By Steve & Tamami Laser
We’ve seen many automotive brands come and go during the past fifty years or so that we’ve been attending the Los Angeles Auto Show. Some brands go on hiatus and return years later, such as Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Land Rover and Mini. We’ve also witnessed the birth of many new brands, including Acura, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Lexus and Ram.
Genesis is a new brand with a familiar name. Hyundai sold the Genesis sedan and coupe under its own label for several years. Now it’s time to launch it as a separate luxury brand to compete with the likes of Lexus and others. Let’s continue our L.A. Auto Show report and take a look at Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, and Lexus in this story.
Sales for Hyundai’s new luxury channel began just a few months ago with the 2017 G80 mid-luxury sedan and the flagship G90 as its first two products. A new model G80 3.3T Sport trim level planned for 2018 was on display in L.A.
The G80, currently offered with a naturally aspirated 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 or 420-horse V8, bridges the gap with a new 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 with 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque.
It also receives upgraded suspension with Continuous Damping Control, distinctive sport exterior cues and dark chrome 19-inch alloys. The standard 8-speed automatic transmission adds sport tuning and shift-by-wire technology.
Inside, leather sport seats receive copper contrast stitching, while real carbon fiber trim adorns the cabin and the driver gains aluminum sport pedals underfoot. Other features include a 9.2-inch touchscreen navigation system, multi-view camera, Lexicon® Premium Sound System with 17 speakers, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ plus Qi-compatible wireless device charging.
We were also impressed by the flagship G90. This premium long-wheelbase luxury sedan is dressed with athletic styling that brings to mind flagship models from European luxury brands. It too offers a choice of 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 or naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engines with rear- or H-TRAC® all-wheel drive.
Sliding behind the wheel, we were amazed by the impressive comfort of the 22-way adjustable power driver’s seat that includes power bolsters, cushion extension and even shoulder adjustment. Genesis says the seat was approved by the German campaign for healthier backs, Aktion Gesunder Rücken (AGR).
Meanwhile we marveled at the design of the instrument panel with its big 12.3-inch HD widescreen that can display a 360-degree multi-view monitor image of the space around the car and also includes steering guidelines.
Select the 5.0 Ultimate model and one is rewarded with ultra-luxuries like heated and ventilated rear seats with 14-way adjustment on the right side including recline, plus wing-out butterfly adjustment for the head restraints, and an Integrated Memory System for the outboard rear seats.
A full suite of safety features is standard including Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Driver Attention Alert, Smart Blind Spot Detection, and Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start.
Honda’s display at the Los Angeles Auto Show was focused on the introduction of several exciting new models in the Civic lineup along with the all-new and improved 2017 CR-V crossover.
Kudos to Honda for energizing the Civic lineup with the intro of the new Civic Hatchback from Europe. We were also overjoyed to see prototypes of the new Civic Si coupe and Civic Type R hatchback. Let’s take a look at the CR-V first.
The new fifth generation CR-V has started regular production at Honda’s East Liberty Auto Plant in Ohio. Honda says this marks the first time that the U.S. plant has led the mass production launch of a global model. It went on to say that as the best-selling SUV in America for the past 20 years, cumulative U.S. sales have approached the four million mark since the models’ intro in 1997. North American models will also be built at Honda plants in Ontario, Canada, and Greensburg, Indiana.
While the CR-V looks familiar, it sports all-new styling and is a bit larger than before. The wider stance and longer wheelbase benefit interior space with total interior volume up by 1.8 cubic feet along with increases in rear seat legroom and total cargo length with the rear seats folded.
Big news under the hood includes the availability of CR-V’s first turbocharged engine. The 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected turbo 4-cylinder is rated at 190 horsepower and 179 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s standard on EX, EX-L and Touring models. The base LX has a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four while both powerplants are teamed with a Continuously Variable Transmission and front or optional all-wheel drive.
We liked the look and feel of the redesigned interior with its upgraded materials including a soft-touch instrument panel. There’s a new TFT driver information interface in the center meter display along with improved connectivity and high-tech goodies. The available 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio features the return of a real volume knob. The new navigation system was developed with Garmin® while the audio system is compatible with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™.
