First up…Chevy’s Volt took the green car of the year award in a ceremony held Thursday Morning. Later I got to drive it and was impressed. Smoother ride, smoother transition back and forth between EV and gas mode, with much more time in pure EV mode than the prior version. Add in a much more refined, high end materials and fit in finish inside this car is nothing like its hard edged predecessor. I can see easily why it won “Green Car of the Year” for its technilogical and creature comfort advancements. Nice job Chevy.
The rest of the show was very different than years past. No real what on earth were they thinking moments. Tightly curated on the main floors with the really different, unusual and just odd stuff reserved for the Aftermarket Hall where you expect to find oddities.
Making its North American debut was the drop dead gorgeous Alfa Romeo Guilia. I snarked a while back a sexy roadster is a nice way to start an automobile brand here, but you need more. Alfa delivered with the Guilia. You can get details HERE, but the short version is this is a light weight 4 door sport sedan with 505 hp (7lb to horsepower ration which is best in class) and a promised 0-60 of 3.8 seconds. Not everyones cup of tea, but its a good start to rounding out the brand as they roll it out here in the U.S.
Honda showed off its production ready Clarity concept. Its their next generation fuel cell that will go on sale next summer. Its a hydrogen powered fuel cell leaving only water vapor as its only emission.
Subaru showed off its new Impreza in concept form that looks to be production ready. We’re among the biggest markets for the Impreza and its been promised, hinted that a WRX performance model will follow shortly after the introduction. We win when they tune and turn up the volume on the cars as the basic cars benefit with stiffer bodies, better base rigidity that helps with solid driving characteristics.
Scion was one of the big surprises for the show. They showed up with a really different for them automobile…a compact cross over with long sweeping curvaceous lines, very different from the cube cars they started with. The Scion C-HR promises to be the direction Toyota takes the brand in coming years.
Audi pulled off a surprise for us as well. I’ll have video later from the press conference on my youtube channel, but short version is they have an all electric quattro SUV coming our way in the next few years. They are working on partnering with others to build a grid of charging stations to supplement the already good range predicted (300 miles) to make it possible to easily travel across the country and road trip it. The Etron Quattro is expected to hit stores in the next few years, not just California but nationwide. By 2025 Audi predicts 25% of its fleet witll be electric cars.
Ford showed off its Focus RS. A hot hatch near the top of the pile with 350+ horsepower with four wheel drive and a hooning setting…actually Ford speak its drift control, but you know as well as I do its real name.
Volkswagen didn’t have any TDI’s to be shown and was apolgetic for their error in setting the cars to fake emissions tests with promise to make the customers whole. What they did show was the simply beautiful all electric Golf GTE. A muc different auto for them in terms of styling than the upright econoboxes they produce now…long, low and hard chiseled swooping lines.
The Los Angeles Auto Show runs now through November 29, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. All the details on the show HERE on their Web site.
More pics of the Auto Show and they lay of the land in my flickr album. All pics here by me.