The Los Angeles Auto Show is like two car shows in one. It imagines a digital, electrified future and an emphasis on all things connected. But it's also a place for practical shoppers to go crazy over crossovers whether it's electrified Jaguar I-I-Pace, the attractive Alpha-Romeo Stelvio, or the more sedate Ford EcoSport. The super car count is low this year, but Aston Martin's Vanquish S and the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet add an extra bit of eye candy.
Nov 23, 2016
I went from a banal conference room at the Los Angeles Auto Show to looking at the big desert sky up above me through the glass on the Lucid Motors prototype.Read Article >
It’s not the first time an electric car company has used a pair of VR goggles to draw me in to ooh and ahh over their concepts. But after a day of wandering among gasoline-powered crossover vehicles in a dry convention center at the auto show, the seductive simulation was working. I reclined back in my chair, stretched out my legs on the business-class-inspired seats, and enjoyed the sights.
Nov 20, 2016
When people say Americans won’t give up their cars, Los Angeles is a case study on automotive saturation. Car fever took off during the post-World War II era economic boom, and the sprawling city’s far reaching tentacle of freeways make the automobile essential. Culver City speed shops and custom car culture elevated the LA’s romance with the automobile to another level. But a new reality has set in, and so far, no one is exactly sure how to stop it.Read Article >
Los Angeles may be a car town, but there’s nothing more brutal than an LA traffic jam and its massive environmental footprint. The state of California has embraced some of the cleanest emissions standards in the country, and is most identifiable as the home of the new electric car business, thanks to Tesla and Google. But when it comes to automotive innovation, LA proper has some catching up to do with what’s happening north in Silicon Valley.
Nov 17, 2016
Volvo is creating a service ecosystem around its cars, giving its customers access to third-party service providers to remotely fuel up, get a car wash, service the car, and more. It’s called Volvo Concierge Services, and it’s a digital platform that aims to make owning a Volvo easier and more convenient.Read Article >
The heart of the system is the digital key, a one-time-use location- and time-specific key that allows service providers access to the vehicle. This is a big advantage as it keeps the car secure and keeps owners from needing to meet someone and hand off the key when the car is getting serviced. The supplier, whether that’s a refueling company or a valet parking attendant or Volvo itself (for oil changes and other maintenance), uses an app that remotely unlocks the car and allows the engine to turn on.
When Ferrari was spun off from Fiat, many wondered if the independent company would need to build highly profitable and highly in-demand SUVs to stay afloat. I don’t know if Ferrari will build an SUV (company brass insist it won’t), but now I know what that mythical Ferrari SUV would look like: the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, unveiled today at the LA Auto Show.Read Article >
It’s part three of the Alfa Romeo reboot that began a few years ago with the incredible 4C sports car and was followed with the Giulia sports sedan. Alfa says it’s the fastest SUV in its class, with an estimated 0–60mph time of 3.9 seconds in the top-level Quadrifoglio trim. The company went so far as to claim that it will be the fastest SUV ever to traverse Germany’s famed Nürburgring — it’s the fastest in company simulations, but it apparently hasn’t yet made the journey to Nürburg for an on-track record attempt.
This is the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 cabriolet, and it is, according to the press release heralding its arrival, the “ultimate in open-air exclusivity.” Limited to just 300 units — and only 75 in the US — it certainly has that last part right. It’s not quite the amazing Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 coupe that debuted at Pebble Beach earlier this year, but it’s still pretty good.Read Article >
The S 650 is equipped with a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 that puts out 621 horsepower and a mind-boggling 738 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is 155 mph, though I can’t imagine that you would want to do that with the soft top down.
Nov 15, 2016
Automobility LA, once billed as the Los Angeles Auto Show press days, kicks off this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This year the auto show has rebranded itself as all about the future — but what kind of future that will be after the unexpected outcome of the presidential election is uncertain. The stakes are high as the industry is on the precipice of introducing self-driving cars, implementing better fuel economy standards, and increasing its presence in China.Read Article >
It’s a week likely to be suffused with irony, awkwardness, and many questions after the recent turn of events and the many ways a Trump presidency could alter the transportation landscape. The Automobility show has been marketed as the show that brought together "everyone that matters: Automakers, tech executives, disruptors, entrepreneurs, investors, designers, developers, dealers, government officials." Panel topics include autonomy, cyber security, and flying cars; no one knows exactly where a Trump administration lands on these issues. From what he said at the campaign trail, Trump’s vision seems to be looking back in some ways, while the auto industry is barreling toward the future.
This is the Jaguar I-Pace concept car. It’s a close-to-final electric SUV and Jaguar says the production version will hit dealer showrooms by the second half of 2018. The concept looks terrific, and it will likely be the first real competition for Tesla’s Model X SUV.Read Article >
Jaguar says the I-Pace, with a 90 kWh battery and slippery 0.29 drag coefficient, will tally more than 220 miles of EPA-estimated range when it goes on sale. At a press preview earlier today, Jaguar executives emphasized the car’s cab-forward design, made possible because of the lack of an engine up front. Instead, the car uses a pair of electric motors to deliver a total of 394 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque via the all-wheel drive system. Jaguar claims the car will go from 0–60mph in around four seconds.
Ford is jumping on the small SUV bandwagon with the new EcoSport, joining wee trucks like the popular Nissan Juke and Jeep Renegade. It’s aimed straight at the active millennial market and Ford says the EcoSport is “fun, capable, and connected.” The car’s tagline is “going small and living big.” Okay then!Read Article >
The EcoSport is available with a itty-bitty 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine, or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder power plant (which includes 4WD standard). Other features include an astounding thirty places to store your stuff, including pockets, bins, and hooks; there’s also a movable floor board in the cargo compartment and fold-flat seats to fit even more stuff.