One the things you get in Press Days of the Los Angeles Auto Show that you don’t get in the public days is the grand reveals and Green Car Drives. It is physically impossible as a party of one to hit every press conference so I have to pick and choose which to attend so I can get in and see all the cars on display and photograph them. Trust me its a lot of work and not all party and booze and great food. There is some of that, but the thrust of the 2 day event is press conferences and not all are wowsers.
Audi was a real surprise. Instead of the ususal hype and bluster, they started with an apology for the current diesel kerfuffle with fudged testing vs operation parameters. They promised to earn their customers respect back. Then they went into the discussion on the future of Audi relying on electric cars, first to come is the A3 E-tron and soon to follow an all electric SUV the E-tron Quattro in a few years. By 2025 Audi expects 25% of all cars they sell to be electric.
Buick revealed its next generation LaCrosse during press days as well. Had to imagine the volume of cars they sell in China is over 4X what they sell here. The LaCrosse is their flagship car and their best selling car in North America.
The surprise press conference reveal was from Lincoln, not in the presentation, but in what they had to say. Its as if the last 15-20 years hasn’t happened and they presented themselves as a player in the luxury market. The MKZ has some interesting stats, 30% hybrid take rate nationally, in Los Angeles its a whopping 65% take rate. They are focused on “quiet luxury” not sport sedans, but sedans who do things without drama and fan fare. Topping the nameplates offering is an all wheel drive, twin turbo V6 cranking out 400 horsepower!
One of my favorite parts of Press Days is the Green Car Drive. Candidates for Green Car of the Year, the winners and also rans are available for driving on a predescribed loop where you get to really see what the car is about beyond the pictures in a press kit. ITs hands on, its fun, its informative. Among the green cars I rode in and drove this year was the 2016 Focus Electric. It has had a huge price drop and an increase in content. The MyFord app interfaces with the car making you more connected with what the car and its status as well as operating locks remotely. Aside from that, I still can’t quite wrap my head around the absolute silence this car operates under.
More pics of the Auto Show and they lay of the land in my flickr album. All pics here by me.