BMW was one of the more fascinating exhibitors at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this month, mainly because of it’s schizophrenic display. In one section, lined up in all their Teutonic beauty, were the M models. Few cars go faster and with more muscular style than BMW’s Motorsport line. And in another section of the booth, BMW’s breakthrough Hydrogen 7 – truly a great advancement in alternative drivetrains. So, in one moment, you’re looking at nothing but raw speed – MPG be damned – and the next, you’re contemplating hydrogen fuel stations and water vapor emissions. Only BMW could make both ends of the spectrum look so good. In this podcast, David Barrett starts [...]
The more things change the more they stay the same. If there was ever a saying the sums up the launch of the brand new Mini, that would be it. Some might joke, “Where’s the new Mini?” while standing right next to it, but it’s important to remember that there is hardly a more difficult task for a automotive design team than creating an entirely new car, that looks the same as the old model. That was the challenge put before cheif Mini designer Bert Hildebrand. When David Barrett met him for an exclusive interview at the North American Auto Show in Detroit this month, you couldn’t tell that he’d just finished a grueling redesign. In [...]
The Los Angeles Auto Show just seemed to be the right place to watch Ferrari introduce its new supercar. Since moving to Southern California, I’ve found Ferrari’s to be far less exotic, because they’re nearly ubiquitous in certain areas of L.A. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not that jaded. I still think Ferrari is the epitome of what’s truly beautiful inside and out, in the automotive world. And Ferrari hasn’t disappointed with the new 599 GTB (Grand Touring Coupe) Fiorano. It even sounds good! AutoPacific’s Senior Consultant, Jim Hossack, got a personal tour around, in and under the hood of this 611-hp beauty. This is your chance to see the latest in nearly [...]
As promised, here’s the thought process behind those highly stylized, too-mod-to-be-sold concept cars you see in every booth at every car show. Are they just an excuse to spend too much money on a hot young designer? Are they the result of some executive’s pet project? For the most part, no. They’re what the manufacturer is thinking about the future of their company’s automotive design. They’re a peek at the decades ahead. Jim Hall has a look at three new concepts in the Honda booth, the REMIX, the FCX and the STEP BUS. All made their world debut at the L.A. Auto Show, but that’s about all the three concepts have in common.
If there’s one thing you’re sure to see at any car show, it’s concept vehicles. These are the “space age” looking, wildly designed beauties that sit on turntables and risers in every booth and whose main purpose is to decorate their surroundings. At least that’s what many of us would think at first glance. But there are reasons for concepts, and we’ll tell you all about those reasons in VehicleVoice Episode #52, which will post on Friday, December 15. In the meantime, we just wanna show you one. In fact, it was a favorite of AutoPacific Senior Analyst Jim Hall. The new Giugiaro Mustang Concept was debuted to the world at the L.A. Auto Show. Designed [...]
Years from now the 100th Annual Los Angeles International Auto Show will be remembered for its theme of alternative powertrains. Never before have so many manufacturers introduced so many vehicles using so many alternative energy sources. BMW talked up its hydrogen fuel cell program. GM pushed ethanol. Toyota and Ford continued their dominance in hybrids with new model introductions. Tesla introduced a pure electric vehicle while Saturn tipped its hand on a plug-in hybrid. The 2006 L.A. Auto Show was greener than Kermit the Frog – who made a guest appearance in the Ford booth to talk about the Ford Escape Hybrid’s new interior made from reclaimed materials. Now we could get grouchy about this and say many [...]
When it comes to small, compact hatchbacks, there are a lot of auto manufacturers you think of before you would ever think of Volvo. Recent statistics show that there are more Toyota Prius hybrids sold in the United States than all Volvo models combined. Maybe that’s why Volvo did what they did at the L.A. Auto Show when they unveiled their new C30. Volvo’s big announcement was also a big step into the unknown for the company that brought you the world’s safest (and some think boring-est) station wagon. But they might be on to something here, as AutoPacific Analyst Keagan Patrick explains. Show Runtime – 3:08