There were many exciting new model launches at the 2008 LA Auto Show.
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Ford unveiled the new Fusion for the 2010 model year. The vehicle receives a much needed visual refresh with its trademark tri-bar grill being expanded drastically to dominate the front end. Gone is the bucktoothed lower chrome grill bars, having been replaced with thinner horizontal slats and a chrome surround.
The next Fusion can be spec'd with any of four distinct powertrains: a 2.5-liter four-banger, a 3.0-liter V-6, a 3.5-liter V-6, or a gas-electric hybrid. We're not sure why Ford has two V-6 options, especially because the two engines' outputs are only separated by a mere 23 ponies (240hp vs 263hp).
The 2010 Lincoln MKZ is the third fraternal triplet based on the next Fusion's platform. As the most luxurious of the three, the MKZ features advanced cabin tech such as voice command, Sirius TravelLink, and the fantastic THX sound system we heard in the Lincoln MKS.
For sports car freaks like myself, the biggest from Ford Motors was the refreshed 2010 Ford Mustang. Shown here in convertible configuration, every exterior panel has been tweaked and massaged into a much smoother and modern looking Mustang.
The 2009 Nissan 370Z Coupe is a fantastic example of "the more things change, the more they stay the same." The 370Z features all-new smaller dimensions, new sheet metal, and a bigger, more powerful powerplant, yet it manages to retain the essence that makes a Z car.
The MINI E's whisper quiet range of about 150 miles is accomplished thanks to a massive array of lithium ion batteries that occupy the space where the rear seat used to be. Recharge time is 2.5 hours when using the included wallbox high amperage charger.
BMW showed us a glimpse of the future of the 7 Series with the Concept 7 Series ActiveHybrid. The ActiveHybrid improves on the 450 lb-ft of torque supplied by the 4.4-liter twin-turbo powerplant with the addition of an electric motor that can add up to 155 lb-ft of torque on demand for a total of about 605 lb-ft of torque. Fuel consumption is reduced by up to 15 percent.