Event>>walking The 2009 La Auto Show

Yesterday at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the North American auto show season kicked off as the LA Auto Show opened its doors for media days. The overall mood at the show is one of subdued optimism, with the auto market finally showing signs of recovery after a disastrous period of bankruptcies and losses. While some automakers like Nissan decided to sit the show out completely, others debuted some very important (and exciting) cars in LA.

Arguably the most anticipated debut of the show was the US-spec Ford Fiesta. After hyping the car up through the Fiesta Movement, Ford will have the new compact on sale in the summer of 2010 as 2011 model.

Mazda meanwhile unveiled the North American Mazda2, which happens to share a platform with the Fiesta. I’ll be dedicating separate posts to both the Mazda2 and Ford Fiesta displays at the show.

Ford’s display also included the 2011 Mustang V6. Although it looks the same as the 2010, the base V6 now makes an incredible 305hp and will deliver 30mpg. Gone are the days of six cylinder pony car owners lowering their heads in shame…

Of course this means the Mustang GT should also be getting its much rumored power increase. I’m guessing will be hearing more about the GT’s new powerplant later in the auto show season.

Lexus showed the LF-Ch hybrid concept in their booth. Hmm…does anyone else see a little VW Scirocco in this car?

The real star of the Lexus booth was the LFA. I have to say the white LFA looks much better than the flat black one that’s been making the rounds here in the states.

This cut-out model of the car was on display as well, letting everyone get a good look at the LFA’s innards.

Toyota’s big debut for the show was the new Sienna minivan. Wait a minute, a Toyota Sienna on Speedhunters?

It’s not quite as stylish as the funky minivans sold in Japan, but it looks a lot more interesting than the current Sienna, and dare I say it…a little cool. The one in the photo is the sport version, which comes with dropped suspension, unique styling, and 19’s.

I know it’s not new, but I’ve really been digging the Dodge Challenger lately.

It’s big, heavy, and over the top, but I really want to hop in one of these bruisers for a long road trip…

To mark the end of the Dodge Viper (in its current form at least), Chrysler had a large display dedicated to the car, including the badass ACR model.

Subaru had a few interesting cars in their booth, including the 2010 WRX STI Special Edition.

Inspired by the JDM Spec C, the Special Edition has stiffened up suspension, special wheels, and a bit of weight savings.

Subaru also showed their Hybrid Tourer concept, featuring gull wing doors and a hybrid system using a turbo boxer motor (what else?).

I was impressed by the new Legacy 2.5 GT, and I’m looking forward to spending some time on the road in one. Now, if Subaru could just bring the Legacy Wagon back to North America…

To commemorate the launch of the new Boxster Spyder, Porsche brought out this vintage 718/8 W-RS Spyder.

I wasn’t a big fan of the four-door Porsche Panamera when I first saw it, but it’s growing on me. I guess it’s still hard to belive Porsche offers a sedan now…

Downstairs is a small hall dedicated to custom cars and aftermarket parts. I guess you could call it a nano-sized version of the SEMA show.

That concludes the first part of my LA Auto Show coverage. More on the way!

-Mike Garrett



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funny, but the sienna has a heavy jdm feel to it, somehow


That vintage Porsche takes the cake of these pics for me. The LFA is pretty nice, too. White's classy. Looking forward to the rest. :) (I'm hoping to make plans to attend the show next year in person!)


the sienna is awesome i would for sure pick that up if i was in the market for a van...gona check this show out tomorrow night


The sienna is nice.

Hope it will get to Europe too!


A minivan on Speedhunters, this isn't Auto-Otaku, Mike, haha. Also, Porsche still doesn't make a sedan proper: the Panamera is a WAGON!


have they announced the pricing for the sienna? and is this the actual production version? I've been waiting to a jdm styled van to make it to the states, wish they'd do that to the odyssey


I just saw a legacy wagon on my street. checked on ebay and they're here...at least until 06.

the new one looks less streamlined anyway.

i want one


305 hp V6?!?!? *dead*


bah, the sti special edition's rims look exactly like the bbs rims on evo 8/9 MR and SE editions.

ACR viper just looks incredible. ill take two. :)


Who would be in the market for a minivan with a sport suspension? Men who've given up on their mid-life-crisis-mobile but still want to subvert their wives somehow?

And does the front of the Mazda2 look a bit like a Hyundai to anyone else?


Damn Lexus. Copying VW.

C'mon. Its too obvious. Besides those RX-8 doors.


This video is a must see.... http://vimeo.com/7735224


I'm really looking forward to seeing an LF-A in person one of these days. But for now, I think they're pretty ugly. Must admit that the white one does look better than the flat black one that's been posted everywhere though.


Was there no Toyota FT-86???

I was planning to go if that was there...is that still in Japan :(


That LF-A looks awesome.

Sienna. no thanks.

Its no secret that all the manufacturers copy one and other...why is anyone suprised by this? really.

take a look around. a shit load of cars these days have alot of elemants that appear to very similar.

"hey, those tail lights look like.." or "those doors look like..."


Man i really want that LF-A.


had an opportunity to "touch" Panamera back on June in Munich. Must say it's a piece of art as for luxurious four-door car!


Hmm, so the Legacy Outback isn't a Legacy Wagon? My neighbor just bought one, and it's HUGE! It's about twice the size of the original Forrester. Anyway... 19s... on a minivan?! Stock???!!! Man, I remember when putting 20" wheels on your car meant you were "ballin" or whatever they said back then. It does look kinda cool, but will it tempt suburban "desperate houswives" out of their Mercedes ML and Lexus RXs? That vintage Porsche is by-far the most interesting car there. Considering Porsche have had a freakin' SUV in their lineup since early in the decade, the Panamera does not surprise me, you'd think theyd've come out with a sedan first. Though it really is a hatchback, I sat in a Panamera Turbo and it really is nice; gorgeous fit and finish. I'd still rather have an eight year old S65 AMG if I wanted a bonkers Deutsche executive saloon.