2006 Los Angeles Auto Show Extended Photos & Coverage
The First of Auto Show Season
Is there any place in the country more important to car and truck makers than Los Angeles? When you consider that more cars and trucks and sold in this state, and specifically in this southern region, than almost anywhere else in the country, the answer is probably no. And with this year's Los Angeles Auto show celebrating its 100-year anniversary, it makes sense that this year's event was going to be bigger and bolder than ever before--and that's exactly what happened. With numerous World and North American debuts, the LA Auto Show made for two action-packed press days, where hundreds of journalists from around the world and top-level auto executives came to get their first look at many of the coming 2007 and 2008 models.
Many automakers have used the LA Auto Show to highlight future technology such as hybrid, hydrogen, and full electric technologies, while others have chosen a more traditional path using the show to debut important new and/or redesigned models.
Among some of the biggest announcements were GM's Chairman, Rick Wagoner, making the keynote address to start the show, promising a strong commitment to alternative fuel choices from all GM models in the future, then he backed that up by giving us a first look at the 2008 Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon 2-mode Hybrid fullsize SUVs, as well as the all-new 2007 Saturn, that will offer a new type of plug-in hybrid powertrain. Other special introductions included a Ford Explorer Hydrogen vehicle, the all-new Ford Escape, and coming Land Rover LR2. However, as is usually the case, many car companies let their engineering departments show off a little, producing concept vehicles that may or may not ever see the light of day; for example, VW showed a concept Tiguan compact SUV with a high-tech ultra-low-emission diesel under the hood and sporty exterior styling.
Everywhere we turned at this year's LA Show, there was a pickup or SUV meant to capture the attention of the Southern California buyer. The DaimlerChrysler group even created a few fun vehicles to excite the hardcores; first, was a HEMI-powered Dodge Nitro, and second was a lifted CDI-equipped 3.0-liter diesel Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited. And for those searching for more custom and modified vehicles, the LA Auto Show has an entire downstairs hall devoted to aftermarket accessories. There's something for everyone.
From our point of view, the biggest advantage to this show is that the smaller scale (when compared to Detroit, or Frankfurt, or Tokyo) allows us to get more access to the design and engineering bigwigs. And it doesn't hurt that, being near some of the most beautiful oceans in the world and near Hollywood, there are more beautiful women per square inch than anywhere else on the planet, many of whom are walking around the LA Auto Show as business professionals, spokesmodels, and truck enthusiasts.
This year's second Los Angeles Auto Show (an anomaly because they've moved the dates from its normal time in January up to December) is now out from under the imposing shadow of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and looks to have a long and exciting future as the first significant auto show of the season.
We've cataloged every make and model here for people who like pickups and SUVs, and even a few of the oddballs we have no idea how to categorize. Look for more photos and videos on our big brother's website(MotorTrend.com) as well. Enjoy.
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