The 2014 LA Auto Show - Seven Points Of Diverse Interest To See And Take In
|LA Auto Show's new logo bathed in green light. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
The LA Auto Show will always be a jumble of artfully engineered transportation solutions and vision displayed in a visual fashion that would rival an architectural design paradise. The Auto industry puts its best foot forward because this show is the first major North American auto show of the season each year - #LAAutoShow.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday (here's a suggestion on how to blow-off Black Friday and walk off Thanksgiving), the LA Auto Show, which has taken over the Los Angeles Convention Center, will be open at 9:00am through Sunday November 30th. The show features 34 global debut showings
and around 60 overall reveals.
Here are seven visits on the LA Auto Show trade show floor to consider - presented to enhance the flow of one's tour around the show.
|LA Convention Center LA Auto Show lay out of exhibits Begin your tour from Left to Right given the graphic. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
Enter and begin your trade show tour from the South Hall (left side upper middle of graphic). Go directly to the back of the hall and visit the Chevrolet stand and visit a display that is not of an actual car, but a model based on a character in a video game - Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo
|Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo passing one of Jim Hall's original #66 Chaparral's in a video presentation. The Chevy Logo'd booth screen ran a video loop showing the creative process of the Chaparral 2X as well as some of the action contained in the Vision Gran Turismo game. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
First unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Press Days, the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept is a futuristic racer with technology that Chaparral creator Jim Hall couldn't even imagine - laser propulsion, for example.
Really, lasers. Chevy says the mid-mounted propulsion system emits light pulses that are focused in a shroud, creating shock waves that generate thrust to move the car. If this existed in real-life, do not try to race nose to tail IndyCar style though ... no 'mushroom busting' areo here.
|This unprecedented drive unit is also closely associated with the unique driver position in the car. The driver almost lays completely flat towards the front (head first), with all four of his appendages spread out towards the wheels when driving. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
The virtual system consists of a 671-kilowatt laser, lithium-ion battery pack, and an air-powered generator, and produces the equivalent of 900 horsepower. Chevy says that will warp the Chaparral 2X from 0-60 mph in just 1.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 240 mph.
This model of an imagined Chaparral was sculpted and brought to life at the secret North Hollywood GM facility that gave us most of the innovative body styles found in today's Cadillac concept and retail cars.
[ht: Motor Authority
After facing the back of the Chaparral/Chevrolet exhibit, one needs to turn left toward the GMC display and head on over to the Japanese luxury car manufacturer, Infiniti.
A 20 coat pale blue/silver "Liquid Sky" colored piece of transportation sculpture will most certainly grab the attention of any passer by. The Q80 Inspiration almost demands a 15 minute visit just to soak in all of the subtle design notes displayed in such a sophisticated manner.
|Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept tasteful front grille. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
Sketching for the car started some 15 months ago, the ultimate goal to combine fresh and highly sculpted styling with an advanced carbon-fiber-and-aluminum monocoque to redefine what a flagship can be inside and out.
Did we mention that it comes with a silver-plated beverage flask mounted to the seatback and that said flask is listed in the specifications sheet as a “design flourish”?
|Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept exterior. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
Every detail of this car was treated like a work of art. From it's long and low with a sleek, swept-back roof, precisely sculpted side panels, to its tightly horizontally vane-ed grill. The cabin is made more inviting by the rear-hinged "suicide doors" that open it up completely.
|Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept interior. Black interior materials in front, white interior materials in back. Notice the 'floating' center console in back. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
The grille is described as “organic and three dimensional, like the pulsing gills of a cruising whale” - never mind that whales have lungs and blowholes, not gills - and has active shutters that open at low speeds for cooling and close at higher velocities to mitigate aero drag. Slender hood vents forward of the A-pillars pull double duty as heat extractors and stylistic embellishments.
|Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept rear view with tapered back window. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
This Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept is a hybrid, with the batteries getting a boost from a 3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine.
Next, continue on deeper to the left (near bottom of show floor graphic) to the Lexus stand where one is greeted by a 'can't miss' electric candy apple-ed yellow colored convertible with a white interior.
[ht: USA TODAY's Chris Woodyard
& Car and Driver's Andrew Wendler
Say hello to the Lexus LF-C2 concept.
The Lexus LF-C2 Concept is nothing if not interesting. Its bold lines and drop top design wowed the crowd at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. With its angular front headlights and villainous front grille, the LF-C2 will be one of the most eye-catching show cars at the LA Convention center.
|Lexus LF-C2 concept from front view. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
However, the LF-C2 edgy looks could not save it from the anger of Lexus' dealers, who would have preferred the company spend its time and efforts on a crossover SUV with three rows of seats, reported Motor Trend.
According to the automotive magazine, Lexus' dealers launched a full-on revolt after the convertible 's reveal at the L.A. Auto Show — leading the automaker to kill off the drop-top that had been in the works for years.
|Lexus LF-C2 concept from rear view. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
The Lexus dealer's preference for another crossover is reasonable. Crossover SUV's are cash cows for luxury automakers. Their high volume and high profit margins form the perfect combination for companies like Lexus — and in this case their dealers.
A high-priced luxury convertible, on the other hand, could sell with a decent profit margin, but it would never be more than a niche product.
