Week In Review: Los Angeles Auto Show
Another week has come and gone, bringing with it some big news and great debuts. The week kicked off with an announcement from Honda to increase exports from North America, while Tuesday debuted the next Godzilla. Wednesday was filled with debuts from the Los Angeles auto show floor, while Thursday showed off the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell. Friday rounded out the week with the release of 2015 Porsche Macan pricing information. Press days for the Los Angeles Auto Show have come to an end and we know you're just dying to head over to the show. So we don't expect you to be able to read all our articles in their entirety. We've brought you a quick hits version of the top stories for the week to make it easier for you to catch up on what's happening in the auto industry. Monday, November 18Honda is expected to increase exports from North America from 5 percent to between 20 and 30 percent, according to Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito. The brand will focus on exporting larger vehicles like the Accord and Pilot, which are popular in other markets. Last year, Honda produced close to 1.7 million vehicles in North America, but only 77,309 were exported. This year, the automaker has exceeded that number by moving almost 84,000 vehicles worldwide. Because of the strong value of the yen against other currencies, Honda has made an effort to broaden its manufacturing with over 30 major facilities here in the United States, enabling the brand to have a strong presence on this side of the world. Tuesday, November 19Godzilla has returned for another model year, and this time it gains a Nismo upgrade. The 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo was shown off this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show with a wider, more sinister body that packs a bigger punch. Nissan is gunning for the small-volume, hand-built hypercars, challenging their lap times on the Nordschliefe race circuit in Germany. The new GT-R managed a time of 7:08 minutes, passing the last Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package, and Dodge Viper ACR. To get a better perspective of how much faster the 2015 Nissan GT-R is with the Nismo package, the 2014 GT-R had a lap time of 7:24. But unlike other cars competing against it, the GT-R doesn't come with a ridiculous price tag, making it an ideal supercar for your average Joe. The fact that it can wipe the floor with many more expensive competitors just makes the deal even sweeter. Wednesday, November 20The Los Angeles Auto Show kicked off with debuts happening left and right, and we've covered it all. We saw the debut of the Audi A3 lineup, with an electric hatchback model, as well as a convertible and diesel variant. Other showstoppers included the long-anticipated 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe, which showcased a sleek design and all the elements that make the F-Type one of the most enjoyable cars to drive. But the show offered some debuts that we weren't too fond of, including the Kia K900, which was the brand's attempt to move upmarket into the luxury segment. It was a good attempt, but at the end of the day, it's still a ridiculously-priced Kia. We were also surprised by the Subaru WRX debut --surprised at how lackluster it was. There was no wow factor that drew our attention, although we're sure it's fun to drive. Thursday, November 21Hyundai unveiled the 2015 Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle, showcasing zero emissions and an impressive range. But the automaker didn't stop there. Added in the $500 monthly payment, all lessees will enjoy free hydrogen fueling along with free maintenance, pickup, and repair. If you thought you'd be stuck in highway traffic, think again. The Tucson Fuel Cell qualifies for the diamond lane sticker as it is a low-emission vehicle. Thanks to this, it also qualifies for the clean car rebate in California. This new model will utilize fuel cells to convert hydrogen into electricity, and the only byproduct of this is water. So what is the range of this thing? On a full charge, you can expect to go 300 miles without worrying about cold weather conditions. And refueling? Takes about as much time as it does to fill up a gas-powered car. Friday, November 22We had the chance to see the 2015 Porsche Macan debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and although we were rather impressed with what we saw, we were a little put off by the price. The base model starts at just under $50,000, and that's before you add all the options and creature comforts. But what of the Turbo model? If you can afford to spend $72,300, it's all yours. We played around with the configurator that went live during the debut, checking all the option boxes, and we were shocked to see the final price. If you want a fully loaded, top-of-the-line compact luxury crossover, the Porsche Macan can be yours for over $108,000. We love the Macan, and after having a chance to sit in it and get a feel for what's offered, we felt it struck a good balance between luxury and performance, but we just can't wrap our minds around the price. After all, for that kind of money, you might as well get a midgrade Cayenne.
Will Mitsubishi be able to break its losing streak in North America? It will depend on a few key factors.