LAcarGUY is a longtime supporter of Heal The Bay, participation in beach cleanups, and most recently, LAcarGUY owner Mike Sullivan joined their Board of Directors. To celebrate our partnership, LAcarGUY’s Toyota/Scion Santa Monica will be donating a 2013 Scion FR-S for this year’s Bring Back The Beach live auction, with all proceeds going to Heal The Bay.
We urge you to support this great cause and join us for an amazing night on the Beach with Heal The Bay supporters
Heal the Bay invites you to celebrate the ultimate beach party at our annual Bring Back the Beach gala benefit on May 16, 2013, at Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica.
Relax with your toes in the sand while you meet and mix with leaders from Southern California’s environmental, political, business and entertainment communities. Join us for a fun-filled evening under the stars to celebrate our honorees and support the mission of Heal the Bay.
The night will honor the environmental dedication and leadership of Heal the Bay’s former president Mark Gold, D. Env., Oscar-winning actor and environmental champion Jeremy Irons, and founder of the Inclusive Health movement and philanthropist Dr. Howard Murad. Plus enjoy a special acoustic performance by five-time Grammy Award winner Ziggy Marley.
Tickets & Sponsorships
· Tables and Sponsorships: $5,000 – $50,000
· Individual Tickets: $500
· Beach Chic
· Be prepared to walk in the sand to your table. Choose shoes accordingly!
On May 2nd Audi Pacific hosted the private preview for Iron Man 3 in Torrance. A BIG thank you to the over 160 customers that came out to experience the fun and see the Audi R8 and Tony Stark in action.
This special preview was before the Midnight first showing for the general public, in fact as the Audi Pacific showing was being ushered into the theatre, there were 10 lines of people waiting for the midnight showing.
This was the second time that Audi Pacific has hosted an Iron Man movie night at the AMC Del Amo in Torrance and it was great to see so many friends out to see it.
There were a number of people from the Audi Pacific and LAcarGUY team at the event including Mike and Sean Sullivan, Jeff LaPlant, Chris Prodromides and his wife Stephany, and many more.
The Audi R8 e-tron® was front and center in the latest Iron Man movie, it was the perfect choice for Tony Stark, power, technology, style, and all done in a way that defies convention!
Over the last 18 months you can really see Akio Toyoda’s fingerprints on the Lexus brand. For many years Lexus was considered a brand of fine cars with excellent build quality and a dealer network that set the standard for the industry. However, they were also thought of as bland and emotionless vehicles. Cars and SUV’s for those that wanted something nice, but didn’t care about cars or want to think about cars.
Akio’s statement was that cars bearing his family’s name WOULD have emotion, would have a connection to the driver, they would NOT be thought of as just a commodity item.
The all new GS was the first real statement along those lines and now with the 2014 Lexus IS, the third generation of the car, Akio has focused Lexus’ efforts into not just drawing event with cars like the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4, but setting the standard for the small luxury performance segment.
The new IS draws from it’s larger stablemate, the GS, in several areas. The front end is a further, more aggressive evolution of the spindle grill, the interior continues the horizontal theme dash, and the rear suspension is derived from the GS as well.
The new IS gains 2.5 inches in wheelbase allowing for a further 1.6 inches of rear seat legroom. The overall length has been extended 3.5 inches, the trunk now has an additional .5 cubic foot of space and the first time offering a 60/40 split folding rear seat for additional cargo capacity.
When the new IS is ordered with Satellite Navigation, it comes loaded with 3D mapping including Street View. Traffic and weather information are now subscription free, weather is updated every 10 minutes and traffic every 2 minutes. Traffic also has the addition feature of Predictive Traffic which can forecast ahead 15, 30 and 45 minutes so that you can see what your route may look like, and if you should choose a different way. Also when you are running low on fuel gas stations will appear as Points Of Interest on the map.
The 2014 IS has all of the safety features you’ve come to expect on a car at this level, 10 air bags, Blind Spot Warning with Cross Traffic, lane departure alert, and Pre Collision Radar cruise control down to 25 miles an hour.
