2009 LA Auto Show Preview

LA Auto Show

Waves of reporters, television crews and industry experts have yet to descend on the Los Angeles Convention Center, but the buzz over what will be revealed there has already begun to rev up. From fuel-sipping economy cars to reborn American muscle, automakers are ready to unveil a menagerie of spectacular four-wheeled creations for this year’s show.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

Cobalt, we hardly knew thee. After five model years, GM will scrap Chevy’s dull economy car for the slightly sportier Chevy Cruze for the 2011 model year. It sports exterior lines and a grille reminiscent of the latest Malibu, but a host of new engine options optimized for fuel economy. That includes the familiar old EcoTec 1.8-liter four cylinder, plus a turbocharged 1.4-liter version that GM hints should deliver up to 40 miles per gallon.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

2011 Ford Mustang

Muscle car enthusiasts have always found it difficult to muster much love for the sleepy six-cylinder version of Ford’s classic pony car, the 2011 version may change that. The reworked 3.7 liter Duratec 24-valve V6 now pumps out an impressive 305 horsepower and 280 ft-lbs of torque – enough to make smaller V8s blush. And though you probably won’t see Al Gore tearing around town in one any time soon, Ford also claims it will hit 30 mpg on the highway when paired with a six-speed automatic. Not too shabby.

ford mustang 2011

Audi Snubs LA

Didn’t think it was possible to be too pretentious for Los Angeles? Audi has it figured out. Apparently the German automaker will be skipping out on the LA Auto Show for the debut of the 2011 A8, instead preferring to show off its Wunderkind at the decidedly upscale Design Miami 2009 event. But we can’t stay mad at that face for long. The all-aluminum performance sedan returns this year with a host of techie upgrades, including LED headlights, a touch-screen multimedia interface, and a host of reworked engines that have been fine-tuned for fuel economy and power. The highlight for the green crowd: a 3.0-liter V6 TDI that delivers 42mpg.

audi a8

Capstone CMT-380 Microturbine Hybrid

Turbine engines aren’t just for jets and tanks anymore. Though Chrysler tried without success to introduce turbine-powered car back in the 60’s, Capstone will have another go at it with the CMT-380, which adds electricity to the mix. The car uses a 30-kilowatt turbine running on diesel or biodiesel to charge a lithium-ion battery pack, which in turn power motors that drive the wheels. It can run for 80 miles on a single charge, then deliver another 420 after switching on the microturbine for a total range of 500 miles per tank. And this green machine screams. Capstone claims it will do 0 to 60 in under four seconds.


Stay tuned for even more as we report live from Los Angeles this week!


Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Smart Home

Is old-school Airstream finally embracing smart home technology?

Airstream's vintage-looking trailers have a huge audience but its 2019 Classic camping trailers are getting a modern upgrade with the addition of app-controlled smart home technology to bring modern convenience online.

Did that car just wink at you? Daimler previews car-to-pedestrian signals

Eager to show off progress with autonomous cars and perhaps do some consumer softening as well, Daimler and Bosch previewed car-to-pedestrian communications. A sensor-loaded Mercedes S appears to wink to acknowledge a pedestrian's presence.

Uber is about to restart self-driving car tests but on a reduced scale

Uber is reported to be on the verge of restarting its autonomous-car test program. The company halted it in March 2018 following a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles, but its cars could be back on the road within weeks.

Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.