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    2012 LA Auto Show Coverage


    November 28th, 2012

    Drew Dowdell

    Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com

    Today in Los Angeles, the LA Auto Show starts the winter Auto Show season. The theme of this show seems to be "Smaller and more efficient".

    Ford: Ford is releasing two new engines for the Fiesta. The first is a Fiesta with a fuel efficient 3-cylinder Ecoboost that Ford claims will be the most fuel efficient gasoline car available. At the other end of the spectrum, Ford is releasing a pocket rocket version of the Fiesta called the ST equipped with a 1.6 liter Ecoboost with 197 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque.

    Going up in size, but maintaining the fuel efficiency theme, Ford is also introducing the people mover version of their Transit Connect delivery van. Called the Transit Connect Wagon, it will be available in two wheelbases with two seating configurations and with two engine choices. Configured as a 5-seater and with the 1.6T Ecoboost, the Transit Connect Wagon is estimated at over 30mpg highway.

    Audi: Audi didn't bring any new vehicles to LA this year, but they did bring an interesting announcement for diesel fans. Audi will be offering diesel engines in 4 more vehicles for 2013. The A8, A7, A6, and Q5 will now join the Q7 in offering a 3.0 V6 diesel with 240 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque.

    Chevrolet: Speaking of 400 lb-ft of torque, Chevrolet is releasing a car you'd never expect to see with so much twist. The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is an all electric version of the 2013 Chevrolet Spark mini-car released earlier this year and packs a stump ripping 400 lb-ft of twist. For those of you playing at home, that is more torque than the 6.0 liter V8 offered in Chevy's full size trucks.

    Honda: Virtually synonymous with the term "fuel efficiency" the Civic is the stalwart of the class. Still, Honda is releasing a refreshed version of the Civic just 18 months after the last refresh due to poor reviews of the styling and interior. So far we've only seen a teaser of the visuals, but we don't expect any changes to the powertrain.

    Fiat: Known in the US only for its petite 500 mini-car, Fiat is showing three new versions of the 500 in LA. First up is the California only, electric Fiat 500E with 111 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque good for about an 85 mile range. Then Fiat is introducing the 2013 Fiat 500C Abarth, with 160 HP and 155 lb-ft of torque in standard mode and 170 lb-ft in sport mode. Lastly, there is the 2013 Fiat 500L. Over 2 feet longer than the normal Fiat 500 and also adding a rear set of doors, the 500L brings the Fiat 500 family more into the mainstream.

    Dodge: The only reveal at LA this year is the 2013 Dodge Charger Daytona, basically just an extra trim package on top of the R/T model.

    Chrysler: Following Dodge's lead with just a trim package release, Chrysler is showing the 2013 Chrysler Town & Country S. It's an upscale and sportier version of the Town & Country mini-van with a firmer suspension setup.

    BMW: The only vehicle BMW revealed in LA was a new concept entry for their pending i-Series of sustainable vehicles. The BMW i3 Coupe Concept has a body made of carbon fiber and batteries in the floor promising to maintain the famed BMW handling prowess. As of yet, nothing to the rumor that BMW is bringing diesels to the rest of their lineup.

    Hyundai: After showing us the 2013 Santa Fe Sport at NYIAS back in the Spring, Hyundai brought the production version to L.A. The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe comes in two wheelbases, is powered by a 290 HP V6 and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Next up is a concept form of the Hyundai Veloster called the Veloster C3 Roll Top ... it's a canvas cloth top hatch back.

    We will be updating this entry throughout the show.

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    The L.A. Auto Show has come and gone. As is my tradition, I went opening day. I just haven’t had the chance to post some of my observations, but here are a few.

    Some of the constants of the L.A. Auto Show are the huge, packed Porsche area near the front, the vast Ford display with lots of freebies, crowded BMW and Benz displays, throngs around Cadillac Escalades and concept vehicles, and gleaming pearl white Maseratis. Well, this year it was largely as expected except there weren’t any Ford freebies, Cadillac didn’t bring any concepts, and Maserati sat out the show, along with Ferrari. Porsche:

    20121130131929.jpg

    I spent about 5 hours at the show, the last couple hours at the ride and drives. I drove the Kia Soul! (fun), Mitsubishi i-Miev (torquey and it actually drives like a real car), Toyota Prius c (slow, the regular Prius is a much better car), and Genesis R-Spec sedan (nice, but not quite at the level of a BMW, Benz, or Lexus). I wish I had more time. I wanted to try out a Chevy Spark and some of the Chrysler offerings.

    The updated Honda Civic is a slight improvement in interior materials and styling. The more substantial improvements are supposed to be found in the driving experience with a quieter interior. The last Civic I drove was a 2011 model, and I wasn’t impressed.

    20121130135805.jpg

    The big deal at the Chevy display was the Chevy Spark EV. There were lots of pin on buttons alongside the brochures extolling the electric drivetrains, and there was also a button making station where you could make a couple of buttons using Crayola markers. Fun.