The F-Sport version of the new IS, available on both the IS 250 and the IS 350 is distinguished by a different nose and bumper, different seats, LED daytime running lights, variable adaptive suspension and additional drive modes of Sports S and S+. Also in the F-Sport is a different gage cluster that draws it’s inspiration from the LFA Supercar. The center dial slides from the center to the right and alters the information on the LCD gage cluster.
Optional on all models is the 15 speaker, 835 watt Mark Levinson audio system. The system features a full digital (Class-D) amplifier, 5.1 channel/7.1 channel surround system, a total of 15 GreenEdge™ ultra-high efficiency speakers and a Lexus-first Auto Volume System,which automatically adjusts volume when changing between sources or radio channels.
The IS 250 and 350 can be had either as Rear Drive or All Wheel Drive. Power comes from either a 2.5 liter V6 in the IS 250 offering 204 horsepower and 184 lb/ft of torque, or the 3.5 liter V6 in the IS 350 which offers up 306 horsepower and 277 lb/ft of torque.
Fuel economy is rated in the IS 250 at 21/30/24 (city/highway/combined) for the Rear Drive and 20/27/23 for the All Wheel Drive model. The IS 350 rates as 19/28/22 for the Rear Drive and 19/26/21 for the All Wheel Drive.
All IS 250’s, plus the IS 350 AWD will use a six speed automatic transmission, while the Rear Drive IS 350 will use the eight speed automatic from the outgoing IS-F.
On the road the new IS has a very comfortable and controlled ride quality, the cabin is very quiet, as you’d expect. However, when you put your foot down, there is a very sporty sounding exhaust, and when tossed aggressively into corners, the body stays very flat, and the handling is very neutral, with just a hint of understeer to keep you safe.
Lexus believe you can have your cake and eat it too with the suspension in the new IS. They have soften the springs at all four corners to make the ride more supple, yet larger anti roll bars allow the handling to be very sporty and controlled without being overly stiff. When you want a more aggressive suspension you can dial it up with the drive mode selector. In the standard IS you have a Sport mode, and in the F-Sport there are Sports S and S+ options. The additional modes will not only change the suspension calibrations, but alter how aggressive the throttle is as well.
For 30 years the BMW 3 Series has set the benchmark for the small sport luxury segment, and Audi in the last decade has been running neck and neck with BMW with their A4. Lexus have now gone all in on this segment, and just like when Lexus entered the market with the original LS, the Germans will be may need to re-evaluate their current efforts.
Pricing for the IS 250 begins at $35,950 and $39,465 for the IS 350, All Wheel Drive adds $2,515 to the IS 250 and $2,235 to the IS 350, all models of the new IS will be available mid Summer.
The RAV4 is a keystone in Toyota’s lineup. Through three generations, it has been the entry level crossover vehicle for over one million families. In the last 10 years the small crossover segment has grown from virtually nothing to almost 20% of the new car market. Because it is a segment filled with many first time car owners, or the first new car people have purchased, it’s also a critical segment for building long term customer loyalty.
The acceleration in development in this segment has been very brisk and what looked new and fresh just two or three years ago, looks cheep and outdated today. In to this Toyota brings its fourth generation RAV4, looking to cement its place among the volume sales leaders in the segment.
Toyota says that they have sold 1.7 million RAV4’s since the model came to market in 1994 and that 80% of them are still on the road today. The compact SUV market has gone from just a few models in the early 90’s to now 45 different models today.
In many ways what Toyota is doing with the trim levels of the new RAV4, harkens back to the days of the mid 80’s when, there would be two or three trim levels and few options to choose from. The fourth generation RAV4 comes in three trim levels, LE, XLE and Limited.. Toyota’s philosophy was to bring trim levels to a spec where each model offers 90-95% of the options that customers tend to order. This philosophy gives RAV4 customers more bang for their buck when they go to purchase. For 2014, all RAV4 models will come with a 6.1” touch display as well as a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity and projector beam headlights with auto off.
As you move up trim specs you will get ENTUNE with Navigation, 17” alloy wheels, (18” alloys are exclusive to the Limited model), power moon roof and dual zone climate control. Cloth is the material of choice for LE and XLE, with Soft-Tex being offered on the Limited models. Toyota describe Soft-Tex as, “leather, without the cost”. There are soft touch materials through the cabin in all trim levels, and some hard plastic materials in high touch point areas for controls like the window switches, and the gear shift.
