Our Favorite Designs, Concepts and Debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2014
My dad has always been a bit of a car geek. When I was 10, he took me to my first Auto Show. I was captivated by the futuristic concepts and wild visions of car makers. I was not even close to owning a driver’s license but I remember jumping into every sports car I could and imagining what it’d be like to race it. This year, I was able to attend the first day of debuts for the 2014 Auto Show at the Convention Center. As soon as I stepped into the main halls, I felt like a child again. I did not know where to start, but I decided to check out my favorite auto-makers first.
The first stop: Toyota. My family has always had a special affinity for the Japanese brand. My parents were a fan of the bulletproof reliability of the late 80’s through early 90’s Camrys and Corollas, my sister even drove a first-gen MR2 for a few years. Toyota brought out some intriguing cars this year.
The Mirai is Toyota’s first hydrogen-powered sedan. Coming from the makers of the ubiquitous Prius, the Mirai is an environmentally friendly is a zero-emissions vehicle. Included in the $57,000 price tag is unlimited hydrogen fuel for 3 years. “Mirai” is Japanese for “future” and Toyota hopes the car will lead another revolution in greener vehicles much like the Prius did.
Toyota also showed off its i-ROAD concept, an electric vehicle meant for getting around tight spaces in the city. The 3-wheel design can seat up to two people inline giving it a form factor slightly wider than a motorcycle. You may not be able to split lanes on the highway, but the enclosed cockpit makes it a safer, all-weather alternative to a motorcycle. The shifting front wheels employ Toyota’s “Active Lean” technology to help keep the i-Road upright during low speed turns.
Toyota also brought its sleek FT-1 concept vehicle. The vehicle is an homage to Toyota’s sports car heritage including the 2000GT, Celica, Supra and the Scion FR-S/Toyota FT-86.
They even let people test drive the car on a virtual track in Gran Turismo 6.
Lexus also had a few cars to show off. The production-ready RC is a performance-oriented luxury coupe.
Lexus also unveiled their convertible LF-C2 concept. The brash grille and bright yellow paint did not exactly scream class and luxury, but the innards were plush.
Nissan presented their BladeGlider concept. Based on the DeltaWing racecar, this combines the shape of the oddly shaped racecar with an electric drive train to make “an exploratory prototype of an upcoming production vehicle”
Below are BMW’s pair of plug-in hybrids: The i8 and the i3
Scion debuted the new iM Concept, a sporty hatchback
Mini proudly displayed their British heritage with the Superleggera Vision Concept. The top-down vehicle was inspired by the legacy and classic stylings of the brand. It even incorporated the Union Jack into prominent features of the design, specifically the tail lights and the inner door handles.
Mini also unveiled their Citysurfer concept scooter. It’s a folding electric scooter intended to help urban dwellers get to their destination without having to worry about parking.
Concept cars are a creative exercise. Although they may not always function, they help give consumers an idea of what to expect in cars of the future. From these concepts, we see the trend continue towards greener alternatives while also having a “smarter” car. You don’t necessarily have to be obsessed with cars to enjoy the auto show, but it certainly helps.
The LA Auto Show will be open to the public until November 30th. Go check it out and let us know which cars tickled your fancy!