    20121130145208.jpg

    GMC was showcasing the 2013 Acadia. Buick had the updated Enclave. Cadillac didn’t have any concepts but displayed the new XTS, ATS, and a racing version of the CTS.

    This one’s for Balthazar:

    20121130151532.jpg

    And one for ocnblu, the Fisker Karma. The interior is tight and reminded me of the Mazda RX-8 in packaging. Outside, huge panel gaps.

    20121130151918.jpg

    This car, the Bentley Mulsanne, had the best presence:

    20121130171150.jpg

    The new Nissan GT-R:

    20121130134847.jpg

    The new Toyota RAV4 looks a lot like the old one from the side. The front bears an unfortunate resemblance to the Toyota Corolla. The rear loses the outside spare tire, which is instead placed below the rear cargo area.

    20121130171909.jpg

    The Chinese-made Coda electric car, which had a fairly large exhibit area at last year’s show, was nowhere to be found.

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      Press Release on Page 2
       
      Source: Infiniti
      Photos: Drew Dowdell
       



      Page 1 of 2 1 2 → Last »



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    • By Drew Dowdell
      Infiniti revealed their newest small crossover at the LA Auto Show today. Slotting in below the recently enlarged Infiniti QX40, the QX30 arrives staying true to the looks of the Infiniti QX30 Concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2015.
       
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      Press Release on Page 2
       
      Source: Infiniti
      Photos: Drew Dowdell
       
       
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      We will have additional pictures and a up close look at the Ford Escape after the Ford Press Conference tomorrow. In the meantime, you can follow all of our 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage on our dedicated LA Auto Show page.
       
      Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for up to date alerts from the show.
       

      Album: 2017 Ford Escape
      11 images 0 comments
       
      Source and Photos: Ford Media
       
      Ford Press Release on Page 2
       



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    • By Drew Dowdell
      Ford unveiled an update to their entry for the small crossover segment, the 2017 Ford Escape today ahead of the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
       
      The Escape, one of the best selling vehicles in the segment last year trailing only the Honda CR-V in sales, now looks more like it's big brother the Ford Edge. Inside, the changes are subtle but significant with a reworked center stack and dash pad shape. The overall effect gives the interior are more upscale look.
       
      Under the hood are two new 4-cylinder Ecoboost engines for SE and higher trims while the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder carries over for the base S level trim. A 1.5 liter turbo 4-cylinder is standard on SE and Titanium while a new 2.0T Twin-Scroll is optional.
       
      The 1.5 Ecoboost has a preliminary rating of 180 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque and the 2.0 Ecoboost will boast 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. Both Ecoboost engines will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and feature automatic start/stop to help with city fuel economy. AWD is optional.
       
      The Escape already is known for some of its tech features like the hands free foot activated tailgate, blind spot monitoring, and automatic high-beam control. For 2017 the Escape adds optional Adaptive Cruise Control, Land Keep Assist, Driver Alert system to warn of driver fatigue, and enhanced park assist.
       
      Ford's Sync3 system debuted in the 2016 Ford Escape and carries over for 2017. It can now be paired with a Ford Sync app that allows you to lock and unlock , remote start/shut off, and check the maintenance on your Escape from an app on your phone.
       
      We will have additional pictures and a up close look at the Ford Escape after the Ford Press Conference tomorrow. In the meantime, you can follow all of our 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage on our dedicated LA Auto Show page.
       
      Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for up to date alerts from the show.
       

       
      Source and Photos: Ford Media
       
      Ford Press Release on Page 2
       
       
      FORD LAUNCHING TECHNOLOGY-PACKED NEW ESCAPE; MORE CONNECTIVITY, INNOVATIVE FEATURES MAKE DRIVING SAFER, EASIER
      New Ford Escape gives SUV customers even more of what they want – additional innovative features to make their daily drive safer and easier, greater connectivity, two new EcoBoost® engines and technology that saves fuel in heavy traffic Escape is first Ford vehicle in the world with SYNC® Connect – customers can unlock and lock their doors, start engine, even locate vehicle through smartphone app Driver-assist technologies including enhanced active park assist, lane-keeping system, and adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support make driving easier and safer Environmentally friendly Auto Start-Stop standard with Escape’s two new EcoBoost engines – a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll; technology shuts off engine in common stops so the vehicle uses no gas, improving fuel economy by 4 percent to 6 percent in stop-and-go traffic

