Los Angeles Auto Show

Los Angeles Auto Show

  Los Angeles Auto Show

One of the highlights of the LA Auto Show is the annual design challenge that goes along as part of the whole event, and this year figures to be no different. The theme for this year’s event will be called “Youthmobile 2030” – a nod towards what vehicles would look like in 2030 for young minds born this year.

Among the manufacturers that are scheduled to participate this year includes Volkswagen/Audi , Nissan , GM , Mazda , Toyota , and Honda . Most of the participants already have their entries close to completion and from what we’ve heard a number of them have already mentioned what they’re going to bring to LA. VW/Audi is set to bring an AI-enhanced car that can interpret driver movements, Nissan Nissan has an ‘eco-neutral’ vehicle ready to roll to LA, GM is bringing a ‘gamer-friendly’ car, Mazda Mazda is going for a more business-minded approach with their entry, targeting the entrepreneurs of 2030, and Honda is bringing something that “incorporates human DNA.”

Safe to say, the participants for this year’s design challenge are all bringing the heavy artillery.

The pool of judges – there will be four of them - that will be tasked to evaluate and grade all the entries include Tom Matano, Durector of Industrial Design at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Jason Hill, the brains behind the Aptera Aptera 2 Seres hybrid and electric cars, Imre Molner, Dean of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies; Stewart Reed, Chair, Transportation Design, Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design.

Press Release after the jump.

For all those brands that have decided to skip the Tokyo Motor Show, it looks like they’re already prepping up for the next one on the calendar: the Los Angeles Auto Show in December.

One of the brands that have booked their ticket for Los Angeles is Ford , which is using the event to officially unveil the new Ford Fiesta to its American clientele. In addition to the introduction of the Fiesta, Ford is also set to use Los Angeles for an equally important revelation: the powertrain behind the 2011 Mustang .

In a recent interview with foxnews.com’s Fox Car Report, Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s head of global product development, confirmed that questions surrounding the 2011 Mustang will all be answered in December at Los Angeles.

It’s been a prevalent rumor that’s dragged on for a couple of months now and while earlier reports have said that the 2011 Mustang comes with a base V6 engine along with a souped-up 5.0-liter V8 variant. In addition to that, rampant speculation of an even more powerful aluminum-block version of the 5.4-liter supercharged V8 for the 2011 Shelby Shelby GT500 has also become a powerful water cooler topic among car enthusiasts waiting with baited breath to see exactly what Ford’s plans are for the retooled 2011 Mustangs.

In any case, all the questions will be answered when the LA Auto Show goes up and running in December.

Source: Autoblog

Sometimes, patience does pay off in the end. After years of waiting, all of us can now giddy-up in excitement after hearing news that Mazda is now set to bring the Mazda 2 in North America.

The news was revealed by no less than Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda’s North American operations. In a statement he said to a number of Mazda dealerships across the continent, O’Sullivan said that after years of evaluating the shifting markets in the region, now looked like the best time to introduce the compact vehicle to a market that has long starved to see it out on the roads.

"As consumers’ tastes and attitudes toward small vehicles have changed, we now believe strongly there is a place in our lineup for a car below our current least-expensive car, the Mazda 3,” he said.

“The Mazda 2 will be true to everything that makes our cars stand apart from the competition: it will be stylish, fun-to-drive and a heck of a value. In short, it will be Zoom-Zoom."
Zoom-Zoom, indeed.

Off the bat, we’re already excited about the Mazda 2’s impending arrival on North American soil and we certainly can’t wait for the 2009 LA Motor Show later this year. Why, you ask?

Well, a certain car from Japan will be zoom-zooming its way to the show. Care to venture a guess what it is?

Source: Auto 123

First launched in 2003, the Murano SUV is entering the 2009 MY with a new exterior, interior and enhanced technology. For 2009, Murano is being offered in five different versions: S 2WD, S AWD, SL 2WD, SL AWD and LE AWD, with prices ranging from $27,680 to $37,260.

