Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mazda MX5 RF delivered 2 months early to L.A Area Customer at L.A. Auto Show

Photograph courtesy Mazada

Mazda's Holiday Surprise: 2017 MX-5 Miata RF Arrives at Dealers Two Months Early

- First Customer Recognized by MNAO CEO Masahiro Moro at Los Angeles Auto Show -

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- There's plenty to be thankful for this week, but Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has added to that list by announcing that the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF has officially gone on sale in the U.S. The MX-5 RF arrives two months ahead of its originally announced timing due to shifts in the production schedule.

Dave Putter, the first customer to take delivery in the U.S., met with MNAO President and CEO Masahiro Moro onstage at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week to receive his keys ahead of taking home his MX-5 RF Launch Edition the following day. Putter was among the first customers to order one of the 1,000 MX-5 RF Launch Edition vehicles in October and is now the proud owner of his 16th Mazda and his eighth MX-5 Miata.

"Mazda is a unique and special car company that aims to do more than simply sell cars," said Moro. "We want to build lifelong relationships with our customers and fans, providing them a fulfilling ownership experience they couldn't get anywhere else."
Putter's MX-5 RF was air-freighted to Huntington Beach Mazda, where he took delivery. Approximately 500 additional MX-5 RFs will arrive nationwide beginning in early December, followed by wider-scale availability throughout the winter and spring.

The first-ever MX-5 RF gets its name from its exotic KODO design—"Retractable Fastback"—in which its power-operated top can deploy from closed to open or vice versa in a mere 13 seconds. Complementing the World Car of the Year-winning MX-5 roadster, MX-5 RF satisfies the open-air experience of the soft top model but with a vastly different, coupe-like design and premium accoutrements. It comes powered by a free-revving, 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G engine, paired with either a SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, sending power to the rear wheels
Available exclusively in MX-5 RF Club and Grand Touring trim levels and starting from an MSRP of $31,5551, the hardtop MX-5 adds a 4.6-inch TFT color gauge display in addition to its folding roof. It is also the only MX-5 variant available with the liquid-metal-like Machine Gray Metallic paint.

MX-5 RF Launch Edition is based on the Grand Touring model and comes finished exclusively in Machine Gray. It is the only U.S.-bound MX-5 model to have Auburn Nappa leather and a hand-painted black top for the 2017 model year.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.  For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.
1MSRP does not include $835 for destination and handling ($880 in Alaska) or any additional taxes or fees. Dealers set actual sale prices.

Cadillac reveals CT6 Plug-in Hybrid at L.A Auto Show

Its an interesting car. With its competitors over at Mercedes Benz talking full electric cars in the very near future this Plug-in is a step in the right direction.  Full electric ala Tesla (showing for the first time at the L.A Auto Show) would seem to be the better direction to go given the green car mandates in CA.

Its a stylish enough car, certainly doesn't scream butt ugly freak mobile like the big volume hybrids.  But will this take off in green cred conscious Los Angeles?  Hard telling given as we aren't a predictable lot.  We'll know in Spring when it goes on sale if it will be a hit here or not.

For full press release make the jump.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Buick debuts new Cascada Sport at L,A Auto Show

This car was the darling of NAIAS 2 years ago.  Its Buick's Cascada, a compact luxury convertible.  A nice enough car for 2, perfect for those who really don't have to take other passengers.  Yes, there's a back seat, but with only a couple of inches between front seat back and the leading edge of the rear seat you won't get adults that want to keep as friends long back there.  But I digress.

Its a sexy 'mericanized Opel.  In Sport Touring trim  with the Dark Appearance package it appears to have the makings to put this car on the charts for more than a few buyers.  With it already outselling its entry level luxury tourers from BMW and Audi its safe to say this is a big deal for Buick and GM.

Full Press Release after the jump.

3D Printing on a grand scale at L.A Auto Show

This was some pretty amazing stuff. CAD/CAM and then printed 3D from suspension parts to full monocoque chassis to complete cars, the display had it all.  See in in the lobby of the South Hall of the L.A Auto Show now through November 27.

Tickets range in price from $5-12 and can be bought in advance HERE.  I STRONGLY recommend buying tickets in advance, especially for weekends as the lines can be hours long at the door.

Full Press Release after the jump.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Chevy Bolt the Big Winner at L.A Auto Show

Awarded Motor Trends Car of the Year and Geen Car of the Year

Yesterday the coveted Motor Trend Car of the Year was awarded to the soon to be on sale 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.  The car I predicted two years ago when it debuted in Detroit to be the car that kicks Tesla in the crotch and drags it through the dirt.  Under 40K before Federal and CA State taxes this car sits in a comfortably affordable price point with over 200 miles of travel per charge possible.

