2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Part 1 – Acura, Audi, BMW and Cadillac

By Steve & Tamami Laser

The Los Angeles Auto Show is in our hometown, so we always feel a sense of pride when we stand amongst the throngs of international journalists during two days of press conferences and premieres.

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Audi Prologue concept resets the brand’s design theme.

This year’s event occupied every available nook and cranny of the massive Los Angeles Convention Center with portions of the displays spilling out into the courtyards and rooftop parking lots.

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Audi A7 h-tron “plug-in hybrid fuel cell vehicle” 

We spent two days attending as many press conferences as possible, walking the aisles, sitting in cars, talking to fellow journalists and PR reps from the automakers, and taking more than 1,000 photos.

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Volkswagen Passat HyMotion hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Journalists also had the opportunity to drive some of the latest vehicles as part of the “Green and Advanced Technology Ride & Drive.” In addition to hydrogen fuel cell and electric vehicles, there were plenty of other new models to test.

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2015 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCab 4×4 is big and tough.

Some of the latest regular production models available included this freshly minted all-new 2015 Ford F-150 featuring an aluminum body. The truck was solidly booked for drives, so we walked over to greet our friends from Honda.

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2015 Honda CR-V Touring AWD looks neat on the street.

We hopped in the back seat of this refreshed 2015 Honda CR-V and let a pro driver take the wheel as we made a quick lap around the streets of downtown L.A. Come along for the ride by clicking on our video as we learn about the major changes to Honda’s popular compact crossover.

2015 Honda CR-V Test Drive at Los Angeles Auto Show.

While the ride-and-drive offered a great way to gain firsthand vehicle impressions, the big news was taking place in the convention halls. So let’s go inside and take a closeup look at the premieres and new model introductions.

Acura

The big news at Acura was the world premiere of the 2016 ILX compact luxury sedan. Going on sale in early 2015, this is a thorough redesign of the previous Civic-based ILX that didn’t quite live up to the image or popularity set by Acura’s previous entry level models called RSX and Integra.

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2016 Acura ILX made its debut in Los Angeles.

While it’s still based on the Civic, styling, power train and equipment upgrades should help energize sales. The new ILX gains standard Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, upgraded interior materials, optional upsized wheels and tires, enhanced connectivity, and a bunch of new features and technologies, along with improvements to cabin quietness, handling and safety.

It certainly looks more distinctive and dynamic than its predecessor. A new ILX A-SPEC package features a sporty side sill garnish, trunk spoiler, front fog lights and new 18-inch, 10-spoke machined alloy wheels with gloss black insets.

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2016 Acura ILX looks sportier than before.

All models will be powered by a 2.4-liter, 16-valve, direct-injected DOHC i-VTEC engine with peak output of 201-horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 180 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm, up 51 horsepower and 40 lb.-ft. compared to the outgoing 2.0-liter engine. The new engine is mated to an 8-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) with torque converter and paddle-controlled Sequential Sport Shift.

Available for the first time on the Premium grade is a new “tethered” navigation system powered by the user’s compatible iPhone and data plan via the AcuraLink navigation app. Premium and above models also get Acura’s Blind Spot Information and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor along with enhanced audio options, including SiruisXM radio, AHA radio and HD radio.

Audi

One of the crowd pleasers at this year’s show was the all-new Audi Prologue. This dynamic and sporty coupe captures the new direction for Audi’s design and is thought to preview a future production model. This big, bold coupe has an aggressively styled front grille, “yacht-like” side profile and elegant tail.

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Audi Prologue concept turned plenty of heads in Los Angeles.

Marc Lichte, head of Audi Design, describes the character of the show car in this way: “Audi stands for sportiness, lightweight design and quattro permanent all-wheel drive. In the Audi Prologue, we are expressing this know-how in a new form – we have put the sportiest car in the luxury segment on wheels. Our team took new approaches in both exterior and interior design.”

The headlights use high-resolution Matrix laser technology. With “pupils” formed by a projection lens with a laser light source – they generate a matrix that illuminates the street in high resolution. Hovering beneath this element are five plastic lenses that are supplied with light via a glass fiber bundle, which are mounted to a lightweight structure and further extend the high-beam light.

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Audi Prologue concept is big and beautiful.

