Los Angeles Auto Show

Los Angeles Auto Show

  Los Angeles Auto Show

The LA Design Challenge is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the LA Auto Show pitting different auto brands building their concept vehicles based on the set criteria for the event. This year’s theme focuses on society’s shift towards minimizing their dependence on natural resources by building a light-weight vehicle that focuses on efficiency without sacrificing the style of the vehicle.

Honda’s entry for the 2010 Design Challenge is the Air concept, a lightweight vehicle that uses alternative fuel, all while boasting an aggressive look inspired by, oddly enough, roller coasters and skydiving wing suits. So, we guess that’s why it’s called the Air concept.

In any case, the Air uses a compressed air and pneumatic regulator system that uses turbo vacuums and external air-flow to regenerate the tank’s pressure system, ensuring that the vehicle has extended range and increased boost to last an estimated 100 miles. Anytime you need to have your tanks and reserves refilled efficiently, a Honda generator and air compressor does the trick, either from the comforts of your own home or at a local station.

For safety, the Air concept uses vegetable-based polymer panels and fairings to ensure the safety and protection of its occupants.

The whole body of the Air concept resembles the look of a modern rollercoaster designed to optimize the open-air experience. Then there’s the chassis, which has a variety of purposes to eliminate the structure’s redundancy and reduce the vehicle’s overall weight, ensuring that it doesn’t exceed 1,000 lbs. Other weight-saving procedures done to the Air include the use of a hub-less wheel and drive system instead of the standard drive train system, glass reinforced seating panels, urethane tire composition, and skeletal sub-frame components, all of which contributed to the Air shedding off a significant amount of weight, rounding off to just about 800 lbs.

Press Release after the jump.

It took more than around 13 years, but Toyota seems to have finally decided on producing the second-generation of the Toyota Rav4 EV. Maybe all it took was a partnership with Tesla to get the proverbial EV ball rolling.

The partnership between Toyota and Tesla was born out of a mutual interest in developing a new model using Tesla technology on a Toyota vehicle, incorporating the strengths of both side to produce a vehicle that consumers would come to enjoy.

“When we decided to work together on the RAV4 EV, President Akio Toyoda wanted to adopt a new development model that incorporated Tesla’s streamlined, quick-action approach,” said Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Tesla Motors. “From the beginning, the customer experience has been the focus.”

The ultimate question, at least according to Hentz, was how the two companies can "deliver an unconventional product to mainstream customers that is compelling and affordable and that offers an acceptable level of daily convenience.”

In the end, the answer turned out to be the Toyota Rav4 EV. For now, Toyota is building 35 models of the new Rav4 EV for a demonstration and evaluation program through 2011, with the company looking into a production version sometime around 2012.

More details after the jump.

Source: Toyota

Nissan wanted to be unique; and they did it with the new Murano CrossCabriolet; the world’s only crossover convertible revealed today at Los Angeles Show. Nissan Murano Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is only available in one version: 3,5 liter V6 AWD priced at $46,390. The only available options include: Carmel interior $500, Cashmere & brown top interior $500 and splash quads $125.

In order to transform a crossover into a convertible model Nissan added new front doors (7.9 inches longer than 4-door Murano front doors) and has eliminated the B-pillars. The cloth convertible top includes a rear glass skylight, helping create a wide-open interior environment even with the top in the closed position.

The difference between this and a standard Murano is also given by High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-functional xenon projector headlights with auto on/off function, front fog lights and Nissan 370Z-inspired LED taillights, body-colored front and rear bumpers, chrome door handles, body-colored dual power/heated outside mirrors, and rear window defroster with timer.

The Murano CrossCabriolet is powered by a 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 producing 265 HP and 248 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a standard second-generation Xtronic CVT™ with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC). It comes equipped with 4-wheel vented disc brakes with Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and G-sensor.

Press release after the jump.

