit

The first Shelby without Carroll Shelby
The first Shelby without Carroll Shelby

The front end of the revised Mustang looks awfully familiar. Gotta say it shares design DNA with the Fusion. And several Aston Martins. And the Nissan GT-R. And the Dodge SRT Hellcat. And the Mazda 6.

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This was one of only two vehicles on display within the Mitsubishi booth - are we close to seeing this OE leaving the US market?
This was one of only two vehicles on display within the Mitsubishi booth – are we close to seeing this OE leaving the US market?

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Looks nice and all but is it worth $64,000? For a Dodge?
Looks nice and all but is it worth $64,000? For a Dodge?

Some sort of hybrid / electric car based on the Delta Wing racing car - you won't see us driving this thing
Some sort of hybrid / electric car based on the Delta Wing racing car – you won’t see us driving this thing

Yet another "Nismo" version of the Z - perhaps they should add some power to the damned thing instead of prettying it up all the time
Yet another “Nismo” version of the Z – perhaps they should add some power to the damned thing instead of prettying it up all the time

Can't get enough of the mighty Porsche 918
Can’t get enough of the mighty Porsche 918

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Porsche made a lot of noise over the "new" 911 GTS - frankly, it looks the same to us
Porsche made a lot of noise over the “new” 911 GTS – frankly, it looks the same to us

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An offering from Morgan - always a little "different"
An offering from Morgan – always a little “different”

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The VW GTI Roadster Concept - definitely worth of Gran Turismo
The VW GTI Roadster Concept – definitely worth of Gran Turismo

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This looks very worthy of a RevdCars evaluation
This looks very worthy of a RevdCars evaluation

Didn't see anything of interest in the Mazda booth except this...
Didn’t see anything of interest in the Mazda booth except this…

Look at the rear "spoiler" of the new Vette convertible - it's a giant Gurney flap
Look at the rear “spoiler” of the new Vette convertible – it’s a giant Gurney flap

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The Infiniti Q80 concept was curvaceous
The Infiniti Q80 concept was curvaceous

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Wow... Lexus outdid themselves with this ugly beast - think they should start calling themselves Lesux instead
Wow… Lexus outdid themselves with this ugly beast

We ABSOLUTELY LOVE the Jaguar F Type
We ABSOLUTELY LOVE the Jaguar F Type

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Something straight outta Tron in the Toyota booth
Something straight outta Tron in the Toyota booth

Who needs the Lexus LF-A when you have the Toyota FT-1? We sincerely hope this is the foundation for the new Supra
Who needs the Lexus LF-A when you have the Toyota FT-1? We sincerely hope this is the foundation for the new Supra

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2010 LA Auto Show: Day 2

Day 2 at the LA Auto Show gave us a chance to spend more time at the LA Convention Center, take more photos and delve further into automotive offerings for 2011.

BUICK PULLS OFF THE COVERS ON THE NEW REGAL

Normally, we’re not big fans of sheet metal from Detroit but this Buick made us do a double take. We’re waiting for our chance behind the wheel to decide whether the double take was based on just a mirage or some real substance.

FLAT IS IN AT MERCEDES

Yes, it’s the Mercedes AMG CLS 63 hyper sedan that you see before you. But that’s not what we’re showcasing. Look a little closer. Notice the flat paint? No, it’s not a custom job. Rather, it’s a factory option available to you. Frankly, it was novel when car customizers first started giving cars the flat treatment but it’s rather played out at this point.

CADILLAC UNVEILS FUNKY LITTLE CONCEPT FOR THE “URBAN” SET

The Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept (ULC for short) is a small city car designed for urban dwellers that just can’t do without some bling to complement their brownstone in upper east side Manhattan. Powered by a teeny, weeny 1.0L turbocharged 3-cylinder engine, the ULC supposedly generates 56mpg in the city and 65mpg on the highway with a cadre of technology including start-stop and brake energy recovery system (a la Formula 1 KERS?). Call us skeptics but we can’t see this car seeing the light of day unless Cadillac’s intention is to meet the even more stringent average fleet fuel efficiency mandate set by the EPA. There are already city car-type variants out there (the Smart, for one) and wonder if we really need a microcar studded with so much unnecessary bling. Keep it simple, stupid. That’s what we say.

DROP TOP CHEVY CAMARO

Open top version of the Chevy Camaro. Nothing else to say about it, really.

FORD FINALLY BRINGS THE FOCUS ST STATESIDE

We’ve always been big fans of “hot hatches,” but the announced arrival of the Focus ST didn’t quite have the effect Ford may have intended. With us, at least. This car has been in existence in Europe since 2009 (the turbocharged 5-cylinder variant killed off due to Europe V emissions regulations). Yet again, American consumers are left getting a car far later after introduced to the rest of the world. I personally find the front end boring, looking quite a bit like a fish; resembles nothing like the aggressive snub nosed design on the original European Focus ST.

GMC’S FORAY INTO THE SUBCOMPACT SEGMENT

When you think of GMC, what comes to mind? Fun cars? Probably not. Utilitarian trucks, SUVs and vans? Absolutely. Perhaps the make is looking to change all that with the introduction of the GMC Granite concept. The front end is large and aggressive, keeping in line with the GMC lineage, but the rest of the vehicle is sleek. The rear end looks particularly similar to the current gen VW GTI. Not sure if this little compact will ever see production, but if it does, it will be the first to shake things up in the segment since the original Scion xB.

JAGUAR’S STUNNER

Wow. That’s about most appropriate word we can use to describe the stunning “green” C-X75 concept. With lines not see since the XJ220 hyper car from the Thatcher era, the concept will hopefully bring new excitement over the old English marquee. But what you find under the sheet metal is completely new school. Each wheel is driven by its own electric motor, with a range of 68 miles from a 6-hour charge at home. Once that juice runs out, however, its lithium ion batteries are recharged by micro gas turbines, extending the “theoretical” range to 560 miles.

