LA Auto Show opens to public 11/21 at Convention Center

Lincoln MKZ is among 17 cars having its world debut at the LA Auto Show.
Lincoln MKZ is among 17 cars making their world debut at the LA Auto Show this year.

In the not so distance past the LA Auto Show wasn’t much more than the local dealers showing off the new cars and their in-house customization.   The problem was that the LA Show overlapped a few days with the Detroit Auto Show.  All that changed a couple of years ago when the show was moved to November.  

This years LA Auto Show runs November 21-30 and promises to be the biggest yet.  The LA Auto Show this time around will show case more debuts than ever before, certainly befitting our impact and importance in the world auto market.  The scheduling now is so tight the manufacturers are holding “preview” events locally in order to allow the media more time to kick the tires and pick the brains of the teams putting out the debut cars.  (Ford did one on Tuesday which I’ll talk about a bit later in this post).

Some highlights coming our way for the 2008 show:

  • 17 cars will get their world debut including the Lincoln MKZ, G37 Convertible, Mazda 3,Nissan 370Z and the “Mini e” (e for electric)
  • 12 cars will have their North American Debut including the Honda Insight and Ferrari California
  • Awarding the “Green Car of the Year” to those cars that are the cleanest of the clean…big surprise in store for you hybrid fans-among the top cars in the running there is a diesel and a regular gas car.
  • Sneak Preview Night” 11/20 is a tax deductible benefiting Homeless Health Care Los Angeles
For the info on Ford’s Preview day yesterday you have to make the jump.
Ford’s yesterday hosted 1 of 2 Preview meetings for cars debuting at the the Auto Show during Press Week.  I snagged an invite to that one and got to sit in, kick tires and take lots of photo’s of the 2010 Lincoln MKZ.  The details are embargoed until the actual debut at the Auto Show BUT…I can give you a few details of what was under the blue silk.

The 2010 Lincoln MKZ is more than a restyle of the first 6 inches of the car (IE grill and rear fascia).  It was a completely new front clip and other sheet metal, only the roof is continued from the 2009 model.  Overall styling fits the theme seen in the MKS The engine was reworked for more power that shaved .5 sec off the 0-60 time.  That was done while maintaining its good fuel economy ratings and improving its emissions (ULEV rating for those that keep track).  The suspension was reworked and the “sport” package is more than just pretty baubles added, its real mechanicals that make a difference.  As before FWD and AWD are available with the AWD being the best road handling option in the group.

The already award winning interior is all new, full of real materials (leather, wood, aluminum not silk screened plastic).  The next generation SYNC is in the car, it is so smart that if you have your cell synced with it, in the event you have an accident where airbags deploy the car will make the 911 call for you. The MKZ will be a technology leader in its class, certainly the most user friendly stuff I have seen yet.

I’ll have a post going up with the details on the car when the embargo ends at 12:01AM on 11/19.  Ditto pics in my MKZ Flickr set.  The first version we saw of this car it was named the Zephyr and it sold well in the entry level premium class.  It continues to do so (sales this year are only down 2% from last year in a class down 18% , according to Fords numbers).  After spending some time with the design team and in the car I think they have another home-run in the class this time around.  For good measure while they are running the bases with this direct hit into the market they kicked the ES350 in the crotch and knocked the G35 in the dirt too.  Its that good of a car. 

The pic is by me of the new MKZ.  It is the only pic that the guys from Lincoln would let me publish right now.