This morning the Green Car of the Year was awarded to the Bolt at the Los Angeles Auto Show.  Quite an impressive result for the folks at GM.  But I'm not surprised as GM has made electification a priority.

Pic by me, more in the L.A Auto Show flickr Album.  More on the Green Car of the year award after the jump.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio revealed at L.A Auto Show

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio at L.A Auto Show

This is a pretty SUV, about the size of an average mid-size SUV.  Its really a nice proprtioned trucklet crossover thingy that carry's the Alfa design language quite nicely.  The fact it packs a 500+ horsepower drivetran good for sub 4 second 0-60 runs is impressive.  Totally useless in gridlocked DTLA, but impressive if you get to go on a Vegas Run and put it to good use.

More pics for press days at the L.A Auto Show on flickr.  Full press release after the jump.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

2017 Nissan Rogue One World Premiere L.A Auto Show

A friend let me know in advance to get a seat for the Nissan reveal as it was going to be a shock and awe like none other at the L.A Auto Show.   She wasn't kidding.  Laser beams firing, balls of gas ignited, bombs going off, you name it Nissan through it at their new Rouge Star Wars Edition.  Quite the car.

For the full press release full of details, you need to make the jump

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Finalists for North American Car of the Year announced at L.A. Auto Show's Automobility

Finalists for 2017 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) were announced Tuesday at Automobility L.A., the conference that precedes the Los Angeles auto show.

The finalists are:
Car of the Year
  • Chevrolet Bolt
  • Genesis G90
  • Volvo S90
Truck of the Year
  • Ford F-series Super Duty
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Nissan Titan
Utility Vehicle of the Year
  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Jaguar F-Pace
  • Mazda CX-9
The North American Car and Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards honor excellence in innovation, design, safety, performance, technology, driver satisfaction and value.  Initiated in 1994, they are judged about 60 professional automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who work for magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites. They are the longest-running award not associated with a specific publication, a structure that produces a diverse base of jurors.

Jurors evaluated dozens of new vehicles that went on sale this year to determine the finalists.

The award for Utility Vehicle of the Year is new for 2017, in recognition of the growing popularity of SUV-style vehicles. Passenger-oriented minivans are also eligible for Utility of the Year. Vehicles eligible for Truck of the Year include pickups of all sizes and light- and medium-duty commercial vans.

The 2017 Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the year will be announced Jan. 9 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The process of selecting the Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the year starts in June by identifying vehicles eligible for the awards. It includes three rounds of voting.
The voting for finalists and winners is tallied by Deloitte & Touche.

The finalists were announced at Automobility L.A., the conference that precedes the Los Angeles Auto show. It continues with vehicle unveilings and press conferences Wednesday and Thursday. The Los Angeles auto show is open to the public Nov. 18-27 at the Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.

For more information, go to: www.northamericancaroftheyear.org
SOURCE North American Car of the Year
For further information: Mark Phelan, mmphelan@freepress.com

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Los Angeles Auto Show opens this week!

Let's Get This Show on the Road You've waited long enough Los Angeles. The 2016 LA Auto Show is back this week and bigger than ever. November 18-27 at the LA Convention Center.

Whether it’s new car shopping, learning about the latest auto tech or exploring an assortment of customized rides, there is something for everyone. Early entry tickets are available each Friday, online only, for a limited time. Buy Tickets HERE.

What to expect this year? Comparison car shopping, test drives, customized rides, games for the kids and a whole lot more. Plan your day and create your own experience at the 2016 LA Auto Show.  Know before you Go!

They've changed up their bag policy this year, much more restrictive so be aware and plan in advance. The LA Auto Show has implemented a new bag policy for 2016. All bags, purses, backpacks, camera bags and diaper bags larger than 12” x 15” x 6” will NOT be allowed inside the show. All bags will be subject to screening/security check.  Bag Policy Info.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Jeep to introduce 2 new Renegade Models at L.A. Auto Show

