Archive for the ‘Toyota’ Category


Today I began my search for an all-electric city car.

There is a fairly limited selection of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) on the market, but I’m lucky to live in California which is ground zero for the nascent industry. While Tesla and its Model S grab most of the headlines, its lofty price tag (usually around $90,000+) renders it unobtainable for average consumers.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) requires a small percent of  the vehicles sold by large manufacturers in California to be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). Zero emission vehicles are generally plug-in (battery) electric vehicles (PEV) while a very small number are powered by hydrogen fuel cells (FCEV).  California offers a generous $2,500 rebate if you purchase or lease a ZEV.  This is in addition to a federal tax credit of $7,500 for the purchase of an EV.

To clarify things, the federal tax credit is a “use it or lose it” credit. In other words, if you don’t use the whole credit in the year  you purchase the EV, you lose it.  This is great for wealthy customers who can afford a $100,000 Tesla Model S and likely pay more than $7,500 a year in federal income taxes. But the credit may be much more difficult to use if your income and car budget dictate a much more modestly-priced car.

This is where a lease is useful. When you lease an EV, the leasing company is able to use the federal credit to reduce  your lease payments. That’s why car companies like Fiat can offer a fully-loaded, $33,150 500e for $199/month for 36 months with only $999 down.  You see, when the credit is used by a business (in this case the Fiat’s captive finance company), it’s treated as a normal business credit which can be carried forward for up to 20 years.  As an individual taxpayer, you’re screwed.

The California rebate is just that: a cash rebate for the purchase OR lease of an ZEV. The lease must be for at least 36 months to qualify. And anyone, regardless of income or how much tax you pay, can claim the rebate.

So what’s a “compliance car” and why do I keep hearing that hurled at these EVs as a pejorative?

2014 Toyota RAV4 EV

2014 Toyota RAV4 EV

The 2014 Toyota RAV4 that I tested is a classic “compliance” car.  It was created solely to comply with the CARB zero emission vehicle requirements.

There is a misconception that just because a car was created solely to comply with regulations that it must be somehow half-baked. You know, they just rip out a conventional powertrain and stuff in an electric motor and a battery.  But while many of the compliance cars (e.g., Chevy Spark EV, Ford Focus EV, Fiat 500e, Honda Fit EV, Smart fortwo ED, Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Volkswagen e-Golf) on the surface appear to be cynical ploys to mollify the crazies in California, they are every bit as entertaining and capable as non-compliance cars (cars engineered and manufactured to be profitable and sold worldwide) like the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and BMW i3.

It’s believed that most compliance cars aren’t profitable. For example, last May, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne made headlines by asking people not to buy the Fiat 500e because he said FCA loses $14,000 on each one.  With no other ZEV in its portfolio, FCA needed to make the 500e to comply with the CARB rules.  It’s likely that Toyota loses a lot on each RAV4 EV, but it’s a drop in the bucket to a company as big and profitable as Toyota.

Toyota has a long history with Tesla. “Long” is a relative term when it comes to Tesla, which was only created in 2003. Way back in 2010, Toyota made a $50 million investment in Tesla and then nearly gave away to Tesla, at the bargain price of $42 million,  the shuttered manufacturing facility of New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) in Freemont, California.  Concurrently, Toyota and Tesla announced an agreement to develop an electric RAV4.  Tesla agreed to supply the powertrain (motor, battery, etc.) and electronics/electronic management software and Toyota did the rest of the engineering and manufacturing.  The old NUMMI plant is now the worldwide manufacturing plant for the Tesla Model S and the upcoming Model X.

Tesla provides the motor for the 2014 Toyota RAV4 EV.

Tesla provides the motor for the 2014 Toyota RAV4 EV.

