Auto shows are wondrous events where bizarre concept cars and unattainable exotics strut their stuff for automotive enthusiasts under bright lights and thumping music.
The 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show was a bit different. Most of the cars unveiled this year were of the practical sort: midsize to large premium sedans and crossovers aimed at a slightly older and more settled crowd. What's more, most of the vehicles that we saw unveiled were fully baked production models that you can expect to see on the road (and in the Car Tech garage) within the next year.
Cadillac kicked the show off with its new XTS large sedan, a replacement for the aging STS that boasts enhanced safety features, including the so-called "virtual bumper" system and the first implementation of the automaker's CUE infotainment system.
Hyundai followed up with the launch of the newly designed Azera, which slots in between the Sonata and the Genesis sedan and is powered by a new 3.3-liter V-6 engine.
Volkswagen updated the CC, bringing the four-door coupe in line with the design language currently used by its Passat and Jetta sedans.
And Lincoln unveiled the new design language for the MKS sedan and MKT crossover. Let's just say that you'll have to see it to believe it.
But don't go thinking that this year's show is all about increased legroom and trunks big enough to swallow cases of Napa wine. There was plenty of engine-revving, heart-pumping fun to be found on the show floor, if one chose to go looking for it:
Fiat announced the North American launch of its new 500 Abarth--which could be the smallest true enthusiasts car on the market today.
Subaru finally gave us a peek at the new rear-wheel-drive BRZ concept STI and promised us that the Impreza WRX and WRX STI would be getting full refreshes in the coming years.
Mexico enters the sports-car wars with the Mastretta MXT, a lightweight, 250-horsepower coupe that backs up its hot looks with sprints to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.
And Nintendo makes its debut at the show with a pair of cars that would certainly make anyone's commute a great deal more interesting.
Be sure to check out the rest of our coverage of the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.