The LA Auto Show before the LA Auto Show
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Published on Wed, Nov 16, 2016
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
It’s the merger of LA Auto Show’s Press & Trade Days and Connected Car Expo, and it’s now called Automobility LA. It’s the LA Auto Show before the LA Auto Show, and it includes the debut of around 50 vehicles at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Among the global unveilings: Alfa Romeo’s new SUV and Jeep’s new compact SUV, several Porsches, including a new Panamera, three Nissans, the new turbocharged Civic Si from Honda, the fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery, the second-generation smart ForTwo Electric Drive, three Mercedes-Benz models – the AMG GT Roadster, G550 4×4 Squared and AMG GT R.
On the future front, there are a number of concept cars being unveiled at the Los Angeles show: Acura says it will preview a future interior design, human-machine interface and technology direction, Infiniti will feature its new SUV, the QX Sport Inspiration, and Subaru says its global concept reveal will uncover a new line of vehicles for the brand. And in view of the Southern California venue, expect to see the largest display of hybrid, electric and alt-fuel models at the show.
On the technology front, BMW ReachNow, Hyundai, Ridecell and whiteCryption, are unveiling their latest innovations on artificial intelligence, automation, car sharing, and security in the show’s Technology Pavilion. This is where the former Car Connect will host its array of discussions on the future of transportation. Several luminaries, including the CEOs of Ford, Intel, Local Motors and Next EV are scheduled to make announcements from the Roadshow by CNET stage.
“AutoMobility LA is where the new auto industry gets business done, unveils groundbreaking products and makes strategic announcements in front of media from around the globe,” said Lisa Kaz, President and CEO of LA Auto Show and AutoMobility LA. Among the highlights this year:
North American Car of the Year Finalists Announced
Following the traditional Motor Press Guild breakfast which took place this year in the cavernous Technology Pavilion, a temporary edifice to house the first day of the 2016 Los Angeles Auto show titled Automobility, Jason Fogelson, the MPG president, introduced the finalists for the 2017 North American Car of the Year as follows:
Car: Chevrolet Bolt, Genesis G90, and Volvo S90
Truck: Ford F-series Super Duty, Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Titan
Utility Vehicle: Chrysler Pacifica, Jaguar F-Pace, and Mazda CX-9
The award, initiated in 1994, honors excellence in innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction and value. The winners will be announced on January 9th, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Motor Press Guild Dean Batchelor Awards
In addition, MPG president Jason Fogelson announced the finalists for this year's 2016 MPG Dean Batchelor Awards in the article, book, audio, video and photography categories, and Jean Jennings as the recipient of the Lifetime achievement award. – Zoran Segina
Showing the gorgeous Blade, an exotic car created by using three-dimensional printing technology was the highlight of the Automobility conference. In strategic partnership with the PSA (French Peugeot company) Divergent makes cars by formatting, among other materials, atomized aluminum. The manufacturing method, first used by Formula 1 teams, leaves minimal manufacturing impact on the environment. The agreed-upon- design can be immediately submitted for production allowing for revolutionary volume customization. The upper control arms on the floor model resemble works of art and can be remanufactured by changing computer code rather than re-cutting heavy dies. The cars were introduced, quite correctly, as Model T for the 21 Century, shifting the paradigm. – Zoran Segina
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
The 2018 Stelvio is a premium, mid-size SUV that Alfa Romeo says is the fastest SUV ever. Base engine is all-new, all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo pumping 280 horsepower. Under the hood of the Ferrari-derived Quadrifoglio Verde (“green four-leaf clover”) is a 2.9-liter, 24-valve, bi-turbo V-6 that kicks 505 horses – 65 more than the Porsche Macan – and jumps to 60 in 3.9. The Q4 all-wheel-drive system is standard on all Stelvio models. Alfa says on the track, the Stelvio delivers two-seat sports car performance. Looks ready to run with the best from Germany. U.S. intro will be mid-2017. – BT Justice
Jaguar: Seeing the Unseen
Oh how shocking. Fans of the fast cat are barely over the launch of an SUV, and now they’ve got to absorb the idea of an electric. But wait, and don’t gasp too loudly—there’s also a station wagon in the stable. What will they think of next? Actually, something they thought of a long time ago: the XKSS. Well, not THE one, but several like-appearing models. How does that work? The company has just released the XKSS Continuation, a kit (cough) version of the car that launched in 1957. Actually the K-word is inaccurate. Ish. In fact, the factory had nine cars burn before they could be finished, so now, more than half a century later, they’ve finished them. All are already sold. – Brian Kennedy
Jeeps at the Show
Jeep debuts two new models at the LA Auto Show: The redesigned 2017 Compass and the 2 new models for the Renegade Line up (Deserthawk and Altitude).
