Los Angeles Auto Show

VW and EV West partner on electric Type 2 Bus conversion


Tired of waiting for Volkswagen to build a production version of its ID Buzz Cargo? Well, this may whet your appetite. VW of America and EV West have partnered to build an electrified Type 2 Bus. 

The project utilizes the 35.8-kwh battery pack and EV drive unit pulled from a 2017 e-Golf. The 100-kilowatt (134-horsepower) motor resides where the stock air-cooled enigne did, in the rear of the Type 2’s passenger compartment. This 1972 Bus’s independent rear suspension made it the ideal candidate for the donor powertrain, VW said in a Friday release.

“Their passion for classic-car culture and commitment to renewable energy made EV West the ideal choice for this project,” said VW of America’s Mathew Renna. “We thought, who better to see if the e-Golf powertrain would be the perfect fit for our older vehicles. It’s great to see that the spirit of hot rodding is going to live on into the electric age.”

Volkswagen Type 2 electric conversion

Volkswagen Type 2 electric conversion

Volkswagen Type 2 electric conversion

Volkswagen Type 2 electric conversion

Volkswagen Type 2 electric conversion

EV West custom-engineered a set of reinforced and fireproof enclosures for the battery packs, which are located under the front seats and where the stock fuel tank sat. In stock long-throw shifter now puts the vehicle in park, reverse, neutral, and drive, as well as the regen mode that VW indicates with a B in the e-Golf. The stock cluster was replaced with a multi-function digital unit with graphics designed to match the original.

Volkswagen Type 2 electric conversion

Volkswagen Type 2 electric conversion

Apart from that, just about everything in (and on) this Type 2 is original. VW brought the Bus to the Peterson Museum as part of its 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show festivities. We expect it will travel to various events in the future, and likely end up at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. 

This isn’t Volkswagen’s first venture into electrifying older models. It released the e-Beetle back in September as part of a home-market tech showcase, and the Volkswagen Group is apparently exploring the possibility of showing off an electrified Porsche 356. 



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Los Angeles Auto Show, Photos Of The Week

This Week’s Top Photos: 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show edition


It’s difficult to nail what the most exciting attractions of the Los Angeles Auto Show were, because the number of impressive debuts was so high this year. Nevertheless, there were those debuts that stood out. One was Aston Martin’s DBX, the first SUV from a brand known for powerful sports cars full of British charm. So far, things look good.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, 2019 LA Auto Show

Another impressive debut was the Mustang Mach-E. Ignoring the name, the battery-electric crossover packs some serious performance coupled with reasonable pricing. In range-topping form, you’re looking 459 horsepower and 300 miles of range.

Karma SC2, 2019 LA Auto Show

Karma SC2, 2019 LA Auto Show

EV startup Karma impressed with the Revero GTS and SC2 concept. The latter is a sleek, battery-electric sports car boasting 1,100 hp and a 0-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds. Yes, if built with those specs, Karma will have a potential rival to the second-generation Tesla Roadster.

Hyundai Vision T Concept, 2019 LA Auto Show

Hyundai Vision T Concept, 2019 LA Auto Show

Hyundai’s Vision T concept was another hit. The concept is a preview of the next-generation Tucson, and it hints at expressive styling and plug-hybrid tech for the upcoming compact crossover SUV.

LA Auto Show - Audi E-tron Sportback

LA Auto Show – Audi E-tron Sportback

Audi launched the E-Tron SUV just last year but the firm’s next EV was revealed in L.A. The vehicle is the E-Tron Sportback, which is essentially the E-Tron with a more rakish, coupe-like profile. Apparently the new profile is more aerodynamic so range is expected to come in higher than in the regular E-Tron.

2020 Audi RS Q8, 2019 LA Auto Show

2020 Audi RS Q8, 2019 LA Auto Show

Audi also had several RS models on its stand. The list included the RS 6 Avant, RS 7 Sportback, and RS Q8. All three pack an impressive 592 hp, together with an 8-speed automatic and rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Oh, the RS Q8 is also the fastest production SUV around the ‘Ring right now.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS 63 AMG, 2019 LA Auto Show

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS 63 AMG, 2019 LA Auto Show

Mercedes-AMG brought out the new GLE63 and GLS63 performance SUVs. Both feature the familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 paired with a mild-hybrid system, and they make a handy 603 hp. With so much oomph, you’re looking at 0-60 mph around 4.0 seconds or less for both.

