We still have more than a few videos coming down the pipeline from the LA Auto Show. But if you want to check out the gist of the entire show in a short amount of time our buddies over at Manolith.comput together this hype vid of everything there was to see all in under a minute’s time! Check it out!
The list of reasons to go to the 2009 LA Auto Show was slightly shorter this year. However the new Mercedes Benz AMG SLS Gullwing definitely had a high ranking spot on that list. There was only one on display and we couldn’t sit in it but that didn’t matter. Simply standing before its glistening rays of awesome was more than enough. Before I left the exhibit I flagged down Greg Clark who is the product manager for Mercedes Benz and Maybach to get some more info on the SLS and to inquire about a possible Black Series in the future.
I know this car was at SEMA but I was so busy that I didn’t get a chance to get a close look at it. The LA Auto Show was my chance to finally get personal with Lexus’ first foray into the supercar market, the Lexus LF-A. Let me start off by saying that this is an absolutely beautiful car. Of course there are a few small things I’d change because I’m that much of a design snob but ignore my character flaws and enjoy this machine for what it is: Japanese engineering and TQM at its finest. I also had the opportunity to chat with Lexus National Marketing/Strategy Manager Brian Bolain about some of the principal features of the LF-A, and why Lexus decided to get into the exotic car market. Check out the pics and interview below.
So during the special “Mazda 22″ event a few journalists asked Mazda if there would be any accessories available for the Mazda2, if the Mazda2 would be involved in racing, or if there would be a Mazdaspeed2. The answer to all three of those questions was either “no” or “there are no announcements”. All to be expected correct? However on the west side if their exhibit I see a Mazda2 decked out with different wheels, and even a carbon fiber wing! Oh and there were “Mazdaspeed” decals in strategic locations. So what’s the deal Mazda?! I think the cat is out of the bag!
UPDATE: So Mazda’s explaination is that this awesome little rocket is a “concept” known as the “Mazda 2Evil” but we can’t help but notice how it looks strikingly like an OEM variant! Hmm I guess we will just have to wait and see what path they’ll take with this concept.
Mazda 2Evil Special Concept
This concept is inspired by the weekend track car but one that can function equally well as an urban commuter. The body has been modified to show a more aggressive front spoiler and a deeper side rocker for improved aerodynamics and lower overall stance. A strong lower diffuser is added to enhance the rear proportion and more emphasis is placed on the exhaust tip. The rear upper spoiler was redesigned for both additional downforce and a race appearance. The dynamic MAZDA2 body is finished in Ceramic Grey metallic with subtle motorsports inspired graphics. The graphics are finished off with the historic number 55, a tribute to the 1991 Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B race car. Wheels, mirrors and other details are accented in Spirited Green. To top it off, the performance and stance are enhanced with 17″ wheels, 215/45/17 Yokahama Advan tires, lowered coil-over suspension provided by H&R and Magnaflow performance exhaust.
Here is the first of a few interesting concepts on the LA Auto Show floor. This orange stunner is the Audi E-Tron and is supposed to represent Audi’s future movement towards hybrid and full electric cars in the future. Clearly, the body design was influenced by the R8. Then again it could be the other way around since the R8′s concept version made the show rounds for quite a while before we saw the production version. I love the shape of the body but those wheels and the weird fins in the back throw me off big time. I’m sure they serve some type of conceptual purpose but they certainly aren’t pretty. Fins aside, the E-Tron is a pretty interesting take on the electric sports car.
Mazda finally pulled the curtain..err..dropped the soda can (more on that later..) on their new B-segment car, the Mazda2. To sum up the Mazda2 think condensed, concentrated Mazda3. An immense amount of time, effort, and ingenuity went into making this a fun to drive economical car that wont bore the crap out of the user.
This was one of the biggest reveals of the whole show which is really saying something when you consider that BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and Aston Martin were all in the building as well. There was even a celebrity appearance at the Mazda2 reveal. Ask your girlfriend, wife, mom, sister, pretty much any woman in your life that watches TV who Patrick Dempsey is and they’ll tell you alllll about him…trust me. There was definitely a lot going on during this event but my favorite thing was easily the Augmented Reality kiosk (look out for a video on that later or click the red text). In the meantime check out a few pics and a full press release with all the details.