The RAV4 comes standard as front wheel drive, with All Wheel Drive being an option. Toyota also note that 65% of RAV4 purchasers will choose the AWD option. New in the AWD models is active torque control, which works to put the power where it’s most needed, and aids in sharpening handling on dry pavement. Sensors in the system will direct power to the wheels to aid in turn-in for corners giving the RAV4 a sporty feeling when driven on twisty roads. It is still possible to lock the differentials in AWD mode for off road driving, or in snow or muddy terrains, and Toyota has now made this a maintenance-free system as well.
Also aiding in handling, the RAV4 is 1.2 inches lower than the out going model, though it still maintains a healthy 6.3 inches of ground clearance.
A big change for the new RAV4 is the elimination of the V6 as an option. Across the range there will be one engine choice, a 2.5 -iter four-cylinder producing 176 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 172 ft/lb of torque at 4,100 RPM. While the peak power is higher in the engine range, Toyota is bringing the RAV4 into the modern age by dropping the previous models four-speed automatic gearbox for a standard for the class six-speed unit. With more gears spaced closer together, the RAV4 looses little in acceleration to the previous V6, yet sees considerably gains in fuel economy.
The 0-60 sprint takes 8.9 seconds and the EPA rating for the RAV4 is 24 city, 31 highway and 26 combined for front drive models, and 22/29/25 for AWD models.
Pricing for the 2013 RAV4 starts at $23,300 for the front-drive LE model, $24,290 for the XLE and $27,010 for the Limited, the AWD option adds a $1,400 premium. Toyota estimates that 45-50% of buyers will choose the XLE model, which will come with a moon roof, dual zone climate control and sports seats. There will be the option of Navigation with Entune for $1.030.
One of the trademarks of the RAV4 has been the spare tire carrier out back, and the swing open door to the rear cargo area. With the 2013 model, both of those are now gone. The spare tire is housed below the cargo floor and the rear hatch opens traditionally, and now with power assist and the ability to set an opening height for those that are short of stature or in areas with low overhead ceiling height. Not only does this aid in functionality, it also in rearward visibility.
Special attention was focused on making the cabin of the 2013 RAV4 much quieter. Acoustical glass was used for the windshield, and extra sound deadening materials were placed throughout the cabin. Driven back to back with the outgoing model there is a noticeable difference in wind and road noise that protrudes into the cabins of the two RAV4 generations.
While the new RAV4 lacks the fore and aft adjustments for the rear seats that the outgoing model had, the rear seat of the 2013 RAV4 has more leg room over the outgoing model, and the rear seats do recline for added passenger comfort. With the rear seats up, the cargo area has 38.4 square feet of cargo room and with the seats folded down it increases to 73.4.
The dashboard and the driver’s cockpit now look modern in the new RAV4. The use of soft touch materials and French stitching bring a new level of refinement. Going back and forth between the old and new RAV4’s lets you see just how much of a leap forward the new car is. Toyota is using what they call a “color block concept” in the interior, and it gives a strong bold look to the interior that refrains from being over the top.
Out on the road the new RAV4 is miles above the outgoing model in every way. The ride, handling, comfort, and NVH levels are noticeably better right off the bat. The new RAV4 has electric power steering for the first time. What buyers of RAV4 will notice is that below 10 miles an hour the steering is effortless, yet, picks up weight and feel as speed increases to give good feedback and confidence when going down the road.
Previous owners of the RAV4 will take note of is that there is no longer an option of third row seating. Toyota’s research deemed, that customers looking for seven passenger accommodations would be better served by stepping up to the larger Highlander. In making the RAV4 a five-passenger only configuration, they felt they could maximize space efficiency, passenger comfort and legroom.