2020 Genesis G90, 2019 LA Auto Show

2020 Genesis G90, 2019 LA Auto Show

Genesis has given its G90 flagship a major update for 2020, and the updated car made its local debut in L.A. The new look was previewed on the Essentia coupe concept unveiled in 2018 and characterized by a trapezoidal grille and flat, dual-bar headlights. If you’re thinking it’s starting to look a little like a Bentley, Genesis’ design chief was formerly head of design at the British ultra-luxury brand.

2021 Lexus LC Convertible, 2019 LA Auto Show

2021 Lexus LC Convertible, 2019 LA Auto Show

Lexus rolled out the convertible version of its LC, and it’s a stunner. The car also has a naturally aspirated V-8 under the hood, so it should also sound good and go hard. Throw in Lexus’ reputation for build quality and reliability, and the new LC Convertible is hard not to love.

2020 Dodge Challenger 50th Anniversary, 2019 LA Auto Show

2020 Dodge Challenger 50th Anniversary, 2019 LA Auto Show

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 50 years since the Dodge Challenger first went on sale. Dodge celebrated by unveiling a 50th Anniversary Edition special in L.A. The current Challenger may be old, but we never get tired of looking at it.

There was much, much more in L.A. As always, you’ll find our complete coverage on the show over at our dedicated hub.



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Baja 1000, Los Angeles Auto Show

VW will race the Atlas Cross Sport in the Baja 1000


In an effort to buoy the SUV credentials of its new Atlas Cross Sport, Volkswagen announced Wednesday that it has built a prototype race truck dubbed the Cross Sport R, with the intention of competing with it in the 2020 running of the Baja 1000. 

The prototype was developed with help from both VW’s own rallycross driver, Tanner Foust, and Baja veteran Rhys Millen. The truck will be entered in Baja Class 7, which VW says is a first for four-wheel-drive vehicles.

The Atlas Cross Sport you can buy in a dealership is offered with both a 2.0-liter turbo-4 producing 238 horsepower and a 276-hp 3.6-liter V-6. It’s a mid-size, two-row crossover that can tow up to 5,000 pounds with the V-6 and an available tow package.

VW’s racer retains the displacement of its production 4-cylinder engine, but that’s where the similarities between the road car and race truck end. Volkswagen says the engine can produce 300 hp per liter, but has been tuned to produce “just” 480 for the sake of reliability.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

I know what this combination of engine and drivetrain is capable of,” Foust said at the truck’s unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show. “I’m really excited to see this bit of Beetle DNA live on in the Atlas Cross Sport R and am itching to get behind the wheel.”

Details were otherwise light, but from the provided photos we can tell that the Atlas Cross Sport R shares no bodywork with the production car, and it also rides on big, knobby all-terrain tires. Its suspension offers a lot more travel and the truck appears to have about three or four times the road car’s ground clearance.

Team drivers and engineers will have plenty of time to fine-tune the Atlas Cross Sport R before the running of the next Baja 1000, which kicks off in November 2020.

For more L.A. Auto Show coverage, head to our dedicated hub.



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Los Angeles Auto Show

2020 Acura MDX latest to receive plush PMC touch


Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, was originally established to build the second-generation NSX supercar. However, Acura this year started applying the same tender love and care that the NSX receives to the TLX, albeit only a special edition limited to a few hundred examples. Now, it’s the MDX’s turn.

Acura on Friday took the wraps off the 2020 MDX PMC Edition, and just 300 will be built for the U.S. market. The car makes its formal debut on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show before reaching dealers early next year.

2020 Acura MDX PMC

The key trait of Acura’s PMC Editions is the exclusive Valencia Red Pearl paint finish, which is normally a $6,000 option on the NSX. It’s the highest quality finish offered by Acura and includes not one, but three clear coats to add incredible depth. Other touches include gloss-black accents around the body, including on the standard 20-inch wheels.

After the paint is applied, the PMC Editions then receive all their components by workers trained to build the NSX. Some of the tolerances here are just half a millimeter, or half the thickness of a penny.

2020 Acura MDX PMC Edition

2020 Acura MDX PMC Edition

The MDX PMC Edition is based on the non-hybrid version of the mid-size SUV, which comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 good for 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Also part of the package is a 9-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive system.

Inside the vehicle is black trim consisting of a mix of leather and Alcantara. This is contrasted with red stitching and metal-finished paddle shifters. A unique PMC Edition numbered serial plaque is also fitted to each of the cars, together with top-shelf options such as the A-Spec sport appearance package, LED headlights, and adaptive suspension dampers.

