Redesigned Escape, CR-V get L.A. premieres
New Cadillac, Subaru models and performance variants from Fiat and Mercedes also planned
General Motors, Ford and Honda will be headliners this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
GM's Cadillac brand will display its new full-sized XTS sedan and Ford will show its redesigned Escape and other new models. Honda will unveil the redesigned CR-V crossover that competes with the Escape.
Subaru offers the first close-up look at the new BRZ Concept STI coupe that was developed with Toyota.
And in true So-Cal car culture spirit, some automakers will offer performance versions of existing models, including the Fiat 500 Abarth and the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG.
Here is a rundown of what's on tap in L.A.
Buick will show the LaCrosse GL concept vehicle, which GM is calling a design study to showcase the direction of future colors and trims.
High-end touches such as a suede headliner and interior color schemes inspired by espresso drinks and equestrian saddles are aimed at an increasingly upscale buyer.
Cadillac's new full-sized XTS sedan will debut. The production car, based on the XTS concept that debuted at the 2010 Detroit auto show, will be in showrooms in the spring as a 2013 model.
The XTS is slightly shorter and narrower than the Cadillac DTS. The brand's DTS and STS sedans have been discontinued. The XTS is based on a front-wheel-drive vehicle platform with all-wheel-drive availability.
The sporty Fiat 500 Abarth gets its global launch. The Abarth will have the first turbocharged version of Fiat's 1.4-liter engine with MultiAir technology that will deliver 160 hp, up from the 101 hp of the standard 500 and 500C. Compared with the stock 500, the Abarth will have a stiffer suspension, wider tires and performance-oriented exterior and interior design. The Abarth is aimed at buyers of the Mini Cooper S.
The Vertrek concept, pictured, offers a preview of the next Ford Escape.
The 2013 Escape will make its world debut, featuring two versions of Ford's EcoBoost engine -- 1.6 liters and 2.0 liters -- plus a normally aspirated 2.5-liter powerplant. The Escape will leave behind its conservative styling for a sleek new look derived from the Vertrek concept shown this year in Detroit. Ford also will show an updated version of its Flex large crossover (see story, Page 16). The Focus ST production car will make its North American debut and Ford will display several new versions of the Mustang.
Photo credit: HONDA
Honda's big premiere is the 2013 redesign of the CR-V crossover, which it says will have more passenger and cargo room, improved fuel economy and more technology and telematics features. Honda hopes to regain the top-selling crossover spot from the Ford Escape, a spot the current generation held until the Japan earthquake hit in March. Honda also will display the production version of the Fit EV, which was seen in concept form at last year's L.A. show.
Hyundai hopes a redesign will turn its Azera sedan from slow-seller to head-turner. The current Azera is Hyundai's lowest volume vehicle, with just 1,448 U.S. sales through October. The redesigned version on display in L.A. gets new looks based on the brand's fluidic sculpture design language, a more refined interior and a gasoline direct-injection V-6 engine producing around 300 hp. The vehicle already is on sale in South Korea as the Hyundai Grandeur.
Lincoln will show upgraded versions of the MKS sedan and MKT crossover for the 2013 model year. The MKS and MKT designs will be tweaked and both vehicles will get improvements in steering, braking, ride and handling.
The ML63 AMG high-performance version of the redesigned M-class SUV will be unveiled.
Porsche could show another derivative of the new generation 911 or the redesigned Boxster that will go on sale in the United States in mid-2012.
The sporty BRZ Concept STI coupe will be unveiled. The rear-wheel-drive 2+2 coupe will be the only vehicle in Subaru's U.S. lineup without all-wheel drive. The BRZ was jointly developed with Toyota, which did the design and planning work. Subaru handled the engineering. The car will use Subaru's 2.0-liter four-cylinder horizontally-opposed engine.
A freshened version of the CC sedan will debut. The CC gets new front and rear styling and a standard rear bench seat that accommodates three, replacing the two rear bucket seats on the current model. Technology upgrades include adaptive xenon headlights and new LED taillights as standard equipment.
-- Rick Kranz, Mark Rechtin, Diana T. Kurylko, Ryan Beene, Bradford Wernle
• Cadillac XTS
• Fiat 500 Abarth
• Ford Escape
• Ford Flex
• Honda CR-V
• Honda Fit EV
• Hyundai Azera
• Lincoln MKS
• Lincoln MKT
• Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG
• Porsche 911 derivative?
• Volkswagen CC
• Subaru BRZ Concept STI