With the 2013 model, the RAV4 is now competitive in its market segment. Some of its competitors may offer more space, and/or more power, however, it comes at price that is often times far north of the RAV4’s. What the RAV4 brings to the market is a solid product with exceptional value that stays true to what made it so popular, yet now, is competitive with its modern interior, amenities and numerious convenience features that buyers today expect.
by Zach McDonald: HybridCars.com
According to a recent report by What Car, Audi has plans to release a small plug-in hybrid boasting fuel efficiency in the neighborhood of 1 liter per 100 km—or roughly 235 mpg. Audi’s head of research and development, Wolfgang Durheimer, told What Car that although the car hasn’t yet been confirmed for production, it’s one of several new plans for high-efficiency vehicles he has been trying to institute since taking over his post in September.
The vehicle would be built around the carmaker’s A1 platform, but would likely be fine-tuned for optimal aerodynamics and outfitted with ultra-lightweight materials. The conceptual and technological underpinnings of the car are based around parent company Volkswagen’s “one-liter” program, which has been experimenting with vehicles capable of hitting the vaunted efficiency mark for more than a decade.
Confirmed for release in Europe for 2014, the Volkswagen XL1 will be the first “one-liter” production vehicle ever sold. A prototype of the two-seat XL1 was photographed testing in March sporting a set of gullwing doors. The car draws its power from a two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine paired with a 27-hp motor attached to a small lithium ion battery pack. The car will be tuned to switch between electric and gas-electric modes depending upon use to ensure maximum efficiency. Audi’s version of the vehicle would likely carry a very similar configuration.
Despite the range of measures geared at optimizing efficiency, Audi’s attempt at a one-liter would remain true to the carmaker’s luxury standards. “I’m not talking about a car with a lot of deficiencies and things lacking, but a car that delivers everything that a car needs to deliver to the customer, in terms of seat space, climate conditions and comfort,” said Durheimer to What Car.
It’s still not known how much the VW XL1 will cost when it hits the market next year, but given the cost of high strength, light-weight materials, it figures to be very expensive for a two-seat car. An Audi version of the vehicle would likely add a significant luxury premium to whatever the XL1 costs. Neither car would be expected to post earth-shattering sales numbers, and at this point it’s a relative long shot that either are headed to the U.S. market.
Still, Volkswagen and Audi are further demonstrating their commitment to high-efficiency vehicles through a wide range of drivetrain configurations headed to different markets around the world. After establishing a reputation for clean diesel TDI vehicles in the 2000s, both Volkswagen and Audi have lagged somewhat in releasing battery powered hybrids or plug-ins. Now, with multiple plug-in concepts headed to market and in test fleets, it’s beginning to look like the Volkswagen Group’s answer to fuel economy will be “all of the above.”
Well, Audi Pacific has been open now for almost 2 weeks, and it’s all very fresh and new! We are about to have our Grand Opening…so we really hope you come and check us out, from the building, to the cars, of course. But for this blog, we’ll stick to being excited about the building!
Walking around the new space, the first word that comes to mind is … BIG. It’s really big. I could easily come up with more to describe the place, but you’ve been reading us for 7+ months now. Wouldn’t you rather hear about the experience of being in the building from those who are actually there every day? We thought so…
Joe, Sales Manager: “The building is just so much nicer to do business in. It’s big, airy and well lit. With all the windows, and especially lit up at night, you can’t not look at our building! And you know how in most new places you notice the new paint smell? I didn’t realize it until now, but there is none because of the green materials.”
Adam, Service Consultant: “It’s a better atmosphere. There are a number of ‘cold’ materials like stone and metal, but it’s really inviting and has a great urban feel. My favorite thing is having a view of the trees and garden outside; I don’t feel as claustrophobic as in our old building.”
Chris, Assistant Service Manager: “In my opinion, the building promotes the same sporty, luxurious feeling that one of our cars does.”
Juana, Cashier: “We changed to greener soaps and cleaning supplies. I really notice the difference.”
Angel, Audi Brand Specialist: “Aside from being ten times bigger [than our last space], it’s nice to just have a modern, green, beautiful building. It’s like I have a small hand in having made the building, just because I’ve been here a few years!”
Chris P., GSM: “The Audi experience redefined.”
We also wanted to share with you a couple comments from those behind the wheel, so to speak, making this building what it was meant to be:
Fred A. Lopez, Sauers Lopez Construction (GC): “We first started this project knowing that it would be a LEED certified. Understanding the day-to-day function of the facility, as well as the LAcarGUY vision for its employees and the planet, pushed us to achieve a Gold LEED building. We’re really proud this facility will now function for the benefit of the employees and the owners.”
