2013 Cadillac XTSEnlarge Photo
Cadillac's replacement for its STS and DTS sedans arrives in the 2013 model year in the form of the new XTS. The new four-door comes in front- or all-wheel-drive form, but both versions are offered only with a 3.6-liter V-6 with 300 horsepower, and a six-speed automatic--no V-8 engines will be offered. The XTS also marks the debut of Cadillac Cue, a system like Ford's MyFord Touch that blends touchscreen, voice, and steering-wheel controls in a new interface for drivers and their phone, audio, climate and navigation systems.
2013 Infiniti JX ConceptEnlarge Photo
Infiniti's new seven-passenger crossover fills a niche in the luxury brand's lineup, above the more compact EX and FX, but less expensive and less bulky than the massive QX56 sport-utility vehicle. Sharing a production line in Tennessee with the Nissan Murano, the JX also shares the Murano's V-6/CVT powertrain, but the luxe wood-trimmed interior is all its own--as is the standard third-row seat.
Flanking these vehicles on the biggest L.A. show stands were some truly sporty cars. The 2013 Ford Mustang came as a trio: an improved GT with 420 horsepower, a Boss 302, and a rollicking Shelby GT500 with a stunning 650 horsepower, all the better to take on Chevy's latest 580-hp Camaro ZL1. The Subaru BRZ showed up as well--but still in concept-car form, its final shape set to be shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in two weeks.
And while some exotic cars stood shoulder to shoulder with more prosaic fare--Bentley's new GTC convertible wasn't far away from Nissan's commercial NV van, turned into a grilled-cheese food truck for media days--some more exotic brands chose to avoid the crush entirely, and to keep their affairs intimate. Lamborghini? It skipped the convention center entirely, and instead showed off a new limited-edition Gallardo at its Beverly Hills showroom.