Electric Cars And Sports Cars To Shine At The L.A. Auto Show
|   Friday, November 23, 2012
The 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show will open its gates for the public on November 30 and the show will last until December 9; it's quite a big show in the auto world. Also, of all the American states, California is the biggest market for electric vehicles, besides being an important market segment for the expensive brands like Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Lamborghini or Porsche.

This year's show will see the world's largest automakers showcase various models covering all consumer requirements.

Thus, from General Motors, we will see electric cars being promoted; enter the new Chevrolet Spark EV. This is a pure electric car and has to be plugged in to recharge. This small motor develops some 100 kilowatt, or the t of 130 horsepower equivalent, but the torque figure is downright monstrous at 400 ft-lb. Not even the Porsche 911 Carrera has that figure. All that power will send the Spark EV from 0 to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds.

However, one of the most intriguing features the car has is an optional charging device. This will provide the Spark EV's lithium ion battery with 80 percent of capacity in a little under 20 minutes. The technology on the Spark EV was already proven on the road, with about 75 percent of the propulsion system's components being derived from the Volt and other GM hybrid truck programs. The battery's warranty lasts for 8 years or 100,000 miles.

Next, we have the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon. This car is smaller than popular models like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, but bigger than the Mazda 5. Ford is already selling a 7-seater wagon similar to it, the Galaxie, in Europe, meaning the concept is not entirely new.

But the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon is still a different vehicle, with roots in the robust Transit Connect commercial van, which was launched in the United States back in 2009. Thus it gets remarkable towing and hauling capabilities (2,000 pounds and 1,200 pounds, respectively). 2 versions will be put out, a 5 seater and a longer 7 seater, with both version offering a choice of 2 4 cylinder engines. The company states the smaller of the 2 engines, which by the way will be turbocharged, should see some 30 mpg on the highway. The Ford Transit Connect Wagon will hit showrooms in the 4th quarter of 2013.

From Germany, Mercedes-Benz brings a new version of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series. This is a spectacular super car will get even better and be even more exclusive thanks to enhancements from the technology born out of the GT3 racing version. Tuning of the 6.3 liter V8 allow an output of 622 horsepower. That's 39 horses more than the engine in the SLS AMG GT, which is presently the most potent version of the SLS AMG. Torque figures however are down by 11 lb-ft. Even so, going from0 to 60 mph takes only 3.5 seconds, and the top speed is 196 mph.

Lightweight components like the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic hood as well as the titanium exhaust system help the SLS AMG Black Series lose about 154 pounds. Customers can even opt out of the convoluted COMAND multimedia system and shear an extra 13 pounds. Steering, suspension and the braking systems have also been tweaked for improved performance, just like the 7 speed dual-clutch transmission. Expect the 2014 SLS AMG Black Series in showrooms from the summer of 2013.
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