Despite the show having its last official day on Sunday, I still have lots to bring you from the show. Today we take a look at the Dodge/Chrysler exhibt which was pretty much the home for American muscle this year. While Ford and GM had a lot to offer, they were more about economical and luxury offerings this year while Dodge/Chrysler’s approach was all about performance. In fact at least a third if not more of the cars on display in Dodge’s area were cars that they brought with them to SEMA, something that is generally unheard of when it comes to the auto show circuit.
I finally got to see the Jeff Dunham Challenger up close and let me just say it is a pure vision! I really hope you got a chance to make it out to the show to see it in person. That car alone is worth the price of admission! There was also a pretty awesome Dodge Charger with a Viper V10 swap. Although I have to say I was hoping I would see some type of new Mopar kit that would allow for the same engine swap in the Challenger.
Then, there was the SRT Viper, that beautiful elegant monster that marks the return of the true American super car. I spent quite a lot of time drooling over that beauty. I even snuck in some seat time. By “seat time” I mean I litterally sat in the seat while no one was looking. Besides finding my favorite car of the show I found myself falling in love with the Dodge Charger SRT8. Yes, the Charger is by no means new but admittedly I have not paid much attention to it until now. I never had a problem with the Charger before but it did not stand out much to me. It was just another muscle car. However, the current generation is much more fetching to me than ever.
The styling brings a much more aggressive look without being gaudy and its new lines seem to take some of the “size” away and I mean that in a good way. What really got me is the fact that the Charger SRT8 has 470HP, 470ft-lbs of torque, launch control, paddle shifting, all for a starting MSRP of around $45k! Dealer mark-ups aside, a price like that is pretty hard to beat.
On the Chrysler side things are still on the upward path. The new 300 and 200 are looking better with each new generation and are finally moving more towards that “luxury” feel. The 200 still has a way to go but I can see the 300 finally being an official competitor to the likes of the BMW 5 series and the Mercedes E class.
With the SRT Viper, Charger, Challenger, 200, and 300 the Chrysler group is definitely on its way up.
This year at the LA Auto Show Mazda was all about the new 2014 Mazda6 sedan. Yes, we finally got to see the production Mazda6 in the flesh, on American soil! What started off as the Takeri concept is now a full-on production car and it is freaking beautiful! Say what you want about Mazda but they sure do know how to pull emotion out of you through their designs.
Looking at the Mazda6 just made me want to jump in and drive the wheels off it! What was more impressive was the announcement that the new Mazda6 will have Mazda’s new SKYACTIV-D diesel engine! Ever since Mazda announced their new SKYACTIV technology, we have been waiting for the first Diesel engine to show up and it looks like we are finally getting it! Unfortunately no performance numbers on the SKYACTIV-D have been released yet but I think its safe to say we can expect a bucket-full of torque. I will have more on the 2014 Mazda6 soon in its own post.
Mazda also brought out the MX-5 Club edition and it is amaz-ome! (thats amazing and awesome). The Club edition is something of a send-off for this generation MX-5 and it is certainly a proper way to say goodbye. It has everything that makes the MX-5 awesome but wrapped in a cool black/red color way and special edition badging. I really, really want one of these and at only $27,000 it isn’t a bad buy at all. Still out of my current price range but still a great deal!
Besides the 2014 Mazda6 and the MX-5 Club Mazda showed off their full line and even had their new SKYACTIV-D turbocharged race engine on display (nice touch) and a simulator that puts participants on a hot lap around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I didn’t get on it myself but it looked like a ton of fun!
For all the pictures from the 2012 LA Auto Show Mazda Exhibit check out our Facebook gallery. Also if you want to see Mazda’s LA Auto Show press conference scroll below and watch!
The LA Auto Show is huge. Seriously the physical space that the show takes up is just massive. As such there is usually plenty of room for all the OEMs to share space in the Los Angeles Convention Center’s two largest halls. However, Porsche is different. They choose to not be mixed in with everyone else. Instead, every year they completely take over an entire (albeit smaller) hall to themselves and completely transform it into a one-off Porsche exhibit.
