The 2012 LA Auto Show opened to the public this weekend, but fortunately I was able to attend the press days a few days prior to get the early scoop on the show and get highlights from the press launches. Virtually every major manufacturer was present, with strong showings from BMW, Audi, Toyota, and GM. BMW officially debuted the futuristic i8 Spyder concept in North America, while German rivals Mercedes-Benz used the event to launch their $400,000 SLS AMG Black Series.
There was no shortage of concept cars, for example, Lexus brought out their stunning LF-LC Blue concept, while Acura displayed their extraterrestrial-looking NSX Concept. Mercedes-Benz show what a future SUV might look like with their Ener-G-Force concept (which has headlamps that are in fact the letter “G”) and Honda brought out their surprisingly small EV-STER concept. Chevy and Cadillac also brought a few concept cars to display as well.
Noticeably absent again this year are Ferrari and Lamborghini, as in recent years they’ve made the Detroit Auto Show a priority and have opted for private customer events in LA. But with displays by Bentley (including their new Continental GT3 Concept), Saleen (Who brought a S7 and S7 Twin Turbo), Aston Martin (who brought the brand new Vanquish), and Porsche (who introduced the new Cayman and Cayman S), luxury sports cars where certainly well represented. From America Dodge SRT brought their 2013 Viper and Chevy displayed their C6 Corvette ZR1, the last of the C6 Corvettes as the next generation C7 Corvette is due early next year.
With over 40 vehicle debuts, journalists from all over the world documented the event and packed the press presentations. A personal highlight was bumping into renown journalist Chris Harris at the Porsche debut.
One of the major themes for this year was Eco-friendliness, and most of the concept displayed where in fact hybrids. Fisker displayed their impressive Karma which has very unique standard features which include a solar panel roof and massive 22 inch wheels. Many of the new cars launched featured improvements in MPG and in low-emissions.
Other notable vehicle presentations belong to Jaguar, for their presentation of their brand new F-Type and utterly insane XFR-S. Also, BMW made mention of their BMW Individual Program by bringing out a brand new 7-Series in Frozen White as well as discussing their i3 Concept.
In the Aftermarket and Tuner Showcase Hall, a lot of cars featured at SEMA where present. Notable cars in this hall where 2 fully chrome Mercedes and a Mosler MT-900. There is also a showing of BMW’s (which include a pristine E30 M3), a couple Ferrari 458 Italia’s and two Lamborghini Aventadors. Also of interest, a few of the 3-wheel T-Rex cycles are on display.
Overall the press days were very impressive, with a great showing from many manufacturers of their current and concept models. The show this year is certainly worth checking out and it will surely delight hardcore petrol-heads and casual car fans alike. For more information, including exhibitor and show time information, check the LA Auto Show Website.