LOS ANGELES, CA -- The 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show is chock-full of world premieres of new concept cars and the debuts of production models that we're seeing for the first time, but there have also been a few "debuts" of cars that we're already familiar with. The LA Auto Show is also the stage upon which concepts and production cars that have been previously showcased abroad can make their North American debut in front of U.S. press and consumers.
Rather than simply overlook these vehicles with a "been there, done that" attitude, we've rounded up a few of these alumni of the New York, Geneva, and -- most recently -- Paris motor shows for your perusal.
I'm still scratching my head at how successful Mini's Countryman has been -- to think that taking a vehicle that's loved for being small and nimble and making it an order of magnitude larger would inspire enough sales to push the biggest Mini ever to the brand's number 2 sales spot. One can't help but think that Europe's other purveyor of tiny, trendy hatchbacks had this this phenomenon in mind when it launched its enlarged Fiat 500L at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. The 500L makes its North American debut in LA alongside the 500L Trekking special edition.
After receiving a small revision at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the 2013 Honda CR-Z finally makes North American landfall at the 2012 LA Auto Show. It brings with it a new, more efficient lithium-ion battery pack that helps to eke a few extra MPGs out of its 1.5-liter engine and 7 more horsepower out of its combined Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system. A new S+ button acts like an electric nitrous shot, instantly boosting the output of the electric motor for up to 10 seconds.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai's newest mom-mobile, the Santa Fe, debuted at the New York Auto Show and replaces both the previous generation five-passenger SUV of the same name and the seven-seater Veracruz with its Sport and long-wheelbase (LWB) models, respectively. The spotlight of the LA Auto Show was again placed on the larger model (alongside the uber-hip ), with emphasis being placed on its 290-horsepower, 3.3-liter GDI V6 engine and trimmed-down weight that is 320 pounds lighter than the outgoing Veracruz.
Jaguar F-Type Roadster
Jaguar's image has swung from "old and stodgy" to "refined and classy" more than a few times over the brand's storied history, but the latest model takes the brand deep into the realm of "dead sexy." We already took a look at the new Jaguar F-Type Roadster at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, but we're always happy to check out those curves again.
Land Rover Range Rover
Land Rover somehow manages to update and modernize the Range Rover without really changing it at all. Sure, the supercharged V-8 engine uses direct injection technology for increased efficiency and the smoothed-over body is built around an aluminum monocoque, but take a step back and the new Range (which debuted in Paris, but makes a return appearance in Los Angeles) is still a Rover with the same boxy proportions and standard go-anywhere all-wheel drive.
After seeing the redesigned Mazda6 at the 2012 Paris Motor show and again at the LA Auto Show, here's what we know: The North American 6 will be available in with the 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G gasoline engine with its i-ELOOP capacitor-based regenerative braking system in January 2013. It will be followed up with the 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D turbodiesel model sometime in the second half of 2013. The smaller 2.0-liter gasoline engine will not be available and neither will the wagon body configuration. Pity.
If making the Mini larger was good, then making it slightly smaller again should be better, right? Mini is hoping so; its new Mini Paceman takes the formula established by the Mini Countryman (a small crossover with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and the automaker's ALL4 all-wheel drive system) and makes it sportier with two fewer doors and a coupe roofline.