It seems like every year vehicles get bigger and more powerful, but recently we've been seeing a trend toward smaller and more efficient. While new models are still getting their requisite bump in displacement and power, automakers have been putting a much heavier emphasis on reducing emissions and boosting fuel economy with drivetrain tech such as direct injection, turbocharging, clean diesels, and hybridization. We've rounded up some of the most notable new vehicles from the 2008 LA Auto Show for a quick look at what you can expect to see on showroom floors over the next year.
There are luxury brands--Mercedes-Benz and Lexus come to mind--then there are luxury brands, cars with the leather from a herd of cows and wood from a whole forest. Spyker, Ferrari, and Bentley all showed off hand-crafted cars at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. These cars feature beautiful and unique styling, high-performance engines and driving gear, advanced cabin tech, and prestigious brand names. The prices they command put them in the realm of sheiks and movie stars.
Hyundai has been reaching for the stars lately, comparing its cars to other automakers' luxury models and launching the Genesis luxury sedan. Now the company wants to be "the most fuel-efficient automaker on the planet," according to Hyundai Vice President for Product Development John Krafcik. To achieve its lofty goals, Hyundai showed off its Blue Drive hybrid power train at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. This power train works similarly to full hybrids from Toyota and Ford, powering the car under electric or a combination of gas and electric, but Hyundai takes a leap forward by using … Read more
Nissan unveiled the Cube for the US market at the 2008 LA Auto Show. Though it's been available in Japan for some time now, we'll know soon enough whether American buyers are ready for the Cube when it hits showrooms as a 2009 model.
Not to be overshadowed by the 370Z, the Cube is the most unconventional designs to come out of Nissan in some time. The Cube features a squared-circle theme punctuated by a radical wrap-around asymmetrical rear window. Inside, the Cube is surprisingly spacious with a relaxing aesthetic with a concentric circle theme that's repeated … Read more
Volkswagen got a lot of mileage out of its 3-liter turbocharged V-6 diesel engine at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. It appeared in the Touareg TDI and the Audi Q5 TDI, signaling Volkswagen's launch of diesel SUVs in the U.S. This engine uses a complex emissions system that lets Volkswagen and Audi sell the vehicles in all 50 states. A particulate filter gets rid of the bigger stuff, while a solution called AdBlue breaks down nitrogen oxide emissions. Also on hand was the much more powerful TDI-powered Volkswagen Baja 1000 competitor.
Smart has revealed a new version of its fortwo at the 2008 LA Auto Show, the fortwo Brabus. Brabus being the German tuning house most famous for their close ties with Mercedes-Benz. If the idea of a performance variant of the superthrifty fortwo seems a bit odd, you're not alone. We're looking at with a bit of skepticism as well.
Particularly because the fortwo Brabus features no more power than the standard 71 horsepower fortwo, choosing to boost performance in the suspension and aesthetic departments instead.
The fortwo Brabus will be released in limited quantities and made available … Read more
The Insight is back to do battle with the Prius (and possibly impersonate one). Brian Cooley takes a look at it on the floor of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
It's not for sale, but 500 lucky people will determine if it should be. Learn more as Brian Cooley takes a look at the Mini E Electric on the floor of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Brian Cooley takes a look at the 2010 Mustang on the floor at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, admiring the car's evolved exterior styling and its vastly improved interior.
The Fusion, Ford's bread-and-butter mid-size sedan, gets a significant update for 2010, complete with new body work, new cabin tech options, and an all new hybrid model. Ford built on the hybrid powertrain technology it already uses in the Ford Escape Hybrid, but significantly retunes it for the Fusion, giving it a top electric speed of about 47 mph. Gas mileage is estimated to be around 38mpg city and 35mpg highway. Along with its high-tech powertrain, the Fusion Hybrid gets an innovative instrument cluster with a variety of gauges to monitor economy and powertrain operation. Putting it over the … Read more