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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Wed, Nov 14, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

Honda debuts the FCX Clarity fuel cell production car at the LA Auto Show

NOVEMBER REIGN 2008 LA AUTO SHOW REVEALS MORE THAN 40 WORLD AND NORTH AMERICAN DEBUTS Reports by Reed Berry, Gordon Bleam, Chuck Dapoz, John Grafman, BT Justice, Olov Lindberg, Harvey Schwartz and Zoran Segina In its second year out of the cold winter January shadows of the Detroit auto show, the Los Angeles Auto Show is finally going into full bloom. With 14 world and around 30 North American vehicles debuts, it's become clear that Los Angeles now owns November in the world of car shows - and ground zero is at the Los Angeles Convention Center. One had a strong sense that this is not the LA Auto Show of yesteryear when a line of cars backed up on the street to get into the parking lot. Inside, an unprecedented number of journalists flocked the press day previews. The LA show has finally reached the major league, and there's no turning back. The show kicked-off with 28 press conferences, featuring the new CEO of Ford Motor Company as the keynote speaker, and followed up with some debuts worthy of a show with international status. Even the environmental protesters paid more attention to the show this time around - confirming the LA show as a venue that matters. The show opened to the public on Friday, November 16th, and ran through the 25th - including Thanksgiving Day. - Roy Nakano

Ford CEO Alan Mulally © Harvey Schwartz photo ALAN MULALLY Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally kicked off the LA Auto Show keynote with a speech about the state of the company and where he expects to direct it. According to Mulally, Ford is changing to match capacity to demand - smaller, more fuel efficient cars and trucks. "Ford is striving for higher quality, more reliability, more affordability, and environmentally friendly aspects in all of its vehicles," says Mulally. Ford aims to accomplish this with a new generation of smaller-displacement, turbo-charged gasoline engines with advanced fuel-saving direct injection technologies, hybrid gas-electric engines, new transmissions, lighter body panels and more aerodynamic shapes to help increase mpg. From 2008 thru 2010, Ford intends to replace all of its models with all-new models. - Harvey Schwartz

Aston Martin DBS (JG) ASTON MARTIN DBS Bond lives. First seen in Casino Royale, the Aston Martin DBS makes a splash the night before the LAAS at O'Gara Coach in Beverly Hills. This car is about high performance in design construction. The new class-leading all-alloy VH (Vertical Horizontal) architecture, a lightweight bonded aluminum structure, and extensive use of carbon fiber panels along with the 510 HP V12 ensure this placate those looking for high-performance. The sophisticated Adaptive Damping System (ADS) suspension, Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) brakes, and placing 85 percent of the weight between the wheels allows for superior balance. DBS promises exotic looks with ability to match. - John Grafman

Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro concept AUDI CROSS CABRIOLET QUATTRO Is it a convertible or an SUV? Actually, the Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro is a combination of both. It definitely has a sporty look, with bold styling, a large, eye-catching front grille, and a cloth top that lowers and conceals itself behind the rear seats in under 20 seconds. The car is powered by a 240-hp longitudinally mounted six-cylinder diesel engine, and features quattro permanent four-wheel drive, an elaborate emissions reduction system and big 21-inch wheels. The large doors provide easy access, and the interior features four individual leather seats plus an "infotainment" system with touch screen control panel. - Reed Berry

BMW 1-Series Coupe BMW 1-SERIES BMW takes another stab at capturing the lower end of the sport market. The new 1 Series Coupe's intend on using a better arsenal than anyone has before. Two models, 128i and 135i, are both powered by three-liter, inline sixes. Power ranges from 230 horses to a decimating 300 ponies care of twin-turbos. This is affordable Bavarian domination with 0-60 in 5.3 seconds. A sophisticated suspension system with an aluminum double-pivot front suspension and a five-link fully independent rear suspension in lightweight steel ensure performance. Included are BMW's Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC). BMW doesn't corners with the entry level even incorporating a new version of iDrive. - John Grafman