      New Escape Tech Specs
      New Escape Fact Sheet
      New Escape Tech on Deck
       

      LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2015 – The popular Ford Escape SUV is newly engineered to make customers feel unstoppable – with even more driver-assist technologies to help enable safer and easier driving, new mobile connectivity that allows owners to interact with their vehicle from anywhere through a smartphone app, and two new efficient EcoBoost® engines.
      The new Escape is the first Ford vehicle in the world with available SYNC® Connect, allowing users to unlock doors, check fuel level and even locate where a vehicle is parked.
      To help drivers feel more confident behind the wheel, driver-assist technologies available for the new Escape include adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support, a lane-keeping system and enhanced active park assist. That’s all packed in a vehicle that has been redesigned from the inside out, including a driver and front passenger area upgraded with more storage space and mobile device charge ports.
      “The compact SUV segment is the largest and most competitive in the United States, and the new Escape delivers even more of what our customers want – more technology they can really use to make their daily drive safer and easier,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas.
      SYNC Connect keeps drivers in touch with remote vehicle access
      Need to lock your new Escape from across town? There is an app for that.
      With SYNC Connect, owners can remotely start their vehicle and schedule future starts, as well as lock and unlock their Escape using their smartphones. The technology provides vehicle location, as well as key vehicle information such as tire pressures, battery and fuel levels.
      SYNC Connect, available with SYNC® 3 for the new Escape, comes with complimentary activation for five years. A user enables the system through a two-step authentication process designed to protect personal information. SYNC 3 features faster performance, conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface.
      Driver-assist technologies SUV drivers want
      Other driver-assist features available help make the daily commute safer and easier for drivers of the new Ford Escape:
      ·Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support: Sensors detect when Escape is approaching a slow-moving vehicle, and adjust cruise control accordingly Enhanced active park assist: Provides steering assistance to park the vehicle in a parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spot, and pull out from tight parallel parking spots; driver controls brake, accelerator and shifter. Technology includes side park distance control Lane-keeping system: The system includes lane-keeping alert, which alerts drivers when they drift unintentionally from their lane, and lane-keeping aid, which provides steering assistance to guide an unintentionally drifting vehicle back into its lane Driver Alert System: Using data from the lane-keeping system, the Driver Alert System can detect signs of fatigued driving and provide a warning on the instrument cluster

      Already available driver-assist features for the new Escape include:
      Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert: BLIS® can alert drivers when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot in a neighboring lane. An indicator light provides a warning in the side mirror corresponding to the side on which the vehicle is approaching Hill-start assist: The feature holds the vehicle stationary on a hill long enough for the driver to transition from brake to gas pedal Auto high-beam control: System automatically switches from high to low beams, and vice versa, depending on ambient lighting Hands-free, foot-activated liftgate: Opens liftgate with the simple kick of a key fob-carrying customer’s foot beneath rear bumper – perfect for those whose hands are loaded with gear

      Two new EcoBoost engines with Auto Start-Stop
      Escape is the first Ford vehicle to make Auto Start-Stop standard with either of two EcoBoost engines new to the model – a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll. The technology senses when the vehicle is sitting idle and shuts off the engine to conserve fuel, resulting in a 4 percent to 6 percent improvement in fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic. The engine restarts automatically – in less than half a second – when the driver releases the brake pedal.
      “Auto Start-Stop is the equivalent of turning off the lights when you leave a room, or turning off a water faucet when you’re done washing dishes,” said Milton Wong, Escape chief engineer. “It’s a high-tech approach to more efficient driving.”
      Escape SE and Titanium trim levels come standard with the new 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, while the powerful new twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost is optional. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line, with new paddle-shift technology available for Escape SE and Titanium.
      The twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque, along with greater efficiency and improved noise, vibration and harshness performance. New pistons provide a higher, more efficient compression ratio, and a newly designed, integrated exhaust manifold is optimized for the twin-scroll turbo system.
      The aluminum-block, twin-cam 1.5-liter EcoBoost with integrated exhaust manifold is projected to deliver horsepower and torque output comparable to the 1.6-liter – an expected 180 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque.
      Along with the new EcoBoost offerings, the 2.5-liter i-VCT four-cylinder engine carries over as standard equipment for the Escape S series.
      Three trim levels, with new Sport Appearance Package
      Escape customers can continue to select from S, SE and Titanium trim levels, as well as a new Sport Appearance Package available for SE and Titanium.
      Charcoal Black with subtle Deep Space black trim is available for Escape Titanium. Salerno leather seats feature a unique horizontal pattern. Titanium customers can also opt for Medium Stone seats to contrast with the black interior.
      Escape will be offered in three new colors – Canyon Ridge, White Gold and Lightning Blue. Six new wheel designs are also available.
      Built to lead in a growing segment
      Overall SUV sales continue to trend higher – both in North America and around the world. SUVs now account for about one third of the U.S. auto industry, a number Ford projects will grow to 40 percent by 2020. In the United States, SUV sales are expected to exceed 5 million units in 2015 for the first time ever.
      Small SUVs play an increasingly larger role, and Escape remains one of the most popular. Since its launch in 2000, more than 3 million units have been sold in the United States, including a record 306,212 Escape vehicles in North America in 2014. Ford expects Escape sales this year will exceed that figure.
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