What Will Be the Theme For the 2010 L.A. Auto Show?

By Tim Healey

The Los Angeles Auto Show is the last major show in the calendar year, but it’s the first one of the auto-show season. While the biggest reveals are saved for Detroit, automakers looking to get ahead of the curve won’t hesitate to launch new products in L.A.

Given its sunny West Coast location, and California’s “green” leanings, it’s not uncommon for OEMs to introduce hybrids or other alternative fuel vehicles along with convertibles and other fun-in-the-sun type autos. So what does the show have in store for this year?

Between world and North American debuts, there will be all kinds of new sheetmetal being unveiled in L.A.  The show promises some 20-plus world debuts, not to mention several North American debuts.

Of course, the usual suspects will be present in LA’s sun. Drop-top fans will have a few launches to check out, such as the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible and the 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster (making its North American debut).  The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet pictured above – a two-door convertible version of Nissan’s crossover – has made a big splash in the days leading up to the show. And there will be “green” cars, such as the 2012 Infiniti M35 Hybrid–also making its North American debut.

The Nissan Leaf electric car and Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle will also be on hand, as will the US-spec Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car, although the automotive press has had a chance to drive the Volt and Leaf, as well as the Japanese-spec i-MiEV. Hyundai’s 2011 Elantra compact will also be unveiled in L.A.  Toyota is expected to debut a concept EV based on the RAV4 that it developed in conjunction with Tesla, and Honda may have an EV concept on hand as well. General Motors is also scheduled to introduce an electric concept called EN-V, and plans to unveil a surprise Cadillac concept that nobody has seen before.

Chrysler will also be making news as it continues its comeback, introducing the 2011 Dodge Charger, 2011 Dodge Durango, and 2011 Chrysler 200 (all three have been shown in high-resolution photos leading up to the show). Other expected world and North American debuts include that of the 2011 Range Rover Evoque five-door, the 2011 Saab 9-4X, the 2011 Porsche 911 GTS, and the 2011 Nissan Quest minivan.

In short, perhaps the real theme of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show will be variety.  Between electric cars that use no gasoline, to 500-plus horsepower performance cars, there will be new cars debuting from every end of the automotive spectrum.  As I’m sure your mom always said, “variety is the spice of life.”  Stay tuned for news from the show, including our take on the most interesting and relevant new products.

Author: Tim Healey

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