It's fall, which means the Los Angeles auto show is here. This is the first major auto show of the season, and there are several SUVs and crossovers making their North American debuts here. This show is the first time the BMW X6 Hybrid will be revealed to the public. Also new to American soil is the Kia Sorento, switching for the first time from a body-on-frame platform to a unibody. Hyundai is revealing its Tucson crossover, and Mitsubishi is showing a micro-crossover concept. In addition, the Los Angeles show is always good for some surprises, as well as a cool section for aftermarket products and modified vehicles.
Whether you're interested in trucks, SUVs, or crossovers, trucktrend.com will keep you up to date on all of the highlights.
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2011 KIA Sorento
It's an all-change season for the Sorento. In hitting the maximum reset button, Kia has given the Gen II iteration a comprehensive makeover that moves it from the ranks of conventional SUV into unambiguous crossover territory. Along with that carefully calculated swerve into the people-pampering lane, the 2011 Sorento -- yes, there will be no 2010 Sorento -- also becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen. Starting in November, the first Kia vehicle to be made in America will start rolling out of a new $1.2-billion manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia. We ponder both points while slipping behind the wheel of some preproduction models and heading down I-85 from rain-ravaged Atlanta to see what this recasting effort has really accomplished and to tour its nascent home base.
| 2011 Kia Sorento Side View
Subtle but meaningful tweaks to the 2011 Sorento's proportions yield big gains on the visual and functional fronts. Sleeker sheetmetal previewed in the KND-4 Concept boasts more pronounced edge-and-wedge flair accentuated by a "flying wing" side scallop and a far bolder front fascia with a dramatically reshaped "Schreyer line" grille/headlamp treatment that design chief Peter Schreyer is establishing as a Kia signature cue. At the rear, a large single-piece liftgate serves as the centerpiece of its own more interestingly contoured fascia while 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels complete the mix.
| 2011 Kia Sorento Center Console
However, the most tangible benefits result from a decision to move the Sorento's A-pillars forward and its D-pillars back. While its overall length expands by just 3.7 inches and the wheelbase actually shrinks 0.3 inch, interior volume on the 2011 Sorento has risen by some 15 percent over the outgoing Gen I model, improving passenger space throughout its cabin and allowing for a new, kid-friendly third-row seat. Although opting for that "seven-up" configuration does limit cargo capacity to 9.1 cubic feet, flat-folding the rearmost 50/50 perch yields the same 37.0 cubic feet of stow space as a five-passenger Sorento. And for those critical Saturday-morning Home Depot missions, dropping the backs on its fore/aft-sliding 60/40 mid-row bench creates a 72.5-cubic-foot mini cave.
Mitsubishi PX-MiEV Concept
The Mitsubishi PX-MiEV makes its North American debut at this year’s LA autoshow. It first made headlines back in early October when it made its world debut at the 2009 Toyko Motor Show.
Mitsubishi's president Osamu Masuko hopes a production version of the fuel-efficient concept will arrive in the U.S. by 2013.
| 2009 Mitsubishi Px Miev Front Three Quarters
While series hybrids, which use an electric motor to boost the output of a gasoline engine, are the most common form of hybrid vehicle at the moment, Mitsubishi is skipping ahead to what appears to be the next step: parallel hybrids.
In Mitsubishi’s PX-MiEV concept, a 114-hp 1.6L four-cylinder engine with 92 lb-ft of torque is augmented by two electric motors which do most of the work. In most cases, the electric motor mounted on the front axle drives the front wheels, but when more power is needed, the gasoline engine kicks on to help. Under heavy loads, heavy acceleration or emergency maneuvers, another electric motor at the rear axle also kicks in to provide power and help stabilize the vehicle. When the gasoline engine isn’t needed, it either switches off or acts as a generator to recharge the battery or power the electric motors, whichever is most efficient at the moment. Each electric motor generates 60 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque and all together, Mitsubishi says the PX-MiEV can achieve 118 mpg.