Toyota never really tried very hard to market the RAV4 EV. It’s $50,625 (before federal tax credit), which is $15,000 more than a Nissan Leaf SL with a smaller battery but similar range.  It’s also about the same prices as a fully-loaded BMW i3, with none of the premium style and quality of the BMW.  When it was introduced in September of 2012, it was offered on lease for $599/month for 36 months with $3,500 down. Not many moved off dealer lots.

What got my attention was Toyota’s lease offer of $279/month for 36 months with $4,999 down.  When I shopped for the car on October 1, 2014, I was told that Toyota was still offering a similar deal to move the remaining 2014 inventory.  According to Toyota’s website, the latest offer is $289/month/36 months (12,000 miles/year) with $4,500 down. According to InsideEVs.com, Toyota needs to sell approximately 2,600 RAV4 EVs to satisfy its CARB quota and, as of October 1, they estimate there are around 470 left – or about a 2-month supply.

The 8 inch color infotainment screen is beautiful on the Toyota RAV4 EV.

The 8 inch color infotainment screen is beautiful on the Toyota RAV4 EV.

The 2014 RAV4 EV comes fully loaded – with no option packages or trim levels. Your only choice is the color: Classic Silver Metallic, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Blizzard (White) Pearl.  It’s chock full of goodies: In addition to the usual array of electronic stability nannies, the RAV4 EV sports an 8″ high-definition color infotainment touch-screen running Toyota’s latest generation Entune platform with a bunch of music apps and a specialized suite of EV applications including the location of charging stations and energy consumption. Naturally there is dual zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, auto-dimming mirrors, automatic headlights, LED running lights and taillights, HomeLink, backup camera, a manual tilt/telescope steering column and the same Smart Key and shifter from the Prius.

The instrument panel, center stack and electronic shifter are all unique to the RAV4 EV. The rest is pure stock, cheap, RAV4.

The instrument panel, center stack and electronic shifter are all unique to the RAV4 EV. The rest is pure stock, cheap, RAV4.

The RAV4 EV is relatively sporty. It boasts zero-60 in 7 seconds and a top speed of 100 mpg – faster that almost any other battery-electric vehicle except the Tesla Model S. The AC induction motor has a maximum 154 hp and up to 273 lb-ft of torque in Sport mode (218 lb-ft in Normal mode).  Just to contrast, the Nissan Leaf’s motor puts out 107 hp with 187 lb-ft torque and, according to Car & Driver, it takes a leisurely 10.2 seconds to hit 60 mph. Ouch.

Of course, if you keep it in Sport mode and drive with a heavy foot, you won’t get the claimed 103 miles per charge with the 41.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.  With the standard 10 kW onboard (SAE J1772) charger and the appropriate (240V, 40A) plug, the battery can fully recharge in 5-6 hours.  These are very important numbers when comparing battery-electric vehicles. The bigger the battery pack, the better. Just ask Tesla with it’s mammoth 85 kWh pack for a 260+ mile range. And the higher-capacity charger allows for faster charging.

The RAV4 EV cargo space looks completely normal. You'd never know there is a battery under all that.  Very handy.

The RAV4 EV cargo space looks completely normal. You’d never know there is a battery under all that. Very handy.

Like the ICE (green-speak for internal combustion engine) RAV4, it’s a handy little 4-door CUV. And also like the last-generation RAV4, it suffers from very cheap plastics, cheap cloth manually-adjusted seats and hard surfaces everywhere. It’s kind of a buzz-kill when you’re talking about 50 large.  With the battery sitting on the floor, there is no loss of interior space. It also feels planted, with a lower center of gravity than the standard RAV4. Of course, it weighs in at whopping 4,032 pounds.

So with all these numbers, what’s it like to drive? It’s utterly conventional and unremarkable except for the silence. With all of the torque instantly available, it’s very fast off the line, which is always exhilarating.  The electric power steering has absolutely no feel, but for a city car with no sporting ambitions, I guess it’s okay. Sitting in stop and go traffic, which represents a major chunk of my in-city driving, it wouldn’t matter. But on the twisties of a canyon road, it wouldn’t inspire much confidence, but I wouldn’t be frightened.

