2019 LA Auto Show: Part III

VW, still reeling from the diese-gate disaster a couple of years ago, really needed to make a splash. And a splash it did make with the ID Space Vizzion concept and the more earthly 2020 Atlas Cross Sport. The latter is a looker, with a sloping rear section not unlike the BMW X6 or the Cayenne from VW’s sister company, Porsche.

The new Corvette took center stage at Chevrolet. With a shark like front end (see below) and a rear end that wouldn’t look out of place on a Lambo, the blue Smurf colored convertible variant attracted more than its fair share of looks.

Yawnfest at Honda, Subaru: Nothing to see here, really. Honda touted its commitment to “green cars,” whereas Subaru had a national park kinda booth. The latter announced a special version of the WRX / STI, dubbed “Series White,” that will cost up to nearly $44,000 (for the STI version). Right. Kind of like how they sell you “Recaro” seats that look like office chairs as an optional paid upgrade. We’ll pass.

Sure, Hyundai and Kia are technically two separate car companies… but not really. The former unveiled the Vision T concept, which is a wicked looking cross over. The design language is aggressive with lots of angles. We likes. The latter introduced the 2020 Niro and the brand new 2021 Seltos. A smaller SUV with either an NA 2.0L or a 1.6L turbo I4, it should do well in a market looking for ever more SUV / cross over options.

Toyota for the Family: New for 2020… RAV4 Prime, new Highlander and a new Mirai (which we did not spot).

Other cars that caught our eyes…

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!

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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SEMA Las Vegas 2009: Part II, The Year of the Camaro

The 2009 SEMA Show in Las Vegas was officially sponsored by Ford. In an ironic twist of fate, however, it was not a Ford vehicle that took center stage at the show. Rather, it was the new Chevy Camaro that took the show by storm. It was Camaro overload. There were Camaros everywhere. It didn’t matter to which company the booth belonged. There was a Camaro in it.

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We won’t delve into every bow tie sports car that was at the show, but the one in BASF’s booth really caught our attention. Although it was a V6, this particular Camaro had some major surgery done under the hood. With a twin turbocharger set up – with really clean, purposeful plumbing – it was flawlessly executed, not to mention the BASF paint job that enveloped the car. 

Enough with the words. Here’s a short cross section of the Camaro phenomenon witnessed at SEMA.

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Pontiac: Sayonara!

 

Pontiac, the 83 year-old General Motors brand once dubbed as the “excitement division” of the Detroit OE manufacturer, will be eliminated Monday, April 27.

According to The Detroit News, the demise of the Pontiac brand is part of the government-supervised restructuring plan of the automotive industry. GM is also set to close additional production plants and cut jobs to further reduce its $28 billion in unsecured debt.

Sure, Pontiac may have been an “exciting” brand in the past with the venerable old school GTO introduced in the 60s. But there have been nothing exciting about the forgettable Aztek, the front wheel drive Grand Am (’85 and up), the crappy G5 (rebadged Chevy Colbat), and the G6, which is just an updated & rebadged Grand Am. What about the latest GTO / G8? Both are made by Holden, GM’s subsidiary in Australia, and Holden is no General Motors (in a good way). What about the Pontiac Solstice? You can buy the same car as a Saturn or Opel (Germany), all sharing the same underpinnings. Hell, the Solstice’s roots can be traced back to the Opel Speedster / Vauxhall VX220.  There’s nothing original about any of their cars.

Rather than being an exciting brand, Pontiac – much like GM’s other brands – have incited an endless chain of yawns. And having no small car strategy has for sure hurt this brand. Personally speaking, I have never considered a Pontiac vehicle when shopping for a new car. Needless to say, I won’t miss it one bit.