BMW M3 Sedan BMW M3 COUPE AND SEDAN BMW raises the bar again with the fourth-generation M3 Coupe and Sedan. The new four-liter, light-alloy engine produces a crushing 414 horsepower at 8,300 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm with 85 percent of the maximum torque available consistently through 6,500 rpm. This represents a 17 percent increase over the six-cylinder from the last generation M3, however the new engine weighs seven percent less and consumes an impressive eight percent less fuel. Additionally, drivers can exert control over various systems including steering, damping and stability, plus an available steering-wheel-mounted "MDrive" button. Numerous aspects of the M3 have been improved over the last model. - John Grafman

Tahoe Hybrid CHEVROLET TAHOE HYBRID Chevrolet's new Tahoe Hybrid combines the division's V-8 with two 60 kilowatt electrical motors. During heavy stop-and-go traffic, the Tahoe Hybrid will move only under electric power. On the highway a V-8 will shut off half of its cylinders. A 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, warranted for eight years/100,000 miles, feeds the motors and also provides power to the air conditioning compressor, electric power steering system, and accessories. GM promises 25-30 percent improved fuel consumption and 50-percent in city driving using regular fuel. That would mean 18/23 mpg EPA for this full-size SUV. - Zoran Segina

LA Auto Show Design Challenge Robocar 2057 entry by Mercedes Benz Advanced Design NA DESIGN CHALLENGE - ROBOCAR 2057 Now in its fourth year, Design Los Angeles is an automobile designers' conference that has evolved into an integral element of the Los Angeles Auto Show. It provides designers with leading design speakers and the opportunity to address common industry issues. More than 500 designers attended last year's event. The DesignChallenge had entries from Audi, GM, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan Toyota and Volkswagen. See them at DesignChallenge. - Gordon Bleam

Entry by Volkswagen Design Center, CA Winner: Volkswagen Slipstream Volkswagen Slipstream design sketch was announced as the winner of the Los Angeles Auto Show's 2007 Design Challenge. The Volkswagen Slipstream was chosen for how well it integrated into personal and work life, the level of innovation and technology as well as its unique styling. The Slipstream adapts for city and freeway driving. These two-wheeled, teardrop shaped pods travel in an upright orientation that occupies one-fifth the size of a traditional vehicle and when on the freeway, tilts horizontally to be more aerodynamic.

Ford Mustang Bullitt (Robert M Shoji) FORD MUSTANG BULLITT Mustang fans, Steve McQueen fans, or anyone who just wants to kick butt will be able to walk into a Ford dealer soon and grab a 2008 Mustang Bullitt. Modeled after the car in the original "Gone in 60 Seconds," the new Bullitt reprises an earlier Ford offering (model year 2001), this time, though, in celebration of the movie's fortieth anniversary. With the Bullitt, Ford ups the ante in the ponycar wars in anticipation of the entry of the Challenger and Camaro in the next year. The company will produce just 7700 new Bullitts. MSRP is $31,075. You'll have your choice of colors as long as they are the Highland Green of the film or black. - Brian Kennedy

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR The Green Car of the Year has been announced at the LA show for several years now. The winner of the 2008 Green Car of the Year (GCOY) award, the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, was revealed during a press conference the morning of November 15th. The importance of this award is validated not only by the increase in consumer demand but by the rapid growth of low emission and environmentally friendly new vehicles on the market. More vehicle choices require greater public education and the Green Car Journal's annual award helps consumers each year by identifying the top picks from leading industry environmental and automotive experts. - Olov Lindberg

Honda FCX Clarity HONDA FCX CLARITY What's better than a low-emission vehicle? A Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) like the Honda FCX Clarity. Yes, it appears as though we are actually getting closer to driving an environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, and the FCX Clarity is one cool looking ride! With a top speed of 100 mph and a range of 270 miles, the FCX Clarity runs on compressed hydrogen stored in high-pressure tanks. It is stylish, practical and, like all hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, very quiet. A futuristic interior design adds to the car's unique appearance. The FCX Clarity will cost you $600 per month based on Honda's planned three-year lease program. - Reed Berry