While the shapely hood remained closed, Audi says that it contains a powerhouse underneath. A 4.0 TFSI biturbo V8 produces 445 kW (605 hp) and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. In overboost mode, which the driver can call up for around 15 seconds, a boosted torque of 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft) is available. Audi claims 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 3.7 seconds.

The big coupe also has excellent manners. “Butler” intelligent software program identifies passengers based on their smartphones and adjusts the seats and climate control system according to their preferences. The system also makes recommendations for music and route planning that are oriented towards the owner’s preferences.

BMW

The South Hall in the L.A. Convention Center was like a little slice of Europe. Located across the way from Audi was the BMW stand. There, two world premieres and two North American debuts took place.

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BMW 2 Series Convertible, X5 M and X6 M make their debut.

The all-new BMW X5 M and X6 M combine the successful BMW X crossover family with the high performance that defines BMW M vehicles. The auto maker says its latest generation of high-performance all-wheel-drive vehicles delivers boosted output, optimized suspension technology, and new heights of luxury and innovation.

The BMW X5 M and X6 M raise the bar in terms of driving dynamics while fuel consumption and emissions improve. Both are equipped with a V8 with M TwinPower Turbo technology that delivers 567 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. BMW says the standard 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds.

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BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe shines in the spotlights.

BMW’s second-generation X6 Sports Activity Coupe is offered in two power train variants. The X6 xDrive 35i features a 6-cylinder gas engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and 300 horsepower while the X6 xDrive 50i is fitted with the latest-generation V8 gas engine and 445 horsepower. Both come with BMW xDrive, the company’s intelligent all-wheel drive system.

BMW’s 2 Series Convertible is the successor to the 1 Series. The new M235i has a 6-cylinder engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology and 320 horsepower. The 228i features a 4-cylinder with TwinPower Turbo and 240 horsepower. BMW says the 228i offers rear-wheel drive or xDrive, and goes from 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds, while the M235i claims 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds.

Cadillac

Cadillac is in the midst of big changes lately with its U.S. headquarters moving to New York and a new president, Johan de Nysschen, taking the helm for the luxury brand. Formerly the boss at Infiniti and before that Audi, he plans to move the luxury brand into new territory with products like the dynamic duo introduced in L.A.

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New Cadillac ATS-V Coupe accelerates the brand’s image.

The new 2016 ATS-V coupe and sedan are the smallest Cadillacs yet to wear the V-Series badge. Power is supplied by a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 rated at an estimated 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 445 lb-ft of torque (603 Nm). Cadillac claims 0-60 performance in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of more than 185 mph. It’s backed by a 6-speed manual – with Active Rev Match, no-lift shifting and launch control – or a paddle-shift 8-speed automatic transmission featuring launch control and Performance Algorithm Shift.

Cadillac press conference unveils two performance models.

Almost every exterior panel on the ATS-V is unique, from the fascias and fenders, to the hood, rear spoiler and rocker moldings. An optional Carbon Fiber package includes a more aggressive front splitter, hood vent trim and rear diffuser, along with composite rocker extensions and a taller, body-color rear spoiler. A Track package adds a Performance Data Recorder and low-mass battery.

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Cadillac ATS-V coupe sports an aggressive rear spoiler.

The V-Series models share the same 109.3-inch (2,775 mm) wheelbase as other ATS coupe and sedan models, but feature wider front and rear footprints to enhance grip, reduce body motion in turns and contribute to more direct-feeling steering. A Brembo high-performance brake system includes 14.5-inch-diameter (370 mm) front rotors with staggered six-piston calipers and 13.3-inch-diamter (339 mm) rear rotors with four-piston calipers.

Inside the cockpit, newly available 16-way-adjustable Recaro performance front seats sport aggressive, adjustable bolsters that help hold the driver and front passenger in place during high-load cornering. The ATS-V also features a unique version of the 5.7-inch, three-window instrument panel cluster display, with V-Series graphics and distinctive gauge readouts.

Click on the links below for our full coverage of the 2014  Los Angeles Auto Show:

2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Part 1 – Acura, Audi, BMW and Cadillac

2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Part 2 – Chevrolet, Chrysler and Fiat

2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Part 3 – Ford, Honda, Jaguar and Land Rover

2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Part 4 – Lexus, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz

2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Part 5 – MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Porsche

2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Part 6 – Scion, Toyota and Volkswagen

Story, photos and videos ©2014 CarNichiWa.com

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