Did we mention its claimed top speed of 205mph?

KIA EMERGES FROM HYUNDAI’S SHADOWS

New sheet metal, dimensions, interior and more add up to quite the competition for offerings from sister brand Hyundai. Call it a one-two combo, but Honda, Toyota and Nissan have much to fear from Kia (and Hyundai).

LEXUS’ SPORTY HYBRID HATCH

Funny enough, when we spoke with our friends at Lexus PR, they too agreed that the car looks quite a bit like the Mazda3 / Mazdaspeed3. Mind you, that’s not a bad thing, sharing similar lines as one of our favorites in the segment. No MSRP on this 5-door hatch but we’re hoping to get more info and perhaps our dirty mittens behind the wheel in the near future.

MAZDA’S GORGEOUS CONCEPT

The Shinari concept vehicle in Mazda’s booth was epic. No, it was spectacular. It’s kind of what I envisioned the Aston Martin Rapide would look like, expect this design came from a place a little closer to the shinkansen rather than the tres grande vitesse. No matter. There were more curves and organic forms on this concept than ALL cars on the show floor combined. Perhaps it’s a good indication of things to come from Mazda, as rumors are aplenty about the return of the turbo rotary.

Well, that’s it for us from the second and final press day of the 2010 LA Auto Show. This year’s show was particularly notable as we saw more alternative fuel vehicles than ever before (ed – our take on that coming soon) but came away happy to see that the manufacturers aren’t forgetting about style, sizzle and performance in their offerings.

Until next year!

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2010 LA Auto Show: Day 1

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. Kicking off with the Paris Auto Show, the US rounds made their start today with the opening of the LA Auto Show. Although the general public is not admitted until Friday, November 19, press members – including yours truly – are admitted for a couple of days to check out all the wares from various manufacturers.

Here is what we dug up today on day 1 of the LA Auto Show:

HONDA CR-Z MUGEN EDITION

New Honda CRZ Mugen Edition

We welcome back the return of the hatch from Honda. Although the hybrid powertain is not as exciting as that found in the original CRX, this little number definitely looks like something we’d like to check out in person. The Mugen edition here definitely adds a racy flair to the CRZ, but that rear spoiler really has to go. Why a front wheel drive vehicle needs all that excess weight and downforce at the rear is beyond us.

NEW OFFERINGS FROM PORSCHE

(No, this isn’t a new Porsche offering; rather, it’s a mint old school Speedster found at the entry to the Porsche exhibit)

I guess it shouldn’t surprise us that even a “traditional” manufacturer of sportscars (which are also thirsty for petrol) would jump on the bandwagon. The Cayenne Hybrid is already in the offering and they’ve been heavily marketing the innovation through a television commercial featuring the GT3 RS Hybrid as seen below. We don’t know how effective the hybrid system may be, but it’s an absolutely gorgeous piece of machinery.

As an homage to Porsche’s 60 year history, the Stuttgart make is releasing a brand new Speedster. Quite sleek. Quite fast. Quite limited. And… quite expensive.

Finally, as if the GT2 needed any more power, refinement (or a higher price tag), the new GT2 RS is here. With rear wheel drive goodness and an even lighter chassis to match, this car is quite the handful. As a matter of fact, we can’t imagine the average Joe being able to drive this car very fast without killing himself in the process.

SUBARU PULLS OUT SOME REFINEMENT

The Subaru Impreza WRX STi – even though I personally own a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution – has always been a car to be reckoned with. Great power output, good looks and a reasonable price tag have all been the keys to the STi’s popularity. Although the hatchback version of the newest STi has had its fans, it has had an equal share of detractors. Well, Subaru is going to satisfy both parties, as they introduce a 4-door sedan edition. But don’t fret if you had your eyes on the hatch version – Subaru will continue to produce the STi in hatch form.

Subaru also pulled out all the stops in introducing the new Impreza Concept. At first glance, it looks quite a bit like a natural evolution of the existing Subaru Legacy, although those horizontal slats on either side of the front bumper remind me of the front end of the current Honda Civic. Take a look and you decide.

NISSAN’S NEW OFFERINGS

No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That really is a convertible version of the Nissan Murano. Now, we’re not quite sure from whom this car is intended, as we’ve never heard of anyone actively advocating the creation of a convertible SUV but I’m sure Nissan did their homework before launching this vehicle. We’ll get our hands on one soon and let you know if it’s worth your consideration.

The other shiny object inside the Nissan booth is the Ellure Hybrid concept. I don’t know about you, but the exterior is absolutely gorgeous. I hope they will retain most of the design cues if this car hits production. The interior is certainly very high tech looking as well. We don’t yet have the proposed technical and performance details but will let you know as soon as we know.

Alright, gang. Day 2 awaits us tomorrow. Will have another editorial up by weekend’s time with even more photos and discoveries at the LA Convention Center!

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2010 Green Car of the Year – Audi A3 TDI

audi_a3_tdi

Audi has been producing really great vehicles as of late and diesel is gaining more traction in the US market. Buyers are finally realizing that today’s diesel-powered cars are not like those of old. Gone are black plumes of soot coming out of diesel vehicles, now effectively eliminated by urea injection within the exhaust path. So what do you get when you combine the sport Audi A3 and a TDI diesel engine? The 2010 Green Car of the Year award, of course.

2010_green_car_of_the_year_award

Announced at the LA Auto Show, Green Car Journal / GreenCar.com presented the honors to Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen. With an EPA-estimated 42mpg highway fuel economy figure, this is proof yet again that a fun, enjoyable driving experience and fuel efficiency aren’t mutually exclusive.

Congratulations to Audi!

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