Hyundai Genesis Coupe Concept HYUNDAI GENESIS COUPE CONCEPT Fasten your seatbelt. This rear-wheel-drive 2+2 sports coupe promises to be the world's most affordable 300-horsepower car. "We aim to deliver a driving experience that challenges cars like the Infiniti G37 at prices more like Mitsubishi Eclipse" said John Krafcik, Hyundai's vice president for product development and strategic planning. A3.8-liter V6 is mated to a six-speed manual, propelling the Genesis Coupe to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. Carbon fiber in the hood, roof and ground effects helps keep weight down. Hyundai says a production version goes on sale in spring 2009. - Chuck Dapoz

North American debut of Jaguar's XF sedan JAGUAR XF Ian Callum's dramatic new design in the XK sports car, is carried to the new Jaguar XF - muscular mid-level sedan. The XF will be available with either a 4.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 (300hp) or a supercharged V8 developing 420 hp. The contemporary wood, aluminum and leather interior ambience is presented in a very modern way. Sophisticated instruments, unique phosphor blue interior lighting, and Bowers & Wilkins 440-watt Surround Sound System move away from traditional styling. The cars arriving in March 2008 will cost from about fifty grand for the base 2009 XF to the mid-sixties for the Supercharged XF. - Zoran Segina

Lincoln MKS LINCOLN MKS The American personal luxury car just became your next car as Lincoln introduced the MKS. Riding on a 112.9-inch wheelbase and carrying a 270-horsepower V6 driving the rear wheels, the MKS also features all the comfort goodies you'd expect in a car that starts at $38,000. So why should you buy one? Because this things looks good just sitting still. With smooth sides and prominent lower door accents, the MKS is everything a lot of future-think Japanese sedans are not. That is, it's the big, solid, American car your dad aspired to, but with flair. Ford has resisted the temptation to turn it into some kind of Bangle clone and instead given it the solid, stylish look a road-going car deserves. - Brian Kennedy

Mazda3 2018 MAZDA3 2018 Mazda Design Challenge winner Mallory McMorrow's vision of what the Mazda3 should look like in the year 2018 was galvanized into a sketch by Mazda's Jacques Flynn. Flynn took McMorrow's ideas and the combination went on to score a victory with both Mazda judges and members of Facebook, who co-sponsored the challenge. A full-size, three-dimensional model will be constructed at the Mazda stand throughout the course of the LA Auto Show. The finished clay article will be unveiled at 3 p.m., Saturday, November 24th. - Roy Nakano

MINI Clubman MINI CLUBMAN Mini released their latest vehicle, named the Mini Cooper Clubman. With a turbocharged 1.6-liter DOHC engine, the Clubman S is equipped with 172 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. From the outside the Clubman looks like a US based Mini Cooper stretched 10.2 inches with one notable difference, the rear hatch is dual outwardly-hinged clam-shell doors giving easy access to the increased rear storage. On the passenger side of the vehicle a reverse-opening suicide door provides easy access to the new rear leg room but having the 1/2 door only on one side could end up being a half door or even 1-1/2 door short for some customers.  - Gordon Bleam

North American debut of the Nissan GT-R NISSAN GT-R Nissan debuted it's all new (for the North American market) GT-R supercar. If the reaction of the press is at all indicative, the GT-R will be a great success. The only qualm is that Nissan didn't leave much for the tuner crowd to improve upon. The GT-R has a perfect blend of classic muscle car and modern/futuristic looks. With all wheel drive, a 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 producing 480hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, paddle shifters, Bilstein Damptronic suspension, Brembo rotors, 20 inch wheels, and much, much more, the GT-R already has race car-like performance for its under-$70,000 price point. - BT Justice

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn introduces the new Nissan Murano NISSAN MURANO Nissan revealed the second-generation Murano. Unlike either the GT-R or the first-generation Murano, the styling of the new Murano is conservative. I dare say it is almost stodgy compared to the first. Perhaps Nissan is taking a cautious restyling route in order to avoid the type of fiasco that resulted in a previous restyling of the Altima not so many years ago. Cautious restyling aside, the new Murano does have some benefits over the first generation and remains a strong contender in this segment. The interior is handsomely restyled. The Murano is very comfortable and loaded with convenient features. The Murano's performance has also been enhanced with many technological improvements. - BT Justice

