Chrysler Group: Chrysler didn’t show any new models, but it did show some awesome updated and special edition models. And of course, this is the Los Angeles debut of the 2013 SRT (Street Racing and Technology) Viper.
Ford: Ford had several interesting new models in Los Angeles. The biggest news, of course, was the LA premier of the all-important 2013 Fusion. It’s a volume leader for Ford and with Aston Martin-ish handsome face, it will be a serious treat to the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and Volkswagen Passat. The only engines offered will be 4-cylinder, with the top of the line being a 2.0L EcoBoost making 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The Fusion Hybrid is rated at 47 mpg – city or highway, besting the Camry, Sonata and Optima hybrids as well as the Passat TDI.
Ford’s Mustang is getting very old and is due to be replaced in the Spring of 2014 with an all-new, completely modern model to celebrate Mustang’s 50th Anniversary. In the meantime, Ford just keeps adding horsepower and styling packages to keep up interest.
Ford also introduced a refreshed 2014 Fiesta. The headline in the redesign isn’t the exterior, but that for the first time in decades, it will be offered with a 1 liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine. The little mill whips out 123 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque and should be good for at least 40 mpg highway.
To please the enthusiast crowd, Ford also showed the 2014 Fiesta ST.
Ford is jumping back into the minivan market, albeit in a completely different way. Ford’s little Transit Connect commercial van has been selling well since it went on sale a few years ago. Now it’s time for a refreshed Transit Connect and with that refresh comes a consumer minivan option. It’s definitely a Euro-flavor van as it’s quite tall and shorter than something like a Chrysler Town & Country. I think it will find a new type of buyer – a family which may not want a traditional minivan or a big SUV. I think it’s pretty cool!
Honda: The big news was the redesign of the Honda Civic for the 2013 model year. However, I’ll cover that in another post as it happened on Day 2 of the auto show.
Honda did have an interesting little hybrid concept called an EV-STER and it also showcased the new 2013 Plug-In Accord Hybrid.
Hyundai: The big reveal was the 2014 Santa Fe – long wheel-base version. However, I’ll cover that on Day 2. On Day 1, the fun Concept Veloster Roll Top opened some eyes. If you don’t like the Veloster, you won’t like the Concept, but I really like the sporty and high-style concept of the Veloster, so the Roll Top concept for an active lifestyle hit the right note.
Infiniti: The LA Auto Show got nothing from Nissan’s luxury brand. The LE Concept has made the rounds of auto shows for over a year now, finally landing in LA. Is this its final resting place? The LE is based on the all-electric Nissan Leaf platform and it shows nicely, but I was tired of seeing it in photos before I was bored seeing it in person. Hey, Infiniti, time for some new product, right? And I don’t mean the JX – a luxury version of the Nissan Pathfinder SUV.
Jaguar: The 2014 Jaguar F-Type roadster was probably the highlight of the LA Auto Show. I have more pictures of it from Day 2 that I will put in another post. There’s no denying the Sexy Kitty and the F-Type is a sure hit, even if it’s a low volume one. It’s more of a halo car for Jaguar, something the brand sorely needed. The Old XK Cat has been face lifted more times than Joan Rivers and while we will eventually get a new XK, I almost don’t care as the F-Type is so delicious.
Jaguar also showed an updated XF sedan. The screaming blue example on the floor refuses to be ignored. I have more pictures from Day 2 which I’ll put in another post.
Kia: The Kia Sorento mid-size SUV is all new for 2014. It features both four and six-cylinder engines and improved fuel economy. It’s much more stylish than the Toyota Highlander.
Lexus: Toyota’s luxury division didn’t have anything new for the LA Auto Show, but it did have some very cool (albeit recycled) concept cars.
On the production side, the GS F-Sport models are looking good.
Lincoln: The big news is the 2013 MKZ, which was introduced on Day 2 of the show, so I’ll cover it in a subsequent post. But lucky for the press, and only on Day 1, Lincoln brought a collection of classic Lincolns.
To be continued in the next post, 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show Part 3