Los Angeles Auto Show 2010 has opened its doors and faithful to its last years, the mood is different. This auto show always showcases some of the latest technological breakthroughs from skunkworks, often time, right here in the vicinity. Over the years, the LA Auto Show has been a great way to get a sense of what is happening, ahead of the Detroit show.
If the 2006 Show had little to no electric cars and a few hybrids, 2007 was also in denial as you could feel the excesses of those over the top “parties” throwing millions of dollars away a day. The uncertainty of 2008 ushered sobriety with less flashy parties and more frugal cars upstage. All the sudden, almost any companies had an EV/hybrid project miraculously appearing from drawers. The once dominant muscle cars were left in the back for 2008/9. But then, there is 2010.
Why You Would Want To Go. You’re on the hunt, you want to find out what is the latest and greatest, you don’t differentiate between a belching internal combustion engine to a battery. One stop you will want to make either way is
Jaguar. The sleek inhouse design C-X75 Concept prototype displays a well advanced stage turbine hybrid, backed with a lithium pack and 4 195hp in-hub motors. And according to the rumor mill; “The car is not a simple prototype.” Apparently the Tata group is serious about it.
Ford. You can see Ford coming out from the last two year’s of hell well on top of its local competitors. The company has a vast choice of cars, suitable for anyone, from young urban IT consultants and the electric Transit to the hybrid Fusion.
KIA. You will want to go see the interesting Kia EV project called Pop. The futuristic Japanese-manga infused design sports an 18 kWh lithium polymer gel battery pack, giving the electric motor an output of 67hp (50 kW) for 190 Nm of torque. And as for its shape, it not only conveys a futuristic message but serves aerodynamic purposes since it should reach 97mph (140 km/h) with a 100 miles (160 km) range on a full charge.
Nissan. If you want to see the Leaf again, this is your chance, as well as other hybrids. Commuter Cars. If the Commuter Cars Tango has always intrigued you and you’ve always wanted one, then Rick Woodberry has a Tango there ready for you. Imagine this, you could walk away with a Tango!
Honda. Go and see the CR-Z Hybrid. It’s either a love story or it will not move you. Strangely enough, this CR-Z hybrid consumes more gas than the original non-hybrid 20 year old one. What it does do on the other hand is raise the image people have of hybrids. Who says hybrids can’t look aggressive? See below in the gallery.
Toyota. No surprise, Toyota has again brought its plug-in hybrid version of the Prius, as it does every year. A few are being fleet tested and we should have it available on the market in a year or two. Yet if Toyota leaves you feeling a little “too common”, Lexus wants you to know that they have the “darker green” at the show. Not sure if they were talking about hybrids, so you decide. Intrigued about that Tesla Motors drivetrain in the eventual rebirth of the electric RAV4? It’s taking shape Check out the gallery below.
Why You Will Not Want To Go. If you are an alternative energy enthusiast, then this show will leave hungry for more especially if you are expecting anything like the last two years. 2 hours would more than cover the show. The often interesting Kentia Hall will disappointing in the variety section although everyone should go and check the Commuter Cars booth.
So What Is The Trend? And this is exactly what I am left wondering. Plenty of muscle cars have reclaimed their prominent displays pushing yesterday’s center stage hybrids and EV behind. The obligatory proptotype or “See what we’re working on” display are left to tentalize you. Considering the past year’s exuberance over alternative energy cars, it was an awkward step back. It was hard to get a sense whether or not the next season began and felt as if car makers are desperately pushing out their gas cars before people clamor alternative energy, period.
This year’s show felt like a rehash of the past early decade. It didn’t have that drive and enthusiasm we witnessed the past two years when it comes to alternative energy vehicles, which makes me wonder about the Detroit show…