By on November 30, 2018

Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept

There’s a lot of wiggle room in what constitutes a concept vehicle. While they frequently foreshadow production models, there’s nothing stopping a company from gluing together some balsa wood, throwing a lawn chair on top, and telling the press it’s scheduled for production next year. It doesn’t have to be a working car, it doesn’t have to accurately represent real-world technologies, and it doesn’t need to be taken all that seriously by the media when that’s the case.

In fact, this author doesn’t even find it particularly useful to reallocate meaningful childhood memories to free up the room needed to recall some minor detail of a fantastical vehicle that will never be manufactured. Which is why I wasn’t totally surprised when Associate Editor extraordinaire Steph Willems reminded me that Mitsubishi’s e-Evolution Concept debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show last year.

But here we are again, this time in LA, and the brand is literally pulling the sheet off it again while everyone pretends it’s new.  (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2018

After some healthy automotive foreplay, Audi finally took the wraps off its new e-tron GT Concept at the LA Auto Show. Offering the best elements of the brand’s design language, the vehicle previews a production model that’s scheduled to appear late in 2020, as well as Porsche’s upcoming Taycan EV — which will share the Audi’s drivetrain and platform.

Relatively handsome, if you like Audi sedans and oversized grilles on electric cars, the GT avoids getting overly ambitious with the futuristic styling we see on a lot of mainstream EVs. We’d call this “extremely modern” rather than some truly visionary design you’d expect from a concept car. It’s safe but not so safe that anyone should be left fretting.

However, it’s not quite the Tesla destroyer the media is eternally hunting for. Despite boasting some impressive specifications, the e-tron is roughly on par with the Model S when viewed broadly. But it should still make for healthy competition while encouraging the American brand to step up its game.  (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2018

Image: Kia

Forget about the “+” and “!” trim levels you’ve grown used to — they’re gone come the 2020 model year. For its upcoming redesign, the long-running Kia Soul subcompact (dare we call it a crossover?) grows slightly in length but much more in maturity, adopting a meaner visage and a trim roster mimicking that seen on other Kia models.

The new face, which calls to mind the Dodge Charger of all vehicles, is but one of a host of changes for 2020. One thing that doesn’t change is the model’s inherent funkiness. This thing hasn’t become staid. (Read More…)

By on November 28, 2018

Having just unveiled a rather impressive all-electric pickup for the LA Auto Show, Michigan-based automotive startup Rivian is following up with another model. Rivian’s second vehicle will be a seven-passenger SUV, called the R1S, that uses the same platform as the R1T e-pickup.

That results in the pair playing host to nearly identical specs. This isn’t a problem, as the automaker vows to provide between 300 and 562 kW (402 and 753 hp) in combined output. Range is similarly good. The company is also promising figures that would make most other electric vehicles of this size blush, especially if you opt for the bigger battery.  (Read More…)

By on November 28, 2018

Image: FCA

The midsize truck market’s explosive growth has already brought the Ford Ranger back to our spacious skies and amber waves of grain. However, Jeep thinks America the Beautiful wants a midsize truck that tackles the purple mountains’ majesties while looking down upon the fruited plains. Enter the 2020 Jeep Gladiator; the vehicle that Jeep calls the most capable midsize truck ever.

Jeep customers have been vocal about their lust for a Jeep truck ever since the Jeep Comanche ended production 25 years ago. The dream of the capability of a Wrangler in a truck package has been elusive. Customers demanding such a vehicle have been forced to fulfill their desires in the aftermarket. That is, until now. (Read More…)

By on November 27, 2018

Scheduled to make its official debut at the 2018 LA Auto Show later this week, Audi decided to unwrap the e-tron GT Concept early — bringing in  celebrity and friend of the brand Robert Downey Jr. to help do the honors.

While photos of the event were off limits, Audi was kind enough to provide a few media-approved renderings of what appears to be an A7 — sans grille — wearing the company’s signature EV camouflage. This is the e-tron GT, ready to do battle with Tesla’s Model S once Audi puts it into production. According to German outlet Bild am Sonntag, an uncamouflaged version of the concept should appear in Los Angeles on Wednesday — giving the manufacturer an opportunity to parse out the important details. However, we already have some of the pertinent specs.  (Read More…)

By on November 27, 2018

Having already revealed the updated European version, Fiat is unveiling North America’s take on the facelifted 500X. While the subcompact crossover’s official LA Auto Show debut isn’t for another day or so, FCA decided not to sit on it. Likely a wise move, as the model will assuredly be overshadowed by higher profile vehicles appearing later this week.

As with its European counterpart, the North American changes are barely noticeable. While Fiat says the exterior has been updated, with new fascias incorporating LED running lights, the tweaks aren’t immediately apparent to onlookers. In fact, most are unlikely to notice any significant changes to the model before climbing into the driver’s seat or spending some time with a corporate dossier outlining all the alterations.

Fortunately, we can give you the abridged version — a list that includes standard all-wheel drive and a new engine.  (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2018

Despite being in existence for nearly a decade, Rivian has operated in relative obscurity. However the company has finally decided to break cover by debuting its R1T electric pickup slightly ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. The American startup is attempting to best other EV manufacturers by filling unoccupied space on the market. While electric pickups do exist, only the Ohio-based Workhorse has a clear production plan and that’s intended to primarily serve commercial fleets.

Meanwhile, the R1T is being designed with the consumer market in mind and boasts some seriously impressive specifications.  (Read More…)

By on November 21, 2018

Volvo has decided not to bring any vehicles to AutoMobility LA, the tech-focused preamble to the Los Angeles Auto Show. The reason? The brand says it’s not an auto show, despite the word auto being in the title. Volvo claims the industry is changing and so are the expectations of the people who use them. While this may be true to some extent, many people still expect carmakers to promote their cars and aren’t likely to swayed by mobility jargon or a rotating centerpiece that solidifies Volvo’s narrative.

Earlier this week, we mentioned Volvo’s launch of a social media campaign that includes a photograph of a phone displaying text reading “this is not a phone.” The gambit effectively built intrigue for the show, but the campaign will continue in LA — resulting in a display featuring “a number of interactive demonstrations of connectivity services, such as in-car delivery, car sharing, [and Volvo’s] vision for autonomous driving.” But no cars. (Read More…)

By on November 20, 2018

Volvo released a mysterious teaser image for the Los Angeles Auto Show on Monday. The photo features what is obviously a phone boasting bold text that reads “this is not a phone” while resting on the seat of an automobile.

While it’s not immediately evident what the car brand is promoting, the hashtags #FutureIsMobility and #AutoMobilityLA give us a few hints. Volvo has an app and intends on debuting it in Los Angeles at the end of the month. As for what it might be for, we have some hunches. The strongest of which results in a follow-up press image where the phone says it’s a car dealership or key.  (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 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 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 year(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…)

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