Every January the annual show season kicks off with the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show. Consumers and media alike get their first glimpse of exciting new machinery from the world's automakers. At this year's show manufacturers have gone all out, unveiling a plethora of stylish new production models and futuristic concepts.
High performance was a clear theme throughout the show as most major players had new sport-oriented models to show off. Mercedes-Benz and BMW debuted "Sport" versions of their popular C320 and 330i model lines, while Aston Martin introduced a more aggressive variant of the DB7 called the DB7 GT. Mitsubishi unveiled the rally-bred 271-bhp Lancer Evolution at the same time Mazda took the wraps off its RX-8 "X-Men" movie car. Volkswagen and Volvo even joined the high-performance fray with fast new models of their own. VW's 238-bhp Golf R32 boasts all-wheel drive and a 6-speed transmission while the S60R and V70R Volvos also add AWD 300 bhp engines to their mid-size sedan and wagon lines.
Not to be outdone by the imports, Dodge's 430-bhp Magnum takes the high-performance wagon concept to a new level. And the fabled Pontiac GTO makes a welcome return in the form of a sleek rear-drive 2-door coupe powered by GM's venerable 5.7-liter LS1 V-8. Cadillac adds some spice to its lineup with the retractable-hardtop XLR roadster, which is based on the same platform as the upcoming C6 Corvette.
For the less sporty set, Porsche and Volkswagen introduced the Cayenne and Touareg sport utes, which are build on the same platform but feature different interior/exterior styling and engine choices. Those wanting additional luxury can look forward to the new Audi A8L flagship sedan, or for even more excess, the $300,000 Maybach 57 ultra-luxury sedan.
No matter what your tastes, the Greater Los Angeles Auto show has a little of something for just about everyone. Whether it's performance, luxury, utility or some combination in between, this year's show has plenty to offer. For those of you who couldn't make it in person, here's a taste of what's on display in LA.