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L.A. Auto Show 2010

Written by  D Brian Smith


At the L.A. Auto Show, Lotus Cars U.S.A. unveiled five new supercars. Oscar nominee Sharon Stone revealed the all-new redesigned 2013 Lotus Esprit, which will go into production in late 2012 and will be available for purchase in the spring of 2013.


The 2011 AMG SLS Mercedes Gullwing coupe was prominently displayed. From its 6.2-liter, 379-cubic inch V8, the Gullwing produces 563 brake horsepower.

L.A. Auto Show 2010

By D. Brian Smith

Photography: D. Brian Smith

The L.A. Auto Show 2010 started on Friday, November 19, 2010. By then, Redline Review had already seen all the cool new cars and most of the beautiful car show models for two days. We went to the two press days on Wednesday and Thursday and were admittedly blown away by all the impressive concept cars, new offerings and the wild eco-friendly vehicles that are being promised and displayed to whet our collective appetites for what’s coming down the road soon, as in real soon. We’ll be adding photos throughout the week of what piqued our interest, which was pretty much everything. Keep checking back, as the full article will be available at about the same time you’re finishing up all those leftovers the weekend after Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving Redline Reviewers. Gobble! Gobble!

The Los Angeles International Auto Show article is officially finished, as are your Thanksgiving leftovers, no doubt. We promise you won’t get indigestion, if you read on, so click those blue words just below. You’ll be glad you did.

Was it our imagination? Or was the 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show abuzz with hope and optimism for a better automotive and economic climate in the near term? Every automotive press conference was upbeat, and several companies spoke about record profits and new vehicles offering better fuel economy and more superlative performance. Redline Review was impressed with what most automotive manufacturers had to exhibit, both in terms of 2011 models, announced cars coming out in the near future and the concept cars that might see the light of day and have many of the cool and creative capabilities that wowed us during the press days and at the start of the show.

We made the conscious decision to attend the Press Days prior to the Show’s opening to the public and to also be at the Los Angeles Convention Center at the inception of the event to get a sense of how the show going public perceived the event. By attending on Friday, we also had the side benefit of seeing several television and movie stars that were permitted to walk the Convention Center halls before the doors opened to the public. We must have taken enough photos of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to satisfy the most enthusiastic of paparassi shooters. If his security detail hadn’t been downright rude, we probably would have run a picture of him. Never mind. We all know what he looks like anyway. Actor Joseph Montagna, on the other hand, was very nice and gracious. We chatted with him while we were at the Audi exhibit. There were several other Hollywood luminaries in attendance, but we won’t drop names. Redline Review’s all about speed, not celebrity gossip.

Check out some of what captured our fancy at the 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show. While you’re at it, drop us a line and tell us which vehicles most struck a chord with the automotive engine that stirs best in your heart and soul.

In profile view or from any perspective, the 2013 Lotus Esprit looks like it could take on the stealth B1 Bomber in a dogfight and be victorious. A 5.0-liter V8 will enable the Esprit to top 205 mph and sprint from rest to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, according to Lotus Cars.

Weighing in at 1,450 kilograms, or 3,196.7 pounds, Lotus’ new supercar is lighter than several of its mid-engine supercar competitors. Lotus is known for “adding lightness” to achieve spectacular handling and performance. Expect nothing less, when the 2013 Esprit becomes available, at $175,000 U.S.

Those two words are such music to sports car lovers ears, they’re getting to sound redundant. Despite that fact, they make for some sweet looking valve covers.

Lotus first introduced the diminutive and sprightly performing Lotus Elan in 1962, a car that inspired the Mazda Miata, the world’s most sold sports car for everyman and woman. Well, Lotus fans, the Lotus Elan is coming back in 2014, to the tune of 444-forced induction horsepower via a 4.0-liter Toyota supplied V6. This time around, the Elan will only be in coupe form,  but there will be a 2+2 jump seat option for the 2,900-pound sports car.

