Coverage: LA Auto Show 2010

IMG_9825.JPGNovember 17, 2010  – Los Angeles, CA – Its that time again as the major auto show season in the U.S. kicks off at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. There are more than 50 new vehicle debuts, including two major announcements from the Toyota camp. The first is the introduction of the Toyota RAV4 EV powered by Tesla. This is their second interpretation of the RAV4 in Electric Vehicle form, although it is the first collaboration with Tesla Motors. This RAV4 EV will have a driving range of 100 miles in various types of driving patterns and climates. The general exterior stays the same. However, the front fascia sports a distinctive grille with an electrical plug-inspired EV logo on the nose. The inside remains virtually unchanged, but the gated gear shifter in the center column is replaced by a push button-type drive selector. Initially, Toyota and Tesla plan to build 35 units for 2011 and projects to roll out full production versions in 2012. It is yet to be determined where Toyota and Tesla will build this, but my guess is that they will continue to build the RAV4 in Canada at the TMMC plant in Cambridge, Ontario with the electric powerplants being sourced from Tesla’s new facility in the Bay Area (in Palo Alto, California to be exact). Another possibility would be the revival of NUMMI in Fremont, California, which would thus get its second wind. Only time will tell if the former Toyota/GM joint venture facility will be the new birthplace for the RAV4 EV. During Jim Lentz’s presentation, they rolled out video of the RAV4 EV in motion. At first glance, it reminded me of a Honda CR-V but I’m fairly certain it was not their intent. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, was also present during the press conference.

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In its 4th production year, the tenth-generation Corolla receives a refresh. Unfortunately, the luxurious but slow-selling XLE and more powerful XRS are dropped in favor of simplifying the trim levels to only three. The base CE, value-packed LE and the sport-themed S will be the the choices. The redesigned Corolla receives minor exterior changes to the front and back as well as interior updates. Notably, the steering wheel has been upgraded to have a better, sportier appeal. The new radio has a trick new dot-marix display which is similar to what’s found in newer Toyota models. Gone is the generic backlit Toyota green LCD display. Overall, the new updates are pretty sharp. However there as there are obvious hints of Yaris and Camry in the front. I’m saddened that Toyota decided to kill the XRS model, as this held some hope that the Corolla would be a worthy contender in the sport compact market. Bad move, in my opinion.

IMG_9809.JPG Adjacent to the Toyota display, Scion brings out their three-story cage with a host of the usual custom, tricked out variety of xB, xD, tC and concept iQs. A new Scion iQ was displayed on the floor with the 2010 SEMA tC project cars, the new xB Release Series 8.0 in a vibrant Voodoo Blue and a various xD models both stock and modded. Scion continues to lead the way by offering four value packaged models which appeal to different tastes. With a strong aftermarket presence, buyers can customize their Scion to stand out from the rest.

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IMG_9696.JPGLexus comes on strong this year with their focus on hybrid technology. Lexus is the world leader in luxury hybrids as they show off three customized SEMA project cars at their floor this year. The race ready 0-60 Magazine GS 450h, VIP Auto Salon’s HS 250h and their modern luxury LS 600hL are showcased in the front row. The Darker Side of Green makes its way to Los Angeles for the first time with the new CT 200h in a rich Fire Agate Pearl. The Smoky Granite LFA which was recently showed at SEMA in Las Vegas and flogged around Monticello Raceway in New York just this past Saturday made it just time for the opening of the LA Auto Show. A fully optioned Starfire Pearl IS 350 F-Sport was parked next to the LS 460 Sport. New for this year’s show is a huge LED display which nearly stretches the whole width of the Lexus display area. The vibrant display draws your attention from afar as different Lexus models are flashed on to the screen. You can find Lexus strategically sandwiched between the Audi and Mercedes Benz displays in the South Hall. More photos to come!

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Photos & Article by: Flipside909

New LEXUS SEMA 2010 Video! Kaizen Factor is in Vegas!

November 1, 2010 – Las Vegas, CA – Greetings from Sin City where SEMA Show 2010 is starting in just a few hours. We will cover anything and everything Toyota, Lexus and Scion at the show this whole week. All the project cars, all the specialty vehicles…we will cover as much as possible. Stay tuned. In the meantime, check the latest video of the Lexus SEMA projects for 2010 below. Hybrid is in the house!

Click Here:
2010 SEMA Show - Lexus

2010 SEMA Show – Lexus

Video courtesy of Lexus USA

CEC Wheels on LFA at SEMA 2010. Yay or Nay?

The supercar Lexus LFA will make its second visit to Las Vegas at this years SEMA Show 2010 in Pearl Gray. The LFA will sport a new set shoes designed by CEC Wheels. The wheel design looks like a blend of two old school Japanese wheel classics, The Yokohama Advan AVS Model T7 and the Advan Kreuzer Series V. Not necessarily an exclusive design, these wheels look out of place for this Japanese supercar. In my opinion, the OEM Lexus/BBS wheel reigns supreme. What do you think? You can check the LFA in person at the CEC Wheels booth #43099 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center at SEMA.

Club Lexus Discussion – Car Chat – CEC Wheels on LFA at SEMA 2010. Yay or Nay?

CEC Wheels

Advan AVS Model T7 & Advan Kreuzer V:

LFA Wheel Shot courtesy of: Lexus USA
Advan Wheel pics courtesy of: Yokohama Tire Japan

Preview: Scion’s SEMA 2010 Showcars

IMG_8569.JPGOctober 28, 2010 – Culver City, CA – Hell week is a crucial time for all manufacturers and vendors getting ready for the annual aftermarket auto industry madness in Las Vegas called SEMA Show 2010. Some struggle to get the last finishing touches to their project cars just a few hours before the flood gates open to industry associates, 9AM Tuesday November, 2. Luckily, there are some who got their A game ready to go. So who’s ready? It’s Scion! A special invitation was sent out by our friends at Scion to get a sneak preview of the goodies which will be showcased at this year’s SEMA Show 2010. The preview took place at their own art gallery called “Scion Space“, located in Culver City, CA.

This year Scion will be unveiling eight vehicles which consist of a stretch limo xB by Cartel, a rally car ispired xD by 0-60 Magazine, a turbocharged tC by Greddy Performance, Time Attack tC built by Crawford performance, a U.S. Naval built xB and three 2011 tCs decked out to compete for Scion’s annual Tuner Challenge. These challenge participants aren’t just builders, but they are die hard car enthusiasts. They’re competing to build the best Scion tC show car where the winner will be selected at this years SEMA. The victor will take a cash purse and the title of Scion Tuner Challenge champion. This years builders include James Lin, John Pangilinan and Shawn Baker. Look out for the hottest Scion tC builds for this years SEMA!

“Battle of the Builds” is a contest specifically targeted towards eligible military servicemen. There were a total of 28 teams from various branches of military across the U.S. that entered their xB designs. Top three finalists fought for the top spot. The winning entry came from the proud military personnel of Naval Station Mayport out of Jacksonville, Florida. Entitled “The Squid”, the xB built by “The Salty Dogs” took top honors including a cash prize of $14,000 and a trip to SEMA Show 2010. You’ll be able to catch the “The Squid” and the rest of the Scion SEMA show goodies at booth #20703. We’ll see you in Vegas!

Photos  & Article by: Flipside909

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