There is no spare tire holder on the back door of the RAV4 EV (there is no spare tire at all). The taillights are slightly different, but otherwise not much to distinguish the EV from the standard RAV4.

There is no spare tire holder on the back door of the RAV4 EV (there is no spare tire at all). The taillights are slightly different, but otherwise not much to distinguish the EV from the standard RAV4.

Visibility was excellent, as you sit up a little bit  high and there is plenty of glass.  In my short drive around the congested streets of Hollywood, it was easy to forget you were in an EV.  Regenerative braking was almost non-existent in normal Drive mode. Push it to B (brake) mode and you could feel some slowing when your lifted off the accelerator – but nothing like the heavy regenerative braking of the BMW i3 and little of the linear, smooth regen-braking of the Model S. The brakes themselves were very spongy, with no feedback. Ugh.

The RAV4 EV has been discontinued by Toyota. But have no fear, the Kia Soul EV will pick up where the RAV4 leaves off, except in a nicer package with more features for less money.

The RAV4 EV has been discontinued by Toyota. But have no fear, the Kia Soul EV will pick up where the RAV4 leaves off, except in a nicer package with more features for less money.

I also didn’t feel confident that the cheap front seats would be comfortable for any length of time and it’s impossible to tell from a test drive if I could find one. But what makes the 2014 RAV4 EV the most tempting is the zippy performance, particularly in Sports mode and its every-day utility.  The only better performance comes in the form of the BMW i3 or the unobtainable Tesla Model S.

After all is said and done, when it comes to an BEV city car, performance isn’t the the only metric.  I need a more comfortable, luxurious cabin with more supportive seats and better tactile and visually-appealing materials. For $50,000 – the RAV4 EV just doesn’t deliver.


Here is the 2015 Porsche Macan, nearly naked with its standard 3.0L V6 engine showing. Note how the hood wraps around the sides, rather than just the top, of the car.

Here is the 2015 Porsche Macan, nearly naked with its standard 3.0L V6 engine showing. Note how the hood wraps around the sides, rather than just the top, of the car.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (2) 2014 Porsche Cayman ext

2014 Porsche Cayman S – even more so, my favorite Porsche. This one ticked every box for options. Lovely, but expensive, of course.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (3) 2014 Porsche Cayman S interior

The interior of the 2014 Porsche Cayman S fit like a hand-tailored glove. Seat adjustments are nearly infinite. Every surface was covered by leather or quality plastics.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (4) 2014 Honda Civic Coupe

I know I’m supposed to care about yet another reboot of the Honda Civic, but I don’t. It looks similar to the 2013 Civic Coupe, but it is different and supposedly better. It would sell whether or not Honda changed it.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (5) 2014 Honda Civic Sedan int

This is the interior of a 2014 Honda Civic Sedan EX with leather and navigation. It’s better than the “refreshed” Toyota Corolla. The seats are still too short for my long legs.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (6) Kia K900 front

The new Kia K900 (don’t call it the K9) is a new flagship rear-drive luxury sedan for Kia. While I wasn’t bowled over by its styling, I thought it was handsome and understated. It’s based on the Hyundai Genesis rear-drive platform and shares greasy bit with the Genesis.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (7) Kia K900 rear

The rear of the Kia K900.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (8) Kia K900 int

The interior of the Kia K900 looked and felt good. Those Koreans sure know how to copy quality. While it’s not German, it is pretty much the match for Infiniti or Lexus. I probably wouldn’t order a car with a white interior, but the show car looked great, right down to the bleached wood accents.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (9) 2014 Kia Soul ext

The Kia Hamsters are back with a new 2014 Soul. It looks much like the first gen Soul, but there are some subtle differences. It sold so well, Kia didn’t want to stray too far from the original formula.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (10) 2014 Kia Soul int