LOS ANGELES – Magazine-thin laptops, MP3 players and bite-size candy bars are just a few examples of good things that come in small packages. Now, for the first time in North America, Mazda is introducing its own affordable, fun-sized creation – the 2011 MAZDA2. A stylish, eco-friendly, fun-to-drive five-door hatchback, the MAZDA2 is Zoom-Zoom in its most concentrated form – compact and efficient, yet packed with style and substance. It will launch into the North American market in late summer, 2010.
MAZDA2 is the latest in a line of stylish, insightful and hugely fun-to-drive small cars from Mazda, and will bring an all-new level of refinement to the segment, as MAZDA3 did for the compact C-Car market. MAZDA2 is a car that only the engineers at Mazda could have created. It was designed and engineered from scratch to be a pure Mazda, offering the sort of driving experience that could only come from the company that developed the timeless MX-5 two-seat roadster, and it brings a combination of athletic design and dynamic performance to the subcompact class that simply does not exist at this time.
Originally launched in 2007, the new MAZDA2 was first introduced in Europe, Japan and Australia. Its launch created a unique offering in the B-car (subcompact) segment, especially through its distinguished design and outstanding driving performance. Since then, it has been highly acclaimed throughout the world, winning 48 automotive awards, including “Car of the Year” accolades in many markets, including Japan, New Zealand, Chile, Bulgaria and Greece. Notably, the MAZDA2 was selected as the “2008 World Car of the Year” (WCOTY) at the 2008 New York International Auto Show and has established a distinguished position in the B-Car segment. To date, total global sales have reached approximately 370,000 units in the three years since its introduction, and MAZDA2 is now recognized as one of the global models which symbolizes the essence of the Mazda brand.
While developing the new MAZDA2, Mazda took a thorough look at global subcompact car trends and carefully worked to identify the truly beneficial values that could be infused into a global B-Car. As a result, the new MAZDA2 adds Mazda’s unique brand values such as exhilarating driving performance and eye-catching design to the segment without sacrificing the basic requirements for subcompact cars: superior fuel efficiency, high crash safety performance and ample passenger space. In fact, while other carmakers have increased the size of their small cars, Mazda’s first mission was to analyze and define the optimal size of a compact vehicle. This resulted in a very efficient body size for the new MAZDA2 without sacrificing attractive features that consumers desire.
A Design that Attracts Customers Worldwide
With the MAZDA2, Mazda evolved the athleticism that is inherent to the Mazda design DNA in pursuit of bold and diverse expression of movement. The basic form of the new MAZDA2 is characterized by a combination of dynamic performance, sportiness and simplicity that leaves a strong visual impression. While competitors are producing compact cars with a focus on a boxy body form to prioritize functionality, Mazda shortened the body overhangs and trimmed the corners to the greatest extent possible as a way to provide a form that is compact and sporty, conveys a sense of stability and inspires confidence. By carefully creating a base form and then giving it energetic character lines befitting a B-car, Mazda created a design that is highly distinctive, but timeless.
Mazda pursued a concentrated, taut form for the body as a virtue in itself, not to simply reduce the car’s body size. This creative background was advantageous in efforts to achieve maximum dynamic performance within the new MAZDA2′s compact body. In other words, the MAZDA2 possesses the essence of Mazda’s spirit of compact, sporty dynamic performance – “Zoom-Zoom Concentrated.”
Exterior Design Theme: “Coordinated Movement”
In pursuit of a solid form and a richly expressive exterior design, Mazda established an exterior design theme of “coordinated movement”. In line with this theme, the design team combined the visual movements created by the car’s silhouette, its body lines, and the way in which patterns of light played on the body to create dynamic, multifaceted expressions not typically seen on a B-car. These expressions exude a powerful energy that makes the new MAZDA2 look as though it is moving while standing still. Key exterior design elements include: a sporty wedge shape that conveys a strong sense of forward motion; a deeply sculpted form in which the body is drawn inward fore and aft of the A-pillars; and distinctive character lines that extend from the front fender arches to the body shoulders.
Dynamic Performance Not Found on Competitors in the Segment
Mazda focused on realizing driver-oriented maneuverability and confidence-inspiring driving dynamics ｆor a Zoom-Zoom driving experience that is unique in this segment. At the same time, Mazda maintained a development focus on delivering high cost-effectiveness in situations ranging from day-to-day driving to long excursions on a weekend. Specifically, Mazda worked to make the new MAZDA2 economical to own in terms of fuel costs through its excellent fuel economy and improved durability.