Rudy De La O, LEED AP, Project Facilitator, Whitfield Associates (Architect): “The project is a result of owner responsibility, general contractor leadership, and design team diligence. We assumed the challenge and fulfilled an opportunity with a real holistic approach, everyone working together from the start. Let’s do it again!”
A few reminders:
➢ Come by the showroom and check out our Interactive Kiosk to learn about our LEED Gold-certified green building.
➢ While visiting, pick up a “Green Living Guide” for the area that will be a great takeaway!
➢ Feel free to go back through our last 17 posts and learn read about (with links to references) different aspects of our building, but also actions that are transferable to your own business or home!
➢ Keep learning and asking questions and then taking action on living more sustainably!
Audi Celebrates Grand Opening of Audi Pacific First LEED Certified Dealership that Features Largest Audi Showroom in U.S.
LAcarGUY’s new dealership in Torrance, CA will be among the greenest; features the largest Audi showroom in the U.S. showcasing 17 models
Audi of America, in coordination with LAcarGUY, will celebrate the grand opening of the newly redesigned Audi Pacific dealership on Tuesday, November 27. The new dealership will become the largest Audi showroom in the U.S. showcasing 17 models and is the first to be LEED Gold certified incorporating a state-of-the-art design with environmental technology aimed at improving energy efficiency, reducing water usage, as well as promoting the reuse and recycling of materials and waste. The new location marks one of 11 dealerships within the LAcarGUY family, headed by Mike Sullivan.
“Audi remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing green technology and environmentally responsible business practices,” said Mike Cagle, Director, Western Region for Audi of America. “Through the opening of Audi Pacific, we not only celebrate the largest Audi showroom in the United States, but also take great pride in achieving LEED Gold certification.”
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification process promoted by the U.S. Green Building Council to assess the sustainability of a building’s design, construction and operations. To meet LEED Gold certification, the Audi Pacific dealership features energy efficient water fixtures, low energy use lighting and a 45 kilowatt (kW) DC Solar PV system.
The owner of Audi Pacific and President of LAcarGUY, Mike Sullivan has been in the car business for over 45 years and also serves on the board of Heal The Bay and the Environmental Media Association as well as the Regional Board of Directors for Global Green USA. Having owned this Audi franchise since October of 1999, Sullivan became the first to build an Audi Hangar in California. To continue his encouragment in the adoption of electric vehicles, LAcarGUY recently became the first automotive dealer in the country to offer electric charging stations open to the public at four of its dealerships.
“The LAcarGUY family of dealerships has long been committed to promoting sustainable, greener business operations and supporting environmental initiatives,” said Sullivan. “Our new Audi Pacific dealership facility exemplifies our leadership and focus on ecology, economy and social responsibility across the board.”
General Manager and LAcarGUY business partner Jeff LaPlant will oversee the newly redesigned space which has expanded from 14,000 to 45,000 square feet allowing the dealership to better serve their customers with the expanded capacity and convenience within a compelling environment. The new dealership also follows the new Audi “terminal” design, an ecologically advanced construction method promoted by the Audi’s parent company in Germany. The structure makes an impressive architectural statement on Hawthorne Boulevard, with bold signage and an open two-story showroom, as well as 22 service bays showcasing the brand’s latest collection of luxury vehicles.
“Audi Pacific is very proud to be the first LEED Gold certified dealership for the Audi brand,” said LaPlant. “Environmental stewardship is very much in line with Audi Pacific’s overall business philosophy, commitment to exceptional and award-winning customer service, as well as focus on selling some of the most innovative, quality-engineered luxury products on the market today.”
Audi of America maintains a regional office, two technical facilities and a design center in California to better identify with and service the state’s strategically vital and diverse market. Since 2011, sales in the area have increased by 21.9% and represent 19.2% of total U.S. sales. Other noteworthy accomplishments for Audi in California include an increase in IHG market share from 5.56% in 2006 to 10.1% in 2012, effectively doubling the brand’s presence in the state. The Audi Pacific dealership opening marks the brand’s continued expansion and strong presence in the Southern California market.