The interior of the Soul is much improved. Plastics and switchgear are better. I got a good feeling sitting there. Seats are better too. I hope they are more comfortable on longer trips.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (11) 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Summer Edition

Poor Mitsubishi. I don’t know if we will see them next year in the US market. They showed a 2013 – yes 2013 – Outlander Sport, Summer Edition.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (12) 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage DE int

Want an entry level car that looks like the interior is 20 years old? Look no further than the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage DE. This thing is stark. I think you will probably see them in rental fleets as I don’t see it being a big seller.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (13) 2014 Mitsubish Mirage DE ext

This is the face of the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage DE. I don’t know how this thing escaped the design studio. Wait, I think it NEVER SAW the design studio. Ugly. The only reason to buy this thing is because of the fuel economy. EPA rates it at 44 mpg highway. But I bet it takes a long time to get to highway speed with a 1.3L 3-cylinder engine.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (14) 2014 Ram 3500 Promaster Cargo Van

This rebadged Fiat commercial van, the 2014 Ram 3500 Promaster Cargo Van, replaces the Mercedes Sprinter van that Dodge/Ram used to sell. It’s ugly, kind of like an unhappy cat fish, but supposedly it’s a good work truck. Note the acres of black plastic around the front and side. This area gets banged up easily in daily work duties, so it’s less expensive to maintain an repair. That’s not a bad idea, but it’s not very pretty.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (15) Nissan GT-R

This Nissan GT-R looked very menacing up on the stand. Very serious boy-racer.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (16) Nissan Sentra Nismo Concept

Finally, a Sentra someone might be excited to buy. This is a Nismo (Nissan Motorsports) Sentra Concept.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (17) Youabian Puma

I’m not sure what it is or why it was at the auto show. While the Youabian Puma is an interesting (train wreck), cartoonishly-large design exercise, there is no way anyone is going to buy one. It’s a Frankenstein mash up. It rides on a Volvo C70 platform (a compact front drive platform). It has headlights from the small Volvo, but taillights from a Buick Enclave. It’s 242 inches long, 93 inches wide and 72 inches tall. The tires are 44 inches tall! The engine is a 7.0L LS7 Corvette V8 mated to a GM 6-speed automatic transmission. The LA-based company wants $1.1 million for it. Right. I’d pass over 3 Ferraris or a Bugatti Veyron for this thing. I know they did this for publicity, but what’s the end game? No investor will touch it and not even Jay Leno would buy it.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (18) Honda Gear Concept Art Center

This is an Art Center student design study. It was labeled as a Honda Gear Concept. It has more personality than a standard-issue Honda Fit.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (19) 1963 Corvette Asteroid Barris Kustoms Rear

I know I included pictures of the 1963 Corvette Asteroid in my coverage of Day 1, but I couldn’t resist more pictures. It is a 1963 model, according to the literature, but no split rear window. It was done by the legendary George Barris of Barris Kustoms.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (20) 1963 Corvette Asteroid Int

Here’s a better shot of the interior of the 1963 Corvette Asteroid.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (21) 2014 Cadillac CTS front

2014 Cadillac CTS V-Sport

LAAutoShow Day 2 (22) 2014 Cadillac CTS rear

Rear of the 2014 Cadillac CTS 3.6L 4 (AWD).

LAAutoShow Day 2 (23) Cadillac Elmiraj

Another glamour shot of the stunning Cadillac Emiraj concept. Supposedly this is the blueprint for the long rumored rear drive Cadillac flagship.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (24) 2014 Bentley Continental GT Convertible V8

When you can’t afford your Bentley Continental GT Convertible with the 6 liter W-12 engine, you can bet the “budget” version with the V8.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (25) 2014 Bentley Flying Spur

I do like the the new Bentley Flying Spur. Here’s a shot of the front. I had a tail shot in my Day 1 coverage.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (26) 2014 Bentley Mulsanne

