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

By Steve & Tami Laser

While we were checking out Ford’s huge display inside the L.A. Auto Show, we noticed the doors were open at the back of the hall – and we could see Mustangs parked out there. So we walked outside and discovered this totally cool display designed for fans of all ages.

Mustang fans enjoyed their day in the sun at this special outdoor exhibit during the Los Angeles Auto Show.

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In addition to the customized 2015 Mustangs, there was a car tipped on its side with signs attached underneath to illustrate a performance side of the Mustang that most never see – at least not at an auto show.

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A “Ride and Drive” track was setup at the back of the display allowing folks to take turns racing RC Mustangs on a short, twisty track.

Journalists admire new and old Mustangs at Ford’s exhibit.

More good news continued inside where this display features several examples of the 2015 Mustang, several engines mounted on stands, plus a beautiful vintage Shelby GT350.

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Mustang continues to win new fans 50 years after the original was introduced.

Of course, the big news of the day was yet to come, so join us as we continue our coverage of the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Ford

While Ford revealed the all-new 2016 Shelby® Mustang GT350 prior to the auto show press days, it was our first chance to get up-close-and-personal with this new generation performance icon.

New Shelby GT350 attracted journalists from across the globe.

Ford says “The new GT350 builds on Carroll Shelby’s original idea – transforming a great everyday car into a dominant road racer – by taking advantage of a dramatically improved sixth-generation Mustang to create a truly special driving experience. Enthusiasts behind the wheel of a Shelby GT350 can expect to be treated to the most balanced, nimble and exhilarating production Mustang yet.”

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Journalists take their best shot of Ford’s new performance icon.

The new 5.2-liter engine is the first-ever production V8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft, an architecture typically found only in racing applications or exotic European sports cars. Unlike a traditional V8, where the connecting rods are attached to the crankshaft at 90-degree intervals, this design evenly spaces all crank pins at 180-degree intervals.

The result is the most powerful naturally aspirated production Ford engine ever, at more than 500 horsepower, with a torque peak above 400 lb.-ft. Track capability is enhanced by the output characteristics of the engine with an exceptionally broad torque curve. Combined with its high-revving ability, the flat-plane 5.2-liter V8 gives drivers an enormous amount of performance and flexibility within each gear of the lightweight 6-speed manual transmission. A standard Ford-tuned Torsen limited-slip differential optimizes cornering grip and straight-line traction.

Hundreds of journalists gathered for Ford’s press conference where the 2016 Explorer was revealed. Although this is not an all-new vehicle, changes are fairly extensive to keep it fresh in the very competitive midsize crossover segment.

Journalists get their first look at the new 2016 Explorer following the conclusion of the press conference.

To celebrate 25 years of production the new Explorer is on its way, with more technology, a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and an all-new Platinum series. Ford says the 2016 Explorer will go on sale in summer 2015. Exterior style updates – such as positioning the grille and LED headlamps higher – improve aerodynamics.

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The 2016 Explorer receives upgraded front styling.

The available 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine will deliver at least 270 horsepower and at 300 lb.-ft. of torque. It employs an active oil control system to optimize pressure when less fluid is needed. Active wastegate controls boost more precisely during light load operation to help save fuel. A higher compression ratio results in more efficient fuel combustion.

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Ford had three different 2016 Explorer prototypes on hand for journalists.

Meanwhile, the standard 3.5-liter V6 engine with an estimated 290 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque is paired with a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. Explorer Sport and Platinum edition get a standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with an estimated 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.

The new Explorer Platinum will be the first Ford to get an all-new 500-watt Sony Audio System with Live Acoustics and Clear Phase technology. Ford says Clear Phase eliminates sound dispersion throughout the vehicle, so the music occupants hear is precisely pinpointed. Live Acoustics re-creates the sound dynamics of some of the world’s greatest concert halls for more enveloping, realistic sound.

Honda

Honda’s major announcement in L.A. was the introduction of the new HR-V compact crossover. This is the Americanized version of the Japanese Honda Vezel that we saw unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show exactly a year ago.

Honda’s press conference focused on the new 2016 HR-V.

The HR-V is smaller than CR-V and will compete with vehicles like the Nissan Juke, new Jeep Renegade and others. Since it’s likely to be priced lower than CR-V, we predict that it will be successful and attract shoppers moving up from cars like Honda’s Fit and Civic.

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HR-V styling is instantly recognizable as a Honda product.

Small yet sporty, HR-V has a coupe-like cabin, side contours with a sharply upswept character line, and sculpted lower body and horizontal taper of both the front and rear fascias. Concealed rear door handles further enhance its coupe-like appearance.

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The engine compartment was remarkably well-finished for a prototype.

The standard 1.8-liter SOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with i-VTEC valvetrain produces 138 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 127 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm. It’s mated to a continuously variable transmission with Honda “G-design” shift logic, or a 6-speed manual gearbox (2WD models only). The HR-V will be available with front- or all-wheel-drive.

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HR-V’s cabin can be fitted with unexpected luxury features.

Standard equipment on LX, EX and EX-L trims includes an electronic parking brake, rearview camera, alloy wheels, tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® phone interface and Pandora radio.

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Honda has a knack for making small vehicles with big interior space.

Higher trims can be equipped with Honda’s 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio telematics interface, Honda LaneWatch™, Smart Entry/Push-Button Start, paddle shifters, SiriusXM® radio, HD Radio™ and Honda Digital Traffic, heated front seats, a power sunroof, embedded navigation and leather trim.

Jaguar & Land Rover

When Ford sold these storied British brands a few years ago to India’s Tata Motors, it appeared that the end was neigh. Yet Jag and Landie have been introducing excellent new products lately and we’re happy to report that the trend continues in L.A.

The 2016 Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe and Convertible made its global motor show debut in Los Angeles.

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Jaguar continues to build beautiful cars like this convertible.

New powertrain and driveline options including the addition of all-wheel drive and manual transmission models, plus the introduction of an F-TYPE R Convertible broaden the range from six to 14 derivatives.

IMG_7529The coupe is now offered with traction-enhancing all-wheel drive.

The addition of all-wheel drive with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, further extends the F-TYPE’s performance capability from Jaguar’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine. Jaguar says both are capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in 3.9-seconds, with a top speed of 186 mph.

Land Rover introduced the new Discovery Sport to L.A., billed as “the world’s most versatile and capable premium compact SUV.” The first member of the new Discovery family, Discovery Sport, features 5+2 seating in a footprint no larger than existing 5-seat premium SUVs.

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Discovery Sport continues Land Rover’s tradition of go-anywhere ruggedness.

Power is supplied by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque teamed with a 9-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. With approach, departure and breakover angles of 25, 31 and 21 degrees, Terrain Response technology, and the ability to wade to 600mm, Discovery Sport offers class-leading capability.

The cabin features the look of high-quality materials with a vertical center console. Up to four 12V power points and six USB charging sockets can be specified for all three rows of seating, allowing multiple electronic devices to be charged simultaneously.

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, Volkswagen and Volvo

Story, photos and videos ©2014 CarNichiWa.com

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