LA Auto Show Murmurs: We Dish on Ford, VW, Mercedes-Benz, and more from the Floor
You can count the number of days on one hand that are bigger than this (and that's probably even keeping the impolite finger down). Fortune 500 CEOs, luminaries, designers, and even us lowly journalists assemble from the four corners of the world for the spectacle. From far out concepts to production-ready models, the future of the industry is in this room. And here we're straining the milk and offering you the cream; This is one of the biggest days in the auto industry, and you've got floor seats. 9:31 a.m. Volkswagen CEO Browning talks V-Dub Future During an intimate morning Q&A discussion with a few media ahead of the Volkswagen's press conference this afternoon, CEO Jonathan Browning said VW must expand its TDI diesel presence in America, adding "the next Tiguan must have diesel." When asked about fuel cell technology--we're increasingly seeing more fuel-cell vehicles being shown off--he said: "most people know where to get diesel, people don't know where to fill a fuel cell vehicle, fuel cell is just discussion at this point."11:03 Mercedes-Benz Unveils Slew of Models Like the varsity team with a bunch ringers, Mercedes-Benz unleashed one stud after another, from the North American debut of the GLA250, (the CLA250's crossover sib), a performance version preview in the GLA45 AMG Concept, the S63 AMG, S65 AMG, the SLS AMG GT Final Edition, and even Gran Turismo 6 Concept. Blending video game fantasy with a real-life scale model, the Mercedes GT 6 is undoubtedly one of the most stunning concepts we've ever seen. Mercedes CEO Steve Canon, and new AMG head Tobias Moers introduced them in quick succession, with Moers stating that the "U.S. is AMG's most important market." Driving around LA, one might think this is AMG's single most important city, too.11:47 Unveiling of Porsche Macan, Roasted Turkey, and Chardonnay The Porsche Macan is quite possibly the biggest release of the 2013 LA Auto Show, and a quick peek inside tells us the baby Cayenne is going to sell like hotcakes in upscale markets. Porsche also put on a fancy beer-hall style lunch, with (who would have guessed) beer, chardonnay (get journalists happy before they go spewing off about the Macan, well played Porsche), roast turkey and chardonnay. To make sure said journalists would be semi-awake after the coma-inducing lunch, a full espresso bar was also on hand.12:17 Ford Packs the House, Previews the Edge "Concept" Ford says things are good: sales of the F-Series are up 20 percent, Ford accounts for 10.5 percent of sales on the coasts, and for three years in a row, Ford is the king of utility (sales). But are they playing it safe with the Edge "Concept?" Regardless, it looks like an updated Edge, and the model that follows the current-gen will sell by the metric ton3:25 Volkswagen GTI Vision Concept is Stunning Seriously. Look at this thing. While we'll likely never see a twin-turbo, 500-plus horsepower GTI, we can still ogle this thing for days. Oggle, and drive! We'll be driving the GTI Vision Concept tomorrow, look for impressions later in the week.5:02 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell is First Mass Production FC And just as Volkswagen CEO Jonathan Browning said the fuel cell was just discussion (at least for VW), Hyundai dropped the "P" word. Production. It appears the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell will launch in California (shocked), and expand as infrastructure allows. $499 gets you Tucson wheels with unlimited "fill-ups."
Now in its third generation, the Toyota Highlander offers more standard features, updated technology, and...