“FIAT is displaying a custom-painted 500e Stormtrooper car, in support of the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ movie…”
Los Angeles, California.
The Fiat brand has two very special custom-designed space vehicles on show at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Fiat is displaying a custom-painted 500e Stormtrooper car, in support of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, opening December 18,
The exterior livery is inspired by the armour of the First Order Legion, with a two-tone black and white custom painting of the car body. The windshield and the side windows are wrapped to bring out the immediately recognizable visor and helmet of the First Order stormtrooper.
Inside, everything is in black and white, too, with total custom front and rear seats upholstered in leather. The dashboard is painted in white and bears the “Star Wars” logo and a First Order insignia can be found on the two-tone leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Also displayed is a custom-wrapped DVF (Diane von Furstenberg) Fiat 500X.
Mattel’s “Hot Wheels” picks up the movie theme with a beast of a car named for Darth Vader!
The Galpin auto group ramps up the wild and wacky wheels with a LOL display. This showgoer’s favourites are the miniature VW Bug with the giant block engine, the Scooby Doo VW campervan and the Galpin Bubble Car.
“This year’s edition of the show is not dazzling in terms of exciting new cars but it’s still La-La Land in presentation and the crazy customized cars are never disappointing…” (more…)
“Black Label vehicles will come fitted with one of four designer-inspired interiors that will feature ultra-posh Venetian leathers, Ziricote wood and Alcantara suede…”
Not all the action took place on the floor of the Los Angeles auto show.
At a mansion, high in the ritzy Hollywood Hills neighbourhood, Lincoln hosted a classy special event to launch its Black Label edition vehicles for the well-to-do. (more…)
“As cool as the Chev Chaparral concept is, I am not sure I’d really love to drive a car that I sit head first in – think of the Olympic sport – the skeleton!”
Los Angeles, California.
The 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show debuted some brilliant vehicles that will (and won’t) be coming to the streets near you.
Whether it’s an all-new sedan/coupe, a car that will take you from point A to B, or a vehicle that was designed for the virtual world, the Golden State’s auto show had all of the above and more. Here’s a look at what the North American manufacturers have been up to in the last while. (more…)
Nissan stole the show with not only one of the fastest cars in the world but the fastest man in the world, too.
Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Usain Bolt was on hand as Nissan’s Director of Excitement (*photo above) to help unveil this new powerhouse car. Usain was clearly taken with the new GT-R Nismo, there were also promises to get him one as soon as they are available to replace his gold coloured GT-R.
Power on the GT-R Nismo has been pumped up to 600hp taking this new Nismo version to 100 k/h in just two seconds. That’s right… two seconds!
Nissan claims that the Nismo also gets suspension advancement and interior upgrades to help refine the ride and quite the cabin.
Look for the new GT-R in the spring of 2014. I suspect Usain will get his a bit earlier.
Zack Spencer reveals what turned his head week with a visit to the glitzy 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Alexandra Straub looks at what’s cool, Bob McHugh goes green and Keith Morgan sneaks a peek at a racy compact concept… (more…)
You don’t get any faster on feet than Usain Bolt does. And if you’re paired next to Nissan’s fastest production GT-R to date, that’s an even more potent combination…
Tinseltown. Hollywood. L.A. No matter what you call it, it’s a city of millions and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.
But not if you’re attractive, have a great body and well, you shine. With hundreds of vehicles showcased at the Los Angeles Auto Show, it takes a lot to stand out amongst the plethora of sparkling sheet metal, which is constantly detailed by show workers.
If you’re a sexy snake, that’s automatic grounds for attention. The SRT Viper GTS was on display, but it wasn’t just any old venom-producing reptile. It came with the Anodized Carbon Special Edition Package. Aside from 640 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque being produced from its handcrafted, all-aluminum 8.4-litre, mid-front V10, it comes with the first-ever use for the Chrysler Group’s unique metallic matte exterior colour. And exclusivity is the name of its game. Only 50 will be made and they’ll be available as of January, 2014.
Speaking of fast things, you don’t get any faster on your feet than Usain Bolt does. And if you’re paired next to Nissan’s fastest production GT-R to date, that’s an even more potent combination. Godzilla takes on the NISMO (aka NISsan MOtorsport) badge with a healthy helping of 600-horsepower and some defining exterior features.
In regards to its body, it’s more rigid than before and you’ll also find it has a “factory tuned” enhanced suspension.
The aero package, which not only looks good, also improves road holding, minimizes the negative impact of drag, while giving the car a menacing and muscular appearance.
If you’re a luxury German vehicle and you have a worldwide debut in LA, chances are you’ll draw quite the A-List crowd. The all-new Porsche Macan did such a thing, with visitors such as Jerry Seinfeld and professional tennis player, Maria Sharapova.
The Indonesian word for tiger, it’s the first Porsche in the compact SUV segment. Or you could say it’s the baby brother to the popular-selling Cayenne. Either way, they’re both have some spice to them!
