With the “emergency refresh” of the Honda Civic leading the list, expect to see plenty of headlines emerge from the LA Auto Show later this month, organizers hinting that “nearly 50” new models will make their debut during the two-day press preview scheduled for November 28th and 29th. That list includes 24 world debuts and 25 more products making their first appearance in North America.
This year’s show also will see the introduction of the show’s new Advanced Technology Showcase which will offer a closer look at some of the technologies transforming today’s and tomorrow’s vehicles.
As in past years, the LA show will see manufacturers put an emphasis on green technology – no surprise considering the tough zero-emissions mandates enacted by the California Air Resources Board, or CARB. Among the products scheduled for debut at the Los Angeles Convention Center are the Fiat 500e and Chevrolet Spark EV battery-electric vehicles, as well as two plug-ins from Ford, the C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi. Honda also has confirmed it will unveil the Accord plug-in hybrid at the LA Auto Show.
A number of small, high-mileage offerings using conventional gasoline drivelines will also be on the media preview schedule, including the 5-seat Fiat 500L and Mini’a Paceman and Clubvan models – all making their North American debuts.
Key world debuts include the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible and the production version of the stretched, 7-passenger Hyundai Santa Fe crossover – the latter first seen in prototype form at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. Meanwhile, the Korean maker’s sibling Kia brand will pull the wraps off the Forte sedan for the first time.
Mazda has shown several versions of its next-generation midsize sedan, starting with a debut at the Moscow Motor Show this past August, but the LA Auto Show will see the unveiling of the American version of the next-gen Mazda6.
A number of luxury makers are expected to pull back the covers on their new models – no surprise considering that the greater Los Angeles area is the single-largest luxury market in the U.S. – in fact, a full 25% of all Mercedes-Benz AMG models are sold in Southern California.
Mercedes is expected to reveal the SLS AMG Black Series and three other new models, including an as yet-undisclosed world debut. Acura will stage the world debut of its new flagship RLX sedan, while North American debuts will including the BMW i8 Spyder hybrid roadster, the Jaguar F-Type and the Porsche 911 Carrera 4. Bentley is also on the press conference schedule.
Japanese makers have traditional treated the LA event as their home show – no surprise since most have their U.S. operations based around Los Angeles. Other Japanese makers on the dock for global previews including Nissan, Toyota and Subaru, while Mitsubishi will stage the first U.S. showing of its 2014 Outlander.
As for the Advanced Technology Showcase, the event is sponsored by the industry trade group, the Auto Alliance, and will provide background to the media hordes attending the LA Auto Show on a range of new connected vehicle technologies. Organizers note that such systems are becoming as important to today’s buyers as bigger engines and better horsepower were to generations past – “about 6 out of 10 consumers are interested in getting driver assist technology when they purchase their next vehicle.”
The LA Auto Show will also bring the finale to the closely watched Green Car of the Year balloting, with the Toyota Prius C, the Ford Fusion and C-Max, the Mazda CX-5 SkyActiv and the Dodge Dart Aero all up for top honors.
Tags: 2012 LA auto show, LA Auto Show, advanced technology forum, auto news, auto shows, bmw la, car news, car shows, fiat la, mercedes la, paul a. eisenstein, paul eisenstein, thedetroitbureau, vw la