The LA International Auto Show press days kick off tomorrow with a lot of new model debuts and concept cars. The event is fast becoming just as important as the Detroit Auto Show for new unveils, and we have a preview for you right now.

LA Auto Show Golf R 400

Making its first appearance in North America this week is the Über powered Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept, a car that is just spitting distance from the showroom.

Looking not that much crazier than the new 2015 Golf R 400, this one has something a bit more wicked under its hood another 100 or so horsepower.

Its name says it all, with a near 400 horsepower version of the brand’s 2.0 liter TSI four-cylinder engine which can accelerate the Golf R from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds.

Making that possible of course is routing all that power through a 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system, which amounts to roughly 100 horsepower per wheel.

The body is wider by nearly an inch on both sides to allow for the larger 19” wheels. A more aggressive front fascia with larger intercooler opening flows into flared fenders, all tied together by a carbon fiber front splitter.

Out back a unique rear bumper has wheel well vents and a lower diffuser for better aerodynamics. It of course gets a center exhaust, now and R staple but the inside of those tail pipes have a showy honeycomb pattern. Details.

The cabin of the Golf R 400 Concept is lined with Alcantara and carbon fiber accents. Special are the racing style front seats with R badging and slots for racing harnesses.

They call this a concept car, but when these things are shown barely discernible from a production car. It walks like a duck, talks like a duck, well you know the rest.

LA Auto Show: Ford, Lexus, Scion

Surely to be big news in fact starting today are the big debuts from Ford, Lexus and Scion.

Having beaten the drum for a week of teaser videos, Ford has unveiled their all-new 2016 ultra performance Mustang.

This morning at 9:00 am eastern, the car is revealed in a video showing their hand in the muscle car wars, taking on a more exotic approach.

A car that is expected to turn the horsepower and handling argument on its ear, we will be bringing you a special report on the new 2016 super Mustang later today.

That’s not all Ford has up their sleeve, as the LA Auto Show will bring the reveal of the new 2016 Explorer, following up over 7,000,000 sales of previous generations.

Scion’s future has been often questioned of late. Where are the new products? Scion intends to answer that question this week with their iM Concept Car. The compact 5-door hatch previews a production model to replace the aged xD entry level model.

Lexus will not only be showing their new RC-350 and RC-F coupes that have been getting so much attention, but a new concept convertible known as the LF-C2.

The drop top concept is expected to forecast the production open-air version of the new RC coupe, to replace the current IS Convertible.

LA Auto Show Audi TT & TTS Coupe

The Audi booth at the LA Auto Show promises to be an exciting place this year with updated models, an important new design concept, and an all-new TT.

Audi brings their third generation 2016 TT Roadster and TTS Coupe to Los Angeles with new design, new cockpit technologies and more power.

Design wise, the new TT and TTS Coupe are evolutionary but take the first steps in a brand new design language with blocker proportions and sharper contours.

Standard full LED headlamps frame a wider and flatter Singleframe grille with a hood sporting deeper contours. At the rear are round exhaust tailpipes and rear spoiler over a decidedly squared out boot.

The TT will be available as coupe and roadster and the TTS will be available as a coupe only. All TT models are standard with a new generation of Quattro all-wheel-drive.

Standard on the TT is a 2.0 liter TFSI engine with 220 horsepower with the more potent TTS Coupe getting a 292 horsepower version of the same engine.

All models feature Audi’s drive select system which allows the driver to adjust the shift points, throttle response, steering and the even the magnetic ride suspension on TTS Coupe.

Making its debut on the TT and TTS is a new virtual cockpit which combines functions of the central MMI monitor and instrument cluster in one huge 12.3” display backed up with 3D graphics powered by NVIDIA.

Generating up to 60 frames per second the display promises smooth virtual needles for gauges. Moreover it opens the door for features like Google Earth maps in motion across the entire screen when in nav mode. Very cool.

The new Audi TT’s go on sale next year with more specifications and pricing to be announced closer to launch.

Test Drives:

In our test drives this week we took a road trip in the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST, but not just on any road, the Mother Road.

Ford’s hot hatch we found was most happy barnstorming small towns and the tighter curves of the back-road rather than set in cruise control on the freeways.

With its 197 horsepower 1.6 liter turbocharged four and a snickety six speed manual transmission, it moves at a snappy pace in short quarters. Its optional Recaro seats are tight and grippy like its handling suspension, but the chairs cost a bit extra.

All this fun and flogging didn’t cost us much either as the little pup still averaged us 34 mpg. In our week of testing the Fiesta ST won our hearts and earned a spot on our I’d Buy It list for 2014.

Mercedes-Benz also impressed us with their new entry level 2015 CLA250 sedan. The luxury brand’s first front-wheel drive car in North America starts under $30,000 right along with its chief competitor the Audi A3.

It has the style of the larger and more expensive CLS 4-door coupe and the interior feels and smells like a Mercedes-Benz. But is a front-wheel-drive sedan still a Mercedes-Benz? That is the golden question indeed as we drove it on back roads, highways and around town.

While the front-wheel-drive was a character change, it still offers up many of the brand’s qualities and at a price you can compare to even well outfitted Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler sedans. Food for thought.

For these any many other test drives, go to TestDriven.TV or our YouTube Channel.

Reality Check: Mercedes Nomenclature

In our Reality Check this week, Mercedes-Benz makes news by re-designing the way it names its cars.

With many new models and staggering choices in power-train types like hybrids, diesels, electrics, fuel cells, Mercedes-Benz is changing the way they name their cars.

Like other brands re-orchestrating their naming, Mercedes-Benz will be trying to re-align their nomenclature to make it more navigable for customers around the world.

Retained will be letters for their current model lines, A, B, C, E, S, GL and so forth with a number denoting the power level to its right. Most notable is the change in the lettered suffix behind that number.

We will now see things like e for electric, h for hybrid, f for fuel cell, and d for diesel. So an E series diesel will now be E250d instead of E250 BlueTec. Seems actually like going backwards in time a bit.

This move will reduce the deck-lid wording by replacing the words like Hybrid and BlueTec with that small letter. 4Matic however remains unabbreviated.

Also unabbreviated will be the addition of Maybach back into the realm with top zoot models like the coming Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

This all makes more sense than Infiniti and Cadillac’s re-naming schemes but the fact that the numerology on these new deck-lids still has no true relation to the actual engine size is still vexing.

Money Shot

Oh well, now it’s time for our Money Shot where we take our favorite photo from this week’s auto news and show it to ya!

This week Cadillac unveiled their new 600-horsepower ATS-V.R coupe race car in Austin, TX. The new FIA GT3 circuit car will be able to compete in more than 30 different GT series around the world. Something about a Cadillac race car just make me melt inside.

That’s it for Motoring Monday’s preview of the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Click on the link below to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and come back often. We will be posting new videos all week covering the production and concept car reveals!

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