LA Auto Show 2017: Nerd’s Eye View – Unique Cars, Engines, and Things


Tesla had a booth this year- I think maybe the first time ever at the LA Auto Show. Of course, they brought out a Model 3. It was a pre-production model for sure, or at least I hope so based on the uneven panel gaps, though I would’ve though they would have spent more time making the car perfect to show off to thousands of people at the Auto Show.


As is the case with all dedicated EVs (not starting life from an engine powered car chassis), there’s just a big flat floor at the bottom of the car.


Subaru brought out this little gem of history, a 1968 Subaru 360. It looks kinda like a VW Bug, but even smaller!


There’s not a whole lot going on with the interior. The gauge cluster is just a speedo, fuel gauge, and some warning lights. The car is so small, the radio is actually on the passenger side. To help one fold themselves into the passenger seat, there’s a grab bar under the radio.


Mazda brought the 6, which is coming with the 2.5L turbo engine offered in the CX-9. I got in trouble for trying to pop the hood; the car was pre-production so Mazda didn’t want anyone looking underneath. Hmm…. Turbo Mazda 6 or turbo Honda Accord? I’m willing to be the performance dynamics of the Mazda are better, but the Hondata Flashpro for an easy torque and power boost in the Accord could be enticing.


There’s a lot going on with the 2.5L turbo gas engine from Mazda. In their pursuit of “Zoom-Zoom”, they always have creative solutions. In this case of this engine, they essentially have a variable turbine A/R geometry, which involves some valves in the exhaust manifold path, all in the pursuit for better throttle response and reduced lag. Emissions are always a top priority these days, so an EGR cooler is used to reduce NOx emissions and can be seen in the upper left of the picture. EGR coolers have been common-place on diesel engines for a long time but are starting to make their way onto turbo gasoline engines.


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