2008 L.A. Auto Show – Mid-morning update
Los Angeles, California – After watching the Detroit Three CEOs pitch the U.S. Congress for financial aid live on CNN from my hotel room, I headed over to the L.A. Convention Center (right beside the NHL’s Kings’ home, the Staples Center) for the start of a day’s worth of dog and pony shows:
9:40 am - Nissan – Although both cars have been splashed all over the Web, Nissan kicked off the show by debuting its ying and yang 370 Zed sports car and boxy subcompact Cube.
While some midlife styling refreshes look like forced compromises, in the metal, the new Zed looks great. Its shortened wheelbase and flared fenders adds some emotion to the last model’s mechanical heftiness.
You already know how I feel about the last Japanese-market Cube. This latest generation is the first to be sold in Canada, starting next year.
I really liked the last model's pure geometric forms. Not sure of the current on is as successful, especially the heavy handed Cyborg-like front end.
Can you see yourself making a Cube your nest set of family wheels?
10:10 am – BMW – Gas-only? Gasoline-electric? Diesel? Electric? Seemingly, the only propulsion type BMW didn’t show here was nuclear.
The North American debuts of the 7 Series hybrid, 335d turbo diesel and world debut of the all-electric Mini E showed the German automaker's drivetrain depth in the automaker's largest market in the world.
10:45 - Volkswagen - After pushing its roadster concept to January’s Detroit show (think poor-man’s Porsche Boxster), Vee-Dub-Ya’s biggest news was the introduction of a clean diesel in its mid-size Touareg SUV.
This 3.0-litre, 222 hp engine will also go on sale early next year in the Audi Q7.