Without a doubt, 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for Honda Civic fans. The new Civic Si, in prototype coupe form, made its global debut in L.A. Dressed in Rallye Red Pearl and wearing a Honda Factory Performance (HFP) aero kit, we spotted a center-mounted polygonal exhaust finisher, and 19-inch 10-spoke forged alloy wheels.
Honda says the new model will be powered by a 1.5-liter turbo engine teamed with a short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox. There’s a new active damper system, active steering, and limited-slip differential.
The interior displayed Si-exclusive front sport seats with red stitching and Si logos. The stitching carried over to the doors, steering wheel and leather shift boot with alloy shift knob. The coupe also features a red TFT meter for the driver, along with red audio system illumination, sport pedals and Dry Metal Carbon trim on the instrument panel.
Following its global debut in Paris and North American intro at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, we finally got a close-up look at the radical Civic Type R prototype in L.A. Based on the new Euro-sourced Civic Hatchback, Type R is wrapped with a reflective brushed aluminum-style finish, rests on 20-inch piano black alloy wheels, sports red accent badges and logos, and looks ready to go play in the street or on the track.
While the car was locked and interior details were sparse, we managed to obtain a photo of the cool styling treatment inside the cabin. Like the Civic Hatchback, Type R is slated to be built at Honda of the UK Manufacturing in Swindon, the global manufacturing hub for the five-door hatch, in mid-2017 and is expected to come to the U.S. sometime after that.
The regular production model Civic Hatch is already on sale in the U.S. as a British import. We get a full choice of models ranging from LX, Sport, EX, EX-L and Sport Touring.
Hatchback utility endows this Civic with an impressive 122.9 cubic feet of interior space while the available Honda Sensing™ roster of safety features runs the gamut from Collision Mitigating Braking System™ to Road Departure Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow. The top Sport Touring has all of this as standard along with LED headlights and of course, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™.
Hyundai brought its trio of new eco-focused Ioniq models to L.A. in Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and pure Electric models following their debut earlier this year at the New York Auto Show. It also introduced an autonomous concept version during Automobility L.A.
The idea is to provide an array of choices to meet the diverse driving needs of customers. To learn more about the new Ioniq watch the press conference video (above) that we recorded.
In crafting the exterior appearance Hyundai designers concentrated on its future-focused character. A fluid exterior shape and natural air flow channels emphasize aerodynamic body lines. A sporty, hatchback-like profile is inspired by aerodynamic efficiency, complementing the soft lines and surfaces that trace the car’s outline. These attributes combine to boost aerodynamics further, producing a low 0.24 coefficient of drag.
The front of the Ioniq Hybrid is characterized by the Bi-Xenon HID headlights surrounded by C-shaped LED positioning lamps, Hyundai’s signature hexagonal grille and vertical LED daytime running lights.
The Ioniq Plug-in has low-beam LED headlamps and integrates a charging portal into the left front fender for the lithium-ion polymer battery. Ioniq Electric conveys a unique front perspective: without a need for extensive powertrain cooling, the grille is a sleek and clean surface.
Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in both feature a new 1.6 direct-injected Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine with an estimated 104 horsepower. The Hybrid’s electric motor delivers an estimated 32 kW (43 horsepower), powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery with 1.56 kWh capacity. In combination with the gas engine, Ioniq Hybrid offers an estimated total system output of 139 horsepower.
The Plug-in Hybrid provides an estimated all-electric range of more than 25 miles, powered by a 8.9 kWh battery. The Plug-in’s estimated 45kW (60 horsepower) electric motor is coupled with the 1.6 direct-injected 4-cylinder engine.
Ioniq Electric offers pure electric mobility with a 28 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery for an estimated driving range of 110 miles. The Electric motor has an estimated maximum output of 88 kW (120 horsepower) through a single-speed reduction gear transmission for an estimated 125 MPGe rating.
Hyundai says that charging the Ioniq Electric’s battery up to 80 percent only takes about 20 minutes using a SAE Combo Level 3 DC, 100 kW fast-charger. An integrated In-Cable Control Box (ICCB) also allows drivers to charge their Ioniq at a standard household electric socket.
