Our LA Auto Show week continues with a look at a couple of products that signal some shift in the industry. Today I'm looking at the MINI and the Cadillac. The MINI display was interesting indeed. First, I noticed that the "MINI" lettering was the largest of any exhibitor in the South Hall. Perhaps this was in compensation for having the smallest cars? One wonders, especially when the big news at Mini was the longer, wider, higher and taller MINI Countryman. It's their first crossover and their largest product to date, leaping all the way up to compact. Turbocharger and all wheel drive are options, and it certainly represents a new direction from the purveyors of the eensy-weensy. I predict it will be popular. My sidekick Rockit noticed that the name badge has more than doubled in size, and pulled a CD out of her (Chanel) bag for comparison- she's right, it's huge!
New direction also describes the activity down the aisle at Cadillac- much less emphasis on Escalade and the monster utilities, a prominence given to the CTS-V triplets, and a very interesting concept car.
The Urban Luxury Concept taken an urban minicar platform and gives it a Cadillac character. A truly tiny exterior size with a one litre hybrid drive train is unlike any Cadillac in recent memory, while the flip up Lambo-style doors, opera windows, vertical neon taillamps and giant toothy Cadillac grille give the little micro a Cadillac attitude. It looks like the love child of an Escalade and a Smart car, and while the overall look is less than smart, the concept itself is thought provoking and makes us truly wonder what the nice people at Cadillac have up their sleeve.
Next installment: A couture car at an off the rack price. Stay tuned!