The Bentley Mulsanne is about as big and powerful as a locomotive. It’s the most expensive Bentley you can buy and it looks and feels the part of ultra luxury.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (27) 2014 Chevy Camaro ZL1 convertible int

Considering the 2014 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Convertible starts at $61,000, I think you should expect a better interior. Sure you’re paying for the 580 horses, but the the whole interior has the feeling of a Soviet gulag.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (28) 2014 Chevy Camaor ZL1 Convertible ext

At least the exterior of the $61,000 Camaro ZL1 screams fast. Because it IS fast. It also is a giant YELLOW FLAG to your local police department or the CHP looking to issue speeding tickets.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (29) 2014 Chevy Camaro Z28 side

The 2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28 looked fantastic in this matte white paint – like it was frozen in time. Unfortunately it won’t be a factory option. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but it will probably cost more than the ZL1.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (30) 2014 Chevy Camaro Z28 rear

The black carbon fiber spoiler looks great on the 2014 Camaro Z/28. Available in the Spring of 2014 as a late 2014 model. Go figure. Why not a 2015?

LAAutoShow Day 2 (31) 2014 Chevy SS rear

This 2014 Chevrolet SS is very disappointing. I know it will drive great because it’s based on the dearly departed Pontiac G8. But for $45k (no options), I want something that looks the part of a 415 HP muscle car with a Corvette V8.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (32) 2014 Chevy SS front

The front of the 2014 Chevy SS screams “rental” not “muscle.”

LAAutoShow Day 2 (33) 2014 Chevy SS int

The interior of the Chevy SS is better than the Camaro, but still not exactly lavish for something that costs as much as a BMW 535i.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (34) Chevy Colorado Lifeguard concept

This Lifeguard Beach Patrol Concept looks like a good use for Chevy’s new mid-size Colorado pickup truck.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (35) Chevy Tahoe Black from SEMA Concept only

This 2014 Chevy Tahoe Black was a hold over from the SEMA show in Las Vegas. As it stands, it’s only a concept, but I have no doubt it would find lots of buyers if GM gave it the green light.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (36) 2014 Chevy Spark side

This poor little 2014 Chevrolet Spark looked lonely so I took its picture. Will it find love from a teenage girl? I don’t know.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (37) 2014 Chevy Spark int

The interior of that 2014 Chevy Spark screams RENTAL, not “Buy Me.”

LAAutoShow Day 2 (38) 1963 Chevy Corvair Greenbrier Van

Love, love, love this 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Greenbrier Van. It was used as a video booth for the Auto Show, but I’m told it drives perfectly and makes it to shows all over So Cal. Fantastic.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (39) 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Zegna Edition

This photo doesn’t do justice to the interior of this special edition Zegna Maserati Quattroporte. The seats, dash, headliner and almost all the touch surfaces are tailored in expensive designer fabric. Ermenegildo Zegna is a high-end Italian fashion designer.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (40) 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Zegna rear

Only 100 Zegna Edition Maserati Quattroportes will be produced. The nice gentleman didn’t have a price, but if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. The base Quattroporte starts at $108,000, but this isn’t the base model.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (41) 2015 Maserati Ghibli side

The 2015 Maserati Ghibli shares some chassis and system components with the Chrysler 300, but it’s no Chrysler. It’s affordable for a Maserati, starting at $65,600.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (42) 2015 Maserati Ghibli int

You can see a bit of the Chrysler 300 in the 2015 Maserati Ghibli, but most people won’t see much DNA swap. It looks and feels the part and costs about as much as a BMW 550i (but without the V8). Still, it’s more distinctive and exclusive than the BMW.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (43) Jaguar CX17 concept SUV

You knew this was inevitable. As luxury manufacturers chase profits, everyone wants in on the SUV gravy train. The Jaguar CX17 Concept is quite handsome. I like its proportions.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (44) Jaguar CX17 concept SUV