The Jeep Compass redesign embodies a lot of the Grand Cherokee in the styling department. Like many manufactures, it seems like Jeep is look to build in a style consistency in their lineup. Likely power plants for the new Compass include a turbo four-cylinder and a larger displacement naturally aspirated 4 cylinder.
The Jeep Renegade has been very popular in the small SUV market and Jeep wants to take advantage of consumer’s desires for unique packaging and options. The Deserthawk Limited Edition model will give the Renegade a unique look and added features inspired by the desert’s extreme conditions. The Altitude package will be based on the Latitude model and will mostly be an appearance package featuring black. Blacked out interior, exterior, and accessories. – Mark Dorman
The New Mazda CX-5
The CX-5 crossover, Mazda top-selling vehicle, is all new for 2017. The design clearly takes inspiration from its big brother, the CX-9, which was introduced this year. The fenders are muscular. The lines smooth. The CX-5 will be available with 2.0- and 2.5-liter direct-injection gas engines and a 2.2-liter clean diesel. Curiously, Mazda gave no performance figures for the powerplants, instead touting design, reduced cabin noise (thank you, Mazda), and greater comfort and usability for the rear seats. The CX-5 goes on sale in the second half of next year. – BT Justice
Mercedes: These Are No Ponycars
Mercedes followed up on its launch of the E-Class AMG a couple of weeks ago with the car’s first public appearance at the LA show. The initials might as well stand for “Ah, my goodness,” done in a bit of a German accent, because this bad boy has more than 600 horsepower from a 4-liter V8 engine. But this is no ponycar. The four doors preclude that, but so does the fact that the car is AWD. – Brian Kennedy
Other similar AMG offerings include the GLE 43, the GT R, and the GT Roadster. Each has more performance enhancers than a roomful of middle-aged gents, from lightened bodies to sculpted aerodynamics to lightened wheels. – Brian Kennedy
The all-new MINI CUV ain’t so mini. The second-gen Countryman is the biggest MINI in the brand’s 57 year history. Compared with the outgoing model, the 2017 Countryman is 7.9 inches longer and 1.2 inches wider, with noticeably more passenger room. Cargo capacity up 30 percent: 47.6 cubic feet with rear seats down. Two twin-turbo engines: 134 horses from the 1.5L 3-cylinder. 189 horsepower from the 2.0L 4 cylinder in the Cooper S Countryman. The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is MINI’s first plug-in hybrid, with an electric-only range of 25 miles. Gas-powered Countryman on sale in March. Hybrid in June. – BT Justice
Nissan: Trying to Return to Cool
Nissan used to have a pretty cool car, the Cube. They’ve canned it in favor of a lineup of cars and crossovers that largely resemble one another. But amongst the offerings were two that stood out in LA: the Juke Black Pearl and the Sentra Nismo. The former is an appearance package special which attempts to use white accents (spoiler, mirror trim, etc.) outside and inside to offset a monochromatic black paint and interior. I suppose this works—if you can get past the feeling that somebody forgot to paint the trim on this model.
The Sentra gets the hotted-up treatment suggested by the Nismo name. This puts Nissan in the same club as Honda, which is about to hit the streets with its new Civic Type-R, with turbocharged engine and uprated mechanical bits. – Brian Kennedy
The world’s largest auto manufacturer is set to debut their Three-Row Crossover dubbed the Atlas. The Atlas is VW’s potential ticket into the North American market. With the growing demand and all time high sales in the crossover market, this may be VW’s best chance to grow market share here in the states. Now the Atlas may not be anything too outlandish, but that might just be what VW needs at this point. It has all the right features and has a good chance of appealing to the mass market. We hope to find out more details upon release at the LA Auto Show. – Mark Dorman
Following AutoMobility LA, all of this year’s vehicle debuts will be on display at the 2016 LA Auto Show, and will be open to the public on November 18-27th. Got something to say? Add your Facebook comments here. For additional information on the LA Auto Show, go to laautoshow.com. About the Los Angeles Auto Show and AutoMobility LA Founded in 1907, the Los Angeles Auto Show (LA Auto Show®) is the first major North American auto show of the season each year. In 2016, the show’s Press & Trade Days merged with the Connected Car Expo (CCE) to become AutoMobility LA, converging the technology and automotive industries to launch new products and technologies and to discuss the most pressing issues surrounding the future of transportation and mobility. AutoMobility LA 2016 will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Nov. 14-17, with manufacturer vehicle debuts intermixed. LA Auto Show will open to the public from Nov. 18-27. LA Auto Show is endorsed by the Greater L.A. New Car Dealer Association and is operated by ANSA Productions. To receive the latest show news and information, follow LA Auto Show on Twitter at twitter.com/LAAutoShow, Instagram at instagram.com/laautoshow/ or via Facebook at facebook.com/LAAutoShow and sign up for alerts at laautoshow.com/. For more information about AutoMobility LA, please visit automobilityla.com.