Nissan Murano

For 2009, Murano comes with a wide front end with a dynamic front fascia design, a wide grille with large integrated headlights, strong body side character lines with pronounced 18-inch or 20-inch wheels and tires and a distinctive rear end set off by an expansive rear glass area and LED taillights.

Nissan Murano

The 2009 Murano is powered by a revised 265-hp 3.5-liter DOHC V6 backed by a new advanced Xtronic CVT™ (Continuously Variable Transmission), with a front-wheel drive or an advanced all-wheel drive drivetrain. Murano also features a new D-platform, as well as new suspension, body structure and state-of-the-art steering for improved ride comfort and precise handling.

Press release after the jump.

The RX 450h (second generation) made its world debut today at the Los Angeles Auto Show next to the RX 350. The car will go on sale in the spring of 2009.

Lexus RX450h

The RX 450h will feature an exclusive grille, hybrid badging including blue-trimmed Lexus logos, unique front bumper, a special 19-inch optional wheel design, blue-tinted headlamps and taillamps, and optional LED headlamps.

Under the hood there is a Lexus Hybrid Drive system with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. This, combined to a new, more efficient inverter delivers 295 hp, 27 more hp than the current generation RX hybrid.

Lexus RX450h

The RX 450h features a front-wheel hybrid drive or an electronically driven, part-time all-wheel-drive (AWD) hybrid drive system, which supplies the rear wheels with the optimal amount of torque as conditions demand. Unlike mechanical AWD systems that reduce fuel efficiency via added weight and friction, the RX 450h’s rear-mounted electric motor-generator allows all four wheels to perform regenerative braking, charging the hybrid battery more effectively.

UPDATE 11/06/2010: Check out our review for the RX 450h hybrid by clicking here !

Press release after the jump.

The Porsche Cayman has always had a suspicious place in the Porsche lineup. The extra-potent "S" model comes very close to hitting performance figures of the base 911, at much reduced cost. But now that 2009 refreshening adds extra power to the Cayman, how will this stack up?

The second generation of the Cayman is making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show right along side its Boxster sibling. Just like the drop top, the 2009 Cayman is being offered in two versions: Cayman and Cayman S (the Cayman S Sport version goes away.)

Porsche Cayman

The Cayman is powered by a 2.9-liter flat-six boxer engine that delivers 265 hp (an increase of 20 hp); the Cayman S gets a 3.4-liter power unit that delivers 320 hp (25 hp more). The Cayman S with PDK dual-clutch automatic and Launch Control can do 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. That’s a 0.2 second improvement from the previous Cayman S and is within 0.2 seconds of the published figures for the base 911.

As it turns out the increase in power will not mean worse fuel economy. The Cayman equipped with PDK averages 26.3 mpg, and 25.5 mpg for the Cayman S. That’s about a 4 mpg improvement from the Tiptronic automatic transmission cars.

Porsche Cayman

Design improvements take cues from the V10 Carrera GT . The 2009 Cayman gets new front and rear ends with new halogen headlights with integrated direction indicators, new LED rear lights, new air intakes and new rear panels with a wind deflector plate.

Both the Cayman and the Cayman S will go on sale in February 2009 in Europe. It’s expected that the new Cayman will reach these shores soon afterward with only a marginal price increase.

Full details in the press release after the jump.

Infiniti revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show the first ever convertible model in the G line-up. The car doesn’t stray much from the G37’s original recipe, and it carries over the coupe’s platform and engine. The biggest addition to the car is the extra sky available form the folding hardtop. Sales of the topless G will begin in spring of 2009.

The G37 convertible is powered by the same 3.7-liter V6 engine as the coupe version that delivers 325 hp @ 7,000 rpm and a peak torque of 267 lbs-ft @5,200 rpm. The engine is mated to either an electronically controlled 7-speed automatic transmission with available magnesium paddle shifters or a responsive close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission.