The Jaguar CX17 has a great interior, but that will never see production. But make no mistake, Jaguar will get an SUV, sooner than later. The demand and profit potential is too much to resist, even if it doesn’t fit the Jaguar brand DNA.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (45) 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe white side

I wanted to add some car porn shots of the beautiful 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (46) 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe Rear R

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe rear.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (47) 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe red side

2015 Jaguar F-Type R in Red.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (48) Lexus IS F-Sport chassis

Lexus had this fun display. It takes you under the chassis of the IS F-Sport. Lexus desperately wants you to think of the brand as sporty, so this was an all-out effort. But not many people I know think of Lexus as sporty. Luxurious and quiet. Well made. But not sporty.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (49) 2014 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport

See? More sporty Lexus. This is the 2014 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (50) 2015 Volvo V60 int

In my Day 1 coverage, I had an exterior shot of the 2015 Volvo V60 Sport Wagon. This is the inside of the V60. It’s pretty much the same as the S60 sedan.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (51) 2014 BMW 335i GT xDrive side

This is the 2014 BMW 335i GT xDrive. Yeah, I know, it’s a mouthful. Still, I don’t see many takers. The extra room in the back seat was to cater to the Chinese market. It won’t find many buyers in the U.S.

The 2015 BMW i8 looks good from every angle.

The 2015 BMW i8 looks good from every angle.

A good side shot of the BMW i8.

A good side shot of the BMW i8.

I guess I haven't gotten tired of the 2015 BMW i8 yet. Very exotic to my eye.

I guess I haven’t gotten tired of the 2015 BMW i8 yet. Very exotic to my eye.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (55) 2014 BMW K 1600 GTL Exclusive

This is quite the cruiser motorcycle. The 2014 BMW K 1600 GTL Exclusive. God knows how much it is, but not cheap.

Look what showed up in LA! The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 Crossover.

Look what showed up in LA! The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 Crossover.

The 2015 GLA250 is meant to do battle with the BMW X1. It almost looks like the X1. But the GLA is small. Maybe too small for some.

The 2015 GLA250 is meant to do battle with the BMW X1. It almost looks like the X1. But the GLA is small. Maybe too small for some.

There is a good amount of cargo space in the GLA. Far more than its cousin, the CLA 4-door coupe.

There is a good amount of cargo space in the GLA. Far more than its cousin, the CLA 4-door coupe.

The interior of the 2015 GLA250 is pretty much the same as the CLA.

The interior of the 2015 GLA250 is pretty much the same as the CLA.

This is the front of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG. Very nice if you can afford it.

This is the front of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG. Very nice if you can afford it.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (61) Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept reaar left

By far, the show-stopping concept car was the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo. This is the kind of imagination I like to see at an auto show. Simply fantastic from any angle.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (62) Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept rear

The rear of the Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept. Wow!

LAAutoShow Day 2 (63) Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept Side

Calling Batman! The semi-gloss metallic paint makes the car look almost surreal. Like you are looking at a futuristic film.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (64) Mercedes GLA45 AMG concept

This is a thinly-disguised concept car. The inevitable AMG version of the GLA will be very close to this concept Mercedes GLA45 AMG.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (65) 2014 Mercedes SLS AMG front

I know it’s been discontinued, but the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with the gullwing doors is a showstopper, every time. Love the matte paint.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (66) 2014 Mercedes SLS AMG side

The gullwing doors of the SLS AMG Coupe are quite impractical, but who doesn’t want to be seen getting out of this for a red carpet event?

