LA Show Day 2 & Return Trip to AZ

Odometer:  21,174

Los Angeles is notorious for its love of cars.  Perhaps that’s why the city is home to the worst traffic in the country.  But along with that congestion, the city’s residents also embrace automotive technology and there is no place where “car culture” thrives more than in southern California.  Day 2 at the press days of the LA Auto Show was every bit as exciting as the first.  Here’s how it played out.

After a drizzly 18-mile commute to the Los Angeles Convention Center in the ILX, we paid our $15 and stashed the car away in a parking deck.

First stop was the Honda booth, as big things were to be announced there.  Staked out in our second-row seats for the 10:05 a.m. press conference, we waited.

The big news?  This car.  Honda’s Civic has been around since 1973.  By 2012, the car had been through 8 different generations.  But just one year after the new 2012 bodystyle, the Civic was redone yet again.  Meet the 2013 Civic Si Sedan.  New front and rear fascia, revised interior finishes, additional technology and safety features are among the changes that were made.

As Honda Senior Vice President John Mendel announced during the press conference, this new Civic is appropriate as 2013 marks the 40th year of its existence.  Jeff Conrad, Acura VP, stopped by and we visited for a few minutes.

I also reconnected with John Watts.  John’s the Sr. Manager of Digital Marketing at Acura who presented me with the key to to my new 2013 Acura ILX back in June.  John and I talked about his recent travels to the Grand Canyon in his new Crystal Black Pearl RDX.  John also told me that he’d visited the Skywalk.  I’m jealous – I’ll be heading out that way soon, too, I hope.  Any excuse for a road trip!

Here’s a shot of the 2013 Civic EX Sedan.

A few other sights from around the Honda booth and beyond.  This fun little roadster is called the EV-Ster.  It’s all electric.

And this was a nicely modified Honda Accord coupe put together by Honda Racing Development.

The Accord Hybrid will have industry-leading fuel economy.  We learned during the Honda press conference that this car is capable of 49 mpg city and 47 mpg combined.  Impressive!

A spy encounter.  This is none other than Brenda Priddy, of Brenda Priddy & Co, specializing in automotive spy photography.  She gave me a BP&Co wristband which I wore proudly!

I’m really digging this new Lincoln MK-Z.  But would you believe that a car this large is only powered by a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder?

Here’s a new innovation that’s going to make its way to Acura as well.  Capless fueling!

I’m not a Ford guy but I have to admit, there’s something hot about the latest iteration of the Fusion.

What’s not to love about a Porsche 911 Carrera S?  Yum.

Finally, the Acura booth.  Since Acura held its press conference yesterday, there was no longer a reason to keep several rows’ worth of plastic chairs in the space any longer.  The full model line-up was brought in.

The beloved TSX Special Edition.  This car is powered by the same 2.4 liter, 201-horsepower 4 cylinder that my ILX 6-speed is.


ILX and RLX:  Entry level and flagship sedan.  Two different sedans, same Acura philosophy — luxury at any price.

I love that Acura chose to present its models in a uniform color — elegant black.  Nothing says “luxury car” like a spotless, gleaming black paint job.

These are some handsome looking back ends.

This ILX 2.0 with Technology package had only 4 miles on the odometer.  I played around for a bit with the navigation interface.

Finally, it was time to make our way eastward and return to Phoenix.  This was taken as we ramped up to Interstate 10 which would be our only freeway from that point forward.  The LA-to-Phoenix drive is a piece of cake if you’re directionally challenged.

$3.99 / gal for some 91 octane at the Chevron in Palm Desert again.

Yeah, I relinquished the driver’s seat for a couple of hours!  I don’t mind zoning out and reclining once in awhile.

This was a pretty clever way to communicate a safety message.  Check out the yellow signs on the back doors of this 18-wheeler.

The California desert, after rising in elevation from the Indio area.

Once I got back into the driver’s seat, we realized just how handy the ILX’s dual climate zones are.  I like it chilly, Branson likes it hot.  We were both happy.

I can never resist a nice sunset photoshoot.  These were taken just west of Blythe, California on a deserted offramp.

It’s good to be home!  Back to work I go tomorrow.  It was awesome to see the latest & greatest from Acura and from other vehicle manufacturers at this year’s LA Auto Show.  I’m excited about automotive trends and more than anything else, I loved the chance to meet & greet some of the great folks BEHIND the cars that I so love.  For some of us, cars (and Acuras specifically) are a huge part of our lives.  My good friend John Bazay is an example of that.

John has already photoshopped his ideal Acura RLX.  Check out this beauty sitting on Vossen wheels.  The car’s not even on sale and yet people like John are already planning what they’ll do with it.  That, my friends, is how to recognize a true enthusiast!


7 Responses to “LA Show Day 2 & Return Trip to AZ”

  1. Tell John and Jeff hi for me!

  2. wonderful pic and great road trip!!the “passing side” and “suicide” signs reminds me the “Over the Top” intro 🙂
    Your Italian friend 🙂

  3. Thank you for just a superb post. Truly captivating.

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