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LA AUTO SHOW: PART 2

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Fri, Dec 1, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

A NEW BEGINNING Page 2  

Troy Clarke introduces the Yukon Hybrid GMC YUKON HYBRID The 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid - in dealerships toward the end of 2007- features two-mode hybrid propulsion with 25-percent improvement in overall fuel economy. Yukon is powered by an aluminum small-block Vortec V-8 that can tow 6,000 pounds. Added weight from the hybrid propulsion was offset by optimizing aerodynamics. GM, DaimlerChrysler and BMW are jointly developing the two-mode hybrid system. In low speeds and light loads the hybrid system can operate with electric power, or engine power or any combination of the two. In electric mode fuel consumption is reduced by shutting off the engine for extended periods of time. The highway mode utilizes sophisticated electronic controls, cam phasing and late-intake valve closure for efficient engine operation. Eight cylinders do stand by for passing, towing or climbing a steep grade.

Honda FCX (RN) HONDA FCX CONCEPT CAR A practical fuel cell vehicle may be on the road sooner than you think. Honda has used the name FCX for its fuel cell concept vehicles since 1998. This third-generation FCX represents a major step forward in design and, especially, technology. Breakthroughs in the all-new fuel cell stack make it significantly smaller, lighter and more powerful, and low-temperature startup has been dramatically improved, to minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Honda calls it "the most advanced and powerful hydrogen fuel-cell passenger car on the planet." We agree with that claim. Production of this stylish, five-passenger FCX is slated for 2008. - Chuck Dapoz

Honda Remix & lead designer Ben Davidson (RN) HONDA REMIX The Honda REMIX Concept is a two-seat sports car that tries to balance fun-to-drive performance with generous cargo space. The low-slung REMIX is built around a front-wheel-drive small car platform. It has a sport suspension and aggressive tires and brakes. The REMIX was designed at Honda's Advanced Design Studio in Pasadena. There's no production plan for this urban, youth-oriented car. - Chuck Dapoz

Honda Step Bus concept (RN) HONDA STEP BUS CONCEPT The Honda Step Bus Concept is a design exercise to create the largest possible interior with the smallest possible exterior. Two sliding doors offer access to the five-passenger interior. Honda calls the interior of the Step Bus "cavernous" and able to hold "large amounts of band equipment, sports gear and other bulky items." The platform of this urban utility vehicle is built around a small-displacement mid-engine and rear-wheel drive. - Chuck Dapoz

LP 640 Versace coupe (JG)

Gallardo Nera (JG) LAMBORGHINI While bucking the notion of exotic in producing 1,700 or so cars this past year, there is certainly variety uncommon in these numbers. A new Murcielago LP 640 Roadster compliments the existing Gallardo Spyder. The LP 640 Roadster is a good for 205 on the 405, providing you can ever find an open stretch long enough. A variation the Murcielago LP 640 is the fully trimmed-out Versace coupe. Of course, another possibility is the Gallardo Nera, a limited production coupe with 185 units total comprising of unique paint and trim. Completing the picture is individualization program ad personam allowing owners to really explore their own personal style. - John Grafman

LR2 (JG) LAND ROVER LR2 At the 2007 LA Auto Show Land Rover revealed the all-new LR2. With this new vehicle Land Rover enters the compact premium SUV market. New from the ground up the LR2 includes a brand-new 3.2-liter 230bhp i6 engine matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission, with Land Rover's CommandShiftâ„¢ offering manual sequential gear changes to deliver an outstanding combination of performance and economy. With plenty of interior room from the head, shoulder and legroom, in both the front and rear and with Land Rover's signature top-class off-road driving position, Land Rover can't go wrong. - Gordon Bleam

Nissan Altima Coupe (RN) NISSAN ALTIMA COUPE After making one of the nicest-looking coupes around (the Infiniti G35), what do you do for an encore? How about a coupe version of the new Altima? Nissan's best-selling vehicle in the US is poised for even bigger sales when it introduces the Altima Coupe in the summer of 2007. The new coupe is a styling success, and it owes much of it to a shorter wheelbase, shorter overall length and lower height than the Altima sedan. Under the new Altima Coupe's exterior design are the platform, powertrain and features of the new fourth-generation Altima. In addition to the powerplants from the sedan, the Altima Coupe is available with a 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve QR25 inline 4-cylinder, producing 175 horsepower (170 hp CA) and 180 pound-feet of torque (175 lb-ft CA). - Roy Nakano

