Podcast: 2010 L.A. Auto Show Edition

The L.A. Auto Show wraps up this weekend and if you haven’t gone yet or won’t be able to make the trip, check out our bonus podcast this week. Editors Joe Wiesenfelder, Kelsey Mays and Mike Hanley discuss all the hits and misses and why the show was just so darn busy.

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By David Thomas | December 1, 2010 | Comments (2)

Lotus Shows Future Lineup in L.A.

2013 Lotus Elan
It would be impressive for a Toyota or a GM to show five all-new cars at a single auto show. For an exotic British automaker whose U.S. sales in 2009 amounted to some 600 cars, it’s virtually unprecedented. But that’s exactly what Lotus did, bringing the five models it unveiled at the Paris Motor Show to Los Angeles. The cars – three two-door sports cars, a hardtop convertible and a sedan concept – represent Lotus’ effort to push its lineup from five-figure performance models into six-figure exotic cars by 2015.

We had a ringside spot to all the action. KISS singer Paul Stanley took the wraps off the Elite – a 600-plus-horsepower hardtop convertible that Lotus calls its “ultimate gentleman’s car.” Sharon Stone unveiled the Esprit, a resurrection of the brand’s original V-8 supercar. Billy Baldwin unveiled the V-6 Elan, a nameplate last built in the 1990s. Lotus also had a redesigned Elise, set to arrive around 2015, as well as a four-door Eterne concept.

All five were in early form, as just about anything this far off might be. The gang represents a shapely direction one might expect, given the cars that came before the current Elise and Exige. Our favorites were the new Elise and Elite, as both cars’ proportions benefit from minimal front overhang.

Words don’t do the lineup justice. Check out the photos below and let us know what you think. We snapped the Elite, Esprit, Elan and Elise.

By Kelsey Mays | November 24, 2010 | Comments (4)

2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Video

We’ve already seen and tested the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, but that was the Japanese version of the electric vehicle. The U.S. version is slightly larger, comes with more safety features and obviously puts the steering wheel on the left side of the car. While these changes allow the car to be sold on in the U.S., the EV will compete against a similarly priced Nissan Leaf when it gets here, according to senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder.

By Colin Bird | November 24, 2010 | Comments (0)

2011 Dodge Charger Video

For the 2011 model year, Dodge gave its flagship Charger sedan a complete makeover. The new exterior styling accentuates the car’s aggressiveness, and the new interior features nicely finished materials, according to editor Mike Hanley. Visibility has improved, too. There aren’t many sporty, rear-wheel-drive family sedans like this in the U.S. Watch to see if the Charger’s distinctiveness is an advantage in this segment.
By Colin Bird | November 23, 2010 | Comments (0)

VW President Talks Turkey on Jetta, Crossovers ... and Hyundai

Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America
As Volkswagen works hard to grab the title of the world’s No. 1 global automaker, Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, sat down with at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show to discuss the state of America’s top-selling German brand. Browning oversees U.S. operations for VW and Audi, plus the company’s three exotic brands.

The United States represents a large part of that world domination goal, and the VW brand – by far the group’s strongest U.S. seller – needs to compete in core areas. Toward that end, the automaker has moved its redesigned Jetta downstream, slashing the price of the base model to just below $16,000, but it has come at a cost. VW has endured criticism, including ours, for cheapening the Jetta’s interior. Yet the new Jetta sells like gangbusters: Sales in October for the Jetta sedan were up 42 percent compared with October 2009.

By Kelsey Mays | November 23, 2010 | Comments (3)

2010 Los Angeles Auto Show: Winners & Losers, Concept Cars

Nissan EllureThis year’s 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show is about real-world production cars. We have extensive posts about the Winners and Losers for cars and SUVs, crossovers and minivans, but our editors also tackled the intriguing concepts under the lights of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

By Colin Bird | November 23, 2010 | Comments (0)

2011 Chrysler 200 Video

For the 2011 model year, Chrysler’s Sebring is no more. Replacing it is a new sedan called the 200. While the name has changed, don't think of the model as an "all"-new car, according to editor Mike Hanley. The Sebring’s DNA remains in this car. The 200 is a vast improvement over its predecessor, but is it enough of an effort for the ultra-competitive midsize-sedan segment? Watch to find out.

By Colin Bird | November 22, 2010 | Comments (10)

2010 Los Angeles Auto Show: Winners and Losers, SUVs, Crossovers and Minivans

2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Five-Door_HEADERThe 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show had so many new vehicles on display that we had to split our Winners & Losers story into two posts. First, editors David Thomas, Joe Wiesenfelder, Kelsey Mays and Mike Hanley weighed in on cars and convertibles. In this round, they take on SUVs, crossovers and minivans.

By David Thomas | November 22, 2010 | Comments (5)

2010 Los Angeles Auto Show: Winners and Losers, Cars

2011 Dodge Avenger Automakers are certainly experiencing a rebound these days as sales are climbing. The boost in their coffers has led to an explosion of new models, and the auto-show season is the time to introduce them to the world. This makes our days harder — and the list of winners and losers a lot longer. In alphabetical order, see which debuts dazzled and which fizzled in the eyes of our editors, David Thomas, Joe Wiesenfelder, Kelsey Mays and Mike Hanley. Next up will be the SUVs, crossovers and minivans.

By David Thomas | November 22, 2010 | Comments (12)

Fiat U.S. CEO Bullish on 500's Debut

Fiat U.S. CEO Bullish on 500's DebutMany at Chrysler are looking to Fiat to help fill one of the automaker’s biggest product holes: a unique small car that gets good mileage. Fiat USA CEO Laura Soave spoke with at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, and she is expecting big results from the little coupe.

“We’re still pretty confident we’re going to achieve 50,000 units for America” annually, Soave said, once consumers have adopted the 500. To begin building toward that number, Fiat has announced a network of urban Chrysler dealers, who will have a mini showroom inside their main showroom for the 500. Those showrooms will be “a very simple, modern design space that has a design center,” she said.

By Patrick Olsen | November 22, 2010 | Comments (16)

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