Another revitalized Lotus model that dates back to the late 1950s, the Lotus Elite is coming to Lotus dealerships around the planet in 2014. It will be powered by a Lexus derived 5.0-liter V8 that has forced induction and 542 prodigious ponies at 8,000 revs in standard form, or 612 robust horses at 8,000 rpm in R-specification. This Elite has its powerplant in the front, as the original Elite had.

There was also a 2010 Lotus Evora at the L.A. Auto Show. To bolster sales of the stunning new multiple award winning supercar Evora, Lotus lowered the entry price for the Evora $10,000, to around $67,000, which is a steal. Too bad we’d still have to pilfer one to afford it.

In early press releases, Lotus hinted that the all-new Elise would have some styling cues from its current canyon conquering namesake. We’re here to tell you that the new 2015 Lotus Elise bears no resemblance to the current model. However, the same Toyota 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine will power the small land rocket and will produce 316 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque and is said to have forced air induction. The ’15 will weigh a bit more than the current iteration, coming in at 2,414 pounds. Lotus claims a top speed of 170 mph, and 0 to 60 mph sprints will take around 4.3 seconds. That’s fast enough and quick enough to take on most any supercar and at a fraction of the price. Sweet!

Initially unveiled at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, we got to see up close and personal Jaguar’s C-X75 supercar concept, which employs four electric motors, one powering each wheel, and two small jet turbine engines, mid-mounted in the rear.

Jaguar’s C-X75 concept is said to produce 780bhp and 1,180 lb.-ft. of torque. Will Jaguar produce this beauteous beast that was created to show off new technology and to celebrate Jaguar’s 75th anniversary? Redline Review sure hopes so. It’s the sort of supercar that needs to be torturing the twisties and blasting down the highways and biways of America, not to mention Germany’s autobahn.

Two small jet turbine engines are employed to recharge the Jaguar C-X75’s four electric motors, each of which are installed inside the supercar’s rolling stock. We kid you not.

With the gullwing doors in the open position do you think Jonathan Livingston Seagull would be jealous of the 2011 AMG SLS Mercedes Gullwing?

Whether rendered in post production digi-art as here or in normal res as below, spectacular is an appropriate word to describe the Mercedes Benz CLS 63 AMG four-door sedan fastback coupe.

Mercedes showed off its 2011 S400 3.5 liter 24 valve aluminum V6 Mild Hybrid Sedan. It looked like a sweet ride, but the price was not so nice, about 95K.

One never gets weary of photographing an L.A. Auto Show spokesmodel.

Certainly by design actress Sharon Stone’s couture was elegant and sexy; she matched the supercar that she unveiled at the Lotus Cars USA Exhibit – the 2014 Lotus Esprit.

All of the announced Lotus sports cars coming in the next several years are cool. Let’s not forget how awesome the 2010 Lotus Exige 260S is sports car fans.

For obvious reasons, we have a close-up of this beautiful L.A. Auto Show spokesmodel later in this article. Watch for it RR’ers.

If you’ve read the IndyCar coverage we have on Redline Review, you’ve seen many action shots of the Lotus Cars/KV Racing 2010 IndyCar, driven by Takuma Satoh. The racecar is almost as good looking at rest as it is at speed. During the L.A. Auto Show, Lotus announced on November 19 that it will provide its own Lotus manufactured race engines and Lotus aero kits for the IZOD IndyCar series, for the 2012 season. Lotus Cars will be competing with Chevrolet and Honda, the other two manufacturers that will be providing race engines for IndyCar in 2012. This will be the first time that Lotus will provide its own engines for Indy racing. In recent years, all IndyCars have been Honda powered. That changes in 2012. We can’t wait. Can you?

Mazda’s Senior Vice President, Product Development and Quality, Robert T. Davis, presented the Zoom Zoom Packers on the first L.A. Auto Show Press Day. The Zoom Zoom Packers actually completely stuffed this Mazda M5 minivan in under two minutes (one minute and 55 seconds), which made for quite an entertaining and enlightening presentation.

