2009 Los Angeles Auto Show: Sports Cars
It seems like eons ago when we first showed you the dashing Cadillac CTS Coupe Concept. Last year at the L.A. show, it was headed for production. Then the world simply fell apart. Now that we've sort of duct-taped the U.S. economy back together, GM is proceeding with the launch of the oft-delayed two-door version of the Cadillac CTS. It shows up in showrooms in May, and when it arrives, the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe will be joined right away by a V-8 CTS-V Coupe, too. Otherwise it will share powertrains with the CTS sedan and the new 2010 CTS Sport Wagon we drove earlier this summer. 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible
2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 ConvertibleEnlarge Photo
We've already heard that the 2011 Mustang is expected to get a pair of new engines--a 3.7-liter Duratec V-6 engine to replace the existing 4.0-liter unit in the current base Mustang. Ford's planning an L.A. reveal for the updated pony car. Power is expected to go up despite the drop in displacement, from 210 horsepower to a whopping 315 horsepower. That's about even witth the curren't 4.6-liter V-8's output in the Mustang GT, so Ford is upping the performance there, too, with the new 5.0-liter Coyote V-8, rated at 400 horsepower. Joining it is also a rumored twin-turbocharged, aluminum-block "Road Runner" version of the engine that could rate as high as 600 hp for the next GT500. We'll have to wait until December to find out for sure what Ford will be packing into the next Mustang, but if it's anything like the rumors, it's sure to be exciting. 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMGEnlarge Photo
The successor to the legendary Mercedes-Benz Gullwing from the 1950s, and a de facto replacement for the SLR, the SLS AMG already has opened its north-south doors for the first time. MotorAuthority joined up with Mercedes-Benz in Monterey and Laguna Seca for the worldwide press launch crack at the revived gullwing, which has sprung from concept to reality in three years, but now Mercedes is ready to show it off to the hoi polloi. Philosophically it remains true to the original in a few definitive ways: it's still rear-wheel drive, it's still built on an aluminum chassis, and then, of course, there are the doors, its calling card. In almost all other ways, it's been transmogrified into a $200,000 supercar with few concessions to anything but power and traction. See our bottom line for more, and stay tuned for more photos and word on the possible Black Series SLS and the electric versions as well.
Looking back on some of the cars that made sport driving great, and built the legend that has become today's Porsche, you have to wonder how we ever got to 500-horsepower twin-turbo monsters. The 356 Speedster, for example--considered by many to be one of the first modern sports cars--weighed a mere 1,670 pounds and managed just 40 horsepower in some guises. It appears the Speedster has made a return, although this time around Porsche has used its Boxster as the basis. The new edition is called the Porsche Boxster Spyder and it’s set to make its world debut next month at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show before going on sale in February 2010. The Spyder is based on the Boxster S but it gets a small bump in performance, with its 3.4-liter flat-six engine developing 320 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque--the same as the current Cayman S. With 10 extra horsepower and minus 176 pounds of power-draining weight, the new Spyder shows up in L.A. with a $61,200 pricetag.