A Powertrain for Sporty Performance with Great Fuel Economy
The Zoom-Zoom driving experience that Mazda strives for has two key attributes: 1) a sense of linear acceleration and deceleration that responds crisply to how far the accelerator pedal is depressed, allowing the driver to control car speed as desired; and 2) a sense of liveliness through immediate response to the accelerator for quick off-the-line acceleration and overtaking. The development team targeted a performance feel reflecting enhancement of both of these key attributes without adversely impacting on the MAZDA2′s superior fuel economy as a subcompact car.
Nimble Handling and a Stable Ride
The new MAZDA2 inherits a highly regarded suspension system, which has MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion-beam axle at the rear. With improved steering and braking systems, the resulting dynamic performance yields consistently responsive handling and a smooth, stable ride that draws much from the legendary MX-5.
Superior Quietness and Aerodynamics
In order to create more comfortable day-to-day driving, Mazda took various countermeasures to achieve a quiet cabin environment. Mazda also improved the coefficient of drag values to achieve better aerodynamics, contributing not only to the MAZDA2′s quietness, but also to a more sporty ride and fuel efficiency.
Harmony Between Sporty Driving Performance and Environmental and Safety Features
In order to form the best balance between lower fuel consumption, outstanding driving dynamics and top-level safety performance, the new MAZDA2 reflects the close attention paid to minimizing weight through its smaller body shell, optimization of the structure, extensive use of high-tensile steel in its body and many other weight-saving measures implemented throughout the car. Under this approach, Mazda made the best use of weight-saving know-how, similar to the “gram” strategy employed during the development of the MX-5 sports car. As a result, the MAZDA2 has achieved world-leading crash safety ratings (five stars in the Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), the highest possible result) without compromising driving performance and fuel economy.
The Security of a B-Car’s Functionality and Maneuverability
In line with the way B-cars are mainly used as day-to-day commuters, with a driver-oriented development philosophy, the MAZDA2 has achieved a level of drivability and nimbleness that enables easy maneuverability, even in small car-parking areas and other tight spaces.
More information on the 2011 MAZDA2 interior, specifications and pricing will be available at a later date.
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, we don’t typically cover the small segment cars on MotorworldHype but with Mazda’s heavy involvement in motorsports we’re waiting to hear what the company known for “Zoom-Zoom” is planing for the new Mazda 2. We’re thinking they brought it over from Europe to compete with the Ford Festiva (also brought over from Europe) and Ford has already aided the transformation of few Festiva’s into rally cars. Could Mazda enter rally with the new Mazda 2? We’ll let you know once the car makes its debut at the LA Auto Show in December.
IRVINE, Calif. – The long-anticipated 2011 MAZDA2 will make its North American debut at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show next month. Designed and engineered by Mazda, and already an award-winner in countries all over the world, the MAZDA2 brings a level of style and driving dynamics to the North American subcompact segment that no other competitor can offer. The vehicle will be sold in the U.S. and Canada beginning in late 2010.
Takashi Yamanouchi, representative director, president and CEO, Mazda Motor Corporation, will address the media at a press conference, scheduled to begin at 11:05 am, Wednesday, December 2. In addition to a stock MAZDA2, a selection of unique MAZDA2 vehicles will be on display to showcase the car’s creative potential and versatility.
“Bringing MAZDA2 to North America completes the bookends in our lineup,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations. “With the seven-passenger crossover CX-9 at one end and the subcompact MAZDA2 at the other, Mazda’s lineup now spans the most significant product segments in the industry, and is the strongest, best-designed, best-built we have ever offered. MAZDA2 will be true to everything that makes our cars stand apart from the competition: it will be stylish, fun-to-drive and a heck of a value. In short, it will be the definition of Zoom-Zoom.”
MAZDA2 has been a sales and media success in markets around the world, winning 48 awards and being recognized as Car of the Year in more than 20 countries. Additionally, MAZDA2 was named “2008 World Car of the Year,” besting all other new cars around the world.
In addition to the North American debut of MAZDA2, Mazda will showcase its full 2010 lineup at the Los Angeles Auto Show, including the MAZDA3, MAZDA5, MAZDA6, MX-5, RX-8, CX-7 and CX-9.
Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in the United States in 2010, 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, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.