BMW i3 Concept MkII
And in common with several recent motor shows, L.A. will have some significant launches and unveilings, whether you're interested in regular efficient gasoline vehicles, or battery electric cars.
We've compiled a list of all the green vehicles we know will be appearing--but keep your eyes peeled, as we'll be updating it as more news comes in. For full details on each car, click on the model name.
Audi clean diesels
The L.A. show will mark the launch of not one, not two, but four new Audi clean diesel models. A new 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel will appear in the A6, A7 and A8 luxury cars, as well as the Q5 SUV. Meanwhile, the Q7 SUV has been available with a 3.0 TDI for a while now, but it too will benefit from the updated unit. Audi is claiming up to 36 mpg highway for the A8 sedan, which will meld nicely with the engine's 240-horsepower and 406 lbs-ft of torque. We'll bring you more news on the new engine soon.
The Chevy Spark EV is the only all-electric vehicle on GM's roster and should prove a worthy sibling to the larger Chevrolet Volt. We've had a drive in a prototype Spark EV, and found it pleasant enough to drive. We've called the Spark EV a 'compliance car' in the past, but Chevy maintains that the level of sophistication in the electronic systems is far better than the half-baked job such a term would imply. We'll judge that when we find out the price and production numbers...
Another compliance car, but this time one that Fiat and Chrysler are happy to admit to. The 500e looks cool and should go well with its 100-horsepower electric motor, but Fiat and Chrysler really don't want to build it - as they're losing a lot of money on each car. Beyond that, details are slim--so we'll have to find out more at the L.A. show.
2014 Fiat 500EEnlarge Photo
The Accord hybrid and plug-in hybrid are important models for Honda--not least because they debut a new full hybrid system from the company. A two-motor system pairs with a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine, and unlike its plug-in rivals from Toyota and Ford, the Honda setup can operate as a series hybrid. This means the engine can act as a generator, topping the batteries up while it runs in electric mode.
A new Honda Civic isn't necessarily an exciting occurence, but as one of the highest-selling compacts in the country, its efficiency still makes a large impact. It's unlikely to change too much from the pre-facelift model--no engine changes are planned--but importantly it'll be a more desirable product. Quality is expected to improve, and styling has been moved a little more upmarket.
2013 Honda CivicEnlarge Photo
The 2013 RAV4's styling is still under wraps, so if the car isn't unveiled or leaked before the show starts on November 28, we'll have to wait and see what it looks like. What we do expect is that a hybrid version will debut, with the 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine currently found in other Toyota and Lexus hybrids. Gas mileage on regular versions should be a step up from the current car, too.
Want style? Want performance? Want economy? You may have already looked at the regular Volkswagen Beetle TDI then, but a ragtop version debuts at L.A. With a six-speed manual transmission, the open-air Beetle is expected to achieve 41 mpg highway. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic will also be available.
Fresh from its U.S. debut in New York on the Born Electric tour, BMW will be bringing its i8 Spyder concept to the Los Angeles Auto Show. i8s have been shown at so many shows now you've probably committed the details to memory, but here they are again for good measure: A 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder turbocharged engine with 220-hp drives the rear wheels, and a 129-horsepower electric motor supplies the fronts. And in theory, it can do 80 mpg...