Volvo has entered the Los Angeles Design Challenge with the Air Motion design concept, except it’s only a scale model that will probably never see the light of production’s day. We’d give Volvo a hard time, but Maybach seemed to only bring sketches of their eRikscha so we’ll let Volvo slide.

The Volvo Air Motion’s shape is designed like a clamshell made out of ultra light carbon fiber. The goal for this vehicle is minimizing weight and complexity, while maximizing driving enjoyment. Fit under the inner workings of the car are compressed air motors that replace a heavy internal combustion engine and cool down under load instead of heating up. The lack of need for a heavy cooling system adds to the lightness of this concept, as do modifications to the chassis, interior, and suspension.

The Volvo Air Motion concept is powered by air turbines that float 1,000ft in the air and harness the power of the wind to convert it to electricity. This electricity provides the compression.

All in all, however, this is just another beautiful and unique concept that will never see the light of day. We hope all of the automakers that have presented the unique concepts have very deep filing cabinets that will keep these concepts safe until they are ready to flow on our streets.

Press release after the jump.

Not one, not two, but eight special limited edition models later and here’s the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show with Scion’s newest xB called the Release Series 8.0. We don’t know what it is about the xB that simply fascinates Scion, but we’re starting to take bets to see how many more special editions Toyota’s child is going to roll out.

Until the day when Scion stops creating these silly little editions, we’ll just have to bite the bullet and keep on providing information about them. The xB RS 8.0 comes fitted with a four-piece body kit designed by Kenstyle that includes an aggressive front and rear lower lips, and side skirts. The exterior will be painted in Voodoo Blue, a color that is not currently available on any other Scion model.

The interior will be freshened up with seats and door panel trim that have been covered in an exclusive black fabric with blue accents. The floor mats also feature the same color blue in the form of the "xB RS 8.0" logo.

So basically, what you are looking at is the Release Series 7.0 minus the TRD sport muffler and leather-wrapped RAZO GT Formula Spec shift knob. Oh, and you get that "nifty" blue color instead of the purple given to last year’s model.

The Scion xB Release Series 8.0 is limited to 2000 units and goes on sale later this month. Prices will begin at $18,405 for a manual transmission and $19,355 for an automatic transmission, which is slightly lower than the Series 7.0. For an extra $320 customers will also get a color-matched rear spoiler.

The final customized 2012 Ford Focus revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show shows the work of a tuning company that is definitely no stranger to the hatchback in question. FS Werks (formerly FocusSport) has been providing high performance street and race products for the Ford Focus since 1999 when they first opened. If anyone should produce a fine tuning package for the Focus, it should be them. and you can be the judge.

FSWerks started off their package by adding a 3dCarbon roof wing and 19-inch DPE R16 wheels wrapped in Continental ExtremeContact DW tires to the little hatchback. After that it was on to an FSWerks stainless steel performance exhaust that provides maximum flow and horsepower, an FSWerks cold air intake, an engine cover, and a new front stress bar. The ride height was then lowered three inches with the use of an H&R Springs coil-over kit.

“What I find great about the new Focus is that it’s a sporty, compact Ford with the global design our customers want,” said Randy Robles, FSWerks vice president. “The previous Focus versions have been huge for us, so we’re excited to continue that tradition.”

Press release after the jump.

Nissan has taken part in the Los Angeles Auto Show by bringing with them a concept that will redefine Nissan’s sedan language. It may slither its way into the background due to the extravagant and elaborate concepts being shown as part of the Design Challenge, but this is one concept that definitely deserves a second glance, maybe even a third. Nissan says this is not a preview for any production model, but we do expect to see plenty of features borrowed from this concept and put into their future models.

The Ellure’s exterior is defined by a deeply skirted front fascia and a bold solid-transparent front grille with small openings, which direct the wind over and under the body. The full underbody pan, molded side rearview camera housings, and small wheel openings add to the design of the vehicle while the 21-inch 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels complete the look. The front grille was inspired by the “Kamishino” Samurai formal coat.

