I am a little confused on how to start today’s report from the LA Auto Show. It seems that some of my musings and comments from yesterday have been construed to mean I didn’t like the new Honda CR-V. Nothing could be farther from the truth, I actually liked it quite a bit. I guess that’s what I get for trying to write a blog post at the end of a long, long day while still being on Detroit time. So to set the record straight, when I said that the CR-V was more American than the new Escape, that is a good thing (it is an SUV after all – shouldn’t they look American).
Since we have started talking about SUV’s and crossovers, we may as well review the Infiniti JX here – their first 3-row SUV. The JX design continues a trend I have noticed in the auto design community – looking to break convention just for the sake of being different (you can’t blame Bangle – he at least had a solid reason for the butt named after him).
I began to notice this desire to be different in some oddly shaped beltlines (like the Honda Odyssey in this example). Then it moved to the C-pillar when automakers started inverting the angle of the leading edge (like on the Toyota RAV4 here). The most frustrating thing about that particular C-Pillar design is that no one seemed to care it decreased outward visibility. This is one of those cases where a vehicle’s “design” doesn’t necessarily equal “good design”. The JX takes the C-Pillar design in a new direction with a forward bow. I sat in the driver’s seat and feel like it unnecessarily increased the blind spot. Personally I would be happy with a simpler C-Pillar design that may be boring but at least delivers good outward visibility (OMG I have turned into my parents!).
New from Buick was the Lacrosse GL Design Study (supposedly Ed Welburn’s personal car). The exterior was subtly refinished with a elegant brushed chrome appearance. The interior, however, was anything but subtle. I have to admit though, the earth tone interior was one of my favorites at the show. First the Regal GS and now this – now I have proof that I am turning into my parents. Maybe its time to get a younger person to write this blog.
OK, I think I have some evidence that I have not yet completed the transformation into an old person – I want a Subaru BRX STi. One have of the Toyota-Subaru joint venture was on display in the Subaru booth and if this recent pre-production road test is any indication I might just have found the replacement for my favorite Mini Cooper. The car is pretty good-looking to boot and is much smaller than it appears in the picture.
Toyota’s version will be sold as a Scion in the US and the FR-S Concept shown in their booth is pretty similar to the Toyota FT-86 II Concept shown in Frankfurt. The main differences seem to be in the sculpting around the lighting areas and the lights themselves. I cannot wait until next week to see the production version show up at the Tokyo show.
Yesterday we covered Cadillac’s new entry in the middle luxury car segment. Today Lincoln introduced their updated MKS. I am not going to get too far into the new design direction today because we are going to have an interview with Max Wolff himself in a few weeks and I will let him tell you about it in his own words.
That covers the main new intros at the LA Auto Show. Come back tomorrow when we provide a detailed analysis of the latest trends and fads and have some pictures from the Design Challenge and the Designer Night Party at the Conga Room.