2020 Acura MDX PMC

2020 Acura MDX PMC

Pricing information will be announced closer to next year’s market launch but Acura said to expect something in the mid-$60,000 bracket.

To learn about more cars debuting at the L.A. Auto Show news, head to our dedicated hub.



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Los Angeles Auto Show, Videos, youtube

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible is a gorgeous V-8 drop-top


The Lexus SC is back, or at least it is in spiritual form with Tuesday’s reveal of the LC Convertible.

This is the production version of a model first previewed as a concept at the start of the year and then as a prototype in the summer. It makes a formal debut on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show and you’ll be able to buy one next summer.

The LC Convertible has so far only been shown in LC 500 grade, which means a 5.0-liter V-8 sitting up front and pumping out 471 horsepower. The engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic and spins the rear wheels only.

Lexus hasn’t said whether there will be an LC 500h grade, but we can imagine there will be one for key hybrid markets. This one should come with 354 hp from a 3.5-liter V-6 and electric motor combo.

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

The roof on the LC Convertible is a four-layer soft-top with a tonneau cover at the rear to keep things neat when the roof is stored. It takes about 15 seconds to go up or down and can be operated at speeds of up to 31 mph. The four-layer design helps insulate the cabin from weather and noise, and buyers will be able to choose black or beige for the outer layer. There will also be special editions with different colors, but more on this later.

The LC is based on Lexus’ GA-L modular platform, a rigid design with a low center of gravity and near-ideal weight distribution. Thanks to this strong foundation, modifications required to make the LC Convertible match the driving qualities of the coupe were minor. They included a few additional braces to up rigidity and tuning of the suspension to compensate for the slight increase in weight.

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

The LC coupe starts at ‭$93,325‬, and the convertible version should run even higher. Potential rivals include Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class Cabriolet and SL-Class, the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible, and the Porsche 911 Cabriolet. Lexus predicts that LC sales in the future will be split evenly between the coupe and convertible. For early birds, there will be a limited-edition LC 500 Convertible Inspiration Series offered in Structural Blue paint with a matching blue top and a contrasting white semi-aniline leather interior trim. Just 100 will be made.

Note, Lexus isn’t finished with its LC. Sometime next year, the brand is expected to introduce a range-topping LC F. We hear the car could pack a new twin-turbocharged V-8 generating over 600 hp.

For more L.A. Auto Show news, head to our dedicated hub.



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Los Angeles Auto Show

2020 Subaru WRX and WRX STI receive Series.White specials


Subaru’s Impreza was redesigned for 2017 but the traditionally related WRX and WRX STI models are largely unchanged since they were last redesigned all the way back in 2015. A new generation is coming at some point, and in the interim Subaru is dolling out special edition after special edition.

The latest are the 2020 WRX and WRX STI Series.White models that were presented Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. In addition to a white paint job, the cars feature a number of extras that if added individually would cost a lot more than what Subaru is asking.

For the WRX Series.White, you get the WRX Premium model with a 6-speed manual transmission, Recaro seats, Brembo brakes with red calipers, Bilstein sport-tuned suspension, LED headlights, and matte black badges. Under the hood sits the familiar 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4 delivering a stock 268 horsepower.

2020 Subaru WRX STI Series White

For the WRX STI Series.White, there are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that, together with a Bilstein STI sport-tuned suspension, provide more grip and better performance. The car also receives heavy-duty steering rack mounts that provide increased rigidity between the steering rack and vehicle body. Brembo brakes are featured and come with a silver finish for the calipers and an “STI” logo, and inside, you’ll find Recaro seats, black trim with contrast stitching, and the full-size spare tire replaced with a tire repair kit to reduce weight. Peak power of 310 hp comes from a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4 and a 6-speed manual is standard.

Just 500 examples of each will be offered for the United States starting in early 2020. The WRX Series.White is priced from ‭$34,895‬ and the WRX STI Series.White from ‭$43,595. Both figures include destination.

For more LA Auto Show coverage, head to our dedicated hub.



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Leaked, Los Angeles Auto Show

This is the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E with up to 300 miles of range, 0-60 in 3 seconds, $43,895 base price


The Blue Oval’s newest pony took a huge leap forward on Sunday night with the reveal of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.