Even though they use the same space every year, the design is never repeated. Each year features a completely different interior design. Because of this, Porsche is always my favorite OEM to visit, just so I can see what they did differently. This year when visitors walk into Petree hall the first thing they will be greeted by is a classic Porsche 904 Carrera GTS that has been rarely seen in public. In fact, it was my first time seeing a 904 in person, ever. It was quite an opener!
The marquee of the exhibit this year is the debut of the new Cayman and Cayman S. Many consider the Cayman to pretty much be a Boxter with a roof and to some extent it is, but it is also Porsche’s main solider in the battle against the likes of Lotus and other light weight small sports cars. The new Cayman is lighter and has a slightly longer wheel base than the previous model. Its stying has been toned down a bit (in my opinion anyway) but not so much that it looks boring. The new Cayman will come equipped with a 275HP 2.7 liter flat six out back while the Cayman S will have a larger 3.4 liter engine making 325HP. Having 275 horses pushing you is not bad but I think its clear that the Cayman S is going to be the one to beat when it comes to comparison tests.
Both trims are offered at reasonable MSRPs with the Cayman starting at $52,600 while the Cayman S comes in at just $63,800 which puts it at the sweet spot for those who want a Porsche but don’t quite have 911 money. It also comes in at much less than a Lotus Evora S (which range around the $80-$90k area) while only being short 10 horses of the Evora S’ total. Lotus is in some serious trouble!
Besides the new Cayman Porsche also showed off the new “Platinum Edition” Panamera which comes in a limited edition color way and features a few cushy extras such as Porsche Communication Management and heated front seats.
Finally Paid a short visit to the Porsche “store” inside of the exhibit to check out some of their cool, incredibly expensive goodies. Once again Porsche brought back their carbon fiber, disc brake-equipped bicycle. I did not catch a glimpse at the price tag but I am sure it is over $2k or more! One of my favorite items were tiny magnets shaped like classic 911 coupes. You could stick them on a fridge or on a metallic classic Porsche poster, which was also on display. There was of course a few racks full of Porsche apparel like shirts, jackets, hats, etc. All of which looked awesome, but just a bit (meaning a lot) out of my price range!
There are more than a few “must see” spots at the LA Auto Show every year and BMW is easily on that short list. This year their marquee display were near production versions of the i8 concept convertible and the i3 concept coupe. Both cars are looking to change the way people think of economical electric and electric hybrid cars will be about. It is hard to tell on the outside but the i3 coupe’s frame is made almost completely from carbon fiber and sports a 125 kW/170 hp electric motor and sends all of that to the rear wheels. If the i3 can make it to production for a reasonable price it could really set the standard for electric cars in the future.
Besides the new i concepts, BMW also brought out the new M6 coupe, M5 sedan, and a few special edition goodies. Subtly, parked on the show floor is a current gen 5 series with an awesome M package that adds a carbon fiber deck-lid spoiler, carbon fiber side mirrors, and M wheels which all together looked absolutely fresh! While I am not a huge fan of the M6 it was still cool to see it up close and I loved the color. Parked right next to the M6 is the new M5 in its catching blue hue. If you have never seen an M5 up close before then you really, really should make it out to the LA Auto Show if you are near by because pictures do not do it justice. It is one of the most beautiful sedans on the market right now!
When all is said and done BMW really brought it this year, so if you are going to LA then make sure you stop by! If you want even more pictures from the BMW exhibit just visit our Facebook page.
While you’re strolling the LA Auto Show this year, make sure you pay a visit to the Kia exhibit. You might just come across Batman’s Korean Batmobile, or Aquaman’s hatchback. Confused? Allow me to elaborate. A few months ago DC Comics and Kia reached out to car stylists and builders such as West Coast Customs, RIDES Magazine, and Jon Sibal to make a set of Justice League inspired cars for DC Comic’s “We Can Be Heroes” campaign. The result was five Kias, each uniquely styled to a specific DC Superhero. Cyborg has his Kia Forte 5-door, when the Flash gets tired he drives a Forte Coupe, Aquaman has a Rio hatchback, and Batman has an Optima SX Limited. Green Lantern has a Kia Soul but it appeared it was not present at the LA Auto Show.
Each of these cars were built to bring awareness to DC Comic’s “We Can Be Heroes” campaign which is a mission to help end hunger in the horn of Africa. DC says that 5 more cars are on the way which would bring the grand total to 10. Will we see a Wonder Woman car? Maybe the Martian Man Hunter might pick up an Optima of his own? I imagine that when the full set is completed they will be auctioned off with the funds going towards their campaign to fight hunger.