Ioniq allows drivers to integrate their smartphone with the vehicle’s infotainment system by providing both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. Both systems enable users to connect their devices to activate music, telephone or navigation functions with lower distraction levels. Ioniq also offers a wireless inductive-charging pad (Qi standard) for mobile phones.
With only 50 of the exclusive Infiniti Q60 Neiman Marcus Limited Edition models being built, we were lucky to see one at the L.A. show. Based on the Sport 400 version of the new 2017 Q60, the coupe is equipped with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo 400-horse V6 and painted a striking shade of Solar Mica.
It features real carbon fiber accents on fender vents and the rear spoiler. The interior is fitted with Gallery White leather-trimmed sport seats and Silver Optic Fiber trim. Infiniti says the special edition retails for $63,000 and includes an ivory leather weekender bag, a plaque with the car’s VIN number, Neiman Marcus-branded indoor car cover and letter of authenticity.
Meanwhile, the sky’s the limit for the new 2017 QX30 compact luxury crossover that comes in six trim levels. All are powered by a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine that puts out 208 horsepower. There’s a fuel-saving idle stop-start system and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters.
The tech-filled cabin offers Nappa leather-trimmed seats, Infiniti’s InTouch™ infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen, a Bose® 10-speaker audio system, SiriusXM® Travel Link, and Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection. Available safety features include Intelligent Park Assist that uses 12 sensors to help park the car.
The stunning new Jaguar I-PACE electric concept was revealed in L.A. Jaguar says the production model will be “on the road in 2018” and hopefully will share the dynamic appearance of the concept.
I-PACE features electric motors on the front and rear axles with combined output of 400 horsepower plus a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, all designed in-house by Jaguar Land Rover. Jaguar claims an estimated 220 mile range along with rapid charging at a public 50kW DC charging network resulting in a full charge of “just over two hours.”
Touchscreen interfaces and tactile rotary controllers are designed for ease of use. A 12-inch HD virtual instrument cluster and a color head-up display greet the driver. The primary interface is a 10-inch screen blended into the center console.
The all-new 2017 Jeep Compass made its debut in L.A. Based on FCA’s “small-wide architecture” this model sports a full independent suspension and electric steering for enhanced driving dynamics. U.S. models employ a 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower plus an available 9-speed automatic transmission on 4×4 models.
Jeep calls the exterior design expressive and emotional with a wide stance. The all-new compact SUV is immediately recognizable as a Jeep with its traditional design cues. Designers gave the seven-slot grille a fresh look by setting each chrome slot in a gloss-black field.
Compass offers four new Uconnect entertainment systems for North America with 5.0, 7.0, 8.4 and 8.4 NAV screens. The top three include Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ connectivity. The center console integrates functional features like gearshift selection, Selec-Terrain controls, electronic parking brake and engine stop-start controls.
Storage solutions include a mesh side pocket in the front passenger’s footwell that can hold a notebook or tablet device and a multi-level rear cargo floor. Available safety features include Forward Collision Warning, Lane Sense Departure Waning, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection.
The hamsters at Kia are doing a new dance for 2017. The Soul receives more juice for this funky looking box. Thus the underhood hamsters can spin faster thanks to a welcome turbocharged boost.
Yes, that’s right. Kia dialed up the fun factor several notches with a turbocharged Soul for 2017. The new 1.6-liter turbo GDI 4-cylinder engine in the Soul Exclaim puts out 201 horsepower, or 40 more than the naturally aspirated four in the Soul + model.
Performance is also enhanced by the addition of a new 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission designed for a more dynamic driving experience. In addition to the engine, Exclaim gains new 18-inch alloy wheels, red-accented trim, chrome grille surround and dual chrome exhaust.
A leather-wrapped D-shaped steering wheel greets the driver while pushbutton start, UVO3 with e-Services, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are standard. A 315-watt Harman Kardon® premium audio system, navigation and 8-inch touchscreen are also available.
Kia’s new 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle combines an eye-catching design with functional utility and hybrid efficiency. On the outside, Niro sports an athletic stance with wide and low proportions, a long roofline and short overhangs.
Inside, Niro has an inviting and modern theme with an uncluttered instrument panel plus an elevated seating position to provide a more commanding view of the road. To help increase passenger and cargo space, the 1.56-kWh Lithium-ion polymer hybrid battery pack is positioned under the rear seats.
