Category: LA Auto Show

By on August 13, 2018

Image: Audi AG

Rupert Stadler, whose reign as CEO of Audi came to an end after his June arrest, won’t walk out the front doors of his Bavarian jail anytime soon. A Munich court has rejected the former auto executive’s appeal for release.

The appeal came nearly a month ago, around the same time Stadler — suspected of fraud in the diesel emissions scandal — stopped talking to prosecutors. The reason for the court’s decision is the same reason why a judge remanded Stadler in custody back in June. Worries remain that he might tamper with evidence if freed.

Meanwhile, there’s change brewing at the top of Audi’s corporate hierarchy. Read More >

By on December 4, 2017

2018 Niro Plug-In Hybrid, Image: Kia Motors

It’s strange that the Kia Stinger — an aggressively styled, rear-drive, twin-turbocharged sport sedan — would get so much limelight when there’s a new Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid to drool over. All right, that’s the one and only joke we’ll have at the well-regarded Niro’s expense. Obviously, there’ll be little cross-shopping between these two models, as both vehicles fulfill very different missions.

The Stinger’s all about letting your hair down and performing a smoke show in your old high school parking lot. The Niro Plug-in is for the rest of the week, when you’re shuttling your kids around and displaying your green bona fides to your upstanding suburban neighbors. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Recently unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show, the plug-in Niro takes a competent package (one we hesitate to call a “crossover”) and endows it with a healthy dose of all-electric driving range. Read More >

By on December 1, 2017

2018 Jeep Wrangler

The 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show is now open to the public, and TTAC contributor Forest Casey and I figured it would be a nice weekend treat for you out there to gaze upon some of the cars that automakers unveiled at the show.

If you’re attending the show, consider this a preview of what you’re going to see, and if you aren’t, here’s an idea of what you’re missing.

Read More >

By on December 1, 2017

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Let’s start this with a disclaimer – it’s always a gamble to rip on a car one has yet to drive. I could end up eating these words someday if I drive the Eclipse Cross and like it. Which, of course, is absolutely possible.

Still, I don’t feel it’s entirely unfair to judge a vehicle based on observations gleaned from an auto show display, as well as from the on-paper specs. Not so long as you disclose, as I did just now, that the assessment is subject to further examination. Hell, if it was unfair, auto journalists would have one less type of story to write after each show.

Read More >

By on December 1, 2017

Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ, Image: Volkswagen Group

It’s hard picturing the world automakers have painted for us. You know the one — it’s the exciting, progressive near-future vision in which electric crossovers sprout from everywhere all at once, instantly winning the approval of a populace hooked on the convenience of  gasoline.

With the all-electric vehicle’s market share hovering at just over half of one percent in the United States, it’s difficult to imagine the needle budging significantly by 2020. Or even 2025. Still, an ever-increasing number of automakers are promising exactly this. Volkswagen’s among them, announcing at this week’s L.A. Auto Show that its horribly named I.D. Crozz concept will form the basis of a new crossover that arrives stateside in 2020, followed two years later by a reborn electric Microbus (or I.D. Buzz, in VW parlance).
Read More >

By on November 30, 2017

Toyota FT-AC

Toyota pulled the wraps off its FT-AC Concept at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show today.

Its full name is Future Toyota Adventure Concept, but whatever you call it, this concept is ready for trail duty. Or at least, it looks the part.

As per usual with concepts, details on specs are light. The press release mentions 20-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, fog lamps, LED headlights, infrared cameras mounted on the mirrors that can record off-road driving exploits and in-car Wi-Fi that can be used to broadcast the footage. There’s also a roof rack with rear-facing LED lights that can be controlled from the cabin, and a hideaway integrated bike rack.

Read More >

By on November 30, 2017

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS450, Image: Daimler AG

What is it about the new crop of vehicles? It’s great that the”cheerful” phase in automotive styling is over (the demented visage of those old Mazda 3s still haunt my nightmares), but what we’re left with, at least in the passenger car segment, is enormous, angry grilles or, in the case of the 2018 Ford Mustang and next-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS, a kind of sad face.

Why the droopy eyes, Mercedes?

Whatever the reason, the automaker is bringing more than a questionable front end treatment to the table with its third-generation CLS. The sedan that started the four-door coupe craze (which then jumped ship to the SUV segment) adopts a host of changes for 2019, not the least of which is a new engine that should have both purists and futurists smiling.

All hail the inline six. Read More >

By on November 30, 2017

2018 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate Black Edition.

Yesterday, GMC unveiled the 2018 Yukon Denali Ultimate Black Edition, billed as an “exciting new package” featuring the very best in premium GMC styling and attributes.

