L.A. Auto Show
The U.S new car show season officially kicked off a new year with the opening of the 2011 L.A. Auto Show.
One of the most important debuts at Los Angeles was the all-new 2013 Ford Escape. Boxy no more, the new Escape adopt a sleeker shape inspired by the Vertrek concept. All four-cylinder power includes a 1.6-liter turbocharged Ecoboost engine with better fuel economy than last year’s Escape Hybrid. Technology includes a revamped My Ford Touch interface and a hands-free tailgate system. Ford also announced styling and power updates for their Flex crossover. Note the absence of Ford’s Blue Oval on the simpler grille. And, the 2013 Ford Mustang GT500 will be rated at a world beating 650 horsepower.
General Motors used L.A. to take the wraps off the production 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan. This front and all-wheel drive four-door replaces both the STS and DTS. The brand’s new flagship is far more dramatic outside, and loaded with luxury and technology inside. Power is from a 300-horsepower direct-injected V6 rated at 28 miles per gallon highway.
The Chrysler Group arrived in L.A. with a U.S.-spec Fiat 500 Abarth. It packs a high performance 1.4 liter turbo-four with brakes and suspension upgrades to match.
Mercedes Benz flexed their muscles with the 2012 Mercedes Benz ML63 AMG. It’s 6.2-liter twin-turbo V8 is rated at a max of 550 horsepower.
Jaguar pounced on LA with its new drop-top XKR-S. It has the same supercharged 550 horsepower V8 as the coupe.
Honda had two big public premieres, the first being the all-new 2013 CR-V compact crossover that we reviewed earlier on this episode of MotorWeek. Also ready for sale is the 2013 Honda Fit EV. The Fit EV has a 100 mile range and a top speed of 90 miles an hour.
Mazda brought their new CX-5 to L.A., yet another dynamic entrant into the compact crossover market.
And Subaru finally took the wraps off its new rear-wheel drive BRZ Sport Coupe. While still labeled a concept, this 2-plus-2 is close to what will be on sale next spring.
Front and center at Infiniti’s showcase was the 2013 JX three-row, seven-seat crossover utility. The JX has the world’s first Back-up Collision Intervention system. It goes on sale next April.
And Hyundai’s big news at L.A. was a redesigned Azera. This often overlooked large sedan adds the brand’s fluid styling and a more efficient V6.
And finally, L.A. is the stage for the annual Green Car of the Year Awards with honors for 2012 going to the new Honda Civic Natural Gas compact sedan.