Motivation is supplied by a 1.6-liter GDI 4-cylidner engine with 103 horsepower. A 43-horsepower tractive motor, known as the transmission-mounted electric device, works in tandem with the gas engine to produce 146 horses. A newly developed 6-speed Dual Clutch Transmission is said to deliver smooth, quick shifts. Niro is rated at 49 mpg combined city/highway fuel economy.
The Sorento Ski Gondola concept vehicle made the journey from the SEMA show in Las Vegas to L.A. It’s a sure bet that it didn’t take the highway since it rides on Dominator Rubber Tracks designed for dancing through the snow.
Built by LUX Motorwerks, it’s also designed to be a self-driving vehicle to transport skiers and their gear to the lifts. A custom metal roof rack supplies storage for skis and poles while the cargo area provides space for boots, bags and other gear. Clamshell-style doors make it easier to enter and exit the cabin while wearing winter garb. No worries about climbing in with wet shoes since the floor was given a durable “waterproof” Line-X treatment.
Making its North American debut in L.A. prior to the show’s opening, the new 2017 Land Rover Discovery combines a new premium design with seating for up to seven, all-terrain capability and advanced technology. Aluminum construction is said to cut about 1,000 pounds from the outgoing LR4 when equipped with the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine.
A Dynamic Design Pack offered on HSE and HSE Luxury models adds 21- or 22-inch satin dark grey alloy wheels, a Black or Corris Grey contrasting roof, plus the grille, fender vents, outside mirrors and vehicle script are finished in Narvik Black.
A clever Activity Key waterproof wristband allows drivers to lock and unlock the vehicle without the need to carry a conventional keyfob. Designed to be worn while participating in outdoor active sports, the key disables the keyfob so it can be left inside.
Intelligent Seat Fold Technology is another nifty feature that allows drivers using Apple® and Android™ smartphones to rearrange the second and third row seats when they’re not in the vehicle via an InControl Remote app. The central 10-inch touchscreen display or buttons in the luggage area and on the C-pillars can also be used to raise or lower the seats.
The gorgeous new LC 500 coupe is the first Lexus to use the brand’s all-new, premium rear-wheel-drive luxury platform. It’s part of a new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles.
The heart of the new LC 500 is derived from the 5.0-liter V8 found in the RC F and GS F. The automaker says the naturally aspirated engine was selected for its smooth, linear throttle response and emotional engine sound. The aluminum 32-valve V8’s output targets 467 horsepower while transferring power to the rear wheels is the job of a new 10-speed automatic transmission.
Lexus says the driver’s hip point was engineered to be as close as possible to the vehicle’s center of gravity where feedback from the car is the most communicative to the driver. Lexus engineers focused on details such as the size and angle of the steering wheel, the feel and positioning of magnesium alloy paddle shifters, and available leather and Alcantara seating surfaces. LC 500’s door panels, center console and dash pad structure feature elements of Lexus’ Takumi craftsmanship in their finish.
Another model, dubbed LC 500h, is targeted to receive the next generation Lexus Multi-Stage Hybrid System. This file photo from Lexus shows a look under the hood of the hybrid model with its remarkably clean and well-detailed engine compartment.
This bright yellow coupe, first shown at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, is called the “World’s First Customized LC 500.” Created by Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing, it features aerodynamic bodywork, tuned engine, upgraded suspension, brakes, wheels, tires and new interior treatments. The body was prepped by Signature Autobody for the Avery Dennison Gloss Yellow wrap. Aerodynamic upgrades include an Artisan Spirit Custom Lexus LC Kit, featuring custom fender flares, a front diffuser, side skirts, a rear diffuser and rear wing.
Speaking of performance, the Lexus RC F GT3 racecar was used during the 2016 racing season to gather data and track experience to help further the Lexus racing program. Lexus says that 3GT Racing is slated to compete with two cars in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race series.
Preliminary features, specifications and prices in this story are subject to change without notice by the automakers.
Click on the links below for our additional 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show stories:
Photos (as noted) courtesy Newspress, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, FCA, Kia and Lexus
Story, photos (as noted) and videos © 2016 CarNichiWa.com