L.A. is the epicenter of luxury-car sales. But if you're looking for exotic roadsters, super-luxury saloons and hand-built sportscars at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, you'll have to look to find them. For the most part, they're tucked away in a sunken gallery, under the walkway that connects the two main halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Those main halls? They're filled with inexpensive new crossover vehicles and popularly priced four-door sedans coming in the next two model years, as automakers set their sights in L.A. clearly on the mainstream.
For a show that should by all rights be overwhelmed by sheer horsepower, this year's Los Angeles auto show teemed with some pretty, practical hardware. The two best-selling compact utes on the market went head to head at the show, before they tangle in showrooms as 2013 models. On another front, a new American luxury sedan took its first bow, without a V-8 to be seen. Of course, the musclecar contingent counted 1250 horsepower between just two cars--but for the most part, the price of admission to this year's L.A. show seemed to be...an all-wheel-drive option.
The highlights from the show include these 2012 and 2013 models:
The new Escape arrives more than a decade after Ford's first compact crossover hit the market in 2001. Skipping its green Hybrid edition entirely, the new '13 Escape offers a trio of four-cylinder engines to buyers, including a carryover base engine, a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four, and a top-line 2.0-liter turbo four. The cabin's more spacious, and the new Escape also features MyFord Touch, which lets drivers run audio, phone, climate and navigation systems with voice commands, touchscreen swipes, or steering-wheel button clicks.
2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover revealed at Los Angeles Auto Show, Nov 2011Enlarge Photo
Ford and Mazda aren't as close on the business side as they once were, and the new CX-5 shares none of its underpinnings with the new Escape, which is built off Ford's "C" architecture, which also spawned the new Focus lineup and the coming C-Max hybrid. Mazda's cheery crossover doesn't have the front-end smile found on their recent cars, but it does have "SKYACTIV" engine technology that gives the 155-horsepower CX-5 gas mileage of up to 33 mpg on the highway cycle.