This year’s edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show has witnessed some exciting and electrifying launches by most established brands.
Being one of the most important markets for the automobile industry, most car manufacturers see it fitting to debut their new models, variants and lineups in L.A. Every auto show has its stunners and duds, and some automakers just pull out ridiculous stuff to make us giggle – whether that giggle is intended or not is up for debate.
Sadly, the L.A. Auto Show’s biggest event is already over – the press days on the 28th and 29th of November – so we have pretty much seen everything that there was to see. The show does continue through December 6th, but those are general public days where the people that may actually buy these rigs can come and get a better look at them.
The L.A. Auto Show does, essentially, close the book on the 2012 auto show season, as just a few minor shows remain, but don’t fret; the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) and its headliner – the C7 Corvette – are just around the corner.
To help ease the transition between the ending of the 2012 L.A. Auto Show and the beginning of the NAIAS, we bring you the top-5 cars launched at the soon-to-close L.A. Auto Show.
Jaguar enthusiasts who visited the 2012 L.A Auto Show have left happy and smiling. The reason is mainly because of the launch of Jaguar’s most powerful sedan, the XFR-S , which aims to dethrone the BMW M5 as the best super-sedan money can buy.
Like the XKR-S , the XFR-S sets itself apart from the other XF variants via increased power output and aggressive bodywork. While the XFR-S is stunning and a real hunk of eye-candy, the whole design would’ve been perfect had it not come with that unnecessary spoiler hanging from its backside.
So, if you want a visually stunning sedan that ushers in British power — 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, to be precise – the Jaguar XFR-S is the super-sedan for you, provided you can ignore that hideous spoiler.
gallery: Jaguar XFR-S
Porsche Cayman S
With the release of the Cayenne diesel and plenty of Macan speculation floating around, Porsche purists must’ve thought that Porsche is now mainly focusing on mainstream vehicles. With the launch of the Porsche Cayman S at the 2012 L.A Auto Show, that thought has now been disposed of.
The third-generation Cayman S is slightly larger, lighter and more powerful than the outgoing model. Though it is for Porsche fans who can’t afford the 911, the Porsche Cayman S does seem to be a compelling choice given Porsche’s reputation in the market and the fact that it brings to the table things that similarly priced competitors simply cannot.
gallery: Porsche Cayman
Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet
Showcased for the first time at the L.A Auto Show, the VW Beetle Cabrio combines open-air freedom with an iconic name and design. This time around, VW focused on refinement and aesthetics that the previous model lacked.
The car is equipped with a traditional soft top that opens and closes entirely automatically in about 10 seconds and up to a driving speed of 30 mph. When it is open, the roof lies very flat and offers a good vision to the rear, unlike the previous model that required a person to guide your parking.
VW will offer three engines, ranging from a modest 140 horsepower to an awesome 240 ponies. With premium treatment and more refinement, the VW Beetle Cabrio is expected to cost slightly more than the competition. Given the iconic design and name mixed with great build quality and real-world refinement, it might prove to be a good buy, but it certainly fits out top-5 billing.
gallery: Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series
In simple terms, this is an SLS AMG on steroids. Mercedes-Benz showcased the SLS AMG Black Series in for the first time at the L.A. Auto Show, so that people can come and see how crazy it is. The car is what a Ferrari 599 GTO is to a 599 GTB .
It is pretty much a street legal version of the GT3 car sans the regulatory equipment. We can clearly expect the SLS AMG Black to burn some houses down with its performance and noise. With a very stiff, race-tuned suspension, be sure to book an appointment with an orthopedic doctor sometime soon. Unlike the the standard SLS, this features a fixed carbon-fiber spoiler that promises more downforce — a necessity, considering the fact that it has a 631-horsepower V-8 engine up front and weighs significantly less than the standard SLS.
With those performance figures and an aggressive design, better check your guts before you even think of unleashing its full potential.
gallery: Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series
Ford Fiesta ST
With its North American debut held at the L.A Auto Show, the Ford Fiesta ST promises cool performance mixed with the practicality of a 5-door hatchback. It follows the Kinetic design language very cleverly. With the ST-exclusive body kit and 17-inch rims, the Ford Fiesta ST looks the part of a performance hatchback.
With a 197-horsepower Ecoboost engine, it not only is powerful but also fuel efficient — a standard expected in this segment. With a price tag that is competitive in its segment the Fiesta ST is set to scorch the roads and is qualified to round out our top-5 list.