Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: Press | posted November 22, 2010 18:07
Record 50 vehicle debuts for LA Auto Show
The 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show became the venue for a long list of world premieres and concept car debuts. The LA Auto Show, a standard fixture of the auto industry, and this year's show promised and delivered a great collection of the latest cars, advanced designs and concepts in the car world.
The Los Angeles Auto Show opened on Nov. 19 and will stay open until the 28th with a record 50 vehicle debuts. This year's show features more elaborate and interactive exhibits and more manufacturers, making it one of the most dynamic LA Auto Shows in years. As sales of new cars improve and consumers are faced with more vehicle choices, the show provides the most convenient way to compare the available options under the roof of the LA Convention Center.
Here is a run down of the significant models at the 2010 LA Auto Show.
Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet
Nissan also held the debut of the world's first all-wheel drive crossover convertible at the LA Auto Show with the Murano Cross Cabriolet. The new concept delivers the open-air exhilaration of a convertible while extending the versatility of the Murano in exciting new ways. With room for four adults, space for golf bags or luggage (even with the top down), and a premium level interior, the Murano CrossCabriolet represents a breakthrough in concept and design. The Cross Cabriolet is set to go on sale in 2011.
Honda Fit EV Concept
The Honda Jazz, known as Fit in other markets, debuts in Los Angeles as a new Electric Vehicle concept, strongly hinting at the direction and styling for Honda's upcoming production Fit EV all-electric vehicle. The new hybrid platform, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012, showcases Honda's next-generation, two-motor hybrid technology, and will be powered by a lithium-ion battery. The motor, derived from the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, delivers excellent efficiency and power while remaining quiet at high speeds. The Fit EV will have a top speed of 90 mph.
Volvo Air Motion Concept
Aimed at the driving enthusiast, by a company synonymous with safety and environmental care, the Volvo Air Motion demonstrates the beauty and purity of Scandinavian design and delivers a guilt free, raw driving experience. Tipping the scales at under 1,000lbs, the Volvo Air Motion Concept, promises the adrenaline rush of carving through canyos with up to 3 friends while not using a drop of gasoline as the Air Motion runs on compressed air converted to electricity. Volvo displayed a 1/4th scale model of the new concept, designed at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center in California.
Toyota RAV4 EV
Developed jointly with Tesla Motors, the new Toyota RAV4 EV concept made its debut at the LA Auto Show. The RAV4 EV concept is based on the current Toyota RAV4 compact SUV body and fitted with a Tesla electric powertrain. Slotted in with the mid-cycle model change, Toyota incorporated new design touches in the new RAV4 EV, while major changes were done by Tesla Motors including the battery and other related parts to meet Toyota's specific engineering specifications. Toyota was responsible for development and manufacturing leadership and the seamless integration of the powertrain.
VW Eos Convertible
Another new arrival is the new Volkswagen Eos convertible, a car that now sports the new look of the VW brand, boasting a full redesign similar to that of the stunning Scirocco hatch. New trimmings and other details round out the new look, while a new set of upgrades for the powerplants improve power and efficiency across the range.
Porsche Cayman R
If most people thought the Cayman was the softer 911, then the Cayman R is Porsche's reply. The new Cayman R sports less weight by doing away with non-essential features like navigation or even air-conditioning and using lighter materials like lightweight aluminum doors for a weight-saving total of 121 lbs. The R is also 10hp more powerful, and sprints from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.
Kia Optima Hybrid
Kia Motors held the world premiere of its all-new Optima Hybrid sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Created primarily with the US market in mind, the latest model in Kia's design-led transformation employs a truly innovative Kia-developed powertrain that promises to deliver exceptional hybrid performance and 48 mpg class-leading fuel efficiency.Arriving in US Kia dealer showrooms early next year, the Optima Hybrid is the brand's first-ever hybrid for North America and uses a "full parallel hybrid system" to deliver a unique blend of performance acceleration to 62 mph in 9.2 seconds, top speed 121 mph and economy, achieving a 40.7% mpg improvement compared with a regular Optima.
Subaru Impreza Concept
Japanese manufacturer Subaru recently unveiled the Impreza Design Concept, which previews the carmaker's new "Confidence in Motion" design and brand strategy, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Impreza Design Concept is powered by a combination of the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine with a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), representing Subaru's next-generation of powertrains. The car's low-and-wide stance - first seen on the 2011 WRX STI - is meant to convey security and safety, while the prominent wheel arches emphasise the vehicle's sure-footed stance.
Mercedes-Benz Biome Concept
At the 2010 Los Angeles Design Challenge, the designers from the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios in Carlsbad, California surprised everyone with a revolutionary vision. The Mercedes-Benz BIOME Concept grows in a completely organic environment from seeds sown in a nursery. Out on the road the car emits pure oxygen and by being organic, it can simply be composted or used as building material. The Mercedes-Benz BIOME Concept symbiosis vehicle is made from an ultralight material called BioFibre and tips the scales at just 875.5 lbs (around 394 kg). This material is significantly lighter than metal or plastic, yet more robust than steel. BioFibre is grown from proprietary DNA in the Mercedes-Benz nursery.
Range Rover Evoque
The exciting 5-Door version of the all-new Range Rover Evoque made its debut at the LA Auto Show. With its stylish and sporting appearance, enhanced by extra practicality and greater family appeal, the 5-Door Range Rover Evoque joins the stunning coupe model to create a highly desirable line-up that will transform the premium compact SUV segment. Like the coupe, the 5-Door Range Rover Evoque remains faithful to the spirit of the groundbreaking Land Rover LRX concept car, offering an innovative new interpretation of the original cross-coupe design.
Chrysler 200 Sedan
Chrysler introduces the new Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan. Offering consumers exceptional craftsmanship inside and out, a refined and spirited driving experience, innovative technology, an abundance of standard safety features and an extraordinary level of standard content, the 2011 Chrysler 200 is an exciting alternative for customers that want style and substance, all at a surprising value. Virtually every system in the sedan is new or upgraded for 2011, giving the Chrysler 200 its own identity and space in the highly competitive mid-size sedan segment.
Mitsubishi unveiled the North American version of the i-MiEV. Compared to its Japanese- and European-spec compatriots, the new i-MiEV features a slightly larger body to provide better space for four adults, along with redesigned front and rear bumpers for enhanced protection in the event of a collision. Active Stability Control (ASC), a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and airbags that control deployment force are standard features on the North American i-MiEV, and will have an MSRP of around $30,000.