LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW: DAY ONE

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All-New Models Join Aged Mustang

LOS ANGELES – More bang for the buck underscored the first batches of debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show, including V-6 models from Ford, Jaguar and Porsche that emphasized economy and affordability as key qualities for the 2014 and 2015 model years.

Headlines that once played up “performance” and “classic” styling disclosed such surprises as more new models from Porsche, the Macan compact crossover, Jaguar F-type Coupe, Ford Mustang’s 6th-generation and Lincoln MKC.

Porsche Macan

2014 Porsche Macan

As Porsche’s “budget” entry-level car, the Macan Turbo is positioned to join the growing crop of supersedans such as Porsche’s Cayenne and Panamera, Mercedes-Benz’s GLA 250, Lexus’s LF-NX and Jaguar. The latter offers a redesigned crossover aimed at BMW, Audi, Porsche and Lexus not to mention Maserati, Cadillac, Jaguar and Land Rover.

First days’ opening reveals were marred by NHTSA’s confirmation of three battery fires in Tesla X vehicles.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on opening show day that the Tesla warranty would be changed to cover fire damage. He astounded media by declaring that ‘this is about the chances of reducing the chances of underbody impact damage, not improving safety.” The Palo Alto-based Tesla automaker will deliver about 21,000 cars this year, Musk said, bringing its U.S. total to about 40,000. Tesla plans to add the Model X crossover to its mix during 2014.

Ford celebrated the Los Angeles Auto Show with a special Mustang model, marking the 50th anniversary of the “Pony Car,” April 17, 1964, at the New York World’s Fair. The Mustang was conceived by Ford as a rival to Chevrolet’s Camaro by then Ford President Lee Iacocca.

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