LA Auto Show 2013: Manufacturers at Large [Part One]
Words by Tim Wong
There are auto shows all over the world from small to large to display the latest vehicles from auto manufacturers. As someone who is from San Diego, the LA Auto Show is quite a sizable event where some of the most interesting cars debut along with some of the latest creations. The LA Auto Show isn’t something I regularly went until several years ago when the San Diego Auto Show became more of a dealership show than a manufacturers show.
This is the first year I had a chance to visit the show on the press days which is during the middle of the week when most people are busy. Lucky for me, my day opened so I got to experience the show in a new way. Considering how crowded the show gets during the public days, it significantly easier to shoot the cars along with enjoying the complimentary food and beverages on the showroom floor.
As a big Mercedes Benz fan, the car that I favored the most was the futuristic concept that stole show, the Mercedes Vision GT. The car was designed for the Gran Turismo game, but fact that a live sized version was made was absolutely nothing but amazing to see in person.
The whole car has some of the most fantastic design elements like the sleek chrome body with a massive front end which I can only imagine houses the power plant of an engine.
I’m wasn’t really sure what these releases were for, but there were several of them along the car. It’s possible they are there for the body panels.
From the front to the rear, the whole car has some of the most interesting touches to the car. The tail lights and the way the exhaust is integrated together is probably my favorite element on the car which gives it a really clean design.
As one with expect with a car with so much extravagant technology, the rear spoiler was electronically retractable.
The Mercedes SLS AMG has been the flagship car for Mercedes for the past couple years with the different versions and recently they revealed the “Final Edition” which will only 350 be produced.
As much as I love the SLS AMG, the “Final Edition” is pretty unimpressive in comparison to the Black Series version. With the unpainted carbon fiber hood and wheels that look like some cheap aftermarket option, the car looks like a tastelessly modified SLS.
The new GLA and the GLA AMG counterpart aren’t vehicles I’m particularly interested, but they cater to a new audience Mercedes hasn’t really aimed for before much like the CLA. The CLA is a car that I hate that I like because it’s a FWD Mercedes and the AMG version is far too expensive, but it does look pretty good.
There were a couple racing simulators near by where I spotted Bucky Lasek having a go.
Cadillac Elmiraj concept has some likeable qualities and may be a nice successor to the old XLR. The pillarless windows is one of my favorite parts of the car much like the way Mercedes has been doing with the coupes.
Not all the much different appearance-wise, but the new Camaro Z28 looks like it just couple some decorative styling features like a front splitter and spoiler.
The new Chevrolet SS is a sport sedan as a replacement for the old Pontiac G8. I very much liked the G8 and I’m glad to see that they are bringing something to replace it.
The Subaru Legacy concept is great looking design for the future Legacy, but I can only expect to be disappointed when it comes to the production version like the WRX. This seems like reasonable concept car that may make it to production with minimal changes.
The WRX is pretty disappointing considering the rear looks like a Toyota Yaris, but the front end is growing on me. I’m sure the car will look better with time much like the current generation. The current WRX sedans used to look pretty bland to me as the rear looked like a Sentra.
Toyota TS030 Hybrid that ran at the 24 hours of Le Mans.
The Toyota booth didn’t have too many interesting stock vehicles, but this modified Toyota Highlander “Tanked” Spongebob edition featured a aquarium built into the car.
This 2JZ swapped Scion FRS was at SEMA too, but it was nice to see again without the crowds of people around it.
Infiniti Q30 concept looks like fashion item more than a serious production car especially in such a tacky color. As with most Infinitis, the body lines are pretty beautiful to look at and this car has some nice lines until the rear end with some weird designs.
The BMW i8 is BMW’s answer to the successful Tesla Model S. As interesting to look at as the i8 is, I think it will have a hard time competing with Tesla.
Even though I’m not really fond of Toyota all that much, the LFA is a car I liked quite a bit as it is a great looking car with an exhaust noise to crave for. This LF-LC concept is pretty much the exact opposite which is no surprise with the direction Lexus has been going. It has most of the terrible design elements of the current Lexus vehicles like the signature Predator front grill which I absolutely despise. They are what I like to call “fake aero” because it tries to simulate a more aggressive design even when it doesn’t really do anything.
Part Two will continue the coverage from the LA Auto Show with some more manufacturers’ cars and the aftermarket displays.