The interior of the Ellure plays off of the idea of light and dark with an instrument panel covered in chrome-free leather and front seats covered with a black eco-suede utilizing recycled fibers. Drawing one’s attention immediately is the “floating” center console with a sculptural, see-through effect. It is covered in white leather with red nighttime lighting shining through. The red lighting spreads to the all-glass ceiling where there is also special red mood lighting. A console-mounted central controller provides intuitive control for HVAC, audio, navigation and other functions.

Going along with the times, the Ellure is also a hybrid concept. It combines a supercharged 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control and a 25 kW electric motor, matched with an Xtronic CVT and front-wheel drive.

Press release after the jump.

Ford continues its attack on the Los Angeles Auto Show with this next Ford Focus from 3dCarbon. It may not see even a glint of a power upgrade, but the styling and aerodynamic modifications do allow for a tremendous boost in the overall look of the car.

The very first thing we noticed on the car is the glossy black hood and the satiny film foil wrap covering the rest of the body. The windows are smoked-out with 3M window film and the 20-inch Series KM650-KMC wheels are painted in glossy black finish and wrapped in Falken tires – FK452. There are two red pinstripes accenting their way down the length of the roof and hood while the wheels also get a little red pinstripe action.

In addition to the styling benefits found on this Focus, the hatchback also gets a 3dCarbon roof wing, H&R Springs sport spring, and a FSWerks cat-back exhaust.

“This car builds on the already impressive styling of the new Focus with the unique touches we used, like the foil wrap and red accents,” said Ernie Bunnell, 3dCarbon vice president of sales and marketing. “The design of the Focus fits where the market is right now and the global appeal of this car is sure to be a hit with our customers.”

Press release after the jump.

California-based and world renowned designer, Bijan Pakzad, is no stranger to having some pretty sick exotic cars, most of which seem to have a touch of yellow in them. The man who generally goes by the name Bijan even has his own customized yellow Rolls Royce Drophead Coupe and a black-on-yellow Bugatti Veyron . Guess he really wants his exotics to stand out, huh?

In any case, Bijan’s fascination with the British marquee hasn’t gone unnoticed by the latter. At the 2010 LA Auto Show, Bijan and Rolls Royce announced a partnership where the Bijan will design a number of limited edition Rolls Royce models penned and designed by the artist himself. The collaboration will see Bijan work hand-in-hand with the Rolls Royce design team, which will take his ideas and designs and bring them to life at the company’s production facility in Goodwood, England. Just like every Rolls model to roll out of the production block, Bijan’s special edition models will be worked on by some of the auto industry’s premier craftspeople and artisans with the first set to be released sometime next spring.

Hit the jump for some additional details on these limited editions.

Source: Rolls Royce

Whoever believed that the new Ford Focus was just a boring sedan for everyday use was wrong. And Ford has proof of that statement in the form of the new Focus race car arriving today at the Los Angeles Auto Show . This new concept demonstrates the car’s potential in road and touring car championships with teams around the world, at least that is what Ford is saying. We don’t know if we buy that statement just yet.

The concept car is powered by a 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost I-4 engine and features performance coil-over adjustable dampers, Ford Racing upgraded sway bars with adjustable end links, front brakes with 320-millimeter two-piece rotors, and race pads. The concept sits on Anthracite 18-inch wheels and Hoosier race tires.

The interior also got the racing treatment with an FIA Super 2000 regulations roll cage, Recaro racing seats, an AIM MXL Pista data system, and an AIM Smart Smart yCam. Added safety features include a Ford Racing fire suppression system and Ford Racing six-point safety harness.

We’re still not entirely convinced that the Focus race car will make Ford proud out on the track, but this is just a concept as of yet and should serve as a decent base for the production model. Ford is production will be ready by 2012, leaving them plenty of time to build on a good thing.

Press release after the jump.


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