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Posts Tagged ‘LA Auto Show’

Compact Crossovers Commanding Big Car Prices

Pushing $110,000 with the new Porsche Macan.

by on Nov.25, 2013

Porsche reveals the new Macan at the LA Auto Show.

American motorists have long lived by the mantra, “bigger is better.” And that’s been fine for automakers, as well, as they’ve traditionally tied prices – and profit margins – to the size of the vehicles they’ve sold.

But with the steady run-up in fuel prices, Americans are downsizing at a pace not seen since the twin oil shocks of the 1970s.  Indeed, compact crossovers have become the fastest-growing segment in the U.S. market – echoing trends in other key markets around the world.  And while you can still get a reasonably good bargain on some of these smaller, mainstream CUVs, the industry has been fracturing the traditional equation that measures price by the pound and inch.

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That’s especially true in the luxury end of the spectrum where manufacturers are charging into the compact crossover segment.  Just last week, Lincoln and Porsche entered the fray at the L.A. Auto Show.

Porsche has had a history of challenging conventional wisdom.  It proved naysayers wrong when it launched its first crossover-utility vehicle for the 2004 model-year, then did it again with the four-door Panamera – today, the brand’s best-selling models.  Now, it’s hoping to score again with what’s been called the “baby Cayenne,” the compact Macan.


Subaru Teases New 2015 WRX

New rally rocket set for debut at L.A. Auto Show.

by on Nov.12, 2013

Subaru will reveal the new WRX in LA next week.

Subaru is ready to roll out a new version of its familiar rally rocket, the WRX, at the upcoming L.A. Auto Show and after giving us a hint of what’s to come with a show car earlier this year, the Japanese maker wants to whet our appetite just a little more with this teaser image of the production model.

The image reveals the strong influence of the New York Auto Show concept vehicle, though as is so often the case, the actual 2015 Subaru WRX will clearly be toned down a little bit – while still giving us a more aggressive package than the similar Impreza model. Among other details that come through in the teaser shot: a new front fascia and grille flanked by LED accent lamps. One thing that doesn’t change: the familiar WRX hood scoop.


What remains to be learned at the L.A. Auto Show preview is whether Subaru will maintain both WRX body styles or drop the hatchback – as widely rumored – and stick with the sedan only. The teaser image is notably cropped to keep us guessing.

The Subaru WRX has developed quite a following over the years – and for good reason as it provides a performance option at a reasonably affordable price.


Jaguar to Reveal New F-Type Coupe at LA Auto Show

North American launch in spring 2014.

by on Nov.05, 2013

The Coupe version of the Jaguar F-Type will reach U.S. dealer showrooms next spring.

Hoping to expand upon the success of its new F-Type convertible, Jaguar plans to introduce a coupe version of the sports car at the upcoming LA Auto Show and follow up with an Asian preview at the Tokyo Motor Show a day later.

Dubbed the “spiritual successor” to the legendary E-Type, the Jaguar F-Type has scored a long list of kudos – and strong sales – since its debut earlier this year, including honors as the World Car Design of the Year.

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“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the F-Type Convertible, but for me the purity of creating a sports Coupe is a uniquely satisfying process – and I know that both visually and dynamically, F-Type Coupe raises the bar yet again,” said Jaguar’s global design director Ian Callum.


Acura Debuting RLX Sport Hybrid with SH-AWD in LA

Version of 3-motor hybrid system to also power new NSX.

by on Nov.01, 2013

Acura's RLX adopts a new, 3-motor hybrid drive.

Acura will introduce its new high-performance hybrid system at the L.A. Auto Show this month.  The through-the-road all-wheel-drive system will make its first appearance on the Acura RLX luxury sedan but will follow, in slightly modified form, on the reborn Acura NSX set to reach market by 2015.

The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will become the new flagship of the Honda luxury brand’s line-up and, the maker claims, will deliver a blend of “V-8-like performance with 4-cylinder fuel economy,” in this case up to 30 miles per gallon in the combined city/highway cycle. It also promises more sure-footed handling, with the ability to direct torque, as needed, to improve cornering.

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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 Accord to the new 3-motor hybrid that will be focused on the Acura brand.


Over 50 Models Set for Debut at LA Auto Show

New Mini, Porsche Macan among products confirmed for show.

by on Aug.02, 2013

The production version of the Macan will take its formal bow at the upcoming LA Auto Show, organizers have announced.

Automakers aren’t the only ones vying for attention.  Auto shows are also battling it out, in this case to land the vehicle previews that will get them not only headlines but hordes of both the media and the masses.

The Los Angeles Motor Show appears to have done a good job convincing manufacturers to come to Southern California this coming November, organizers announcing they’ll have “more than 50” new products to reveal for the first time. That includes a mix of conventional vehicles as well as the green machines the LA show has become increasingly known for in recent years.

