Odometer (Legend): 527,902
Odometer (ILX): 60,130
Trip Distance: 767 Miles
The City of Angels welcomed me this Wednesday & Thursday for a feast of automotive eye candy. It’s hard to believe that it was already a year ago when my friend Branson and I took my Acura ILX to the 2012 LA Auto Show. It was time once again to head westward and see the latest reveals from Acura as well as other automakers.
I attended the show as media colleague of the “2theRedline” team. 2theRedline is a YouTube auto review channel with over 30,000 subscribers. Featured there are hundreds of videos highlighting many late-model vehicles. Sofyan Bey, host of the channel, takes viewers beyond a simple “specs & walkaround” of the vehicles and instead takes us inside each one and allows us to experience a digital driving experience with his candid & thorough feedback.
The big debut from Acura was the flagship 2014 RLX Sport Hybrid, Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive. This sedan is the most powerful in the company’s 28-year history and delivers an impressive 377 horsepower. On top of all that, it sips fuel, achieving 30 miles per gallon with combined city/highway driving. The powertrain specs are a tongue-twister: We’re talking about a V6 engine, but the fine print takes some time to digest:
- 3.5 Liters
- Single Overhead Cam
- Direct Injection
- i-VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control)
- 7-Speed Dual Clutch Transmission
- 3 High-Output Electric Motors
That makes for some fun science & engineering, but the bottom line is most important: This thing scoots. A first for Acura is the head-up display which can show Sport Hybrid system operation, turn-by-turn navigation, speedometer and compass, as well as alerts from various driver-assistance systems. Also new to the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD are a push-button transmission gear selector. Pricing for this model is yet unannounced. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and take the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD for a spin.
Sofyan allowed me to “host” 2theRedline for a 2-minute segment discussing some of the features of this newest iteration of the RLX.
Check out the video here:
On the Honda side, the star of the show was a car called the “FCEV Concept.” At Honda’s press conference on Wednesday afternoon, my colleagues and I sat transfixed by the lights, music, and water show that was performed before us — just before a white sheet was pulled off the FCEV for dramatic effect. The FCEV is Honda’s latest creation in fuel cell powered driving. Here’s more info on this unique ride:
The curious contraption is powered by a fuel cell that uses a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen to create electrcity, which powers the wheels and the car’s electronics. The result is emission-free motoring, with water and heat the only byproducts. Clean, it most certainly is. Fuel cell technology has the added benefit of more range (and therefore less worrying about running out before you reach your destination) and faster charging than a standard electric battery.
Range for the FCEV is 300 miles, and it can refuel in just 3 minutes.
Also, here’s a 10-minute video from my iPhone capturing the complete unveil.
My ILX made the trip to California and back effortlessly. Even faced with heavy rain in the Riverside area as I made my return trip eastbound on Thursday night, the car was confident and controllable. I ended up turning over 60,000 miles on the odometer near Quartzsite, Arizona before approaching the Phoenix metro area.
For the rest of the nitty-gritty on this trip as well as the people & cars that made it memorable, enjoy the photo gallery below. It was a great Auto Show and I’m already looking forward to next year’s.
A lot of people hate the long, sparsely populated stretch of Interstate 10 between Phoenix and the California state line. I love it. It’s the type of road where you can set your cruise control and just relax.
My Garmin Nuvi GPS unit led the way for the drive.
As I got closer to that CA state line, the sun had started to descend beneath the horizon.
This, my friends, is my favorite time of day to drive.
For once, traffic in LA was a breeze. Within about 6 hours of my departure time from Phoenix, I was arriving in downtown at the Westin Bonaventure hotel. I met up with my friends there, including Sofyan pictured here.
Sofyan and I took my ILX for a spin. He drives a Fathom Blue ILX 6-speed back at his home in Washington D.C. so he felt right at home!
Redline Productions provided me the Media credential that would allow me into the show.
Weather in Los Angeles was overcast and a bit wet for my two-day visit, but our view from the 20th floor of the hotel was still pretty nice to look at.
Arriving at day 1 of the auto show: Sofyan and I were ready to geek out on all the shiny new rides.
I made a beeline for the Acura exhibit, of course. Here was the new RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD in all its glory.
Notice that push-button transmission selector on the center console.
The entire Acura booth is new & improved this year with a fresh redesign. The RLX and MDX were featured on turntables, with the rest of the Acura models (black in color) surrounding the center stage. There was no NSX on display this time.
The ILX there was a 6-speed manual.
I met up with a good friend from Atlanta named Davis who runs Rockland Media.
On the automaker side, I met up with Chuck Schifsky, Manager of Acura Public Relations. Chuck asked how the ILX was doing and I happily gave him a full report.
Here’s John Watts, Sr. Manager of Digital Marketing. John played a key role in my Drive to Five celebration as well as my entry into the ILX ownership world. He and I have continued to keep in touch over the years.
Finally, I met up with Alicia Jones (National Manager, Honda & Acura Social Marketing) and Lauren Ebner (Assistant Manager of Social Media at Honda). These ladies are fun to visit with and I always look forward to reconnecting with them at events like these. Social media is a lot more difficult to manage than it looks!
The new Civic coupe sports a fresh front end for 2014, as well as some new technology including push-button start for certain trim levels.
Honda Accord Hybrid was named as 2014 Green Car of the Year, thanks to its remarkable 50 mpg rating.
A few non-Honda/Acura cars also caught my eye. One was the Cadillac Elmiraj concept.
The new Subaru WRX was unveiled before a huge spectator crowd.
Beautiful Audi R8 in matte blue – I enjoyed!
Just hanging out inside a $400k Lexus LFA!
Jackson, Sofyan, Rob, and Tyson – finishing out day 1 at the auto show.
I had considered attending an after-party in West Hollywood sponsored by one of the automakers, but I took one glance at the map and decided against that idea. Look at all that red! LA traffic at its finest.
Day 2 of the show was a little more laid-back. Each automaker had brought out its entire fleet for display.
I had the opportunity to meet a celebrity! Brian Cooley, host of “CNET on Cars” auto reviews, was filming a piece on a Ford Fusion Plug-In, and I approached him to get a picture.
I was star-struck! What a great time at the LA Auto Show.
In closing, what you can’t see in my hand in the below picture is a license plate. An ARIZONA license plate. Yes, my friends, I have now taken full custody of the ILX and made it my own!
This means the ILX and I are in it for the long haul, and you can expect to see a whole lot more in the future as I continue to explore the country in my Acura. Thanks to all of you for reading!