That’s excellent marketing-speak, but we all know why there is suddenly an uber-Denali: the regular one just isn’t good enough for the school drop-off line anymore.

Read More >

By on November 30, 2017

2018 Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler fans are the type of enthusiasts who know and appreciate the history of the model, and Jeep knows that. Since we already knew just about everything about the 2018 Wrangler before the sheets came off in Los Angeles, we here at TTAC figured it might be interesting to take a closer look at some of the smaller details that go beyond horsepower, torque, and transmission type.

One of Jeep’s PR folks walked me through the various callbacks to prior Wranglers that are evident, if not obvious, on the new Wrangler.

Read More >

By on November 29, 2017

2019 Mazda 6

Mazda had already promised a turbocharged four-cylinder would be available on the refreshed 2019 Mazda 6, and the company delivered.

Upper trims gain the 2.5-liter turbo four, while the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter remains on lower grades. Mazda promised an announcement on specs closer to the on-sale date in the spring of 2018.

Mazda may not have listed figures for the 6’s Skyactiv-G 2.5T during the model’s unveiling at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, but the engine makes up to 310 lb-ft of torque and 250 horsepower in the CX-9 crossover.

Read More >

By on November 29, 2017

2018 Nissan Kicks, Image: Nissan

The dubious long-term sales potential of the subcompact crossover segment isn’t swaying Nissan from introducing a B-segment vehicle in the United States. The automaker’s seventh utility vehicle, carrying the youthful name Kicks, debuted at the L.A. Auto Show today.

The Kicks is the only way Americans can take home any part of a Nissan Micra, as the diminutive crossover rides atop a second-generation version of that vehicle’s platform. The first-generation platform, you’ll recall, underpinned the funky Nissan Juke. That model, known for its polarizing styling, isn’t long for this world.

In its place, the Kicks offers slightly larger dimensions and — most importantly — safe and modern styling. Read More >

By on November 29, 2017

2018 RX 350L

One of the biggest gripes when it comes to crossovers is that they swept in to replace minivans without offering much in the way of utility. Traditional SUVs are boxy behemoths, capable of holding as many children as you can produce. But smaller crossovers rarely get third-seating and, when they do, it’s sometimes an overly cramped solution that sacrifices important cargo space. However most families wouldn’t mind having the option of choosing between extra kids and additional luggage.

Having been around since 1998, the Lexus RX pioneered the midsize luxury crossover segment. But, despite consistently strong sales in the United States, it missed out on reeling in those bigger broods. Lexus shoppers with family photos that included more than five heads had to opt for the more expensive GX and LX sport utility models.

Fortunately, the company has remedied that problem by adding a three-row variant for the 2018 model yearRead More >

By on November 29, 2017

2019 Lincoln Nautilus, Image: Ford Motor Company

The tens of readers who follow my bleatings here on TTAC (Hi, Dad!) may recall my fondness for the Lincoln brand. Having spent my own hard-earned Canadian dollars on two of them, plus encouraging other family members to do the same, I would be lying if I said I’m not rooting for the brand to once again plant its feet firmly in the minds of its target demographic.

For me, the disarmament campaign started when Lincoln began abandoning real names in favor of an alphanumeric (minus the numeric) naming scheme. Turns out, after reading a revealing Automotive News interview with Lincoln’s marketing chief, I’m not the only one who disliked it.

Read More >

By on November 29, 2017

2019 Corvette ZR1

Even though we’ve seen it before, Chevrolet brought the 2019 Corvette ZR1 to the L.A. Auto Show to unveil its sizable price tag. Despite the six-figure sticker, the unabashedly American car manages to be a comparatively good deal for those in the market for a “budget” supercar. That doesn’t mean the ZR1 comes up short on specs. With its LT5 6.2-liter supercharged V8 pumping out 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque, it’s an SAE-certified monster of the highest order.

With a starting price of $119,995, the ZR1 remains more affordable than many exotic offerings with fewer ponies under the hood. If you need the wind in your hair, General Motors is also willing to provide a convertible variant with an MSRP of $123,995.  Read More >

By on November 29, 2017

2019 Lincoln Nautilus, Image: Ford Motor Company

As we learned yesterday, the midsize Lincoln MKX will soon be no more, replaced by a vehicle that’s very similar in appearance but definitely not in name. Nautilus, the Jules Verne-inspired moniker that graces the crossover’s flanks starting next summer, is a signal that real names are back, baby. Take note, rival automakers.

Besides freeing the former MKX from the abyss of alphanumeric naming hell, the arrival of Nautilus means significant powertrain changes and a design detour — pushing Lincoln’s best-selling model ever so slightly further upscale while adding a dose of fuel savings. Read More >

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