More than 50 Vehicle Debuts to be Unveiled at the LA Auto Show.
LOS ANGELES, CA - November 3, 2011 – The Los Angeles Auto Show will surpass 50 vehicle debuts when it opens Nov. 16 & 17 for press and Nov. 18-27 for the public. As a bright spot in the overall economy, the auto industry continues its momentum at the L.A. Show, highlighted by more than 22 manufacturer press conferences. It will be clear that automakers have invested significantly to deliver vehicles consumers want, featuring an unprecedented number of technological advancements, improved performance and design, all while decreasing carbon emissions. In addition to the 1,000 new vehicles at the show, a significant number of manufacturers have upgraded exhibit spaces and added enhanced features with more interactive content and experiences. There will also be more than a half-dozen test drives that put consumers in the seats and on the streets in some new vehicles on select days.
Notable this year will be a significant increase in fuel efficiency across the board in all categories. Nearly 20 highly-efficient, 40-mpg-plus vehicles, using internal combustion engines—such as the world debut of the Chevrolet Spark—will be at the Show. A renaissance is underway for the four-cylinder engine, which in an era of rising gas prices and concern for fuel economy has become a powerplant of choice for many automakers. Completely reengineered to deliver the power and torque normally associated with larger displacement engines, four cylinder designs are not just powering compacts, but finding their way into multiple platforms. Most notably, the hotly contested small crossover segment will feature two head-to-head competitive world debuts—the Ford Escape and Honda CRV. Mazda also has a new entry in this category with the North American debut of its all-new CX-5 crossover.
Underscoring that many solutions exist for reducing carbon emissions, a whole pack of electric vehicles are in or entering production and will be highlighted at the show, including Mitsubishi's all-electric i, the Ford Focus Electric, BMW’s i3 Concept, CODA’s Sedan, Nissan’s LEAF and an import from Croatia, the DOK-ING XD. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids continue to grow and highlights at the show include the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the new Honda Civic Hybrid and the updated Honda Insight Hybrid. BMW will also have its groundbreaking, i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe concept.
More than half of the 50 L.A. Show debuts fall in the performance and luxury vehicle category like the Audi R8 GT Spyder, Porsche 911 and Jaguar C-X16 sports car concept. Bentley is returning to Los Angeles this year, premiering the marque’s 2012 Continental GTC ultra-luxury convertible. The show will also feature the BMW M5, the fifth-generation edition of the sports sedan, now powered by a 4.4-liter, turbocharged, V8 engine; the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, an open-top power statement with a 563-horsepower, 6.2-liter engine producing 479 lb-ft of torque; and what GM is calling the world’s most powerful production convertible, the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, boasting 580 hp produced by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. The AMG Roadster and Camaro convertible are just two of at least a half dozen convertibles debuting at the Show.
The performance and luxury category is also noteworthy this year for being a showcase for new entries into the segment, including Hyundai’s continued push upward with the premiere of the 2012 Azera, as well as the U.S. debut of entirely new manufacturers, like the Mastretta MXT from Mexico. And, showing performance attributes are crossing traditional lines, the Fiat 500 Abarth demonstrates the further evolution of the once-overlooked compact category. A modified, 135-horsepower version of the recently reborn Fiat 500, the 500 Abarth, will join other “super” compact debuts including the Ford Fiesta ST and the Mazda3 SKYACTIV.
High-tech systems have become one of the most important features of the car itself. New technology to look for at the Show includes advanced applications of Bluetooth, radar sensors, embedded telephony and cloud computing. In use, these high-tech systems give drivers hands-free access to personal data, communications, audio entertainment, social networking and advanced safety measures previously unimaginable. New technology developments unveiled at the show are expected from Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Volkswagen and others.
The automakers aren’t the only exhibitors debuting new vehicles and products at the show. The L.A. Auto Show also has an entire hall dedicated to the latest specialty vehicles, automotive accessories and customizing trends. Everything from exotic custom cars, wheels, tires and performance products, to the latest mobile, audio and entertainment systems can be found in Kentia Hall. A few highlights include Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) showcase of more than 15 custom vehicle premieres, including the 2012 Ford Explorer XXVI, with a heart pounding 2000 WATT sound system; a 1,000 horsepower wide-body 2012 Shelby Supersnake and “Thunder,” a highly modified 540 horsepower 2012 Ford F-150. High-end tuners and performance experts such as Specialty Car Craft, RTW Motoring and Platinum Motorsports will be on hand to showcase the ultimate in modified exotic, luxury and sports cars from around the world.
About the Los Angeles Auto Show
As the first major North American auto show of the season, the 2011 L.A. Auto Show will host some of the industry’s most important new vehicle debuts and set the tone for the rest of the year. The dates are Nov. 16 and 17 for press and Nov. 18-27 for the public. Media registration is now open. Following Press Days, the Show becomes one of the best attended public auto shows in the world. To receive the latest show news and information, follow the L.A. Auto Show on Twitter, visit the Facebook page and sign up for alerts at LAAutoShow.com.
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Rogers Ruder Finn
Paul T. Glessner
I am a journalist/member of AARWBA and an affiliate with Motor Press Guild. Oh, by the way, I am an aerodynamicist with 24 years of aircraft design and flight test experience. I am a commercial pilot and have a website aeroseminars.com where I consult on vehicle aerodynamics.