[ht: Business Insider's Benjamin Zhang
Walking back in the opposite direction, one may miss a gem of a car and a stand. The Alfa Romeo display area which features the new Alfa Romeo 4C in tucked in behind Maserati which in on a main aisle and the Hyundai/Bentley booth's back wall ... it is located in a bit of an alley way.
|2015 Alfa Romeo 4C. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
After decades of waiting, the Alfa Romeo 4C brings the famous Italian auto company back to North America. While this mid-engine sports car carries a price to compete against the Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche Boxster, and Jaguar F-Types; in reality, this wildly curvaceous Alfa is rawer and more outrageous than exotic cars costing twice the price.
|Alfa Romeo 4C at speed during a recent Motor Press Guild Track Days event held at Willow Springs International Raceway 'Streets' track. Image Credit: Myles Regan (2014)|
The snarling little turbocharged and direct-injected 1.7-liter 4-cylinder engine, nestled behind the passenger cabin, packs a great sound and plenty of power, with 237-horsepower available at 6,600 rpm and a stout 258 lb.-ft. of torque holding steady from 2,200-4,250 rpm.
|Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
There is a full-bore punch of turbo lag, however. Once you get the engine revving to 3,000 rpm, the 4C kicks you in the backside and launches itself down the road. It's actually a whole lot of fun, since the turbo is predictable and the car doesn't start sliding or tug the steering wheel out of your hands. So many turbocharged cars and trucks have absolutely smothered lag to the point of non-existence, it's refreshing to really feel that on/off nature of an old-school turbo at work.
[ht: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS' Nick Kurczewski
Just inside the door as one enters the South Hall, and on your way out to the Concourse Hall, Toyota Motor Company has a few great concepts and conceptual reality on display.
The absolute best of these concepts is wrapped up in a hydrogen fuel cell package called Mirai.
The 2016 Toyota Mirai (which is the word for future in Japanese) is the first-ever hydrogen fuel-cell car to be offered for sale by a major automaker. It goes on sale in Japan next month, and will arrive in North America in the second half of next year in a limited, grid supported area.
|Toyota firmly believes in hydrogen as the right solution for zero-emission vehicles. Toyota and Honda are both loaning money to third-party fuel providers to establish the first of what's projected to be a network of 100 stations in California. That's enough to support more than 10,000 hydrogen vehicles--but it points to the slow pace of growth for this latest clean vehicle technology. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
The four-seat mid-size sedan is effectively an electric car, with a 153-horsepower motor powering its front wheels.
But instead of storing electricity in a large battery pack, the owner refills the car's reinforced high-pressure storage tanks with hydrogen gas, which the car then converts into electricity in a fuel cell.
The big advantage of fuel-cell cars is their ability to refuel in 5 minutes or less and gain about 300 miles of range - something electric cars can't currently do, even with the highest-power DC fast charging variants.
[ht: Green Car Reports' John Voelcker
You remember, Fisker, right? Great designer, penned some knockouts like the Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8, then thought he’d start his own automaker. That didn’t go well at all, even if the plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma was a stunner. We haven’t heard much from the man (aside from that motorcycle he designed) since he left his self-named automaker in early 2013.
But there he was on Thursday at the LA Auto Show Press Days with that guy from Glapin Auto Sports - Beau Boeckmann, President and COO of the greater Galpin Motors Inc., pulling the sheet off the ROCKET, a custom-bodied Mustang with 725 horsepower, bold lines and several square yards of carbon fiber.
[ht: WIRED's Alex Davies]
|Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
“I’ve always wanted to design a Mustang,” Fisker told us. “I just never really had the opportunity in my career because the timing was never right.”
|The interior of the ROCKET has been left mostly Mustang beyond some eye-grabbing red leather and carbon-fiber trim. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
|When checking out the ROCKET from the rear, it's easy to spot the wider fenders that are beautifully blended into the integrated spoiler. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
Henrik Fisker showed Beau Boeckmann early sketches at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and the two parties went from there. "When Henrik showed me his ideas, I got chills - it's literally the most beautiful Mustang I have ever seen," says Boeckmann in the company's release.
After visiting the Concourse Hall, it is on to the West Hall (featuring Ford's re-freshened GT350 Cobra - a not miss) and Petree Hall.
The only automobile company to occupy their own hall is Porsche ... and what an environment to behold. The star at Porsche is the 918 Hybred supercar.
This excerpted and edited from Porsche website -
It took Porsche years to develop a worthy successor to the vaunted Carrera GT supercar, but at last, the 918 is here - and it’s a plug-in hybrid!
|The Porsche 918 Spyder represents an entirely new look at the supercar. It heralds the future of the sports car and you can be there at the start.Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)|
With a combined 887 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque from its mid-mounted V-8 and electric motors - one at each axle - the 918 delivers Bugatti-like acceleration, tenacious handling, and a 211-mph top end.
Pure. Energy. The world's first plug-in hybred supercar! Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)
And of course, it’s every bit as exotic-looking as any near-million-dollar supercar should be, with a low-slung, targa body, and ultra-futuristic cabin.
Again, the possible best way to blow-off the Black Friday shopping rush or walk off Thanksgiving Turkey and/or Ham with all the fixin's would be to take in a day, or two, between now and weekend's end and visit the LA Auto Show running now starting each day at 9am at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Besides, one may just come away with a couple (7) of really cool last minute Christmas gift ideas!
... notes from The EDJE
Labels: Alfa Romeo 4C, Black Friday, Chaparral 2X, Chevrolet, Fuel Cell, Glapin Auto Sports, Infiniti Q80 Inspiration, LA Auto Show, Lexus LF-C2, Porsche 918, ROCKET, The EDJE, Toyota Mirai, Vision Gran Turismo