Must see at LA Auto Show (opens Friday 11/21)

I’ve spent the last two days wandering around the LA Auto Show checking it all out.  This is a quick run down of my favorite activities at the show that will be available to the public at large when the show opens.  

My absolute favorite was Volvo’s “City Safe” demo where you actually get to sit in the car and put the system to the test real time.  It works, amazingly well.  I have to thank Adam Kopstein from Volvo who let me ride along and “tape” the ride.  Its amazing how well the system works.  I did it and failed the first time as instinct stepped in and before I got close enough to activate the system, I braked myself and had to retry the test.  Its freaky.  It works.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2Ktf2P1byQ[/youtube]

It doesn’t take much imagination to see this working very well in real life.  Imagine being in a parking lot, or bump and go traffic, exhausted and turning around to hand the kid in a car-seat a bottle or just turning your head before a lane change and the car in front stops quickly.  City Safe won’t let you rear end them, or if fast enough you won’t do much more than a tap with no damage to either of you.  Bring your DL and be prepared to stand in line.  Its a trip but well worth the thrill…and no extra charge!

Another favorite was the Lexus race car game.  Its Dave and Busters type arcade action.  Its you against 2 other drivers in a race around a circuit.  Its all Lexus cars in their best track get up.  Racing like few of us could ever get a chance to do with a Lexus let alone a real race car.  I think it would have been more fun as a “Simpson’s Road Rage” set in the streets of LA.  Realism works.  Plan on long lines for this one.

Also interesting was the Volvo Design display.  Its fun display as a stand alone…sheet metal pants in the Volvo color swatches.  Matching shirts made out of the interior materials or leathers.  All the actual “work”, really serious play is done on an interactive stylus pad where you design your own Volvo.

Ford has Mustang Alley where you can check out all the 2010 Mustangs.  Also within that area is the Mustang Garage.   In there you can find all sorts of info on the Ford Motorsport performance and style mods for the Mustang.  There is also a really nifty collection of Hot Wheels brand Mustangs on display too.  Sigh…I had a few of those, too bad I blew them up with firecrackers.  (We did that back in MO as a right of passage to being a teen).

Ford has a great walk in cut-away of a wrecked Taurus.  What is cool is you step inside for a video.  On the vid you see how the Taurus got its 5 start crash test rating and the Insurance Institutes Safest Car in America awards.  The vid shows the prep and crash from several angles.  Walking around when you are done you can’t help be impressed with how well the car took the hit.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_Uk9BhJt2Q[/youtube] 

All the pics and video are by me. I have tons of pics in my Flickr 2008 LA Auto Show set.  I’ve got a few more posts coming over the next few days.  Among them my review of the “Green Cars” I got to drive.  Congrats to Volkswagen whose Jetta TDI was named “Green Car of the Year”.  I can tell you this much…I was impressed on all counts with that car.

3 Replies to “Must see at LA Auto Show (opens Friday 11/21)”

  1. Volvo’s “City Safe” looks great. Now I want a Volvo.

    Unless I can have “City Safe” installed on my hybrid Mustang with the artificial V8 rumble from the pipes.

  2. I was working at the LA Auto Show, I had the same instinct to step on the brake during the Volvo XC60 City Safe demo. It’s one of the best things I did at the auto show.

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