LA Auto Show a mix of highlights and doom, Green Car of the Year, your cell phone becomes a traffic probe, Chrysler offers a "Web Edition".Listen now: Download today's podcast SHOW NOTES
There are luxury brands--Mercedes-Benz and Lexus come to mind--then there are luxury brands, cars with the leather from a herd of cows and wood from a whole forest. Spyker, Ferrari, and Bentley all showed off hand-crafted cars at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. These cars feature beautiful and unique styling, high-performance engines and driving gear, advanced cabin tech, and prestigious brand names. The prices they command put them in the realm of sheiks and movie stars.
Nissan unveiled the Cube for the US market at the 2008 LA Auto Show. Though it's been available in Japan for some time now, we'll know soon enough whether American buyers are ready for the Cube when it hits showrooms as a 2009 model.
Not to be overshadowed by the 370Z, the Cube is the most unconventional designs to come out of Nissan in some time. The Cube features a squared-circle theme punctuated by a radical wrap-around asymmetrical rear window. Inside, the Cube is surprisingly spacious with a relaxing aesthetic with a concentric circle theme that's repeated … Read more
Volkswagen got a lot of mileage out of its 3-liter turbocharged V-6 diesel engine at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. It appeared in the Touareg TDI and the Audi Q5 TDI, signaling Volkswagen's launch of diesel SUVs in the U.S. This engine uses a complex emissions system that lets Volkswagen and Audi sell the vehicles in all 50 states. A particulate filter gets rid of the bigger stuff, while a solution called AdBlue breaks down nitrogen oxide emissions. Also on hand was the much more powerful TDI-powered Volkswagen Baja 1000 competitor.
Smart has revealed a new version of its fortwo at the 2008 LA Auto Show, the fortwo Brabus. Brabus being the German tuning house most famous for their close ties with Mercedes-Benz. If the idea of a performance variant of the superthrifty fortwo seems a bit odd, you're not alone. We're looking at with a bit of skepticism as well.
Particularly because the fortwo Brabus features no more power than the standard 71 horsepower fortwo, choosing to boost performance in the suspension and aesthetic departments instead.
The fortwo Brabus will be released in limited quantities and made available … Read more
The Fusion, Ford's bread-and-butter mid-size sedan, gets a significant update for 2010, complete with new body work, new cabin tech options, and an all new hybrid model. Ford built on the hybrid powertrain technology it already uses in the Ford Escape Hybrid, but significantly retunes it for the Fusion, giving it a top electric speed of about 47 mph. Gas mileage is estimated to be around 38mpg city and 35mpg highway. Along with its high-tech powertrain, the Fusion Hybrid gets an innovative instrument cluster with a variety of gauges to monitor economy and powertrain operation. Putting it over the … Read more
Our eyes eventually glaze over at all of the car industry's "limited editions," "value editions," and "sport editions." But Chrysler has just announced a "Web edition." OK, now we're awake.
It's not so much a car but an option package comprising a bunch of tech toys all tied to the Net by an Autonet Mobile router branded as Chrysler uConnect Web. The gear includes a Dell Mini 9 Netbook, an 8GB iPod Touch, a Sony PSP, and a digital camera with an Eye-Fi Wi-Fi SD card. All in, $1,… Read more
On Tuesday, Nissan revealed the 2009 370Z Coupe at the 2008 LA Auto Show and we've got the pictures to prove it.
Viewed in the round, we can see the new Z's shapely rear end and muscular shoulders. Hints of Nissan GT-R can be seen in the catfish's mouth front air dam and concave roof. Factor in dimensions and proportions that are more in line with the classic Z car formula and you've got what at least looks like a winner.
Of course, not everyone is a fan of the Z's new look. Pop over … Read more
Mazda presented its new 2010 Mazda3 sedan at the 2008 LA Auto Show, and I have to admit that I don't really know what to make of it.
The revised front end has more overtones of Mazda's Nagare concept than any Mazda vehicle to date. From certain angles it's decidedly sinister, with its sharply raked bi-xenon headlamps, enlarged lower grille opening that eliminates the need for an upper grille, and organically styled side grille openings with integrated foglights. But from other angles, that huge grille opening looks like a big goofy grin.
Moving back across the body, … Read more
Lotus shows off its new Evora model at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, proving the company can make a car for people over 5' 10". Unlike the Elise and Exige, cars that let short people have all the fun, the larger Evora was designed for less athletic ingress and egress, as Lotus puts it in the press release. And unlike its sister models, the Evora gets some real horsepower courtesy of two extra cylinders. Designed for more than sport driving weekends and track days, the Evora brings useful car technology into the cabin, with a full-featured Alpine system. … Read more