Two renditions of Macan will be available: the Macan S and Macan Turbo. Standard features include active all-wheel drive and the Porsche double-clutch transmission (PDK). The Macan S is powered by a new Porsche-designed 3.0-litre V6 bi-turbo engine that puts out 340 horsepower. The Macan Turbo hosts a 3.6-litre V6 bi-turbo engine and emits 400 horsepower. Purrrr.
Practical and eye catching? You might not expect that from a cargo van, but when you team up with Hot Wheels, you’ll get exactly that: hot wheels!
Ford paired up with Hot Wheels and had its Transit Connect XLT Cargo Van LWB beaming a custom bright blue exterior with orange accents and custom 20-inch wheels.
But the fun doesn’t stop on the outside. Sure there’s a new front fascia and grille, and even a one-off “shark-fin” roof mounted antennas supporting GPS and Satellite radio along with custom gullwing doors (which replaces the standard sliding doors), but there’s a party waiting on the inside.
Alongside the custom ST seats, there’s a sleeping area and a 55-inch TV. Maybe I will try my hand at camping again, but only with this van!
It wouldn’t be a California auto show without a special edition Jeep Wrangler. Complete with bronze satin gloss accentuated 18-inch wheels, a matching grille, and other dark parts, the Wrangler Dragon Edition is sure to heat things up. If the bronze bits weren’t enough of a giveaway, the large dragon graphic on the hood will surely let you know that this mythical creature means business whether on or off road.
All of these sensor-based technologies make driving safer today and they could also be considered as building blocks for a more comprehensive automated driving system…
While most driving enthusiasts do not recognize the advent of a self-driving car as a good thing, drivers who have to endure crowded urban parking lots and the drudgery of stop-n-go highway commutes, on a daily basis, probably have a very different view.
The fully autonomous car may never become a reality for non-technical reasons. We are, however, seeing layer upon layer of new technologies that certainly move things along in that general direction and could make it technically feasible, and perhaps production feasible on a restricted basis.
The new Ford Edge Concept revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show included two interesting automated driving technology advances that are currently under development by Ford… self-parking and obstacle avoidance systems.
What’s different about this advanced self-park technology is that it allows an owner to do it from outside the vehicle with a push-button remote. The vehicle can be automatically positioned in or be removed from a tight parking stall situation. That certainly beats crawling in or out of the rear hatch, when there’s not enough room to get in from a side door. This new system builds on Ford’s current active park assist feature, which is restricted to parallel parking situations and uses ultrasonic sensors.
Using similar sensor and automated vehicle control technology, Ford engineers are also working on an advanced obstacle avoidance system. The concept vehicle detects slow-moving or stationary obstacles in the same lane ahead and warn the driver. If the driver fails to steer or brake, the system automatically brake and steer the Edge around the object.
“Democratized technology” is an expression used frequently by Ford engineers. It’s about making leading-edge technologies, which traditionally took a long time to trickle-down from expensive luxury vehicles, available on popular, affordable vehicles much sooner, or even ahead of luxury class competition.
Ford’s current Active Park Assist system is already available on 12 models. This system automatically guides the vehicle into a parallel parking spot, while the driver controls the gas and brake pedals.
A “Lane-Keeping” system is available on 11 Ford models today. This uses a forward-facing camera to scan the road surface for lane markings. The system evaluates if the vehicle is drifting out of its lane and alerts the driver by vibrating the steering wheel. If the driver does not respond, the system provides steering torque to nudge the vehicle back toward the centre of the lane.
Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support is available on 10 Ford models. The system uses radar to detect moving vehicles immediately ahead and modifies cruising speed if necessary.
Blind Spot Information System Available on 13 Ford models. Radar sensors in the rear corners monitor the spaces next to and just behind the vehicle. On the road, these sensors trigger a warning light in the mirror when there is another vehicle in the driver’s blind spot.
All of these sensor-based technologies make driving safer today and they could also be considered as building blocks for a more comprehensive automated driving system.
Email: bob [dot] mchugh [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca
Things go greener with Coke… bottles
Ford and Coca-Cola have embarked upon an eco-marriage.
They’re both extensive users of plastic and both are committed to recycling and finding eco-alternatives. The first offspring of this somewhat unusual realtionship is the Ford Fusion Energi with a PlantBottle Technology interior.
PlantBottle Technology is the first-ever recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants, instead of petroleum-derived materials. Already, more than 18 billion of these bottles have been distributed in 28 countries and Coca-Cola claims that this is equivalent to 400,000 barrels of oil saved. Using recycled PlantBottle bottles, Ford has produced the first-ever fiber that can be woven into durable, automotive-grade PET fabric.
Fusion Energi is the plug-in hybrid version of Ford’s global midsize car and it’s Ford’s most fuel-efficient sedan. Sound-absorbing recycled denim material, equivalent to more than two average-sized pairs of blue jeans, are also used in the car’s carpet liner and Ford already uses soy foam, made with soybeans, in every vehicle it builds in North America.