The 'zero emissions' 1900 Lohner-Porsche electric car PORSCHE Eco-friendliness was the common theme of virtually all 28 press conferences. Even Porsche got into the act. Along with the first North American showing of the Cayenne Hybrid, the Porsche display also features what the manufacturer says is the first advanced zero-emission automobile - the electric Voiturette System Lohner-Porsche. Shortly thereafter, Ferdinand Porsche added two internal combustion engines to charge the front wheel hub motors, thus creating the world's first hybrid - according to Porsche. The 'hybrid' version was shown at the Parisian Auto Salon in 1901. - Roy Nakano  

Subaru's Tim Colbeck introduces the new Impreza WRX STi (CD) SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI The third-generation Subaru WRX STI is longer, wider, roomier, and the interior is substantially upgraded. The suspension and chassis are all new, which Subaru says allows the new STI to out-handle its predecessor while transmitting more information and less shock to the cockpit. The turbocharged, 2-5-liter boxer engine produces 305 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds, giving the STI a zero-to-60 time of 4.9 seconds. The 2008 WRX STI will be available only as a five-door hatch. It went on sale in Japan last month. The U.S. version is scheduled to arrive in dealerships in January, starting at $34,995. - Chuck Dapoz

Toyota Sequoia TOYOTA SEQUOIA With gas prices rising and sales of big SUVs falling, maybe this isn't the best time for Toyota to launch its Tundra-based Sequoia SUV. But the 2008 Sequoia is an impressive vehicle, big inside and out, and an able competitor to the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition. It comes with the same two V8s as the Tundra: a 4.7-liter producing 271 horsepower, and a 5.7-liter that kicks 381 horses. One difference from the Tundra is independent rear suspension, instead of a solid, live axle, offering superior ride and handling as well as plenty of cargo room and eight-passenger seating. - Chuck Dapoz

VW Space Up! Blue (Robert M Shoji) VW SPACE UP! BLUE With gasoline prices hitting records highs, we can look forward to smaller, value-priced vehicles like the interestingly named Volkswagen Space Up! Blue. This rear-engine concept car may look rather small but is actually quite spacious with room for four adults. There's plenty of room for cargo, even large objects, as all seats (except for the drivers seat, of course) can be folded and stored or removed. Interior seating comfort is achieved with ergonomic design and with a special valve that allows you to release air from the seats so they will fit each occupant perfectly! The car features a high-temperature hydrogen fuel cell, lithium-ion battery pack and a solar panel. Joining VW executives to introduce the car is former Los Angeles Laker and talk show host John Salley. - Reed Berry

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger admires the Space Up! Blue DEBUTS World or North American debuts at the LA Auto Show: Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400 Audi Cross Cabriolet quattro Bentley Continental GT Speed BMW 1 Series BMW M3 Chevy Aveo5 Chevy Malibu hybrid sedan Chevy Silverado hybrid full-size pickup Chrysler Aspen hybrid Chrysler Durango hybrid Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR Dodge Journey Faurecia Premium Attitude Ferrari 430 Scuderia Ford Mustang Bullitt Honda FCX Hyundai Genesis sports car concept Jaguar XF Kia KND4 concept Lamborghini Reventon Lexus IS-F Lexus LX 570 Lincoln MKS Lotus Elise S/C Maserati Quattroporte Sport GTS Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Mercedes-Benz S400 BLUETEC Hybrid concept Mini Cooper Clubman Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4L Nissan GT-R Nissan Murano Pontiac Vibe Porsche 911 GT2 Porsche Cayman S Design Edition 1 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid concept Spyker C8 Laviolette Spyker C12 Zagato Subaru Impreza WRX STi Toyota Sequoia Toyota Matrix Volkswagen Jetta TDi Volkswagen Space Up Blue concept Volkswagen Tiguan Volvo C30 ReCharge concept Volvo V70 Sources: LA Auto Show For more scenes from the LA Auto Show, click here.


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