The 2021 Ford Mach-E electric crossover SUV will have up to 300 miles of driving range, sprint from 0 to 60 mph in mid 3-second range, and have all-wheel drive—although not all in the same car.

The base model will be called Select and cost $43,895 excluding the $7,500 federal tax credit and destination charge when it’s available in early 2021 (other versions will show in late 2020). It aims for 255 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque with an estimated EPA range of 210 to 230 miles, sprint from 0 to 60 mph in the mid-5-second range, and be available with rear- or all-wheel drive (which ups torque to 429 lb-ft). Interested buyers can reserve one for $500 via Ford’s website.

A step up will be the Premium model with 255 to 333 hp and 306 to 417 lb-ft of torque, an estimated 210 to 300 miles of driving range, mid 5- to 6-second 0 to 60 mph run, and rear- or all-wheel drive for $50,600 before the federal tax credit or destination charge.

California Route 1 models will have 282 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque with an an estimated 300 miles of range, mid 6-second 0 to 60 sprint, all-wheel drive with 18-inch wheels, and cost $52,400.

The quickest Mach-E will be the GT model with 459 hp and 612 lb-ft. Priced from $60,500 before federal tax incentives or destination charge, it’s the model enthusiasts will want with the mid 3-second 0 to 60 sprint and all-wheel drive along with 20-inch wheels. Its range is an estimated 235 miles.

A limited edition dubbed the First Edition will be priced from $59,900 and have 333 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque with an estimated 270 miles of range, mid 5-second 0 to 60 spring, all-wheel drive, and 19-inch wheels. Three exclusive exterior colors will be offered including Grabber Blue Metallic along with unique interior contrast stitching, First Edition scuff plates, brushed aluminum pedals, and red brake calipers.

Ford said the Mustang Mach-E will be able to regain 47 miles of range with 10 minutes of fast charging on a 150-kw charger. It will have a 78.7- or 98.8-kwh lithium-ion battery.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

The exterior of the Mach-E looks every bit inspired by the Mustang badge planted on the front. The LED head and taillights are nearly cribbed from the Mustang but feature their own distinct design elements. The roofline is fast and it will be interesting to find out how much head room is in the rear seat. A glass roof is available, but it’s yet to be seen if it’ll be standard.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Inside there’s a large Tesla-like touchscreen that dominates the center console with a slim digital gauge cluster in front of the three-spoke steering wheel.

The Mustang Mach-E rides atop a wheelbase that measures 117 inches between the wheels and spans 186 inches from bumper to bumper. It slots between the Escape and Edge in the Mustang linuep. The crossover will seat up to five with 29 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row or up to 59.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. A 4.8 cubic foot front trunk that’s waterproof will be included in all models. The Mustang Mach-E uses 18-inch front rotors with four-piston calipers, and 17-inch, single-pistons on the rear. The GT version has 19-inch rotors at all four corners with four, fixed pistons at each brake.

All noted specs weren’t final on the consumer site and may not be final by the time the car arrives in 2020.

This story is developing and will be updated.

Managing Editor Aaron Cole contributed to this report.



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Los Angeles Auto Show, youtube

Watch the electric Ford Mustang Mach-E reveal live, here


The biggest moment in the Ford Mustang’s history is about to take place. The Mustang is going electric. The Mustang is getting four doors. And the Mustang is going to be a crossover SUV. These aren’t three different vehicles. This is one single vehicle, and it’s called the Mustang Mach-E.

After years of rumors, months of teasers, and a slow-drip of details Ford’s new battery-electric crossover, it’s finally set to be unveiled later today in Los Angeles. Ford will provide live coverage beginning at 6:00 p.m. local time. For those on the East cost, drink a 5-Hour Energy because things won’t kick off until 9:00 p.m.

After the reveal is over at approximately 6:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. ET) Ford will begin taking reservations for the Mach-E online. Each reservation will require a $500 refundable deposit.

What do we expect to see? The Mach-E will be a four-door crossover with a Pony on the front and rear, Mustang-like LED head and taillights, and a fast roofline.

The interior should be a mix of retro Mustang cues with a modern twist. The cabin will likely be full of technology with a digital gauge cluster, large touchscreen for vehicle controls and infotainment system, and seating for four or five adults.

Ford Mustang Mach-E logo

Ford’s said the Mach-E will have up to 300 miles of driving range (an elusive figure that Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar can’t seem to catch Tesla on), rear- or all-wheel drive, and a performance slant to it.