Always nice to see cool cars built for a great cause! For more information on We Can Be Heros just visit WeCanBeHeroes.org.
I love the LA Auto Show because I love seeing production versions of all the new offerings from OEMs. Although admittedly I can see how some people want to see more than just stock cars, even if they are bright shiny and new. Luckily for those people there is Kenita Hall. Kenita Hall, is where all the cool aftermarket stuff, and cars live at the LA Auto Show. Everything that you might long for that isn’t in the main halls will likely be down in Kenita Hall along with other cool car audio displays, games, and interactive presentations. It is also a great place to check out some pretty sweet show cars and a few wacky cars as well. You would be doing yourself a serious dis-service if you went to the LA Auto Show without checking out Kenita on that same token I would be doing a great dis-service to you if I didn’t pay a visit myself and bring you a gallery! There are a few teaser shots below but the full gallery is on the MotorworldHype Facebook page. Go check it out!
Admittedly, this year’s LA Auto Show is a bit low on high performance offerings compared to previous years. This is mostly because of OEM’s move to more sustainable means of transportation; which is especially awesome for a city like Los Angeles. However, guys like me have a leaning interest towards the “go fast” cars and while there wasn’t much in that category there were a few top caliber showings. The LA Auto Show is the world wide debut of the Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series, and the Bentley Continental GT3 race car.
While both those cars are awesome, I have to say the car that had us the most excited was the new SRT Viper GTS! If you really have to ask why then allow us to explain… The SLS AMG Black Series is amazing but it is not really an evolution of the SLS, rather its an extremely limited edition high performance version of an existing car in Mercedes Benz’ line up. The Viper GTS is not only a new model but its a rebirth of something that many of us thought was dead and never to return.
The Viper GTS is also arguably the first new American mass produced super car since the Ford GT! A all new Viper is a sign that America is changing for the better. It is a sign that we are once again ready to truly compete with the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini not just in the showrooms but on the race track as well. The new Viper is also a crowning achievement of Ralph Gilles, one of the coolest CEO’s in the automotive industry. This guy went from being a designer to calling the shots for an internationally recognized brand. He also had the balls to break from traditional CEO decorum and call out “billionaire” Donald Trump when he tried to spread politically charged lies about Jeep.
For Mr. Gilles the Viper had been his baby for two years and he took care to make sure that when it came back after its painful departure, it would come correct. He refined its styling, and refined its performance as well. Not to say that the Viper was ever a slouch in the performance department but it was nothing else if not “rough”. A driver really had to know what they were doing if they wanted to tame a Viper around a race track. The new SRT Viper has been treated with a small suite of technological advances to make the car lighter, more powerful, yet more linear and accessible without neutering it.
Granted my invite to the press drives were ahem… lost in the mail. I can still imagine that the new SRT Viper is a blast to drive and a significant improvement over the previous model. It also had me more excited than any other car on the LA Auto Show floor.
For that, for what it represents, and for all that it is, the SRT Viper is officially MotorworldHype’s favorite car of the LA Auto Show. Granted, this little blog doesn’t mean much in the world of Autoblogs and Jalopniks but we still want to make it known! Thank you to SRT and to Mr. Gilles for bringing America’s super car to Los Angeles!
The first press day of the LA Auto Show was long, and draining (but worth it) so it was really nice for Recaro to invite me to their reception event just down the street from the convention center at the J Lounge for a little R&R. There was no specific reason why Recaro decided to throw a party besides just wanting to celebrate their 106 years of existence and various OEM partnerships (GM, Ford, etc.) as such the wine flowed like a river and there were various tasty treats on hand. Oh yeah; there was also a small fleet of bad ass cars as well as industry celebrities like Ken Block and Tanner Foust.