| 2009 Mitsubishi Px Miev Wheel
In addition to determining the most efficient way to propel the PX-MiEV in any given circumstance, the computer can also use the electric motors to dole out torque both front-to-rear and side-to-side for maximum stability and traction. Cameras mounted around the vehicle, meanwhile, give the driver a birds-eye view for navigating in tight spaces.
| 2009 Mitsubishi Px Miev Display
Inside, the PX-MiEV features a futuristic design replete with touchscreen panels for all non-driving related controls. The minimalist interior comes with a horseshoe-shaped steering wheel stuffed with buttons to activate as many vehicle systems (like navigation and stereo) without the driver taking his or her hands off of the wheel. Touchscreens in front and rear take up as little passenger space as possible while the heated and cooled seats feature a material that traps and destroys odors and allergens. Reflective paint and window coatings keep interior temperatures down to reduce energy usage.
The PX-MiEV can be charged from either a standard 110-volt wall socket, a 200-volt socket or a special high-voltage quick-charger, though Mitsubishi hasn’t specified charging times. The vehicle can also act as a giant battery and power a household appliance to cut home energy costs or act as a generator to provide electricity during an outage.
| 2009 Mitsubishi Px Miev People At The Display
2010 Hyundai Tucson
The Hyundai Tucson compact SUV has been a decent performer for the Korean automaker, but its unconventional styling and five years on the road without major updates have kept sales volumes down. To remedy this, Hyundai is pulling out all the stops for the all-new 2011 Tucson, which made its world debut recently at the Frankfurt Motor show in European trim as the ix35 (pictured here).
| 2010 Hyundai Tucson Front Three Quarters Static 2
There will be no confusing the new Tucson with the outgoing model. The styling has been radically altered to fit Hyundai's new "fluidic sculpture" design motif and features major changes to the sheetmetal all around. The most noticeable changes are to the front end, where the current Tucson's bug-eyed styling is gone in favor of pulled-back headlights, sharp creases and Hyundai's corporate hexagonal grille. Changes to the front and rear fascias as well as the side skirts make the Tucson look lower and more car-like, making it more like a crossover and less like an SUV, as is the style these days.
| 2010 Hyundai Tucson Front Three Quarter
So far, Hyundai hasn't announced what engines will power the new Tucson in the U.S. market, but we expect 2.0 and 2.4-liter fours, and we wouldn't rule out the possibility that Hyundai's new 198-hp Theta II direct injection 2.4-liter four will make it to the vehicle at some point. They'll be mated to the company's new six-speed automatic transmission. There has been no word yet on whether the Tucson will retain its V-6 engine option. Other features will include hill hold, downhill brake assist, a panoramic sunroof and a back-up camera with its screen embedded in the rearview mirror.
| 2010 Hyundai Tucson Rear Three Quarters Static 2
First Look: 2010 Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai couldn't help but improve upon the outgoing version of its Tucson CUV.
2010 Hyundai Tucson Photo Gallery: What's New for 2010
Click here to see photos for the 2010 Hyundai Tucson and check out what's new for 2010!
2010 Hyundai Tucson Offical Press Release
Read Hyundai's Press Release on the 2010 Hyundai here!
2011 Toyota Sienna
The all-new 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan is making its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this year. Not much is known yet about the new Toyota minivan, but Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Sales USA, said the new Sienna will be more fuel efficient.
| 2011 Toyota Sienna Sport Package
That's not at all surprising given looming CAFE regulations, but it's how Toyota will go about improving the Sienna's MPG rating that's the big the question. We're guessing either an optional hybrid and/or a four-cylinder powertrain is in the offing for the long-in-the-tooth people hauler.
| 2011 Toyota Sienna Center Stack
Currently, the 2010 Sienna -- pictured here -- is powered by a 3.5L V-6 making 266 hp mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. At this point, it isn't clear whether all-wheel drive, which is an option on the outgoing van, will make it to the 2011 Sienna. Stay tuned for complete details on the new Sienna coming soon.