If the Green Hornet Girls were part of the original 1960’s T.V. show, the program would have no doubt had a longer and more successful run. For the movie that premieres nationwide January 14, 2011, no less than 29 Black Beauty Chrysler sedans cars were created to make all the movie action car chases and rocket launch sequences come to life.

Chevrolet is introducing a convertible Camaro for 2011. To promote this fun and exciting new muscle car entry, Chevrolet gave away several thousand Camaro convertible Hot Wheels to show goers. We caught someone taking this attractive young lady’s photograph and figured a great looking car is always improved with a pretty girl in the photo. We hope she doesn’t mind.

For the first time ever SAAB will be building the 2011 SAAB 9-3 Convertible in its own Trollhaten, Sweden factory. With Spyker’s financial backing and ownership, we hope the innovative Swedish automobile manufacturer is able to re-emerge and become a profitable automobile company once again.

SAAB also showed the Paris Auto Show announced 9-3 ePower, an all-electric vehicle that will have a 125-mile full-charge range, a top speed of 90 mph, a 184 horsepower electric motor and a 0 to 60 mph time of 8.5 seconds. The 9-3 ePower will be tested in Sweden in 2011. There’s no word yet on when we Americans can get our hands on this promising electric vehicle. Stay tuned eco-fans.

Redline Review immensely enjoyed chatting with Billie. She works at Morgan West, in Santa Monica, CA. Even though she is another beautiful young lady, Billie also works on the Morgans, Allards and other vintage sports cars that come into Morgan West facility. Morgan West restores vintage Morgans and other classic sports cars and sells new Morgans.

Porsche showed off its eco-friendly ALMS GT2 racecar, which Redline Review has some action photos of in the 2010 Petit Le Mans Road Atlanta race.

Professional bicycle racer, Cancer survivor and Cancer fighter Lance Armstrong already owns a Nissan Leaf. We enjoyed seeing the all-electric car up close and personal. Reportedly, the Leaf will go 100 miles on a full charge and is priced starting in the $25,000 range.

For the last year Subaru employees may be asking what worldwide recession. Subaru is having their best year in business ever, according to Subaru executives. The company also showed a muscular looking new Subaru Impreza Concept, which was well received by the automotive press and auto enthusiasts alike.

Every auto maker employed attractive, intelligent spokesmodels.

Honda displayed its upcoming plug-in hybrid charging system and its new hybrid engine platform, which is still being developed.

Yokohoma Tires had a couple racecars proudly displayed, including a GT2 Porsche.

We caught this attractive L.A. Auto Show goer trying on a 2011 Aston Martin DBS Volante for size. We really like those initials DBS!

Thanks to the adroit execution of post produced digi-art, the Fisker Karma extended electric vehicle looks even better than it does in real life, and in person the Karma is a stunner.

We listened to this Ford spokesmodel giving the crowd all the great benefits of the new 2011 Boss 302 Mustang. She is as smart and enthusiastic as she is attractive.

Award winning freelance illustrator and graphic artist, Janee Meadows won first place in the “skinned smartly” contest this just passed September, produced by smart USA partnering with DeviantArt. Congratulations, Ms. Meadows!

Another view of the muscular yet sleek frontend on the Subaru Impreza Concept.

The Honda Fit EV Concept was revealed at the 2010 L.A. Auto Show. Honda’s Fit EV will be going on sale in 2012. The EV Concept utilizes a high-density motor supplied by the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle and has a three-mode drive system modified from the system used in Honda’s new CR-Z sport hybrid.

K1 Speed’s Indoor Kart Racing delightful spokesmodels kindly posed for RR. Thank you!

Unlike Saleen from years past, SMS Supercars now also offers souped up Dodge Challengers, in addition to the Saleen-sweetened Mustangs. Delicious!

Clever car customizer, James Lin created the racy Scion tC in the tC Tuner Challenge. Tasty!

John Pangilinan also took part in the Scion tC Tuner Challenge. Tremendous!

