By on December 3, 2018

The Los Angeles Auto Show — a title your author will always use in reference to the annual soiree, despite the show’s repeated attempts to rebrand it as “AutoMobility LA” — is over for another year. Shrimp consumed, after parties attended, the works of it.

As befits California, there were no shortage of stunners. On the other hand, as befitting its near-Thanksgiving time slot, there were also a few turkeys.

What was your winner? Betcha can’t guess mine.

(Read More…)

By on November 29, 2018

2019 Niro EV

The electric vehicle onslaught from Kia continues with the introduction of its 2019 Kia Niro EV. A far larger battery than the Niro PHEV and fast-charge capability conspire to give owners more time behind the wheel and less time juicing up.

We suppose one of the goals of Kia’s Niro EV is to offer an all-electric alternative to those not enamored by the Soul EV’s inspired-by-a-toaster styling cues. After, all both share a lot when it comes to their powertrains.

(Read More…)

By on November 29, 2018

2020 Soul EV

Along with the high-volume version which debuted at the L.A. Auto Show this week, Kia has dropped an all-electric, battery-powered Soul EV.

Compared to the old car, its battery has doubled in capacity, while the electric motor now spits out nearly 300 lb-ft of torque. And, like its conventionally powered brother, the works of it are wrapped up in a snappy new set of duds.

(Read More…)

By on November 28, 2018

2020 Porsche 911

Allow me that one, as I’ve always wanted to use it in a headline. Porsche has taken the wraps off its new 911, showing the eight-generation model to a fawning crowd in Los Angeles on the eve of this week’s auto show.

The exterior, well, that’s an unmistakably Porsche 911 profile at which to gaze. Hanging out behind the rear axle of the S and 4S models is a flat-six now making 443 horsepower.

Party, indeed.

(Read More…)

By on November 14, 2018

Image: Kia Motors

Believe it or not, the Kia Soul has been around for nearly 10 years now, carving a nice niche for itself in the subcompact crossover market and lining corporate coffers with plenty of cash.

Later this month, the company will show its third-gen Soul at the LA Auto Show. It’ll retain a familiar shape if the teaser image is anything to go by. One neat detail buried toward the bottom of the press release? A promise of “several drivetrains,” including what the company calls a “gas-free electric.”

Does this mean we’ll finally see an all-wheel drive Soul? The TTAC magic eight-ball tells us Signs Point to Yes.

(Read More…)

By on December 4, 2017

2019 Lincoln Nautilus

On Friday, our intrepid Managing Ed brought us a yaffle of photos from the L.A. Auto Show, wearing out the soles of his shoes in the process. From Ascent to Wrangler, there was plenty of new metal on display in the City of Angels.

What caught your eye at the show?

(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 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

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…)

By on November 29, 2017

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon

Finally, after what seemed at times like the world’s longest striptease, the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL officially debuts today at the L.A. Auto Show. Our intrepid Managing Ed is live on the show floor to bring you all the details.

Until then, here’s all the official down-n-dirty, nitty-gritty details about Jeep’s new Wrangler.

(Read More…)

By on November 28, 2017

Lincoln Nautilus

Following up on our earlier post about Lincoln’s cryptic tweet (showing eight seconds of pavement and two seconds of half a chrome wheel), internet sleuth Chris Doane Automotive has unearthed some photos which seem to show a redesigned 2019 MKX.

Except this time around, Lincoln is – praise the pharaohs – deploying a real name. What did it select? Nautilus.

(Read More…)

By on November 28, 2017

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line, Image: Volkswagen of America

Volkswagen’s American fortune will not come by way of an electric, next-generation Beetle. No, the automaker’s U.S. game plan rests firmly on the success of existing and future utility vehicles. With no new models kicking around to bring to L.A., the automaker decked out its recently introduced second-generation Tiguan in ever-so-edgy R-Line trim and headed to the show.

Featuring an added (but not heaping) dose of visual aggression, the Tiguan R-Line, available in the first quarter of 2018, should give crossover buyers something new to look at while the company fleshes out its lineup with new tenants. It’s early days yet, but it seems the company’s crossover push is already working. (Read More…)

By on November 28, 2017

2019 Lincoln MKC, Image: Ford Motor Company

A few days ago, official photos surfaced of the next-generation Lincoln MKC, showing a crossover that had ditched its krill-hungry maw in favor of a new grille in line with treatments found on the Continental and Navigator. Lincoln announced that the refreshed MKC will be shown this week in L.A.

Yesterday, Lincoln dropped a quick teaser video on Twitter, showing several seconds of pavement followed by the lower half of a chrome wheel. Promising a vehicle that will “make a lasting impression,” the video leaves us pondering a question: If Lincoln has officially shown us the 2019 MKC, what else could it possibly have in store?

(Read More…)

By on November 21, 2017

INFINITI QX50 teaser, Image: Infiniti

Nissan’s luxury division isn’t saying it’s the next-generation QX50, but everything we know about that model and its revolutionary (and potentially risky) engine points to one conclusion.

For now, and until the vehicle’s unveiling at the L.A. Auto Show on November 28th, Infiniti simply refers to it as an “all-new model” — one boasting “world-first” technology. The technology’s no mystery, as after two decades of development Infiniti plans to launch a 2.0-liter variable compression gas engine. Expect class-leading interior volume, the automaker tells us.
(Read More…)

By on November 16, 2017

Toyota_FTAC_Concept, Image: Toyota

If you haven’t already put off your regularly scheduled sleep tonight in anticipation of Tesla’s big ol’ semi, there’s a new reason to get excited. The third concept utility vehicle to emerge from Toyota’s fevered brain this year is here. Well, sort of.

As usual, we’ve been presented with a teaser shot. Get a load of these headlights! LEDs everywhere — even on the roof. And what a set of jutting wheel arches. Are they designed to scoop up would-be buyers?

So, the FT-AC (Future Toyota Adventure Concept) makes three. Three concept vehicles, each one brawnier than the last, one of which might be just the ticket for luring in those urban millennials with great jobs and husky dreams of outdoor shenanigans. Of course, that’s assuming Toyota is brave enough to build one. (Read More…)

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