Range Rover Sport Autobiography Limited Edition
When buying a 510-hp supercharged Range Rover Sport seems too plebian, perhaps the newly unveiled 2010 Range Rover Sport Autobiography Limited Edition would suit you better?
| 2010 Range Rover Sport Autobiography Limited Edition Front Three Quarter View
Like the Range Rover Sport Supercharged, the Autobiography Limited Edition -- debuting at the Los Angeles Auto Show -- is refreshed for 2010. That means much more powerful engines and tweaked styling. This special edition adds to that package (and to the base price, of course), enhancing the SUV's design inside and out.
The effort is most eye-catching on the interior, where two-tone leather is available in three color combinations. An Autobiography Sport logo can be found in the front and rear headrests, as well as on the wood door panels. We see the interior changes improving an already posh cabin.
| 2010 Range Rover Sport Autobiography Limited Edition Rear View
Santorini Black is the only exterior color for the 250 Autobiography Limited Editions, which are all equipped with 20-in. Diamond-Turned alloy wheels. The look is more subtle than the attractive 5-spoke wheels available on the regular Supercharged model. The Limited Edition also gets beefier-looking exhaust extensions, something that Land Rover should consider implementing on the rest of the line when sales of the Range Rover Sport begin to falter.
Like the identically powered Range Rover Sport, the Limited Edition will sprint from 0-60 mph in 5.9 sec.
| 2010 Range Rover Sport Autobiography Limited Edition Front View
Included in the Limited Edition are a number of otherwise optional features like an electronic rear differential lock, adaptive cruise control, HD radio, and a rear seat entertainment system with 10-in. displays mounted in the back of the front seat headrests. Altogether, a regular Range Rover Sport with these options would cost around $80,000. Factor in the extra equipment and exclusivity of the Limited Edition and you are left with its $88,545 price, including $850 for destination.
If you're already set to pay this much for an SUV, why not go all the way?
Source: Land Rover
Dunkel Industries Luxury 4x4 Expedition Truck
Once upon a time, Dunkel Industries had a novel idea: assemble a long-distance expedition truck that could tackle the great outdoors, yet offer comfortable amenities for the whole family. To turn the idea into reality, Dunkel took a Ford F-650/750 chassis cab and created a custom ride that passes as both a luxury RV and durable off-roader.
| Dunkel Industries Luxury 4x4 Expedition Truck Drivers Side Front
Beginning with the Ford commercial crew-cab, a custom shell was added to produce the living quarters. Dunkel then mounted a custom box to further cover the chassis’ rear, giving birth to the signature feature of all pickup trucks. The expedition truck is 384 inches long, 102 inches wide, and 138 inches tall, dimensions that would make Optimus Prime proud.
| Dunkel Industries Luxury 4x4 Expedition Truck Side View
The live-in area contains features including custom cabinets, an entertainment center, and a small kitchen area, which include a folding sink, two-burner stove, and refrigerator. Two pull-out tables, a bed, and accommodating storage space are also vital components for quality of living.
| Dunkel Industries Luxury 4x4 Expedition Truck Front Grill
The custom box is quite a sight. Its tilt feature, combined with integrated ramps, allows ATVs and other powersport vehicles to be loaded and stowed on top of the truck. Given the size of the box, the bed can also be used to carry a full-size car.
For a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,000 pounds, the power supply of choice has to be diesel. The Dunkel truck houses a 7.2-liter Caterpillar C7, rated at 300 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque, beneath its engine cover. The inline-six routes its power through an Allison 3000 6-speed automatic transmission, which further distributes the go-power through a military-grade 4x4 system sourced from Fabco. The axle ratio of choice is a short and stout 5.29.
