The cars that starred in Hollywood
Friday 30 November 2012
This week’s L.A. Auto Show saw the great and the good of the motoring world converge on the City of (fallen) Angels. But what made a splash? Auto Trader rounds up its favourite cars of this year’s show.
VW Beetle Cabriolet
The second generation of the re-invigorated classic has been on sale in hatchback form since July this year. The Cabriolet, which was announced at this year’s show is now available to order in the UK and first deliveries are expected in April next year. Priced from £18,150, the new Beetle Cabrio is longer, lower and wider than its predecessor, making for a more assured stance. Unfortunately, the vase has gone from the dashboard, however.
Jaguar’s fastest ever saloon car was officially unveiled at the show and it certainly caused a stir. With a striking paint job, a not-so-subtle body kit and a rear wing that puts you in mind of a late ‘90s Subaru, it certainly is a departure from Jaguar saloons of the past. A big V8 under the bonnet and a top speed of 186mph make the XFR-S a BMW M5 hunter. Thankfully, a smaller rear wing is available.
The car that invented the compact 4×4 sector back in 1994, the RAV4 has been a huge success for Toyota with 4.5 million of them finding homes over the years. Now, this fourth-generation model hopes to continue the trend. Bigger and more spacious than its predecessor, with the new Toyota family ‘face’, the RAV4 certainly looks to be a big improvement on the outgoing model.
Porsche’s Cayman has been with us since 2005 and it has dazzled all and sundry with its fabulous dynamics and perfect balance. Now, there’s a new version, with a meaner stance, more powerful engines and better fuel economy. We can only hope that it lives up to the lofty standards of the previous model.
BMW i3 concept
The future of small cars? BMW thinks so. It showed its i3 Coupe Concept at this year’s show – a three-door version of from the i3 hatch set to hit the UK next year. Lightweight construction and electric power mean the i3 should have the performance and range to almost match conventionally-powered cars but with a fraction of the running costs.
Mercedes SLS Black Series
Subtle it ain’t, the SLS Black is a hardcore version of the already pretty serious SLS supercar. Shown here in a vibrant yellow with black carbon fibre aerodynamic addenda plastered all over it, it certainly makes a statement. It’s lighter and more powerful than the standard SLS and has a beefed up chassis to provide a more involving drive. Despite the extra power, its top speed (196mph) will actually be 3mph less than that of the standard car, due to the extra drag created by the aero package.
Set to go on sale in 2015, the i8 is BMW’s idea of what sportscars should be like in the near future. Using a high-performance three-cylinder engine coupled with electric motors and batteries, the i8 will be able to return 78mpg yet still sprint to 62mph in under five seconds. It will have an all-electric range of up to 20 miles, as well as enough space inside for two adults in the front and two children in the back. Impressive stuff.
Volvo S60 Polestar
Volvo is a company best known for staid estate cars, so for it to suddenly come out with a 508bhp saloon car is something of a shock. Built in collaboration with Volvo’s official performance partner, Polestar, the hardcore S60 features a turbocharged six-cylinder engine capable of launching it to 62mph in just 3.9 seconds. Volvo hasn’t yet committed to build yet but they are gauging reaction from this show.
Fiat 500L Trekking
A larger, jacked-up version of the retro 500, the 500L Trekking is based on the same platform as the impressive Panda Trekking which uses a raised ride height and clever traction control to traverse the trickier bits of scenery. The 500L won’t have the off-road ability of the Panda 4×4 but should be able to get itself out of a wet field without too much trouble.
By James Richardson