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Colin

LA Show - Part 3

LAMBORGHINI

No sign of the Estoque, so the stand simply featured coupe and open versions of the familiar Gallardo and Murcielago, the LP560/4 Spider version of the former making its debut.  









LAND-ROVER


Examples of all the current range were on show







LEXUS

The new RX series was only officially unveiled for Press Day, so is brand new. A cautious evolution of the outgoing model, it looks quite smart. In talking to the stand staff, I got the special show offer of a test drive next time I am in Los Angeles, after the car goes on sale in March 2009.







Also debuting was the IS250 Cabrio. Not perhaps the best styled car of its type, and with Infiniti launching a direct rival, it will be interesting to see which one wins out in the market.







Project GS was something that was novel to look at, but one has to wonder how practical it really is





LORINSER and CARLSSON

A special display from the hall of after-market and tuned cars. Positively horrid.





Though worse was to come.......

LINCOLN

The 2010 MKZ was the newcomer here, and the styling changes are less pronounced than on the Fusion, so seem all the more successful.











The MKS is still fresh to the market, and looks a world away from the TownCar it was supposed to (but does not) replace.



LOTUS

A turntable showed off the Evora at its best.



The two-Eleven was also on show here.



MANSORY

Proof, should any be needed, that money does not buy you taste.

These 2 desecrations of desirable cars are just appalling! Utterly appalling..







MASERATI

A four car stand of loveliness, with 2 of the GranTurismos and 2 Quattoportes to admire, and covet.











MAZDA

Pride of place here went to the new 3 Sedan. Visually quite similar to the outgoing model, but with what appears to be Mazda's latest "smiling grille", this car looked rather good. Interior quality has taken a massive leap, too.











The US-market 6 has just gone on sale, and is different from the European cars. Offered only as a 4 door, this car has grown quite a bit, and has also been the beneficiary of the new upmarket interior. I will be interested to try one when it hits the rental car fleets as it surely will.











Mazda now has a strong and attractive range of cars on offer. Here is the Tribute, their version of the Ford Escape





The CX-9



MERCEDES-BENZ

The GLK occupied centre stage here, with one production car, a Brabus version, and various "modified" things that were shown at SEMA, which my camera refused to recognise.







The SL65 Black looks quite unlike the donor SL Series in the flesh. Shame this rather purposeful beast is not quite as good on the road as one might have though, if the press are to be believed.













By contrast, the regular AMG version looks almost tame!



Lurking at the back of the stand was the McLaren SLR at what will probably be one of its last shows, as production of the final cars completes soon.





The Concept Fascination staged a further appearance, a portent of some of the styling features of the forthcoming new E Class, allegedly.









MERCURY

Only a small stand area for the Ford-clone that is struggling to establish and retain an identity. Only item of note was the facelifted 2010 Milan. The changes here are even more subtle than the Fusion and MKZ.





The current 2009 model was also on show.



The long lived Grand Marquis seems to survive on, and on and on........



MINI

Mini e was on the stand, and from the outside looks like the regular car, but with the backseats replaced by a power pack. The JCW car was getting a lot of attention, too. Opinions do seem to vary as to whether this is a Mini "too far" or whether it is the best of breed.



MITSUBISHI

Bit of a forgotten marque in the US, but with the latest Lancer shown in lots of guises.





The Eclipse is a dramatically styled sports coupe.







The Outlander was also on show



 

NISSAN

Lots to see here. After a year of publicity for the GT-R, it was, unsurprisingly, the new 370Z that hogged the limelight. A lone car was on the stand, on a turntable, so a close up inspection was not possible. I am still not entirely convinced by the new look, but the interior does seem to be rather less low-rent looking.









Second debut was for the Cube, a new version of which will go on sale officially outside Japan, in 2009.







This was the first time I had seen the new Maxima. Less dramatic, perhaps, than the outgoing model, it also seems to feature the odd shaped front light treatment that is one of the styling cues of the 370Z.





The latest Murano was on show - not an improvement in the looks department.

The smaller Rogue does look somewhat better, in my opinion.





Familiar models were also on display. The Altima



The Sentra



PONTIAC

Slipped quietly onto the stand, as a production car, is the new G3. This is simply the Pontiac version of the Chevy Aveo, and has been on sale in Canada for a while. the Pontiac grille seems to work better on this car than the new Aveo front end.



The G8 has now been on the market for some months, though I have yet to see many on the roads. A monumental improvement over the old Grand Prix - not that this is much of an achievement, as that car was decidedly sub-prim in its capabilities.









Billed as a concept was the pick-up version. It was while looking at this that I was asked if I was an Aussie.......... not something that I have encountered on the West Coast for a while, but it turned out the stand staff were all from Michigan.



The Solstice remains a good looking sports car.





There's now a Coupe version as well.







Good looking is not the epithet to apply to the latest Vibe, a thinly disguised version of the Toyota Matrix.  





G5 Coupe

Matt



Oh, that's a good idea; stuff the brake cooling duct with the side reflector!
Nice Guy Eddie

What a mixed bag the Pontiac range is.  I love the Solstice coupe. I can't get over that Mercury Grand Marquis just how old is it? Its no wonder their car industry is in th dodo.
I'm loving the 370z in those piccies.
BeN

More proof that American designers are blind...

Although the Pontiac version of the Aveo does look a lot better than the Chevy version.

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