This year’s LA motor show opens its doors on Wednesday 28th November at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Autocar will be there reporting live from the event and you can follow our coverage of all the launches as they happen from 5pm on Wednesday. Here’s our guide to the most important models that will be there.
Audi is continuing its diesel offensive on the US market – notorious for its disinterest in oil-burning cars. 3.0-litre TDI versions of the A6, A7, A8 and Q5 will be launched at the show, under the label CleanDiesel.
The latest addition to BMW’s ‘i’ range of electric cars, the i8 roadster, will make its debut at LA. Featuring a lift-out targa roof fashioned from carbon-fibre, it will use the same all-wheel drive setup as the coupe.
BMW is also lifting the wraps of an X1 concept named K2 Powder Ride. It features a bespoke paint job and upgraded sound system and is the result of a partnership with ski manufacturer K2.
Representing the polar extremes of US car culture, the Chevrolet Spark EV will be sharing its show stand with the Hot Wheels Camaro. The Spark uses an 85kW electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. The Camaro doesn’t, being equipped with a 6.2-litre V8 and Hot Wheels custom paint job.
Fiat is using the LA motor show to unveil two new iterations of its hugely popular 500 supermini. The Fiat 500e is the firms first foray into electric vehicles, and is marketing it at a loss simply to meet California EV regulations. It will be joined by the 500L Trekking, a slightly off-road biased version of the larger bodied 500L.
The Fiesta Ecoboost is to make its US debut at LA next week. This is the smallest car Ford’s 1.0-litre wonder-engine has been fitted to and will be the only three-cylinder car currently on sale in the US. It will go on sale early next year.
Jaguar has chosen LA to unveil its most powerful saloon car ever. The XFR-S will feature a re-worked version of the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 from the standard XFR, increasing power to make the car more competitive with its German opposition, the BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG.
The new F-Type sports car, unveiled at September’s Paris Show, will also be there, sporting a new black styling pack.
Kia’s range of increasingly stylish cars gets a new addition next week, with the unveiling of the US and Asian-markets only Forte. Being shown in saloon guise, a two-door coupe model will follow.
“The most exciting Lamborghini ever built,” according to the Sant Agata firm, which is unveiling a convertible version of its flagship supercar. Called the Aventador roadster, it will feature a one-piece lift-out carbon-fibre roof – a vast improvement over the previous Mercialago’s tent-like arrangement. Happily, the 6.5-litre V12 remains unchanged.
After unveiling the electric SLS E-cell at Paris, Mercedes is following up with the international debut of the hardcore SLS Black Series at LA. Sporting aerodynamic and mechanical tweaks carried over from the SLS GT3 race car, it will serve as a flagship for the AMG brand.
Mercedes’ Ener-G-Force design study will also be on the company’s show stand. Based on G-Class underpinnings, the study is based on a police vehicle for the future and hints at design aspects of Mercedes’ forthcoming range of Land Rover-rivalling SUVs.
A number of new Mini models will be making their US debut this week. The second generation John Cooper Works GP hatchback – a hardcore, pared back version of the Cooper S, will be making its way to the states for the first time, with each US dealership likely to receive just one example.
The new high-riding Paceman crossover-coupe will also be shown in North America for the first time. Featuring two-doors and revised rear end styling over the Countryman on which it’s based, it will be available in front and four-wheel drive guises.
The revised Countryman crossover will also be at the show. It’s been given a mild facelift and a number of interior tweaks to improve ergonomics and comfort.
Mitsubishi is hoping to increase its appeal to US customers with the unveiling of the new Outlander SUV at LA. A hybrid version will follow the petrol and diesel models in 2014.
Nissan’s constant fettling of its GT-R supercar has resulted in a new model for 2013. No headline stealing performance changes, just a minutely thorough re-working to improve engine responsiveness, body rigidity and wheel control. It will take pride of place on Nissan’s LA show stand.
Porsche’s long anticipated second generation Cayman will finally make its debut this week. Expected to draw design inspiration from the Carrera GT super car, the Cayman will be sold in newly downsized 2.7-litre and 3.4-litre ‘S’ form.
Less utilitarian and more up-market is the direction Subaru has taken with its all new Forester SUV. Its subtly sporty styling is backed by a brace of Boxer engine options including a 2.0-litre turbo. Although no official word has been given, expect to see it in the UK at some point in 2013.
Toyota has been particularly cagey with the latest iteration of the Rav4 compact SUV. Little has been revealed, other than that it will go on sale early in 2013, and that it is to be one of the first cars launched at the LA show.
Aimed at giving the Volvo brand a much harder edge, the S60 saloon is the second model to be given a serious performance boost from Polestar. The S60 Polestar concept develops 508bhp from its 3.0-litre straight six, enough for Volvo to go toe-to-toe with the established performance saloon set, the BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG. Whether Volvo will actually put it into production remains to be seen.
The Beetle cabriolet, a soft-top version of the iconic hatchback now in its third generation, will be seen for the first time at LA. Drivetrain and chassis configurations are carried over from the hard-top, but the new roof design folds flatter for greater visibility and can open or close fully in just ten seconds.