Despite the clout that Foust and Block have, the real guests of honor of the evening were Jeremy Foley and Yuri Kouznetsov. If those names don’t sound familiar to you, just type them into the YouTube search bar and the results will return one of the most watched crash videos in recent history. It was Jeremy Foley and Yuri Kouznetsov who were passengers in the horrible Evo crash at this year’s Pikes Peak Hill Climb when their car slid off the cliff at the turn known as the “Devil’s Playground”
Miraculously both drivers walked away from the accident with little to no injury. They credit their survival to all the safety equipment in the car namely the roll cage and the Recaro seats that kept both driver and co-driver secure as their car tumbled down the cliff. The mangled remains of their race car was actually on display at the event and last night was actually the first time the car has been put on exhibition since that fateful day. If you look closely at the pictures of the wreckage you’ll see that not only is the roll cage still in relatively good shape, but the driver seat is still in its proper position while the passenger seat has barely moved.
If any one of you out there have asked yourself why Recaro seats seem to be so much more expensive than other brands, this is your answer! I want to thank Recaro and The ID Agency for the invite to the reception. I had a great time and meeting Jeremy and Yuri was inspirational! For pictures just click the thumbnails below. You will eventually get to the wreckage shots!
If you want to see footage of the crash for yourself, you can watch it below. I should warn you though it is a bit hard to watch. Yes both drivers made it out alive and unhurt, but watching a car tumble down a cliff like this knowing that there are humans inside of it, makes it a bit disturbing! I leave the choice to you!
I already gave you a preview of the new SLS AMG Black Series a little while ago but now it is here on the LA Auto Show floor and it makes me giddy! In a show that is, well lacking in new sports cars the SLS AMG Black Series is a breath of fresh (non-electric-hybrid) air. I could prattle on and on about the car but I did that already in my preview. I was hoping some new information would be available like a specific release date and MSRP but Mercedes Benz figured just bringing the car to the show was good enough. You know what? They were right! This is the part where I stop typing and you can scroll down and click on the thumbnails for some pics.
For Mazda the LA Auto Show is all about the “6″. Not only is the 2014 Mazda6 making its North American debut, Mazda has also announced that the new 6 will offically go racing next year (2013) in the new GRAND-AM “GX” class with an all new turbo charged “Skyactiv-D” (the D is for Diesel) race engine. The race versions of the Mazda6 will be built by Speedsource and will essentially be taking the place of the discontinued RX-8 in the GRAND-AM series. The Mazda6 race car is set to make its debut at the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona in January, 2013. This will mark the first time a diesel engine of any kind was run at the 24 hour race.
Despite the new Mazda6′s recent reveal, Speedsource has been working on its engine for a very long time with Mazda but the engineers had to wait for the production car to be officially announced before they could spill the beans on the new power plant. After hours of testing the engineers are confident that the new Skyactiv-D race engine will be up to the grueling task of a 24 hour endurance race. One of the more interesting notes about the engine is that it is not a purpose built racing block. The engine that will be in the Mazda6 race car is built off a production Skyactiv-D road car block!
Rumor has it that there will be four Mazda6 Skyactiv-D race cars in total at the race next year. One will be fielded by Speedsource and the other three will be customer teams. As of now those teams and their drivers are unknown.
I really want to see this car up close but for now the rendering will have to do. Click the thumbnail below for a larger version.
ALL-NEW SKYACTIV-D CLEAN DIESEL WILL POWER LATEST MAZDA RACECAR
November 29, 2012 (LOS ANGELES, Calif) Mazda North American Operations today announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show that the racing version of the 2014 Mazda6 will make its motorsports debut at the Rolex 24 endurance race on January 26-27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Mazda6 racecar will be powered by a Mazda SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel engine and is being developed for the new GRAND-AM GX class. This will be the first time a diesel-powered vehicle of any type has ever raced at the Rolex 24. Mazda will be seeking their 24th class win in the American endurance classic, having most recently won in 2008 and 2010.
John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations noted that: “We have been eager to announce this car for months, but had to wait until the production car was revealed. The SpeedSource engineering team, working with the Mazda engineers, have been flat out for months on engine development. We’re happy to report that the engine is meeting the performance targets for both power and endurance. That means 400+ hp for over 50 hours, with an engine that includes a very long list of production Mazda parts. This is not a pure race engine; it is a production block SKYACTIV-D. We’re excited about having our newest engine powering our newest car.”
About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports & MAZDASPEED
Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America. Thousands of Mazda powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built. Mazda cars compete in over a dozen professional classes in the U.S.
Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO 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.