Feature and photos by Mike Schlee
2012 L.A. Autoshow
Every year, the L.A. Auto Show rivals the Detroit, Chicago and New York auto shows as a marquee destination for automobile manufacturers to showcase their latest and greatest vehicles in North America. This year, the L.A. Auto Show featured 50 vehicles that were making their world, North American, or auto show debuts. The most significant vehicles released at the show have already been covered in separate previews on our pages, or will be soon; but there were many more interesting vehicles on display than just those half dozen. So, please allow us to present an additional 20 vehicles that were headline grabbers during the 2012 L.A. Auto Show.
Acura’s flagship sedan will be redesigned for the 2014 model year, and gain a letter. No longer the RL, the all-new RLX will be available with either a 310-hp V6 with front-wheel drive, or a 370-hp V6 with an all-wheel drive hybrid system. The RLX will also be available with Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS), which Acura claims “is the world’s first technology to feature independent and continuous control of the left and right rear-wheel steering (toe) angles”.
ACURA RLX and AUDI TDIs. Click images to enlarge
Audi has added four new TDI models to its line-up and is showing that it is serious about luxury diesel vehicles in North America. The A8, A7, A6 and Q5 will all receive the 3.0-litre TDI clean diesel engine that generates 240 hp with 406 lb-ft of torque. These models will join the Q7 bringing the total number of diesel Audis up to 5. The new TDIs will go on sale later in the 2013 calendar year.
BMW i3 Coupe
Basically, the i3 Coupe is a two-door version of the i3 sedan previewed on our site last month. The i3 coupe will join the i3 sedan when the vehicles go on sale, hopefully later this year. The coupe, which is a closer representation of an actual production car than the sedan, will feature the same electric motor mounted at the rear of the vehicle with the option to add a gasoline generator engine to recharge the batteries and extend range.
BMW i3 COUPE, CHEVROLET CODE 130RS CONCEPT. Click images to enlarge
Chevrolet CODE 130RS/Chevrolet TRU 140S
These two little Chevrolet concept cars aimed at ‘youthful buyers’ made their L.A. Auto Show debut having previously made the rounds at other auto shows. They now feature new paint jobs and the CODE 130RS is equipped with eAssist while the TRU 140S features start-stop technology. Both are powered by Chevy’s 1.4-L Turbocharged ECOTEC 4-cylinder engine.
Taking a page out of MINIs playbook, Fiat is beginning to whip up more and more variants of its 500 sub-compact. The 500e will be an all-electric Fiat that promises to not only be green, but also fun to drive. Power will come from a 111-hp electric motor that will recharge in 4 hours on a level 2 (240v) charger. Range for this little electric should be around the 129 km mark.
FIAT 500E, FIAT 500L. Click images to enlarge
Fiat 500 L
If you are still not convinced Fiat is mimicking MINI’s model portfolio, then behold the MINI Countryman-esc Fiat 500L. The 500L is a larger four-door take on the 500 sub-compact and just like its British counterpart, the styling gets a bit mangled on this larger Fiat. Power will come from a 1.4-L Multi-Air Turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. There will be a choice of six-speed transmissions: a manual and a dual dry clutch automatic.