| Dunkel Industries Luxury 4x4 Expedition Truck Interior
A manufacturer-supplied features list is available below. For more information, visit the Dunkel Industries Web site
• Custom seats
• Custom cabinets
• Center dash with navigation, stereo, Bluetooth, DVD, CD, and laptop
• Rear bed/seat
• Custom one-touch entry stairwell
• Tilt-bed with ramps
• Truck levelers
• Extra water
• Three winches
• Tow package with air hook-ups
• Three windshield wipers
• Custom rims and tires
• Custom front grille
• Custom bumpers with lights
• Two flat-screen TVs -- 17- and 12-inches
• LED lighting (above and under cabinets)
• Rear closet with drawer
• Two custom pull-out tables
• Two hideaway boxes (each side of rear seat)
• 3200 Onan generator
• Kitchen sink (folding)
• Two-burner stove
• Aluminum bed deck with tie-downs
• Upper deck (for additional storage)
• Rear pintle hitch (pivot with spring)
• Front tow bar
• Drivers air-ride seat
• Upper cabinets (six)
• Back-up camera (optional for left and right sides)
• Monitor for cameras
• Four house batteries
• 18,000-BTU A/C-heater
• Air-ride for chassis with separate air-ride for cab
| Dunkel Industries Luxury 4x4 Expedition Truck Front Grill
BMW ActiveHybrid X6
BMW ActiveHybrid technology combines superior driving dynamics with equally superior efficiency pointing far into the future, brining together both of these qualities to offer a truly unique driving experience.
| BMW ActiveHybrid X6 Side View
The world’s first Sports Activity Coupé with full hybrid drive therefore capitalises on the options offered by combining the combustion engine and the electric motor with a standard of perfection never seen before. BMW ActiveHybrid technology offers a significant increase in driving dynamics and at the same time reduces fuel consumption by approximately 20 per cent versus a comparable vehicle powered by a combustion engine alone. The result is even greater Sheer Driving Pleasure combined with enhanced fuel economy and CO2 management providing the kind of progress to make the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 a typical BMW in the hybrid market.
The overall drive system featured in the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 consists of a 300 kW/407 hpV8 gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and two electric synchronous motors delivering 67 kW/91 hp and, respectively, 63 kW/86 hp. Maximum system output is 357 kW/485 hp, peak torque is 780 Newton-metres/575 lb-ft.
| BMW ActiveHybrid X6 Front Grille
Precisely controlled interaction of the three power units optimises the overall efficiency of the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 at all speeds, with acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds. Top speed of the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 is limited electronically to 236 km/h or 146 mph (250 km/h or 155 mph with the optional Sports Package, with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 9.9 litres/100 km (equal to 28.5 mpg imp) and a CO2 emission rating of 231 grams per kilometre.
| BMW ActiveHybrid X6 Fash
BMW’s first full hybrid model is able to run exclusively on electric power – and that is entirely free of CO2 – up to a speed of 60 km/h or 37 mph, with the combustion engine being activated automatically whenever required.
Ideal variation of the two drive modes for enhanced efficiency and dynamism is ensured by The two-mode active transmission provides the ideal combination of the two power modes for enhanced efficiency and dynamic performance at all times. With the two electric motors, three planetary gearsets and four multiple-plate clutches, drive power is transmitted through a seven-gear automatic transmission operated by the driver of the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 via an electronic gear selector lever and, respectively, shift paddles on the steering wheel.
| BMW ActiveHybrid X6 Rear View
BMW’s intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system spreads out engine power variably between the front and rear wheels.
The electric motors receive their energy from an NiMH high-performance battery positioned beneath the floor of the luggage compartment and feeding electric power also to the car’s on-board network. Luggage compartment capacity is therefore the same as on the “regular” BMW X6 with its combustion engine. When applying the brakes or taking back the gas pedal kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy and is stored in the highperformance battery. To provide this function either one or both of the electric motors acts as a generator, feeding electric power generated without the slightest increase in fuel consumption directly into the highvoltage battery. Subsequent use of this energy to provide extra drive power significantly reduces the consumption of fuel.
Now the introduction of this innovative technology in such an exceptional vehicle concept adds a particularly fascinating motoring experience through the efficiency achieved in this way. Through its size, character and driving dynamics, the world’s one and only Sports Activity Coupé is particularly well-suited to combine the progressiveness and the potential of BMW ActiveHybrid technology to a standard never seen before.
| BMW ActiveHybrid X6 Front View
First Drive: 2010 BMW X6 ActiveHybrid
You Will Know It by Its Hood Bulge: The 2010 BMW X6 ActiveHybrid's saving grace is that unlike the General Motors hybrid SUVs and ...