We’re still two weeks away from the official U.S. debut of the Fiat 500 Abarth, but Fiat is dropping plenty of images and videos of the car prior to its Los Angeles Auto Show reveal. We like the first video below and fully embrace it’s concept of “go faster than yesterday,” but the second video leaves us shaking out heads at Fiat’s U.S. marketing. Read More…
Here’s a rather nebulous assignment: “take the Focus ST that blew everyone away in Paris, and turn it into a race car”. My first question would have been, “for what series”, but that’s probably why I’m not a designer at Ford. I never was too good at following directions that lacked any kind of clarity, and Jonathan Szczupak of Ford’s North American Design Team is clearly a more patient individual than I am.
My wife tells me that cupcakes are out. The new “in” desert trend? Pies. Regardless, Sprinkles Cupcakes in LA will continue to crank out mouthwatering cupcakes for the less trendy desert lovers among us. And now, thanks to West Coast Customs, the shop can dispense delicious desserts anywhere. The customs shop created this delectable Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van for Sprinkles. It features an air-conditioned case that can hold 1,500 cupcakes, a retractable awning, and, of course, a cash register. The van is also slathered in a scrumptious shade of chocolate-frosting brown paint. The Sprinklesmobile made an appearance at the LA Auto Show and will hopefully be cruising to a town near you.
Ford’s Transit Connect makes a lot of sense for tradesmen and small businesses. It’s got enough room to haul your stuff around, and its 2.0 liter inline four sips gas. The Transit Connect is stylish enough for a boxy, compact van, and it did pick up the 2010 North American Truck of the Year award. It’s the van you buy when you don’t need something as roomy (or expensive) as a Dodge Sprinter, or a full size Ford E Series.
Want your electric car to have a three-diamond logo on the front? Mitsubishi will launch the U.S. version of its i MiEV (called the Mitsubishi “i” on these shores) in 2011, but they’ve rolled it out on display at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show. What works in Tokyo doesn’t necessarily work in the United States, so U.S. i models received a thorough reworking to meet federal crash standards and the preferences of U.S. customers. In Japan, the i MiEV is 134 inches long and 58 inches wide; for the U.S. market, it grows to 145 inches long and 63 inches wide. U.S. customers will get more amenities and safety features as well, including tire pressure monitoring, air conditioning, advanced airbags and electronic stability control.
Unveiled at the LA Auto Show after being teased at the beginning of the month, Subaru’s “Confidence In Motion” design language was revealed on the latest Impreza Design Concept. The concept is cutting edge for Subaru, whose styling has either been ultra conservative (like the Outback and Forester) or over the top bizarre (like the original Tribeca and the 2006 Imprezas, both of which featured the snarling badger front end). Though technically a sedan, Subaru wanted to convey the image of a four door coupe, and the car was penned to blend the idea of “dynamic flow” with “confident stance”. I’d say they succeeded.
We told you this was going to happen last week, but now it’s official – Porsche has introduced a new version of the Cayman coupe called the Cayman R. As expected, it’s a lightened and slightly more powerful version of the Cayman S, aimed at Porsche buyers who spend their weekends at the racetrack instead of on the golf course. Porsche gave the Cayman S’ 3.4 liter flat six an additional ten horsepower, which raises output to 330 horsepower and reduces zero to 60 mile per hour times to below five seconds. Opt for the Sport Chrono package and the PDK gearbox, and you’ll shave a few more tenths of a second off your times.
So this is what the new Hyundai Elantra will look like in the United States market. It’s not much of a surprise despite Hyundai’s efforts to keep the car hidden; as Inside Line tells us, it’s been released to other world markets as the Hyundai Avante since last April. The compact sedan gets familiar lines, and definitely borrows styling cues from the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The character lines sweeping back across the doors, the chiseled front fenders and the dual grille and fascia air intakes are common to both cars, which really do feature class-leading styling. Just a few years ago “bland” would have been the best word to describe Hyundai’s styling; today, “stunning” is much more accurate.
Mike Musto is hard at work attending the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, and he sent these cell phone pics of Cadillac’s latest concept vehicle. Called the “Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept”, the design study is meant to represent Cadillac’s interpretation of an urban commuter car, similar to the Smart or the Audi A1. Like the Smart, the Urban Luxury Concept is small on the outside (for easy parking and commuting in rush hour traffic) but roomy on the inside; unlike the Smart, the Cadillac concept is focused on luxury.
The 2011 Camaro Convertible will have it’s official debut at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, but Chevy’s coughed up pics, details and videos in advance. The drop-top Camaro officially goes on sale in February 2011, just in time for the peak of cabin fever in winter states, when buyers flock to showrooms looking for any sign that spring is on the horizon. Fortunately, Chevy didn’t waste time and effort designing a needlessly complex and expensive retractable hard top; the Camaro makes do with a power folding cloth top, made from heavy duty canvas with an acoustical headliner to reduce wind noise with the top up. The power top’s operation is said to take only 20 seconds from start to finish, which means you can easily go topless at a stoplight without drama. The Camaro Convertible uses a single latch at the center of the windshield header, which allows the driver to put the top up or down without getting out of his seat.