LA Auto Show, 2011: BMW i8 Concept to Toyota Prius Plug-in

James Raia

Fuel Efficiency and Green will be among automakers' key topics at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show — from entry level brands to high performance machines.

As the first major North American auto show of the season, the 2011 L.A. Auto Show is scheduled Nov. 18-27 and will host some of the industry's most important new vehicle debuts.

New entries into this fuel-efficient category include the Hyundai Veloster, the 2012 Kia Rio and the 2012 Mazda3 with SKYACTIV technology. Mazda's new SKYACTIV powertrain and chassis technologies will also be featured in the North American Debut of its all-new CX-5 crossover.

BMW will introduce new, more-powerful, four-cylinder engine technology, but placed in popular performance cars-the Z4 and 528. Both boast improved performance and increased fuel efficiency.

LA Auto Show, 2011: BMW i8 Concept to Toyota Prius Plug-in 1
Clean diesel technology has also clearly advanced with today's diesel engines getting better mileage and emitting less particulate matter than gasoline engines. Several models are beginning to sell in much larger numbers as the U.S. rethinks diesel. A prime example is the Audi A3 TDI, which previously won Green Car of the Year. Other clean diesels at the Show include the Volkswagen Passat TDI, Jetta TDI, Jetta SportWagen TDI and Golf TDI and Mercedes-Benz will feature its S350 BlueTEC.
Hybrids and Electric Vehicles

The most ground breaking category, when it comes to technological advancements, continues to be the hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle categories. These advances are such game changers that they are inspiring a new methodology for measuring the fuel economy of higher efficiency vehicles. The EPA's new system to measure efficiency is called MPGe "miles per gallon equivalent" of electric and alternative-energy vehicles.

The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt were the early movers in the EV category, but now a pack of EV's are entering production and will be available at dealerships soon. The production electrics and hybrids at this year's show include Mitsubishi's all-electric i, which boasts 112 MPGe and has a single-charge range of 62 miles at one of the most affordable price points. The most popular hybrid vehicle in the world, the Toyota Prius, will showcase its production, plug-in hybrid version, which has a total all-electric range of 14.3 miles and an expected total range of 475 miles.

According to Toyota, the Prius Plug-in is expected to be rated at 112 MPGe. Important EV news is also expected from Honda as well, and they also will showcase their latest hybrid improvements in the new Civic Hybrid and the more fuel-efficient Insight Hybrid.

BMW will debut two all-new concept vehicles that are part of BMW i sub-brand initiative. The high-tech and futuristic-looking, all-electric i3 Concept is actually close to becoming a reality and it is scheduled to enter production in 2013. The i8 Concept, scheduled for production in 2014, is a plug-in hybrid sportscar with dual power sources-the i3's electric motor over the front axle paired with a high performance three-cylinder combustion engine producing 164 kW/220 horsepower at the rear. Working in tandem, they deliver the performance of a true sportscar while achieving up to 62 mpg.

LA Auto Show, 2011: BMW i8 Concept to Toyota Prius Plug-in 2

Southern California is home to several start-up manufacturers devoted to the development of electric vehicles, including Fisker Automotive and CODA Automotive. Fisker will debut its all-new sport wagon prototype, the Surf, slated to go on sale in mid-2012. Fisker's first vehicle, the Karma, is a performance sedan that has just begun customer deliveries. Los Angeles-based CODA will show its all-electric compact sedan, now becoming available. It features a single-charge range of up to 150 miles and 221 ft.-lb. of torque.

Here's the current list of vehicles currently scheduled at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show:

40-plus MPG

Audi A3 TDI (clean diesel), Chevrolet Cruze Eco, Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Focus SFE, Ford Fiesta SFE, Honda Civic GX, Honda Civic HF, Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Veloster, Kia Rio (2012), Mazda3 SKYACTIV (2012), Smart ForTwo, Volkswagen Jetta TDI (clean diesel), Volkswagen Jetta SportWagon TDI (clean diesel), Volkswagen Passat TDI (clean diesel), Volkswagen Golf TDI (clean diesel)
Hybrids and Plug-in hybrids

BMW i8 Concept, BMW ActiveHybrid 7, BMW ActiveHybrid X6, Buick LaCrosse eAssist, Buick Regal eAssist, Cadillac Ciel concept, Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, Chevrolet Malibu Eco, Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Fisker Karma, Fisker Surf, GMC Yukon Hybrid GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid, Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid Coupe, Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Insight, Honda Plug-in Hybrid concept, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Infiniti M35 Hybrid, KIA Optima Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Lexus CT 200h, Lexus GS 450h, Lexus LS 600h L Lexus RX 450h, Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, Porsche Panamara S Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Toyota Prius, Toyota Prius v, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
Clean Diesel Vehicles

Audi A3 TDI, Audi Q7 TDI, BMW 335d Sedan, Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTEC, Volkswagen Jetta TDI, Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI, Volkswagen Passat TDI, Volkswagen Golf TDI
Electric vehicles

BMW i3 Concept, CODA Sedan, Ford Focus BEV prototype, Fiat 500 EV, Mitsubishi i, Nissan LEAF, Smart ForTwo, Toyota RAV4, DOK-ING XD
Hydrogen/Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Honda FCX Clarity

Article Last Updated: October 7, 2011.

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