The Latest From LA & Tokyo
LA Dreamin’

This has been a huge week for the automotive industry with both the Los Angeles Auto Show and the Tokyo Motor Show happening simultaneously. With so many new and interesting vehicles being unveiled on both sides of the Pacific, it’s time to take a quick look through some of the exciting machinery that’s been debuted.


Let’s begin in the City of Angels, which is where Jaguar took the wraps off its new F-Type Coupe – a car which adds a handsome fixed roofline to the already sexy F-Type Roadster.


The car will be available in three trim levels, with the top of the line R model being powered by a 550 horsepower supercharged 5.0 liter V8.


As you can see, the car has worked in a lot of styling cues from the popular CX-16 Concept, and it’s sure to be another solid addition to Jag’s increasingly potent car line-up.


Mercedes Benz meanwhile used LA to debut the SLS AMG GT Final Edition. Yes, SLS production will soon be ending and AMG has released this special edition model to mark the occasion.


With production limited to just 350 units, the car will be available in both coupe and roadster form, and after that the SLS is gone for good. Special touches include an exposed carbon fiber hood along with unique interior trim and badging. It’s one of those cars that’s sure to become a collector’s item in the future.


If you see the special edition SLS AMG being a little mundane, you might be more excited to see the Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept.


Although this thing is clearly an imaginative concept rather than something that’s production friendly, it does provide a very interesting glimpse at AMG’s future.


Perhaps we will see the successor to the soon-to-be-departed SLS looking something like this? Time will tell.


Porsche has always had a big presence at the LA Auto Show, and this year’s big debut definitley isn’t made for the purist. This is the Macan, a compact SUV that’s essentially a baby Cayenne.


The Macan will be available with a few different powerplants, with the top of the line Macan Turbo powered by a 400 horsepower twin turbo 3.6 V6.

Japan strikes back

On the more accessible end of the spectrum, Nissan showed off the surprisingly cool Sentra Nismo Concept in Los Angeles. Back in the early ’90s the original Sentra SE-R was a favorite among the budget-oriented car enthusiast, and this car appears to bring back some of that magic.


It’s got unique body parts, upgraded wheels and brakes, an LSD and most importantly, a 240 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder under the hood.


It seems that no automaker was busier than Subaru this week, with several big debuts happening in both Los Angeles and Tokyo. In LA, one of the stars was the Legacy Concept, which hints at the future of the popular sedan.


The current Legacy has never given off a particularity strong aura, but the concept suggests the new car could be sleeker and more muscular. Thumbs up to that.


Even more interesting though, was the official debut of the 2015 WRX in LA. We’ve long been waiting to see what the next gen WRX will be like, and now we know.


Available as a sedan only, the new WRX will have 268 horsepower from a 2.0 liter turbo engine and will be offered with both a six-speed manual or a CVT. The real question now is, what will the new STI look like?


Heading several thousand miles across the Pacific to Tokyo now, we have Subaru’s Levorg Concept.


Sized larger than the Impreza, the Levorg is a very production-friendly wagon that can be had with a 296 horsepower 2.0 liter turbo boxer motor – and of course it has room for the whole family.


But the most exciting thing Subaru showed this week may be the Cross Sport Design Concept. Despite the strange name, the car very clearly shows what a BRZ shooting brake could look like.


How can you not like the idea of a BRZ hatchback? I’ll take mine sans the fender cladding and increased ride height, please.

Long live the enthusiast

Toyota meanwhile showed off a new version of its FT-86 Open Concept in Tokyo.


This is the same car we saw in Geneva now coated in red, but the fact that it’s being shown once again suggests Toyota is still thinking about building one.


An open-roof 86 would certainly be a nice way to broaden the line-up and to give some competition to the Mazda MX-5, wouldn’t it?


Honda also came out fighting in Tokyo, showing not only the upcoming NSX and S660 Concept, but the 2015 Civic Type R.


The new car represents a big comeback for the beloved Type R with the addition of a turbocharged 276 horsepower Earth Dreams four cylinder.


Isn’t it pretty strange to think that this Civic has a horsepower rating almost identical to the Supra and Skyline GT-R of the ’90s? Oh how far we’ve come.


Speaking of the GT-R, it seems every time you blink your eyes there’s a new and improved version of the R35 around – and now we have the 2015 Nismo GT-R.


Being called the ultimate iteration of the GT-R, the 600 horsepower monster certainly looks poised to take things to a new level. I’m looking forward to reading Dino’s test drive impressions.


Last, but absolutely not least we have the car that’s stolen the show – the Nissan IDx Freeflow, which you can read more about in Dino’s report from the show floor.


I will say though that I’m personally in love with it. I honestly haven’t been this excited about a new car since the original FT-86 Concept from several years ago. Please build it Nissan!



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The Mercedes concept is stunning!!!


i was reading larry's writeup on the aston... u guys need to have a
feature on the F-Type. i hear its spectacular.... also 276 turbo charged
type r? mind blown. that subaru shooting brake concept looks very
panamera-ish. it looks good... it could use 2 more doors and im sold.
everything that subaru's put out is very
attractive. but not sti versions?? i guess we will have to wait. 2014 is going to be full of surprises. nismo gtr...
mind blown


It's interesting to see Honda changing direction. Where most companies are looking at fuel efficiency, Honda is breaking down it's barriers and diving into new areas.

Phillidelphia Collins

I personally think the Sentra has completely lost it's visual character; without badges it would be impossible to tell what it is. To me the b15 and b16 especially had a really good thing going, even know they both looked totally different, they where both unmistakable. 
The Levorg seems to suffer from this as well, and to a lesser extent, the rest of Subaru's lineup. They made them more 'modern' and curvy, sure, and they certainly don't look *bad*. But it will be a while before they are recognizable as what they are. Maybe even after a while, they'll still look like a mix of 5 other cars. 
On the other hand, I'm super exited for the IDX. Definitely cool.