Sentra SE-R Spec V (DRU) NISSAN SENTRA SE-R & SE-R SPEC V The first Sentra SE-R helped define the sport compact car back in 1991. Nissan hopes its latest offerings will redefine the segment when it joins the brand's lineup in March of 2007. Both the SE-R and the higher horsepower SE-R Spec V are powered by high output 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engines and are equipped with standard 17-inch wheels and tires, 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and specially tuned electric power steering (EPS) - as well as unique exterior and interior appearance modifications. The Spec V gets even higher output, with a resin intake manifold and dual branch exhaust manifold; revised piston crown shape to support a higher compression ratio, and other mods. Nissan believes the Spec V is the lowest-priced 200-horsepower car in its class. Both models have been developed with a high fun-to-drive quotient in mind. - Roy Nakano

Porsche Targa 4S (RN) PORSCHE 997 TARGA 4/4S The all-glass panoramic roof returns to the 997 for those who enjoy the skies above without the loss of structural rigidity of a true cabriolet. The rear glass also opens like a hatchback to provide access to storage space behind the rear seats. A Targa will be immediately spotted by an aluminum trim piece that runs along the roofline from the A-to-C pillars. The new Targa comes in all-wheel drive format only. The Targa 4's 3.6-liter motor produces 325 horsepower, while the 4S with 3.8-liters is good for 355 hp. - Anthony Quon

Porsche GT3 PORSCHE GT3 Porsche purists will wait no more as the newest GT3 is unveiled as the most powerful naturally aspirated 911 ever. The flat six, boasting 415 bhp, will propel this rocket from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds and achieve a top speed of 193 mph. This is, without a doubt, a hard core track machine refined for the street. The GT3 is instantly recognizable from the front apron with menacing air scoops and carbon fiber splitter, to the rear with a bi-adjusting spoiler. The wheels are 19" standard and the fade-free PCCB ceramic brakes remain optional. - Anthony Quon

Jill Lajdziak introduces the Aura Green Line SATURN AURA GREEN LINE The Aura Green Line's propulsion is a unique electric motor/generator mated to a 2.4L Ecotec VVT four-cylinder engine and Hydra-Matic 4T45 four-speed transmission. The hybrid powertrain is rated at 164 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 159 pound-feet of torque at 5000 rpm. The system will shut off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, restart the engine when the brake pedal is released, shut-off fuel during deceleration, use regenerative braking to charge the nickel metal hydride battery and charge battery when it is most efficient. The Aura sedan is based on the Opel Vectra platform, a proven German sedan, although the fit and finish on the showroom car was more US than Deutschland. Standard features include dual-stage frontal, side-curtain and thorax protection air bags, electronic stability control and the OnStar security system. - Zoran Segina

Saturn Vue (DRU) SATURN VUE On the other hand, 2008 Saturn Vue, all-new, a compact five-door crossover, which will be offered as hybrid later in the 2008 model year, has that unmistakable feel of European solidity. It is based on Opel Antara which itself received rave reviews. Ride and handling is augmented by front and rear stabilizer bars, MacPhersons in front and independent multi-links in rear, along with a double-isolated engine cradle. Higher models have power steering, four-wheel disc brakes, and traction and electronic stability control. Sixteen-inch wheels are standard, some models are shod with seventeen-inchs. In addition to the hybrid, the new Vue will be available in four-cylinder and V-6 configurations mated to six-speed auto. V-6 can come in all-wheel drive, and Saturn promised it will provide a five-speed manual later in the year with both engines. From 2.4-liter, 164-ponies, all the way to 3.6-liter V-6 that delivers 250 horsepower and 243 lb.-ft. of torque, the powertrains abound. - Zoran Segina

C30 (RN) Volvo market for the C30 is focused primarily on singles, or couples without children who see the car as an entertaining tool for keeping up with their intense lives. The international customer clinics confirmed that the project was on the right track ; "In one of the customer clinics, one of the participants said: 'Finally, a new exciting challenger in the segment, probably my first Volvo.' This was sweet music to our ears, the perfect expression of our ambitions for the C30-project. With room for four adults and a target of 65,000 cars per year Volvo is right on track. - Gordon Bleam

(DRU) For more photos on the LA Auto Show, see A Different Angle on the LA Auto Show

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