Claus Ettensberger has been creating custom rolling stock designs and manufacturing same for 20 years. As every new car show in the world so aptly demonstrates every year, a great way to promote your products is to hire beautiful tradeshow models. In that regard, Mr. Ettensberger has also done a most excellent job! By the way, the Claus Ettensberger exhibit was right across from the Lotus Cars display (www.cecwheels.com).

Kia Motors is also doing well in this economic recession. The company claimed to have record profits for the first 10 months of 2010. The Kia Pop Electric Concept has a range of 87 miles and is a three-seater, an urban assault vehicle for the future to be sure.

Mazda’s Shinari Concept was a huge hit at the L.A. Auto Show. A well-proportioned four-door sedan/sports car is a welcome sight. Roughly translated Shinari means “resistance to being bent”. We dig the Shinari’s curves and bends. How about you?

We commented that the Ford spokesmodel appeared as if she was a California Girl. She was offended and said, “I’m from Detroit and proud of it. You can have California.” It was actually quite refreshing to hear such a view from a devout Midwesterner.

SMS Supercars displayed some of the company’s bad to the bone hopped up Mustangs and the companies customized Dodge Challenger. SMS stands for Steve Mark Saleen, the very same Steve Saleen who created the S7 Supercar and the Saleen Mustangs. Steve left Saleen in 2007, after having a messy battle with investors. He now has his own supercar company once again. We wish him God Speed and Good Luck!

If those fender stripes on the 2011 C6 Corvette were on a C6 racecar, they’d either be designating team stripes or rookie stripes. In this instance, they’re for decoration purposes.

Have you ever taken the opportunity to drive one of these Corvette C6 convertibles? They run like stink and handle better than a slot car. The gentleman trying it out seems to be suitably impressed, as he should be.

Factory Five Racing makes a supercar kit called the GTM. The sports car utilizes Corvette suspension components and drivetrain, but the engine’s mounted behind the driver and passenger, so the GTM performs as well as exotic supercars that cost five, six even seven times more. Build the FFR GTM yourself and blow the doors off some dude in a Ferrari or Lamborghini. That’s a recipe for fun if there ever was one (www.factoryfive.com).

This particular young lady moved to California from her home in Australia to be a Hollywood actress. We wish her all the success in the world.

Are all Australian Sheilas this attractive? We’re considering relocating Redline Review Down Under, if they are.

The Australian actress admonished us to mention that the custom windscreen, which eliminates much of the wind turbulence for the Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, is manufactured by RR Windscreen.

Wearing Redline Review’s red, black and white, the 2011 Ford Mustang Boss 302 looks just right.

BMW’s 6 Series Concept Coupe was a crowd favorite. Could it be your next Ultimate Driving Machine?

The all new Mini Cooper S Countryman all-wheel drive vehicle was well received by the show going public.

Mini Cooper had a very informative and whimsical display. These little rockets are definitely driving enthusiasts cars.

Redline Review spoke with one of the fellow automotive scribes, who had the opportunity to drive the new Mercedes F-Cell vehicle. He praised the car and indicated that it was very much like driving a regular fossil fuel powered vehicle.

Ford’s new Fiesta is a hit everywhere.

Audi’s exhibit looked sharp and was filled with a plethora of Audi’s cadre of Autobahn land rockets.

We’ll take either an Audi R8 Coupe or a convertible, in any color, including white.

Spokesmodel Samantha stood in front of the all-new Chevrolet Camaro convertible and explained the drop top muscle car’s many merits to show spectators and Redline Review speed freaks alike.

Cadillac’s Urban Luxury Concept vehicle has a controversial silhouette and isn’t for everyone.

Every year, the world renowned design school, the Art Center, in Pasadena, CA, displays students automotive designs. The image above and those below demonstrate the prowess of these young designers and future automotive designers. Many of the greatest automotive designers matriculated through the Art Center. Chip Foose did. So did Rich Boyd, former designer at Chrysler and automotive journalist for Rod & Custom, Street Rodder, Custom Classic Trucks and The World of Rods Magazines.

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