Jeep® Introduces Two New Renegade Models

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
  • New 2017 Jeep® Renegade Deserthawk limited-edition model to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show
  • Deserthawk model, inspired by the desert's extreme conditions, builds on Jeep Renegade's rugged appearance and best-in-class Trail Rated 4x4 capability
  • 2017 Jeep Renegade Altitude, featuring unique 'blacked-out' exterior, also makes first appearance
  • Renegade Altitude available in Jeep showrooms later this month; Renegade Deserthawk available in January
Two new Jeep® Renegade models will make their debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, providing customers with two new and unique special editions for the most capable small SUV on the market.
"These two new Jeep Renegade models help to extend our popular small SUV's continued global success since its launch last year, and to provide customers with the choice of two distinctive and unique special editions," said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. "The Jeep Renegade Deserthawk takes the best-in-class capability of the Renegade Trailhawk and combines it with a unique look and additional features that include rock rails and a towing package – all inspired by the desert's extreme conditions. For customers looking for an edgy and aggressive appearance, the Jeep Renegade Altitude offers just that, building on the popularity of the other Altitude models across the Jeep lineup."
The new 2017 Jeep Renegade Altitude model arrives in showrooms later this month, while the Renegade Deserthawk model arrives in January.
Jeep Renegade Deserthawk
The Jeep Renegade Deserthawk takes the Renegade Trailhawk's rugged appearance and best-in-class capability a step further with exclusive features and functionality inspired by the desert – an extreme location where the legendary capability of Jeep vehicles is best expressed.
Available in Alpine White, Anvil, Black or Deserthawk-exclusive Mojave Sand, the Jeep Renegade Deserthawk features fully painted 17-inch black wheels, exclusive hood and rear body panel decals, rock rails and Trailer Tow Group. Inside, the Renegade Deserthawk features an exclusive interior with black leather seats, Light Frost stitching and accents, all-weather floor mats and cargo tray mat.
The Jeep Renegade Deserthawk, like the Renegade Trailhawk, delivers best-in-class Trail Rated 4x4 capability with standard Jeep Active Drive Low with 20:1 crawl ratio; Selec-Terrain system with exclusive Rock mode; 8.7 inches of ground clearance; skid plates; signature red front and rear tow hooks; up to 8.1 inches of wheel articulation; Hill-descent Control; up to 19 inches of water fording; and up to 2,000-lb. towing capacity. The Renegade Deserthawk comes standard with a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with MultiAir2 paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission, ParkView rear backup camera and 7-inch full-color thin-film transistor (TFT) cluster display.
Arriving at dealer showrooms in January 2017, the Jeep Renegade Deserthawk limited edition will be available for a U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $28,140.

Jeep Renegade Altitude
Joining the other Altitude models across the Jeep lineup, the 2017 Jeep Renegade Altitude features a unique "blacked-out" look with a distinct, aggressive flair. Available in all exterior colors, the Jeep Renegade Altitude features 18-inch Gloss Black wheels with Gloss Black accents around the exterior, including the front and rear badges, grille rings and tail lamp rings.
Inside, the Renegade special edition's blacked-out theme continues with a black interior, black premium cloth seats and High Gloss Black finishes. Metal Diamond accents are found throughout on key touch points, such as the shifter knob and door handles.
The Jeep Renegade Altitude, based on the Renegade Latitude model, is available with either a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with MultiAir2 paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission, or a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine with a six-speed manual transmission. The Renegade Altitude comes with a variety of standard features, including ParkSense rear backup camera and Keyless Go.
Arriving at dealer showrooms later this month, the Jeep Renegade Altitude model will be available starting at $22,390 U.S. MSRP.
Jeep Renegade
The Jeep Renegade delivers a unique combination of best-in-class, off-road capability, open-air freedom and convenience, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission that contributes to outstanding on-road and off-road driving dynamics, two fuel-efficient engines, world-class refinement and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings. The 2017 Jeep Renegade starts at $17,995 MSRP (not including destination).
About Jeep Brand
Built on 75 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.
The Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Cherokee, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, Renegade, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. To meet consumer demand around the world, all Jeep models sold outside North America are available in both left and right-hand drive configurations and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options. 

For further information: Angela Bianchi, (248) 512-0011 (office), (248) 766-2937 (cell), angela.bianchi@fcagroup.com; Todd Goyer, (248) 512-0041 (office), (248) 761-0805 (cell), todd.goyer@fcagroup.com

Thursday, November 10, 2016

1 Millionth Mazda MX-5 Miata to be visit L.A. Auto Show

And select folks may get to sign it during press days!

Mazda Miata #1,000,000, photo courtesy MAZDA USA

This is a cool milestone for Mazda and its lovely little roadster the Miata aka MX5.  One million cars since its introduction is an accomplishment.  Number 1 million is touring the world and select folks get to sign their name to it prior to its permanent enshrinement in the Mazda Museum in Hiroshima.  Who get's to sign...interested journalists (me!) during Press Days of the L. A Auto Show next week.

For the full press release you need to make the jump.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

New Panamera and Panamera Executive to be revealed at L.A. Auto Show

Big news, the darling of the Porsche collection, at least in my corner of L.A is the Panamera and the enthusiasts that love that model will have more to rejoice over after the L.A. Auto Show reveal.  Yes, tuned with a more more powerful V6 that produces some 20 hp more than the out going version an it will also have an all wheel drive option and an extended wheelbase version the Panamera Executive.

