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Posts Tagged ‘2013 la auto show’

Exclusive: Major Changes Coming for Electrified BMW’s i Brand

Specialty models like i3, i8 will be phased out, head of brand reveals.

by on Nov.29, 2017

BMW mobility chief Klaus Froehlich with the new i8 Roadster, Next Vision concept and i3s.

BMW is using this week’s L.A. Auto Show to reveal its new i8 Roadster, the latest in a dedicated line-up of plug-based models that also includes the new i3s battery-electric city car.

But the debut marks something of a swan song for BMW i – at least in the form the brand was initially conceived. The original goal was to use it to market a line-up of specially designed plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric, or BEV, models. But in a major shift reflecting the rapid evolution of battery technology, the head of BMW’s electric mobility program told TheDetroitBureau.com, those dedicated models will be “phased out.”

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“For us, electrification is the new normal,” explained Klaus Froehlich, during a conversation at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Going forward, he continued, Going forward, “We will not do dedicated architectures. Instead “all fully-electric models will be (badged) BMW i.”

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Hyundai Hopes to Fire Up Hydrogen Car Market

Korean maker will launch Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle at $499 a month – including fuel costs.

by on Nov.21, 2013

Hyundai will bring its Tucson-based hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to market next spring.

Hyundai will launch U.S. sales of its first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle next spring – and the maker hopes to fire up the market for the zero-emission technology by offering a $499-a-month lease that will include the cost of fueling up the alternative vehicle.

The launch of the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle will come about a year ahead of when both Toyota and Honda have said they will put their own hydrogen cars into production. Other manufacturers, including General Motors, have suggested they could also launch their own fuel-cell vehicles later in the decade.

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“It feels like a coming-out party for hydrogen at the show this week,” said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik following the unveiling of the Tucson crossover vehicle during the first day of press previews for the 2013 L.A. Auto Show.

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Acura Introduces New Sport-Hybrid Performance System for RLX Flagship

Hybrid mileage, V-8 performance, sports car handling, Acura claims.

by on Nov.20, 2013

The 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD.

Acura’s flagship RLX sedan is about to gain a new level of sophistication – as well as improved performance and fuel economy – with the debut of the new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD drive system at the LA Auto Show.

The 2014 Acura RLX becomes the first Honda product line to use the new three-motor hybrid system, an even more advanced version of which will be used to power the next-generation Acura NSX supercar. While the gas-electric system is expected to improve fuel economy compared to a conventional gasoline engine, Acura’s new SH-AWD technology also promises to boost both performance and handling by being able to direct power to both the front and rear axles of the 2014 RLX.

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The new version of the RLX will debut the latest of three new hybrid drivetrains developed by Honda to replace its original Integrated Motor Assist, or IMA system.  Each is targeted at a particular segment of the market, from the low-cost single-motor system in the Honda Civic to the new twin-motor drive of the 2014 Honda Accord to the new 3-motor hybrid that will be focused on the Acura brand.

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Chevrolet Downsizes with New Colorado Pickup

GM brand will return to midsize compact truck segment.

by on Nov.20, 2013

With the launch of the 2015 Colorado, Chevrolet gets back into the midsize pickup game.

Does Chevrolet know something its Detroit rivals don’t? Then again, how it final figured out what key Japanese rivals have long known?  Those may seem like cryptic questions but the fact is that the General Motors brand — along with sibling GMC – is about to become the only domestic maker present in the midsize truck market currently owned by import rivals Toyota and Nissan.

The debut of the new Chevrolet Colorado is one of the big announcements at this year’s L.A. Auto Show.  It marks the return of GM’s biggest brand to the downsized pickup segment after a several-year absence during which rivals Ford and Chrysler also walked away from the once-huge compact truck market.

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It wasn’t quite as simple a decision as it might seem to introduce the new Colorado.  Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, small pickup trucks were hot.  They became an affordable alternative for Baby Boomers just getting their first set of wheels. But in recent decades, the market shifted and more and more buyers migrated to full-size pickups.  That’s why Ford dropped out of the market segment, abandoning the long-running Ranger (though it continues to sell a newer version overseas where full-size trucks are relatively rare).

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BMW Unveils Updated 5-Series GT and Concept X4

Broadening the range.

by on Nov.20, 2013

Like the bigger X6, the BMW Concept X4 aims to blend the genes of a sport-ute and a sport coupe.

The coming of the new BMW 4-Series Convertible created most of the pre-show buzz around the German maker’s appearance at the annual Los Angeles Auto Show. But BMW also has two other significant models, the Concept X4 and 5-Series Gran Turismo, making their North American debuts in L.A.

The BMW Concept X4 is meant to offer a preview of the future of the German maker’s X family, BMW designers looking to find a genetic balance, if you will, between a sport-ute and a coupe.  The show car gives a good hint as to what will come when the production X4 launches down the line at the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina next year.

