Debuts and Designs From the Floor of the LA Auto Show

LA Auto Show Exterior
Several of the announcements made during the L.A. Auto Show held particular relevance for speciality-equipment manufacturers.

By Amanda Gubbins

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, leading automotive manufacturers debuted new and updated models and announced recent sales results for an assembled throng of media. Many of the brands touted improved technologies for safety and entertainment, staying true to the connected nature of today’s automotive market. Some of the announcements held particular relevance for specialty-equipment manufacturers, and the SEMA News team was on-site November 18 to cover timely announcements and releases. Here is a look at what’s in store from a few of the automakers that might be worthy of attention from the aftermarket community.

Giulia Quadrifoglio by Alfa Romeo

Giulia Quadrifoglio
Alfa Romeo revealed its new Giulia Quadrifoglio high-performance four-door sedan.

The first debut of the day has been highly-anticipated by the luxury automotive crowd. Alfa Romeo revealed their stunning new Giulia Quadrifoglio. The sleek high-performance four-door sedan is built on all-aluminum suspension, and balanced to achieve a neutral 50/50 weight distribution. Taking a cue from its racing roots, the Giulia is powered by a front-mounted, 505 hp all-aluminum Bi-Turbo V6 engine, with a top speed of 191 mph and acceleration from 0–60 in a mere 3.8 seconds. The 6-speed transmission is paired with rear-wheel drive and the vehicle comes standard with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires—19x8.5-in. forged alloy wheels in front and 19x10-in. in rear.

Inside, the Giulia includes a variety of controls allowing drivers to further tailor their experience. One rotary dial controls throttle response, turbo boost, suspension and signature exhaust note while another adjusts the hidden 8.8-in. widescreen infotainment system that recognizes finger movements and handwriting from the driver. The Giulia will go on sale late in the second quarter of 2016 as a ’17 model, with a projected price in the $70,000 range.

Scion C-HR Concept Vehicle

Scion C-HR Concept
Scion C-HR Concept

Scion took a different approach with the unveiling of a concept vehicle designed for the Millennial consumer. The C-HR name comes from the Compact size and High Ride height of the vehicle, described as an “urban lifestyle vehicle” by the company. The polarizing design of the angular body was inspired by a diamond and is accented with black exterior trim. The C-HR includes four doors and a hatchback, seating five comfortably. The body is supported by Toyota’s New Global Architecture technology, which creates a low center of gravity and increases body rigidity for improved handling and ride comfort. The C-HR sits on 21-in. wheels. A production version of the vehicle is set to hit the market in 2016.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider

2017 Fiat 124 Spider
’17 Fiat 124 Spider reveal.

Fiat’s offering was an all-new 124 Spider, debuting 50 years after the introduction of the original affordable, fun-to-drive roadster. The car is rear-wheel drive, powered by a 1.4L MultiAir Turbo four-cylinder engine that delivers 160 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. It can be purchased with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, depending on driver preference.

The soft convertible top is a snap to raise and lower with one hand and when closed pairs nicely with noise vibration reduction technologies and window insulations for a quiet ride.

Fiat’s new safety features include adaptive front headlamps, blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection and backup cameras. For entertainment purposes, the Spider includes a 7-in. touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity and a Bose sound system with nine speakers, including dual headrest speakers for great sound regardless of whether the top is up or down. The new Spider also features keyless entry technology.

The company states that the first 124 units will be available as limited-production Prima Edizione Lussos, numbered and available in the exclusive Azzurro Italia blue color.

2016 Honda Civic Coupe

2016 Honda Civic Coupe
’16 Honda Civic Coupe

Ahead of the show, Honda announced that its ’16 Civic Coupe would make its first public appearance in Los Angeles. The Coupe maintains a sporty exterior design on a new chassis and with a spacious and quiet interior for users. The new model is wider with a longer wheel base and  the interior space is increased by a total of 8.4 cubic ft. A new 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC engine gives even the lowest tier Coupe 158 hp and 138 lb.-ft. of torque.

It can also be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. Higher-end trims are powered with the first turbocharged engine for Civic Coupes: 1.5L DOHC direct-injected turbo that peaks at 174 hp and 162 lb.-ft. of torque.

Many of Honda’s newer features are now standard, such as auto on/off headlights, LED daytime running and taillights and automatic climate control. Other available upgrades to the new coupe include remote start engine, rain-sensing wipers and a 7-in. display audio touchscreen.

Of course, the new Civic also boasts the latest in Honda connectivity, compatible with streaming options, Android and Apple technologies. The ’16 Civic Coupe will officially launch in dealerships in March.

For a taste of the excitement surrounding the vehicle reveals, view Alfa Romeo’s unveiling of the 2017 Giulia Quadrifoglio.