The model is offered in two different trim versions: the G37 Convertible and the G37S Convertible Sport 6MT, which adds sport-tuned steering and larger sport brakes, along with 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and W-rated performance tires.

The problem with many convertibles is that top-down motoring can create a lot of wind in the passenger cabin. The G37 convertible combats the effects in two ways. When the three-pieces folding steel top is down, the Bose audio system will change the radio setting depending on detected outside noise. Also, the climate control system will adjust fan speed in accordance to top position and vehicle speed.

For the Bloomingdale’s Holiday Catalog, Infiniti added a G Convertible Premier Edition limited to only 200 units.

Updated 02/09/2010: The Japanese luxury automaker Infiniti will continue to offer the G37 Convertible for the 2010MY. Prices start at $44,350 for the seven speed automatic version and goes up to $46,950 for the six speed sport version. The 2010 G37 Convertible comes complete with standard features like a RearView Monitor and safety features like available automatic rain sensing flat blade wipers, Pre-Crash Seat Belts and Intelligent Cruise Control with Preview Braking.

Full details in the press release after the jump.

Lincoln unveiled today at the Los Angeles Auto Show the new 2010 MKZ mid-size sedan. Sales will begin in spring of 2009 and production will be made at Ford’s Hermosillo (Mexico) Stamping and Assembly Plant.

Lincoln MKZ

New for 2010, the MKZ features a new sport version with special sport suspension tuning with stiffer springs and larger stabilizer bars, 18-inch Euroflange polished wheels, darkened grille and headlamps, and an interior with contrasting piping and unique appliqués.

Under the hood there is a 3.5-liter V-6 Duratec engine that delivers 263 hp and 249 pounds-feet of torque. It is mated to a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.

Lincoln MKZ

The new MKZ also features Lincoln signature design elements, including the split-wing grille and thinner wraparound head lamps for a wider, sportier look. Its chamfered front fascia also shares a family resemblance with the MKS, with a sculpted hood and ridges flowing into the A-pillar. In the rear, the Lincoln MKZ features a new decklid with wider LED taillamps accentuating the width of the car and separated by the Lincoln star.

Press release after the jump.

History may remember the new Bugatti Veyron, being shown in North America for the first time at the LA Auto Show, as the one of the most powerful cars ever. With 16 cylinders, 64 valves and four turbochargers producing 987 hp, the Veyron is said to surpass 250 mph. A power gauge on the instrument panel tells the driver how much horsepower is being used. While it can’t use more than 987 horsepower it can hit 0-60 in under 3 seconds. Only 300 Veyrons will be built for about $1.2 million each.

UPDATE 06/01/2010: National Geographic has revealed a very cool documentary about the Bugatti Veyron supercar. There are four different episodes, each representing different moments in the building of the car. To take a look at all four episodes, click here.

UPDATE 04/17/2012: Bugatti has unveiled a new promo video for their Veyron 16.4. The video is of Top Gear’s very own Jeremy Clarkson as he discusses the supercar. Definitely a must see!

The Mazda KAAN won the Los Angeles Design Competition and it represents a race car from 2025. KAAN took first place for how well it integrated a high level of innovation and technology into the design, as well as its truly unique styling.

Mazda KAAN - race car of the future?

Mazda’s patented electronic tire system uses this technology to power the KAAN to reach 250 mph with no harmful emissions.

The vehicles are piloted by individual drivers but teams are made up of thirty cars, all on the track together. Using strategies similar to those in cycling peletons, the tighter the group sticks together, the more aerodynamic and powerful it becomes.

Mazda KAAN - race car of the future?

Inspiration for the KAAN comes from electric fields and textures seen in nature, particularly those in a lightning bolt. The car is uniquely designed around its powerful electric wheels while the cockpit acts as a capsule to safely house the driver, allowing for tighter peloton formations and a team victory.

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