L.A. Auto Show
Christmas came early for the automotive world, as the 2012 L.A. Auto Show gave us a sneak peek at what will generate a big buzz in the new year. As this is California, buzzing into view were a bevy of new, all-electrics.
BMW looks ready to add to its electrified sub-brand with this futuristic i3 Concept Coupe. This Chevrolet Spark EV claims the longest driving range in its class. Which includes a new battery-powered version of Fiat’s mini-car, the 500e. The Fiat line is also expanding with the Five-door 500L, along with a convertible variant of the hot rod 500 Abarth.
But what’s more Californian than a convertible? Volkswagen has the answer with their new Beetle drop top in perfect step. Especially when the available 2.0-liter turbo diesel is paired with a 6-speed manual for over 40 miles per gallon while cruising in the sun.
Diesel fans were thrilled to hear the news that Audi will add a turbo diesel V6 power to its U.S. bound A6, A7, and A8 carlines, and the mid-size Q5 crossover. On the gasoline front, the 3-cylinder 1.0-liter, Ecoboost Ford Fiesta subcompact is finally here, with a new front end and yet, another “40 MPG-Plus” claim.
The “don’t-say-minivan” Ford Transit Connect Wagon also made its debut.
The more conventional Honda Civic gets a rework after only one year to address less than rave reviews. The sedan’s exterior is tweaked, the interior is overhauled with new shapes, better materials, and an all-around classier look. The hybrid sportster CR-Z got a little love too, and boasts more power and efficiency for the new year.
Acura showed up with their production RLX flagship sedan. High tech hardware includes four wheel steer, and electric-motor all-wheel drive.
Two mainstay compact crossovers also made debuts; the redesigned Toyota RAV4 is sleeker outside, with slimmed down powertrains under the hood.
While the new Subaru Forester is less box-like, it does include more room and a 250 horsepower turbo engine option.
The hydrogen powered Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force is a tease for a future G-Wagon… while this SLS AMG Black series is here and now with a monster 622 horsepower V8.
And there’s more horsepower and economy for the all-new, flat-six Porsche Cayman sports car series.
Other notable intros at LA included Mazda’s redesigned “6” family sedan, with a diesel option.
From Kia, an all-new Forte compact…and freshened Sorento utility.
Arriving too was a new 7-seat Outlander crossover from Mitsubishi.
While, Jaguar’s F-Type made its first U.S. splash…along with a new M5 fighter, the XFR-S.
And the “Green Car of the Year” was also announced; the 2013 honor goes to the Ford Fusion with turbocharged, hybrid, and plug-in models.