There’s no doubt about it: Los Angeles is a city of automobiles. Heck, even L.A. Noire says this in its own intro! Having lived in the L.A. area for almost twenty-five years now, I can certainly confirm that this is absolutely true.
For almost every year that I’ve lived here, I’ve attended the L.A. Auto Show. It used to be held in late December-early January; however, this is also the same time as the Detroit Auto Show. What this meant was that auto manufacturers that had only one example of a particular vehicle (concept vehicles, especially) almost always chose Detroit as the site for that vehicle’s debut. The upshot? Los Angeles auto enthusiasts were frequently deprived of the chance to see special cars of which there was only one example.
Thankfully, ever since 2006, Los Angeles has hosted its auto show in late November-early December, frequently coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday. The change in strategy means that auto manufacturers can now display their new cars and concept vehicles in both Los Angeles and in Detroit. Assuming, of course, they haven’t introduced anything new in the month between the two shows.
This is the first year Techgage has had a presence at the Los Angeles Auto Show. I’ve taken a couple hundred photographs of some of the more interesting vehicles and displays. It’s likely we’ll be back every year (as long as I live in the Los Angeles area, anyway!).
The following is the best of the bunch.
First, here are some of the highlights as far as normal street cars go.
Mini John Cooper Works Coupe
It’s not especially pretty, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most fun cars to drive at the show.
Fiat 500 Abarth
Speaking of fun to drive, the Fiat 500 Abarth packs a lot of handling and adequate power in a tiny package.
Maserati’s Quattroporte is big and luxurious, sporty and beautiful.
Maserati GranTurismo Convertible
Also proving popular at Maserati’s stand was its very pretty GranTurismo Convertible.
Audi RS 7
Audi brought its Audi RS 7 super sedan, a car I wouldn’t mind owning if I could afford to.
Porsche 911 GT3
I’m not a Porsche kind of guy, but this 911 GT3 really caught my eye.
Alternative energy-powered cars are big in California, but especially in Los Angeles. Therefore, it was no surprise to see a lot of manufacturers promoting their alternative-fuel solutions.
Audi A3 e-tron
Audi showed off its A3 e-tron Sportback plug-in hybrid prototype.
Chevrolet Ecotec I4 1.4L Turbo
Engines displayed as cutaways are always intriguing.
Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II
Mitsubishi was proud to show off its MiEV Evolution II racer, which took 2nd and 3rd place in the Electric Vehicle class in the famous Pikes Peak Hillclimb in 2013.
Toyota TS030 Hybrid LeMans Prototype
Toyota’s TS030 Hybrid LeMans prototype racer is perhaps the ultimate as far as fossil fuel-electric hybrid cars are concerned. Its ERS (Energy Recovery System) regenerative braking device, identical in principle to F1’s KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), harnesses energy gained from braking and uses it to charge an electric battery; this harnessed energy then provides a significant boost to output power, which translates to higher straight-line speeds.
Red Bull RB6
This 2009 Red Bull-Renault RB6 graced the Infiniti stand. Like Toyota’s TS030, it sports a normally aspirated petrol engine augmented by a KERS power booster. As a Formula 1 fan, this car thrilled me like no other at this LA Auto Show.
Porsche 918 Spyder
Porsche’s 918 Spyder boasts a 4.6L, 608bhp V8 boosted by two electric motors that increase the maximum power output to a staggering 887bhp.
Auto shows are havens for concept vehicles, both full-size and scaled-down. Here are my favorites from this year’s show.
Art Center Acura Concept
Art Center, based in nearby Pasadena, CA, has a successful auto styling program. This Acura concept, which looks like it could have been one of the contenders for the new NSX, is stylish and eye-catching.
Art Center Scion Concept
This Scion (a division of Toyota) concept car looks even better than the Acura model, in my opinion.
Honda FCEV Concept
Honda showed off its FCEV – Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle – concept car on its stand.
Porsche Macan Concept
I’m not fond of SUVs, but Porsche’s Macan model caught my eye.
Porsche Macan V6 Twin-Turbo
So did a cutaway display of its twin-turbo V6.
Finally, auto shows have displays that show off many aspects of just how fun it is to be a car enthusiast.
Honda Indycar Turbo V6
Honda’s V6 Turbo Indycar engine was on display. I wonder how my 2009 Civic Si would handle this engine….
Shelby Mustang V8 with Supercharger
Speaking of engines, this Shelby Mustang V8 featured carbon fiber camshaft covers and a gigantic supercharger. American muscle on steroids.
Mazda Diesel Touring Car
Mazda brought along a diesel-powered touring car.
Mazda Hot Lap Challenge
It also brought along an rFactor-based sim racing cabinet, complete with a super drool-inducing wheel-and-pedal controller set. Alas, I didn’t have time to compete for best lap time at this display.
Honda Racing Experience
Not to be outdone, Honda had its own racing sim display. This one was based on the Wii (!!!), with an Alienware-sourced 3D display.
Lotus Exige V6
This race-prepped Lotus Exige V6 might have been my favorite car apart from the McLaren MP4-12C; I unfortunately didn’t have a good photo of the McLaren because it was tucked away in a corner where I didn’t have a good enough angle for a photo.
Hyundai Zombie Apocalypse
Hyundai had a fun display showing off its vehicles’ suitability if and when the Zombie Apocalypse does come upon us. The weaponry, I’m told, is strictly optional.
Lamborghini LP 700-4 Aventador Roadster
Neither Lamborghini nor Ferrari had an official presence at the show, but a local dealership had this pink Aventador Roadster on display. I have it on good authority that Techgage overlord Rob considers this THE car of the show.