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LA Auto Show

Nov. 18-27 Open Thanksgiving Day

Posted: November 18, 2011 9:47 a.m.
Updated: November 18, 2011 9:47 a.m.

The world debut of the Hyundai Azera commanded intense interest at the L.A. Auto Show.

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The biggest celebration of the automobile in Los Angeles opens today for a 10-day run at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Auto Show is one of the top automotive events worldwide, showcasing new vehicles from auto manufacturers from around the world.

The 2011 show will feature more than 50 world and North American debuts plus more than 1,000 of the latest vehicles ranging from sports cars and sedans to crossovers and minivans.

There is little of the “glitz and glamour” of auto shows past, no splashing fountains or cars stacked to the rafters or ice sculptures or mud sculptures.

However, if you love cars, there is plenty to see and do at the L.A. Auto Show.

If hybrid, electric and other eco-conscious cars are your desire, you’ll find more than 70 new “green” vehicles on display.
If fanciful concept cars make your heart flutter, as they do mine, there are nearly a dozen concepts this year, including BMW’s dramatic i3 and i8, the Cadillac Ciel, Land Rover’s DC100, and Jaguar’s C-X16, plus others from Volvo, KIA,
Honda and Subaru.

The show also offers family fun and entertainment with the Kids’ Fun Zone, open both weekends including the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The play area features video games, toy car rides and a variety of other games, crafts and activities free to show attendees.

The L.A. Auto Show also has an entire hall dedicated to the automotive aftermarket and specialty vehicle industries. Stop by Kentia Hall to find an array of products ranging from limited production cars to customized exotics and the latest in mobile electronics and accessories. I particularly enjoyed the display from the Wally Parks Motorsports Museum. The highlight of the exhibit was the 1962 Dragmaster Dart, a dragster driven by Jim Nelson. It was fun to imagine being behind the wheel of this modest machine as it reached its reported top speed of 171 mph.

Auto Show notes:
— The Scion display, long one of the flashiest in the room, was strangely downscale this year. The Mini Cooper seems to have stolen some of the Scion’s thunder, at least at the L.A. Auto Show.

— Cadillac came to the table this year with the Ciel concept and the world debut of the XTS. The Ciel would be a more attractive car if it wasn’t so... brown. Ciel, means “sky” in French. Despite the unattractive brown color (odd for a car named for the sky) the car speaks of vintage luxury and better times.

— I always enjoy sitting in the Maybach. There’s nothing really new here this year, but just to sit and hold the steering wheel of a car that costs more than a quarter-million dollars is intoxicating.

— I miss the Lamborghinis and the Ferraris. However, Concourse Hall still offers Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lotus and other luxury brands.

— It was fun to see the colorful and zippy Smart Car display in South Hall. I love their slogan, too, calling themselves the “uncar” is very clever.

— The Porsche display was somewhat disappointing this year. I was getting used to the homage to Porche’s history that seemed to dominate previous displays. This year’s offering was somewhat downscale to me.

— My favorite car this year was the Audi R8 GT Spyder. Sigh. A girl can dream, can’t she?

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