It was my own fault for waiting until the busiest day to go to the 2011 LA Auto Show. I kept trying to make it sooner if only my schedule had allowed. When I woke up on this rainy Sunday morning I had no excuse, this was the perfect weather to be indoors gawking at cars. I had made my decision, today was the day! Umbrella, check! Camera, check! Cash, coffee, check check!
Upon arriving at the LA Convention Center I could already tell by the herds of people scrambling to run inside that chaos was about to ensue. Buying my $12 ticket at the automated machine was the easy part, getting past the gates was a different story. It felt like a scene from “Saving Private Ryan”; everything was in slow motion as fear and terror lie in their tear-soaked eyes. Once I made it through the carnage of crying babies, lost children, confused parents and the occasional hit in the ankles by those rental strollers, things started to clear up like a fading storm. I managed to block out most of the noise and after entering, I saw a sign in the distance that read “Tuners and Aftermarket”; yes, my specialty! Many of the cars were repeats from this past SEMA show however I did see some interesting customs like a gorgeous Bugatti Veyron, a matte red Ferrari F430, and a pretty cool Lotus Evora to name a few.
Back upstairs to the main hall, better dodge that stroller headed directly for me, close call! While all the major car companies had representation at the show only a few actually impressed me with some innovative and creative models.
Cadillac was among the few that really made a splash with their lineup of cutting edge design and the debut of their new electric ELR model. There was a lot of excitement at Cadillac’s booth as they had on display the Ceil Concept among all the other current models including the record breaking CTS-V’s.
BMW displayed their much advertised iSeries electric car, which is slated for production in 2015, and their much awaited new M5 model.
Hyundai has made great strides in breaking free of the “inexpensive” label and into more of a “luxury” or “high-end” label. They’re doing a great job with their new line up; the Equus, Genesis, Sonata Hybrid, Elantra to name a few.
Mini’s booth was bustling with people as they reveled at all the options and aftermarket parts that bestow the new cars. Many people waited in lines to try on the new Countryman Model for size. The new Mini Cooper Coupe S looked great and received a lot of attention as well.
Fiat’s Abarth model, a “high performance” version of their popular 500 model, seemed to be well received judging from the lines of people waiting to sit inside.
Audi finally showed off their much anticipated S6 and S7 models due to be out this March. Audi also had on display the e-tron Spyder concept and A3 model; their new electric car technology.
KIA’s booth was riffled with excitement as they had a very impressive concept car they called the “KIA GT”. I was barely able to snap off a few pics due to the crowds of people attempting to do the same.
It was very exciting to see many of the car companies’ step up to the plate with their innovative designs and technology. It feels like we are entering a new era in the automotive world. The combination of a lagging economy coupled with the high demand for new technology is forcing car companies to push the envelope in all areas. Much like my experience attending the Auto Show, it’s a matter of survival for these car companies, and staying on the cutting edge is a matter of life or death. The 2011 LA Auto Show left me wounded, frightened, exhausted and excited to see what next year will bring!