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“As the first major North American show of the season, Los Angeles sets the tone for 2014, and we expect that automakers will pull out all the stops to excite new-car buyers. In virtually every category, from the greenest electric vehicle to high-horsepower performance models, the technological advancements we are seeing today eclipse all previous automotive eras,” said Terri Toennies, the LA Auto Show’s new General Manager.


Volkswagen Does It, Again – It Just Took 39 Years

Maker continues gaining momentum after decades of trouble.

by on Dec.04, 2012

No longer running on empty. VW is betting products like the new Beetle Convertible will help it continue gaining momentum.

Considering the strong performance by most automakers in November it might be easy to downplay the numbers from Volkswagen AG.  After all, the maker reported a gain of “only” 29% for the month, less than half the increase of little Subaru.

It was, nonetheless, the best VW has done in nearly four decades – since November 1973, to be more precise – when the original Beetle was still the most successful import product in the U.S. market and names like Toyota, Nissan and Honda were barely on the radar for American car buyers.

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Things would change rapidly in the mid to late-1970s. Buoyed by the sudden surge in demand for high-mileage products in the wake of twin Mideast oil shocks, Japanese makers rapidly gained traction. VW tried to fight back with the little Rabbit but its early success was short-circuited by higher prices and lower quality, twin problems that nearly sank the German maker.


Is 40 the New 30 – MPG, That is?

Searching the LA Auto Show for the newest 40 mpg offerings.

by on Dec.03, 2012

The new Honda Accord PHEV will get 115 MPGe, says the EPA, the highest mileage rating in the industry.

For years we’ve been hearing about the surprising vim and vigor of people who hit age milestones like 40 that once meant the downhill slide had begun.  Now 40 is being touted as the new 30.  Might this milestone hold true for cars, as well?

Is 40 miles per gallon the new 30?

Could this be the de facto standard for a new crop of vigorous, green machines that promise to cart our gracefully aging selves around while taking baby sips of fuel — or electrons?

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To get a sense, we kicked the tires and listened in on the news conferences and Q&A sessions during the two press preview days at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The second day started off with the Green Car of the Year award going to the promising new 2013 Ford Fusion that offers a hybrid version providing an average for city and highway driving of 47 mpg.  Not bad.


Ford Fusion Nabs Green Car of the Year Award

Judges swayed by mix of powertrain options.

by on Nov.29, 2012

Ford plans to play up its Green Car award in spots coming soon to a TV near you.

Despite the popular media’s fixation on battery power, automotive insiders are quick to caution that there is no “silver bullet” solution, no single technology that will likely meet all the needs for tomorrow’s clean and efficient automobiles.

That message was hammered home by the choice of the 2013 Ford Fusion as the Green Car of the Year, an award designed to focus the spotlight on the latest clean-tech automobiles.

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A key to the decision was the fact that the new midsize sedan offers a broad range of powertrain alternatives, from conventional gasoline power up to an all-new plug-in hybrid.

“That’s an example of automotive democracy,” said Ron Cogan, publisher of Green Car Journal, the organizer of the annual award.


US Auto Market in Full Recovery Mode

Demand expected to surge – though Washington gridlock still poses a risk.

by on Nov.28, 2012

Toyota's Jim Lentz sees good times ahead for the U.S. auto industry.

It’s been the little engine that could, driving along an economy long struggling to avert a double-dip recession. And now, amidst growing signs that the U.S. economy is clearly on the mend, industry leaders are increasingly confident the auto industry is heading in fast-forward towards some extremely good – though probably not record – years.

As manufacturers get set to report extremely strong numbers for October, Toyota’s top American executive, Jim Lentz said he expects to see 2012 end with sales of 14.3 million – about 1 million more than a year before and a roughly 40% increase from the depths of the recession.

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“And the forecast ahead looks even better,” Lentz said as he opened his keynote remarks at the opening of the annual LA Auto Show. “Analysts expect we will reach 16 million in just a few short years.”


Nearly 50 New Models Debuting at LA Auto Show

From battery cars to luxury exotics.

by on Nov.12, 2012

The 2013 VW Beetle Convertible will be one of nearly 50 new models debuting at this year's LA Auto Show.

With the “emergency refresh” of the Honda Civic leading the list, expect to see plenty of headlines emerge from the LA Auto Show later this month, organizers hinting that “nearly 50” new models will make their debut during the two-day press preview scheduled for November 28th and 29th.  That list includes 24 world debuts and 25 more products making their first appearance in North America.

This year’s show also will see the introduction of the show’s new Advanced Technology Showcase which will offer a closer look at some of the technologies transforming today’s and tomorrow’s vehicles.

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As in past years, the LA show will see manufacturers put an emphasis on green technology – no surprise considering the tough zero-emissions mandates enacted by the California Air Resources Board, or CARB. Among the products scheduled for debut at the Los Angeles Convention Center are the Fiat 500e and Chevrolet Spark EV battery-electric vehicles, as well as two plug-ins from Ford, the C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi. Honda also has confirmed it will unveil the Accord plug-in hybrid at the LA Auto Show.