We’ve put together a great slide show of pictures of the new store which you can view here
by Dan Grey: MPGOmatic.com
I can hear what you’re thinking … Volkswagen, selling a hybrid sedan?
Aren’t VW’s fuel-efficient TDIs the best-selling passenger car diesels in America?
Indeed they are, but VW faced a dilemma.
The typical Toyota Prius owner, they say, rarely considers buying a diesel.
So Volkswagen decided to build a hybrid of their own. A very different hybrid. One with a turbocharged engine. Marketed to folks that love to drive.
The typical hybrid has a continuously variable (CVT) transmission, lackluster handling, and a rather unsporting demeanor. The Jetta Turbo Hybrid, by contrast, has a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission and a suspension that’s rewarding to drive through the twisty bits.
In order to best show the Jetta Hybrid’s potential, Volkswagen invited a group of automotive journalists out to New Mexico, to enjoy a spectacular drive from Santa Fe to Taos and back. I had the good fortune to be able to tag along.
The Jetta Hybrid boasts the most rear-seat legroom and largest trunk in in its class. To prove the latter point, Chicago-based automotive journalist Jill Ciminillo, a.k.a. The Girl in the Trunk, applied her rather unique method of measurement. (The video is a must see!)
A rear spoiler, front air dam, extended side skirts, and underbody trickery lower the Jetta Hybrid’s Coefficient of Drag (Cd) to 0.28, a solid improvement over the standard Jetta’s already respectable 0.30.
While the official EPA estimates were not available at the time of testing, Volkswagen is aiming for 45 miles per gallon (MPG) combined. Through four hours or so of driving, we averaged approximately 46 MPG, with some hefty climbs through the hills and plenty of foot on the throttle. Volkswagen claims a 0-60 mile per hour (MPH) time of 8.6 seconds, and while we didn’t have the opportunity to time (or shoot) a run, it’s clearly that fast.
Faster than one might expect from a 1.4-liter hybrid … were it not turbocharged.
In Boost mode – with the electric motor working in concert with the turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline-powered engine – the drive train produces a total of 170 horsepower (HP).
The Jetta Hybrid will run under electric power at speeds up to 37 or 44 miles per hour, when in “E-mode.” The engine will shut off while foot-off coasting at speeds all the way up to 84 MPH. The transitions between modes are seamless.
The dashboard includes a unique “Power Meter” to the left of the speedometer to indicate regeneration and efficient driving. It’s quite different from what most hybrid drivers may be accustomed to. While the LCD screen provides historical fuel economy data, we’d like to see more depth and features here. Adding a fuel economy training application would help drivers exceed the official mileage estimates.
Overall, VW’s engineers have hit the mark. The Jetta is the driver’s hybrid sedan.
“There’s a good reason I keep a 1:18-scale model of the 1993 Porsche Boxster concept car sitting on a teak cabinet in my studio,” writes Automobile Magazine’s Robert Cumberford, “it’s gorgeous, the first Porsche to bring the spirit of early Porsche 550 racing cars to the road.”
Cumberford acknowledges that the first- and second-generation mid-engine Boxster’s design never appealed much to his sense of style; however, twenty years after the original Boxster concept, the all-new 2013 Boxster’s style managed to “wow” Cumberford and the rest of the Automobile Magazine staff enough to give magazine’s “2013 Design of the Year” award to the two-seat Porsche roadster.
Available with a 2.7-liter 265-horsepower flat-six engine, the standard Boxster will take the roadster to 60 mph from rest in just under six seconds. Moving up to the Boxster S puts a 315-horsepower 3.4-liter flat-six engine behind the driver’s head. Equipped so, the car’s 0-60 time is shaved to a tick under five seconds.
Available with either Porsche’s responsive six-speed manual transmission or the quick-shifting PDK semi-automatic gearbox, Automobile Magazine’s “2013 Design of the Year” is arguably more fun to drive than it is to look at.
If Cumberford doesn’t purchase a 1:18-scale model of the 2013 Boxster to sit next to his 1993 model, we’ll understand. After all, a car of the Boxster’s caliber can only truly be appreciated as a full-size model sitting in your home’s garage.