November 28th, 2012
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.
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.