"An open-roof 86 would certainly be a nice way to broaden the line-up and
to give some competition to the Mazda MX-5, wouldn’t it?"
No.  Don't encourage them.  If they want a Miata competitor they can bring back the MR2 Spyder, not bastardize the 86.
I'm pretty excited by the IDx Nismo too.  I don't think we have to wish
for Nissan to build it though, they MUST be tired of watching
Toyota/Subaru get all that money unchallenged.


That front-end on the Levorg looks amazing! :D


Is it just me or does the F-Type look exactly like the new corvette from the front??


I'm really excited about the S660 actually


I'm sorry but I am disgusted by what Subaru is doing to the Legacy. Its getting blockier and blockier. The body panels may have more lines than the new one, but those headlights look like theyre from a Chevy Malibu. I am seriously disapointed. I hope its still a great, reliable sport sedan though.


I also agree on the new nissan. I would love to have one as my first new car.




i think that IDX is the ugliest car. When i saw the original 86 concept my jaw dropped. when i saw this i gagged a little. I love nissan motors, old nissan styling, but the current stuff isn't for me, and this concept... I just don't get it. the interior isnt so bad i guess, and the profile is okay, but the front and back are terrible.


I'm a big Honda fan, but what's up with STi-style flares on their Type R?


LouisYio They'll probably come out with one later on in the model that always do, no biggie.


JDMDONG They all look like the Corvette, or the Viper, or some Ferrari...


Brocky_X WHILE still being overly efficient, that's what impresses me most.


apex_DNA JDMDONG You guys do know that front-end of the F-type was seen long before the new Corvette... Who is copying who?


apex_DNA Flares everywhere!


apex_DNA LouisYio That's what I'd assume as well - although last generation that hatch came first strangely enough.


johnbezt Hmm. I thought the concept was lot less blockier than the current car, but I know what you mean.


LouisSoon Hopefully it will make its way out of Japan.


Simply P I sure hope so!


Brocky_X Would be really nice to see them get their mojo back!


d_rav And the price is surprisingly reasonable too. 100k for the top end doesn't seem to bad - not that I could afford any of them haha.


I'm a huge Subaru fan boy and I have to say that the "new" WRX design isn't as compact as I was hoping for though (thought Subaru said the new WRX/WRX STI would be smaller, not bigger?). I'm not blown away by that rear either. I definately prefer the front end to the last generation though, so thats a big plus in my
This is just the WRX. Will wait to see
what the STI looks like before I dismiss it...


I have to say I'm pretty disappointed with a lot of the new models (especially the Japanese ones). The WRX doesn't have any of the attitude the concept had, and what's with the HUGE box arches/swage lines they make the wheels look tiny! The Civic looks dreadful too, I like they've gone a bit mental, but in the pictures it just doesn't seem to work, the wheels look like the wrong offset, maybe in the flesh it'll look better? Lastly the IDx... hmmm... the base model is only partly redeemed by the four spoke retro wheels. The Nismo IDx looks like it has more potential, but strip away the cool graphics and colours and would it still look right? 

The F-Type Coupe looks beautiful. But in fairness you could have let Stevie Wonder draw a roof on that thing and it would still ooze beauty. I'll still take mine with a soft top though thanks. :)


The new WRX is lameeeee. So weak. Give me back the Impreza's of old.


New Impreza is so disappointing.. It looks like they only did a facelift on the old model. It looks too bulky and tall. And the interior.. As you'd expect from Subaru, it looks straight from the 90's. :)


As a huge SUBARU fan I am really disappointed with the look of the new impreza. After 2008 they are getting uglier and uglier. I really like the idea of a BRZ hatchback but without the additional clearance. The IDx is something I did't expect and honestly, I don't like it. It is a great idea to bring back the 510 but this is too far from it. I wish it could look closer to the old car. That Nismo is a monster 7.08 at the 'ring' is absolutely amazing. I'm looking forward to Honda's s660 concept. It will be great fun to drive a 1.0 turbo RWD lightweight roadster... :) :)


Honda V-TEC with turbo? I dont want to live on this planet anymore...


VTEC Turbo y0
Good to see Honda is starting to come around again, but I highly doubt it'll come to the US. Maybe it could be a limited run, a la DC2R?


Who cares, and I'm being serious.


That new WRX sucks.


Couldn't they design their own? That's all I'm saying.


What's wrong?


Well I like the new WRX, but the Levorg is waaaay better, hope to see it in Europe...


Mike Garrett apex_DNA LouisYio I was really hoping for a wagon. Just as long as it comes. I have an Impreza that I want to trade in for the WRX Wagon when/if it comes out.


WTF a CVT transmission in a WRX?!?!  Thats essentially a scooter transmission! a singe speed continuously variable transmission! two spring loaded cones and a  belt. How has no one commented on this yet? please correct me if im wrong but CVT?! are you kidding me? (btw I have built and ridden LOTS of scooters and i love them) but seriously a CVT in a car?!  End rant....


Mike Garrett apex_DNA LouisYio The hatch came first because of the WRC programme.


@flushpoke  Subaru and nissan have offered CVT for at least a year now


CVT with the torque of a Boxer, I'll wait a couple years before I part with my STi, I wasn't to Proud of my 2013 Fuji Heavy Industries built GT 86. That car was a Lemon. If they showed a concept, I'm sure the CVT transmission has been in production. Hopefully it's an Aisin built transmission.


IDX, GT86 aka BRZ aka FR-S, Miata the rwd fun cars are holding on for deer life.