Thousands of reporters are expected in Los Angeles today as press days begin at the big auto show.
With sales clearly showing consumers are buying up crossovers and larger Sport Utility Vehicles the City of Angels will offer lots of them.
On the small side, Mazda will unveil the CX-3. Based on the fun to drive Mazda 2, it will arrive at dealers next summer. It will be powered by a 2.0 liter four and guesses are that it will be good for 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque matched to a six speed automatic.
Moving up size wise, is the refreshed Ford Explorer that will also hit dealer lots next summer with a new engine and top of the line Platinum model. The engine lineup gets a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four that can be ordered with a tow package and four wheel drive options that were not offered with the previous four. The Platinum gets a 3.5-liter, 365 horsepower V6 and is aimed at those who want every option that Ford offers on the Explorer. Is there a market for this? Ford said 90 percent of today’s buyers purchase the most expensive package available, so this will be sort of one stop shopping. And heavens, the Ford logo on the steering wheel will be brushed aluminum and not blue.
Cadillac will debut the ATS-V, a performance version of its introductory model with a 3.6-liter V6 rated at an estimated 455 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque. Cadillac said a romp to 60 will come up in less than 4 seconds and top speed is in excess of 185 miles per hour. There will also be an ATS-V.R race car.
Making its global debut today and catching a lot of attention is the Lexus LF-C2 concept car. It is a 2+2 roadster that the maker has teased with some photos that don’t show much. Car buffs can only hope that another roadster is headed to market one day.
BMW will unveil the high performance X5 M “Sports Activity Model” and the X6 M “Sports Activity Coupe”. Both will be powered by a 4.4-liter V8 that Bimmer said is the most power engine ever developed by them for an all- wheel drive vehicle. Think 567 horsepower with 553 lb-ft of torque from 2,200 and 5,000 rpm. BMW claims a 0-60 in four seconds and a top speed of 155 mph with the standard eight speed Steptronic transmission. Download the app to your Smartphone and get “extensive analysis” of your driving style on the track including lap times. Prices? The X5 M will start at $99,650 and the X6 at $103,050. Look for a showroom debut in the spring.
Over at Volvo, the V60 Cross Country will make its global debut while the XC90 will make its U.S. debut at the show.
Porsche will offer two new performance GTS models, the 911 Carrera GTS and the Cayenne GTS. It will also reveal the Panamera Turbo S Executive Exclusive Series, a special edition limited to 100 units worldwide.
Making their U.S. debuts at the Audi stand will be the new TT, along with upgraded A6 and A7 models. Among the goodies on the TT is what the maker calls a “Virtual Cockpit.” It is a fully digital instrument cluster powered by the first automotive NVIDA Tegra 30 processor capable of performing eight billion computing operations per second all on a 12.3 inch TFT display with 3D graphics. So some owners may have a faster computer in their car than their office.
We will have more on the show as the press conferences roll on.