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LA Auto Show: What To Expect

Reut Cohen |
November 17, 2011 | 10:10 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

 Reut R. Cohen)
Reut R. Cohen)
California is the biggest luxury car market in the world. Los Angeles alone boasts an enormous car-buying market, so it’s no surprise that the LA Auto Show is bigger and better than other regional shows. 

Visitors at this year’s LA Auto Show at the Convention Center, which commences Friday, will be treated to interactive displays featuring models ranging from compact electric cars to the fastest muscle cars. Of the more than 1,000 vehicles on display, 50 are debuts—which include the Chevrolet Spark and the Audi R8 GT Spyder.

Here’s a glimpse at what the show has to offer:

Audi – Look for the debut of the third wave of new performance models, the S6, S7 and S8. Audi A7 was named the winner of the first Vehicle of the Year award Wednesday evening at the show. "It was a close contest, but the 2012 Audi A7 managed to edge out the competition with its compelling combination of handsome styling, dynamic handling and advanced in-car technology," said Laura Burstein, president of MPG, the most prominent auto journalist association in North America.

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Reut R. Cohen)
Bentley – The British automaker showcases its updated Continental GTC Convertible. Also look for the Bentley Mulsanne, estimated at $350,000, which focuses on rear-seat passengers. The Mulsanne concept car is where technology meets luxury, boasting a 4G-connection router that allows passengers to use tablets and laptops as they’re chauffeured around.

BMW – BMW's all new M5 is touted as a high-performing sedan. BMW concept cars will offer the i3 battery-powered city car and the i8 plug-in hybrid, which will be made mostly of carbon fiber when they are available to the public in 2013 and 2014.

Buick – The company’s LaCrosse GL Concept interior is all about style and luxury—an upscale LaCrosse for the LA crowd.

Cadillac – Cadillac, GM’s most exclusive brand, gets a new luxury sedan. The XTS is meant to replace older models, including the STS and DTS. Following a theme among automakers, Cadillac also unveils "Cue," a smart system that is operated by plain, spoken commands.

Chevrolet – Chevolet will introduce the new Camaro ZL1, the most powerful convertible from the brand to date. Estimates for the ZL1 have it going at 100 mph from a standing start in less than 10 seconds.

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Reut R. Cohen)
Dodge – Dodge has quite a colorful and fun muscle car history. This year the brand displays two very cool cars in yellow—the Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee and Challenger SRT8 392 Yellow Jacket.

Fiat – Chrysler’s Italian partner showcases the Abarth 500, touted as a high-performance microcar.

Ford – Although Ford is showcasing the redesigned Escape SUV and Focus ST, eyes will be drawn to the Mustang line. Ford’s Shelby GT500 Mustang boasts 650bhp engine—apparently the world’s most powerful V8 in mass production.

Honda – Honda’s fourth generation CR-V offers a facelift to one of the best selling and safest SUVs in the North American market. The automaker is launching the Fit EV, one of the "greenest" cars at the show. The Fit EV will be available for lease only in 2012—and only in select markets in California and Oregon. The Honda Civic Natural Gas was named Green Car of the Year at the show on Thursday. "The Civic Natural Gas is not only a great vehicle, it also demonstrates Honda's commitment to provide a variety of alternatives to gasoline," said Michael Accavitti, chief marketing officer of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Hyundai – Hyundai's big reveal is the Azera sedan. Although it looks luxurious, the automaker isn’t calling it that. "It might be the perfect car for the 1% who don't want to be lambasted by the 99%," said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik.

Infiniti – The automaker is ready to launch the final production version of the 7-passenger JX crossover. This SUV doesn't compromise on looks. It's quite impressive. The Japanese automaker also says the JX is powerful, yet fuel efficient—not to mention safe.

Jaguar – The British automaker exhibits the XKR-S Convertible—which is the fastest open-topped GT built by the brand. The car was sold out before it made it to the show. Jaguar also features the C-X16 plug-in hybrid, high-performance concept.

Jeep – New editions of the Wrangler and Liberty Arctic. Most of the upgrades are cosmetic.

Kia – The Korean company's GT concepts, which were quite popular at the global debut in Frankfurt, are on display.

Land Rover – The British brand will display DC100 concepts to rethink the classic Defender.

Lexus – Innovative technology, sporty and elegant are terms that aptly describe the Lexus GS 350, GS 450h and GS 350 F SPORT which are on display. Lexus says the new GS sedans boast an aerodunamic body and will accelerate easily from 0-60 mph in just 5.6 seconds.

Lincoln – Ford’s top brand will display updated MKS sedan and MKT crossover vehicle.

Lotus – On display is the FIA GT rally car class.

Mastretta – The Mexican automaker unveils its new sports car, the MXT.

Mazda – The Japanese automaker will reveal the CX-5 crossover which offers hybrid-like efficiency. Mazda says the SUV offers 26/33 mpg city/highway for the front-wheel drive layout and the all-wheel drive version will get 26/32 mpg city/highway.

Mercedes – The brand will unveil the ML63, which is 99 pounds lighter than previous generations and offers better performance overall.

Porsche – The German automaker presents the seventh generation of the 911 Carrera. The car is being called "longer, lower, wider" and a whole lot more powerful. The new generation offers a gas-friendlier option to get about 15% better mileage.

Subaru – Look for the BRZ Concept STI, a prototype Miata-fighting sports car that Subaru developed with Toyota.

Volkswagen – VW is clearly looking to go beyond the family sedan image, dropping the 'Passat' from the Passat CC sedan’s name. The CC has a slight facelift—a new chrome grill, a different bumper and redesigned headlights. The big upgrades are in the technology, such as the "Side Assist Plus with Lane Assist" feature which tells a driver of blind spots and helps avoid accidents. VW also show its new Beetle R concept, which looks far more aggressive and sportier than any other Beetle. It’s the second successive show for the Beetle R concept—which means it may soon go into production and will no longer be just a concept car.

 Reut R. Cohen)
Reut R. Cohen)
Volvo – Volvo’s "Concept You" offers a classic, luxurious sedan with very neat smart features—including touch based controls that anticipate hand movements. Volvo’s C70 Inscription Edition is also a treat for the eye. The C70 is sporty, but offers the capacity of a four-door sedan.

The LA Auto Show keeps getting better each year. It's become interactive and enjoyable for all audiences, men and women. Apparently there will even be a "Kids' Fun Zone" at the show. Tickets range from $10 to $12. Children under 12 get in for free with their parents. The show runs from Nov. 18 to Nov. 27.


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