E3 Spark Plugs’ LA Auto Show Picks

BMW i8 Concept Car

If you didn’t make it to the LA Auto Show over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, no worries. E3 Spark Plugs has a few highlights from the 106-year-old event that started with 99 cars (including just one foreign import) on display at Morley’s Skating Rink in 1907. The 2011 show boasted more than 1,000 of the top 2011 makes and models of both domestic and import automobiles packed into the Los Angeles Convention Center. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • 2013 Cadillac XTS: Hold on to your spark plugs – Granny’s land yacht just got a sexy makeover. Cadillac’s sleek new XTS replaces the big, boxy DTS. The company’s new flagship sedan boasts a smoother, more polished look with more curved exterior lines and a refined interior. It’s a bit more teched-out, too. The XTS marks the debut of the Cadillac CUE, a new touch screen infotainment system that allows for quick access to interior settings, weather forecasts and even your favorite Pandora Internet radio stations.
  • 2013 Lincoln MKT: “Thar she blows!” At least that’s what some are (still) saying about the new Lincoln MKT SUV crossover. A major focus clearly was on exterior design and a direct effort to sway potential drivers unimpressed with the MKT’s looks heretofore. A top complaint had been the oversized grille that, many say, made the vehicle resemble the whale that ate Pinocchio. The new grill has sleeker, more slender lines, lacks horizontal elements and doesn’t extend quite as far down the front bumper. Some love it – some still say it looks like a set of cartoon teeth. In any case, we’re digging the tech features. Among them is a Lane Keeping Alert system that vibrates the steering wheel to warn drivers when they’re drifting out of their lanes without signaling, and a Driver Alert system that monitors driver’s inputs, sounding a chime and flashing a coffee cup icon in the gauge cluster if it senses a driver is getting drowsy.
  • 2013 Chevy Spark: Designed for the young, eco-minded city dweller in mind, the new Chevy Spark offers a quirky little runt of a ride with great fuel mileage and a definitely different look. The Spark measures just 144.7 inches long – nearly two feet shorter than the subcompact Sonic. Yet the interior offers a surprisingly high amount of legroom for four occupants (42 inches in the front seat, 35 in the back). You won’t win a drag race in this one, but you will enjoy the tech features, including a seven-inch touch screen infotainment system with smartphone-based navigation and Bluetooth for hands-free calling. Look for the oversized headlight that some say resemble a Japanese anime character.
  • BMW i8 Concept: Perhaps the straight-up coolest car we saw was the BMW i8 concept car with space-age looks and gull wing doors. This car looks like something out of Tron: Legacy, boasts some serious fuel mileage and is capable of accelerating from zero to 62mph in under five seconds. The hybrid travels 20 miles on electric power alone and comfortably seats four.

Did you hit the LA Auto Show this year? E3 Spark Plugs wants to know which new models are your favorites. Post your pics on our E3 Spark Plugs Facebook fan page.

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