LAAutoShow Day 2 (67) 2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet int

Mercedes has its CLA and GLA, but Audi has an all-new A3. This is the interior of the A3 Cabriolet. Quite nice, considering it’s around $30,000 to get in the door of a sedan. Not sure how much the Cabriolet will be.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (68) 2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet front left

The 2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet looks terrific and certainly telegraphs Audi family resemblance and DNA.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (69) 2015 Audi A3 sedan rear

2015 Audi A3 Sedan. Hopefully we will get the A3 Sportsback again. But so far, no commitment from Audi.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (70) 2015 Audi A3 sedan front

The front of the 2015 Audi A3 sedan.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (71) 2015 Audi S3 side

You knew that if there was an A3, there would be an S3. We probably won’t see it on sale for another year, either as a 2015 or 2016 model.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (72) 2015 Audi S3 int

The interior of the Audi S3.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (73) 2014 Audi SQ5 front

Want a sporty Crossover? Can’t wait for the Porsche Macan Turbo? Well look no further than the 2014 Audi SQ5.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (74) 2014 Audi SQ5 int

Interior of the 2014 Audi SQ5.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (75) Audi A3 e-tron concept hybrid

The Audi reps wouldn’t give me any timing or specs for this A3 e-tron. But they did say that it would be a hybrid, not pure electric drive.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (76) 2014 Audi R8 V10 ext

Ah, more car porn. Here’s a very striking Audi R8 V10.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (78) VW Cross Blue Coupe Twin Drive BlueMotion Concept rear

This is the very long-named Volkswagen Cross Blue Coupe Twin Drive BlueMotion Concept. Why they are calling an SUV a coupe is beyond me, but these days anything with a low roof-line is called a coupe.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (77) VW Cross Blue Coupe Twin Drive BlueMotion side

It’s almost a given that this will be produced, probably at VW’s Chattanooga, TN plant. VW needs a 7-passenger SUV beyond the Touareg, so this will be it.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (79) VW Cross Blue Coupe Twin Drive BlueMotion Concept interior

The interior of VW’s Cross Blue is nearly production ready. Some of the show car gloss will be lost, but the shapes and placement of controls is pretty much how it will be for production.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (80) 2015 VW e-Golf

This is another shot of the 2015 e-Golf. An Electric Golf? Sure, I bet it’s fun to drive too.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (81) 2014 Mazda 3 front

The 2014 Mazda 3

LAAutoShow Day 2 (82) 2014 Mazda 3 hatch side

A side view of the 2014 Mazda 3 hatchback.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (83) Mazda Clubsport 3 Concept

This is the Mazda Clubsport 3 Concept. Fun for the show, and it probably previews the future Mazdaspeed 3.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (84) Bass Pro Shop Toyota Tundra

Yeah, I know. Who cares about the Toyota Tundra, right? I mean it doesn’t sell very well, nowhere near Toyota’s lofty projections. But you have to love this Bass Pro Shop edition.

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While this was advertised as a “Concept” it pretty is exactly the 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

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This is the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

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This is the all-new 2014 MINI Cooper. It’s a little bit bigger, and a little more frugal.

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Here’s the 2014 MINI Cooper S Hardtop.

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The interior of the 2014 MINI Cooper S is where the big changes occur. Note that the toggle switches no longer operate the windows and that the middle red switch is the ignition!

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I like the center instruments on this MINI Cooper S. The plastics are upgraded, not as hard and tinny.

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It’s kind of hard to tell here, but the power window stitches are on the driver’s arm rest, where they should be. Finally.

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The sports seats (optional) on the new MINI Cooper have better, extendable thigh support. Something I found lacking on my Clubman when I owned it. Nice to see the upgrade.

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Yes, a little bigger and a little more room in the MINI Cooper.

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2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop

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The John Cooper Werks version of the MINI Cooper S Coupe.

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Rear of the 2015 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (97) 2015 Subaru WRX Limited rear

This is the 2015 Subaru WRX Limited. I hope it will satisfy hardcore fans of the Subaru WRX.

LAAutoShow Day 2 (98) VIA Motors Extended Range Electric Pickup Truck

Here’s something different. This is the VIA Motors Extended Range Electric Pickup truck. The window says it’s good for 800 hp and 50 mpg. I don’t know the price, but it won’t be cheap with all those batteries.