To be released during press days of the L.A. Auto Show I'll grab as many pics as I can while there.  To further your appetite..make the jump and read the press release!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

2017 Green Car of the Year finalists named

Winner to be announced during Press Days of the L. A Auto Show
Chevy Bolt concept at NAIAS 2015

The Finalists:
BMW 330e iPerformance
The BMW 330e iPerformance adds a plug-in hybrid drive system to the BMW 3 Series. The use of an electric motor with the BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder engine results in a total system output of 248 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The BMW 330e iPerformance accelerates from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 140 mph. Pure-electric driving is possible at speeds up to 75 mph with a range of approximately 14 miles and combined fuel efficiency of 71 MPGe when driving on batteries.

Chevrolet Bolt
The Bolt EV offers a breakthrough EPA-estimated 238 miles of range on a full electric charge, the first production electric vehicle to achieve a 200-plus mile driving range. It features an array of advanced connected technologies designed to enhance and personalize the driving experience. A Regen on Demand feature allows the driver to use a steering wheel paddle to initiate more aggressive regenerative braking to slow down without using the brake pedal, while transferring electrical energy back to the battery.
Chrysler Pacifica 
The Chrysler Pacifica includes an array of choices including the LX, Touring, Touring L and the Touring L Plus. This innovative minivan also offers the first-ever plug-in hybrid in its class, delivering outstanding 80 MPGe efficiency, a 30-mile electric driving range, and a total driving range of 530 miles with combined battery power and its V6 powertrain. The plug-in hybrid model may be conveniently charged in as little as two hours with an available 240v charger. It features hands-free sliding doors and liftgate for convenience
Kia Optima 
The 2017 Kia Optima's sleek styling and pleasing performance live on in the entire 2017 model lineup. The 2017 Optima Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid are new additions that intelligently combine an electric motor and a new 2.0-liter, GDI 4-cylinder gas engine for welcome fuel efficiency and a satisfying driving experience. The Plug-in Hybrid uses a larger battery pack than the standard hybrid to allow up to 27 miles of all-electric driving before the plug-in model reverts back into its efficient hybrid mode.

Toyota Prius Prime 
The Toyota Prius Prime is this automaker's evolution of the Prius Plug-In, which did not accompany the completely redesigned Prius model last year. This new 2017 model plug-in features up to 22 miles of battery electric range, double that of the original Prius plug-in.  It retains the distinctive silhouette of the latest-generation Prius and adds unique exterior styling cues to set the model apart. Inside, the Prius Prime is also distinguished with an 11.6 -inch touchscreen display.

The Green Car of the Year® is selected through a majority vote by an esteemed jury that includes celebrity auto enthusiast Jay Leno, as well as leaders of noted environmental and efficiency organizations including Jean-Michel Cousteau, President of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, Board Member of Global Green USA; Dr. Alan Lloyd, President Emeritus of the International Council on Clean Transportation; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; and Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy.

During the award's vetting process, Green Car Journal editors consider all vehicles, fuels and technologies as an expansive field of potential candidates and narrow it down to the final five. Finalists are selected for their achievements in raising the bar in environmental performance. Many factors are considered including efficiency, performance characteristics, 'newness,' affordability and overall environmental achievement. Availability to the mass market is important to ensure honored models have the potential to make a real difference in environmental impact. Finalists must be available for sale by January 1 of the award year.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

L.A Auto Show set for November 18-27

Get your tickets now to attend this years Los Angeles Auto Show. As usual it will be at the Convention Center and this year promises big changes that will make it bigger and better than before.  This year’s press days promises over 50 World and North American premiere’s for the show goers to ooh and ah over.
The really big news is that Kenetia Hall is going to be better organized and renamed “The Garage” to really showcase custom rides and tricks to upgrade your own car.
Press Days this year have been renamed to be more descriptive of the 4 days prior to public opening. Now called AutoMobility it focuses on the future of transportation beyond just the automobile but how solutions now are being worked on for denser populated cities of the future.  These exhibits will be open to the public as “Go-Movement” during public days…you just miss on the actual press presentation.
Tickets range in price from $5-12 and can be bought in advance HERE.  I STRONGLY recommend buying tickets in advance, especially for weekends as the lines can be hours long at the door.
Parking is pricey $20 for the day so be prepared to pay the price of admission.  Traffic around the convention center is circus like during the show and I again have a recommendation to work around that problem.  Use the Expo or Blue line and exit at the Pico station for a quick 2 block walk to the convention center.