Another year is in the books and it is time to kick off the 2014 automobile show season with the event that starts the debut and sales cycle all over again ... the Motor Press Guild hosted Press Days for the LA Auto Show.
This edition has a few design and booth highlights of note that include the bringing forward of a radically artful concept body design to the streets (if this ever happens, it is usually toned way down), a second look at mid-century luxury design in a hard top two-door (that had a dealer from Valencia, California chanting to the designers at the booth to "JUST BUILD IT"), a full 3-D car sculpture not intended to advance automobile design on the road but on the HD screen of a game console, and lastly, an artful booth presentation that featured two string instrument performers (violin and cello) playing classic rock-n-roll hits from Guns and Roses to the Doors.
BMW introduced a radical concept body design at the LA Auto Show a couple of years ago that became a bit of a signature, but no one thought this sculpted approach would ever see the pavement of the street or the light of the sun until the announcement of the new BMW iDrive.
Cadillac has been flirting with design in a different direction - away from the radical arch around a wheel element - to the simplicity of American mid-century modern inspired design (first shown a couple of years ago with the Ciel Concept, pronounced “C-L,” the French word for sky, a four-seat convertible) that is seeing a strong revival in homes, furniture, and now ... cars.
A modern update to the classic format of a two-door grand coupe, Elmiraj Concept provides a look inside the Cadillac Studio/North Hollywood to see how the designers envision performance and luxury for the next generation of luxury drivers. The long dash-to-axle front profile, a Cadillac signature, gives the coupe a performance-oriented form. The long wheelbase and clean bodyside characterizes the car’s spacious dimensions and elevated status.
An interesting observation at the stand was that this Elmiraj Concept display was directly across from the Bentley booth with all of their well-over $100,000 to $300,000-plus cars and most everyone who stopped to take in the view, had their backs toward the Bentley display.
Mercedes-Benz design in Sunnyvale, California used the occasion of the LA Auto Show to dazzle attendees with a full scale creation of a digital car, AMG Vision GT Concept, that will be featured as a supercar in the Gran Turismo 6 video game.
The really tragic thing, other than the obvious time and expense put forward on this artful motor culture display for just the promotion of a video game, this particular AMG Vision GT Concept will never see the light of day or a street ... it is not a car.
"This is the future of Mercedes-Benz design," Gorden Wagener, vice president for design at Daimler, said as he introduced the car at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where Motor Press Guild hosted Press Days began on Wednesday, simultaneous with its unveiling at the Tokyo motor show. "This car, or elements of it, will make its way into production."
KIA used its stage to introduce the world to its new full sized K900 four-door sedan. In the lead up to the presentation, however, the Press Days attendees were treated to a rather sublime concert of very hard rock songs with the twist of being performed with the delicate tones delivered through a violin and a cello accompanied by a slideshow of iconic images of California (from the Golden Gate Bridge to Griffith Observatory) that was projected through a very wide landscape format jumbo-tron with the image first projected in Black & White then fading into a Full Color version.
The Korean automaker unveiled the all-new K900, a large sedan that will offer the space and trappings of German land yachts, while undercutting their prices by tens of thousands of dollars.
"This is our boldest statement yet," said Tom Loveless, executive vice president of sales for Kia. "It's a true flagship sedan that symbolizes how far we've come, and we believe it will make you question everything you thought you knew about Kia."
Of course, there was more ... much, much, more ... but all one has to do to get a look and feel of the beginning of the automobile tradeshow season is just attend the LA Auto Show which runs from November 22 - December 1, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown LA!
... notes from The EDJE