To be honest, the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show felt a bit light on excitement. Even the brand-new models felt a tad stale and complacent. That’s not to say it was all bad, as there were some interesting tidbits of note. Here are some candid thoughts on some of the featured cars at the LA Auto Show…
Everyone loves the current Ford Edge. People just like it. Its looks strike a perfect balance, being simultaneously “bold” and “generic”, while the size goldilocks its way right in between large and small.
Clearly Ford knows that it got the Edge right the first time, so for the Ford Edge Concept displayed at the LA Auto Show, Ford wasn’t pulling any surprises. What it showed was a very-close-to-production vehicle, with just a splash of glitz for the kiddies.
It’s a handsome continuation of what the Edge already is — though I couldn’t help but notice how similar the front is to the new Hyundai Santa Fe. I won’t say Ford copied it, but damn if the two crossovers don’t look similar. Oh well, something tells me this segment’s buyers don’t respond well to the radical, so this looks to be a very smart, if predictable, move on Ford’s part.
I went to the unveiling of Jaguar’s new F-Type Coupe at some random independent movie studio back lot in Culver City the night before the Auto Show press days. It was a pretty cool experience — especially when I unintentionally tripped Kelly Osbourne after the reveal. Sorry m’lady.
I know everyone else is hemming and hawing over this new F-Type Coupe, but honestly, it leaves me a little cold. Maybe it’s that I find the front end a little too generic.
Things improve once you glance at the coupe’s backside, where Jaguar’s designers have done a really awesome job at making the rear unmistakably that of a Jaguar. Whereas the front could be confused with other attractive sport coupes, the rear is honestly where the F-Type shines (if you don’t count the wonderful handling and throaty engines on offer).
I won’t call it a butter-face, but it makes a strong argument that the new Jaguar F-Type Coupe is more suited for ass-men, ifyouknowwhatimean.
Porsche basically never releases a whole new model line, so when the company does, you can bet it’s going to be a big deal. The new Macan is a smaller crossover than the current Cayenne, though you’d be hard pressed to tell this without having those two cars right next to each other. The Macan is slightly smaller and has more of a “high hatchback” appearance than the Cayenne. Perhaps the most interesting part of the Macan’s design is rounded back, where the unique tail manages to conjure images of the iconic 911 without feeling contrived.
The interior is pure Porsche, which basically means it’s the same interior that Porsche uses in each and every one of its other models. It’s nicely made and looks upscale, but frankly, I’m growing weary of Porches’ Vertu-luxury-phone-inspired, button-fest design language these days. Interior simplicity is clearly a thing of the past for this company.
Expect to see the new Macan clogging the streets of LA in fairly short order. In a label-conscious city like this, the Porsche Macan could have looked like Aretha Franklin’s hat from the 2008 presidential inauguration with wheels on it, and Angelenos would still be lining up to buy it.
ED. NOTE: Porsche is one of only three automakers doing business in the U.S. that refuses to offer workplace protections to its LGBT employees. For a complete rundown of which companies are LGBT-friendly and which aren’t, check out our list of gay-friendly car automakers.
Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept Coupe
VW surprised me with its CrossBlue Concept Coupe, which, as far as SUVs go, is a very attractive vehicle. VW still has ambitious plans for the U.S. market, and of course, the fastest way to the hearts of many Americans is with an SUV. Think of the CrossBlue Concept Coupe as the “CC” version of the CrossBlue (non-coupe) SUV Concept VW showed at this years Detroit Auto Show.
Stylistically the Coupe Concept takes the brawny, blocky design of the original CrossBlue Concept and leans it out a bit into something far more sleek. The interior also had a respectable amount of room considering that style will be this model’s main focus. I’m not sure about the color of the display model, though — it looked to be inspired by someone who took too many multivitamins and then gave a urine sample.
Poor Lincoln. It keeps trying, that’s for sure, but the devil still remains in the details, and on that front, the MKC came up short. Comparing it to the lovely MKC concept from this year’s Detroit show, the production MKC has lost the show car’s perfect proportioning, and in the process, it become more mundane. Squint your eyes and it looks like a weird interpretation of the Audi Q5.
Luckily the interior is pretty much up to par with REAL BUTTONS AND KNOBS replacing the fiddly sliding capacitive touch buttons currently found in the MKZ sedan. I also like visual theatrics the MKC performs as you approach the car, wherein the vehicle turns on various lights automatically as you walk up to it. I’m a sucker for interesting lighting gimmicks.
Chevy showed up with its new Colorado small(er) pickup, which I found a little odd considering that LA isn’t exactly the target market for such vehicles. Regardless, the new Chevy Colorado looks good, if a bit generic. I’ve got no real complaints stylistically with either the interior or the exterior, and I feel like that’s the perfect way to look in this segment: blandly butch, like some nameless Marlboro man. It will come with both four- and six-cylinder engine options, and I expect to see basically none of them in the LA basin.
If the old second-generation MINI was an otter, the new, third-generation MINI would be a full-on cub at this point. That is to say, the new MINI carries forward all the stylistic attributes of the old one, but it’s just packed on a few more pounds and gotten a little bit beefier.
The interior no longer comes with the iconic, centrally-mounted speedo: that’s been replaced with a screen, and the speedo has been moved in front of the driver, just like a regular car. (I’m sure MINI purists are writing some strongly worded letters about this to the company right now.) It now features some kind of weird communications ring-light-thingy around the aforementioned screen that reacts in really bizarre and indirect ways to things you do in the car — for instance, when you turn up the temperature, the light kinda freaks out and turns more red. It’s a gimmick but OMG COOL LIGHTS WHERE DO I SIGN?!?!?
The new Subaru Impreza WRX is sure to be a wonderful performer, just like all the other WRXs before it. It is, however, exceedingly dull to look at, and that makes me frown. There’s not much to say about this vehicle beyond the fact that it looks like a kinda angry Toyota Corolla.
And that’s all folks. It looks like the big manufacturers are saving up their most exciting, action-packed goodies for the Detroit show next month. I certainly hope so, because the 2013 Los Angeles show left me yawning…