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In addition to its long hood, short overhangs, swept roof and cab-rearward layout, the overall appearance of the Concept X4 is intended to capture the sportiness of a traditional BMW coupe, with familiar styling cues such as the split kidney grille and stylized twin circular headlights.

That’s not to say that the coupe-like crossover is just a design retread.

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Ford Edge “Concept” Makes LA Auto Show Appearance

Ford puts more edge in the Edge.

by on Nov.20, 2013

A production version of the Ford Edge is expected to return for the 2015 model-year.

Though it’s officially being described as a “concept vehicle,” the Ford Edge prototype making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week will make its return, in short order, in production form — and not just here in the U.S., but in markets around the world.

The next-generation Edge is the latest of the Detroit automaker’s models to go global as part of CEO Alan Mulally’s One Ford strategy. The move to reach beyond North American shores makes perfect sense, said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of marketing, considering the way crossover vehicles have gone mainstream around the world.

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“Utilities now account for one of every five vehicles sold around the world,” he said. Ford’s intermediate objective is to build a family of small, compact, mid-sized and full-size utility vehicles that will appeal to a broad range of global buyers. “Utilities are no longer a regional vehicle,” he said.

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Jaguar Has Big Plans for New F-Type Coupe

Hardtop model expected to handily outsell F-Type convertible.

by on Nov.20, 2013

Jaguar design chief Ian Callum presides over the debut of the new F-Type Coupe in Los Angeles.

Few recent product launches have generated as much buzz as that of the Jaguar F-Type, a 2-seat sports car widely hailed as the “spiritual successor” to the British marque’s legendary E-Type.

But kudos are one thing, reality another, and despite strong early demand for the 2014 Jaguar F-Type, the convertible body limits its appeal in many parts of the world – which is why the maker is revealing the new F-Type Coupe at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.

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TheDetroitBureau.com got a first look at the hardtop sports car and if our initial reaction reflects what show-goers will experience, Jaguar is likely to have some serious trouble keeping up with demand. Indeed, the maker is forecasting that the new Coupe will account for well over half of F-Type sales once it goes on sale next spring. (more…)

Land Rover Paints it Black with Most Expensive Range Rover Ever

Only 100 Autobiography Black Models slated for the US market in 2014.

by on Nov.19, 2013

Range Rover nudges the $200,000 mark with its most expensive model ever, the Autobiography Black.

You’ll have to move fast – and hope to have a big chunk of available change – if you plan to get one of the new Range Rover Autobiography Black models. The British marque plans to import only 100 of what will be the most expensive version ever of the flagship SUV for 2014.

You may also need a cue card to remember the formal name of the new offering, officially dubbed the Range Rover Long-Wheelbase Autobiography Black edition. The good news is that for $185,000 – before delivery charges, taxes and other fees – you’ll also get the longest list of standard features ever found on a Range Rover.

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The basic shape is familiar, picking up with the all-new, all-aluminum version of the Range Rover introduced for the 2013 model-year. To broaden the big ute’s appeal – especially in China where affluent motorists are more often than not using chauffeurs – parent Land Rover has introduced a new long-wheelbase version for the ’14 model-year.

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Mini Reveals New Hardtop Ahead of LA Debut

A little larger, a little lighter.

by on Nov.18, 2013

Coming at you...the newly redesigned Mini Hardtop.

Like baseball, it might help  to have a scorecard to keep up with Mini, the British carmaker rapidly expanding its line-up in recent years and hinting it could soon offer a whopping 10 to 12 different models in the not-too-distant future.

But in one sense, Mini is about to go back to basics, and the Los Angeles Auto Show will this week see the roll-out of an all-new update of the brand’s flagship product line, the Mini Hardtop. Based on a new platform developed in cooperation with German parent BMW, the next-generation Hardtop won’t deliver many visual surprises but will bring to market some new engines and advanced connectivity and other high-tech systems, Mini promises.

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While the new platform is a significant update, the approach to exterior design has been much more evolutionary which, Mini suggests, “signals the more mature character of the new model, reflected in a significant optimization of such aspects as space, safety, fittings, materials and finish quality as well as sportiness and ride comfort.”

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Ford to Get Edge-y with New Crossover Concept

Detroit maker hopes its once-popular crossover can regain its edge.

by on Nov.18, 2013

Ford has made only modest updates to the Edge since its launch in late 2006.

Ford’s once-popular midsized crossover vehicle has been lagging behind the recovery of the overall U.S. market over the last year, so the Detroit maker is hoping a concept version making its debut at the L.A. Auto Show later this week will help it regain its edge.

Make that Edge, as in Ford Edge, the CUV that slots in-between Ford’s more popular Escape and Explorer models.

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It wasn’t always that way.  After its launch during the 2007 model-year, the Ford Edge became one of the midsize crossover segment’s most popular offerings, but it has been losing momentum since the 2012 redesign of the Explorer, with the debut of the all-new 2013 Ford Escape delivering another body blow.

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