It’s likely there will be performance options and upgrades, and the 300-mile range will need to be EPA-rated in the end, considering the U.S. will likely be the vehicle’s main market.

All of the wondering ends and questions will be answered once the sheet drops and the Mustang Mach-E comes fully into view. Grab a bowl of popcorn because the Mustang is story is about to take a major turn.



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Los Angeles Auto Show, sport sedans

Understated 563-horsepower 2020 Audi S8 will set you back $130,495


Audi has detailed the U.S.-market S8 ahead of its formal unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. America’s version of the 563-horsepower S8 will start at $130,495 (including a $995 destination fee), Audi announced Friday.

The highlight of the S8 is its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. It makes 110 more horsepower than the highest-output A8 variant  (though 42 hp less than the last S8 Plus) and a grunty 590 pound-feet of torque. Power goes to the ground via Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system with a little help from a sport differential that delivers torque vectoring across the rear axle. Audi says this combo is good for a 3.8-second sprint to 60 mph on the way to a top speed of 155 (electronically limited). 

2020 Audi S8 (European version)

The 2020 S8 also boasts rear-wheel steering, which can steer the rear wheels opposite of the fronts at low speeds for greater agility and in the same direction as the fronts at higher speeds for improved stability. Here in the States, we get only the long-wheelbase variant of Audi’s hotted-up sedan, so the extra low-speed maneuverability will be a welcome inclusion. Variable-ratio steering will also make the S8 quicker on its feet. 

Like the rest of the A8 lineup, the latest S8 gets a small dose of electrification. A 48-volt mild hybrid setup improves the engine’s auto stop/start performance, but the electric-only “coast” mode that Audi enables for overseas models does not appear to have made it into the American-market S8. 

2020 Audi S8 (European version)

2020 Audi S8 (European version)

Of course, performance alone is not the hallmark of an Audi—even one in its higher-performance S line. Comfort is key. The S8’s predictive active suspension can be dialed in for either performance or comfort, and the 2020 S8 also packs dual-pane acoustic glass, diamond-stitched Valcona leather front sport seats, and a cabin air ionization and purification system with available fragrances. 

Outside, the S8 is set apart by quad exhaust outlets, a set of 21-inch, double-spoke wheels, and LED matrix headlights. Audi’s “Laser Lights” and OLED animated taillights are available for an extra charge. 

Audi’s announcement also detailed the rest of the 2020 A8 lineup, from the $86,195 entry model (dubbed the A8 55 TFSI) on up to the range-topping A8 60 TFSI e. The “e” denotes this model as a plug-in hybrid, which is a first for the range here in the United States. Its hybrid powertrain includes a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 paired to an electric motor and a 14.1-kwh battery pack.

With 443 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque on tap, this hybrid is anything but mild. Audi says it’ll do 0-60 mph in just under 5.0 seconds—more than half a second quicker than the standard V-6 A8. Pricing for this model has not yet been released. 

We’ll see the 2020 Audi S8 alongside the rest of the lineup in the flesh at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. 

For more information from LA, go to our dedicated hub.



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Los Angeles Auto Show

Audi RS Q8 to debut at 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show


Audi will use next week’s Los Angeles Auto Show for the world debut of the RS Q8.

It will be one of two world premieres on Audi’s stand; the other being the E-Tron Sportback.

The RS Q8 is a high-performance crossover SUV from the Audi Sport division. It’s already been shown to be capable of lapping the Nürburgring in 7:42.253, which is a record for production SUVs, and we also know that it will sprint to 62 mph in only 3.8 seconds and top out at 190 mph.

2020 Audi RS Q8 spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

To achieve those numbers, the RS Q8 relies on the same 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 found in the latest RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback. This means the RS Q8 should pack, at a minimum, 592 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic and rear-biased all-wheel-drive system also form part of the package.

A mild-hybrid system also forms part of the powertrain. This is essentially a belt-driven motor-generator that can recover energy under braking. This energy can then be stored for later use, such as starting the engine during stop-start driving and enabling the vehicle to coast with the engine off at speeds of up to 99 mph for short periods. Though it’s yet to be confirmed, a more powerful plug-in hybrid powertrain is expected in a future RS Q8 Performance model.

The L.A. Auto Show starts on November 19. Audi will also use the event for the North American debuts of the RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback. You can learn about other vehicles set to appear by visiting our dedicated hub.

New Audi RS 7 Sportback and RS 6 Avant

New Audi RS 7 Sportback and RS 6 Avant



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