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World debuts for Mazda, Ford, Honda at LA Auto Show

World debuts of 20 cars from Chevrolet to Honda and more than 30 North American auto unveilings will comprise a chunky dose of the anticipated start November 16 of the Los Angeles Auto Show.

In addition to the 1,000 new vehicles on display at the Los Angeles Convention Center, several manufacturers have upgraded exhibit spaces and added enhanced features with more interactive content and experiences. There will also be more than a half-dozen test drives that put consumers in the seats and on the streets in some new vehicles on select days.  
 
Notable this year will be a significant increase in fuel efficiency across the board in all categories. Nearly 20 highly-efficient, 40-mpg-plus vehicles, using internal combustion engines-such as the world debut of the Chevrolet Spark-will be at the Show.

A renaissance is underway for the four-cylinder engine, which in an era of rising gas prices and concern for fuel economy has become a powerplant of choice for many automakers. Completely reengineered to deliver the power and torque normally associated with larger displacement engines, four cylinder designs are not just powering compacts, but finding their way into multiple platforms.

Most notably, the hotly contested small crossover segment will feature two head-to-head competitive world debuts-the Ford Escape and Honda CRV. Mazda also has a new entry in this category with the North American debut of its all-new CX-5 crossover.  
 
Underscoring that many solutions exist for reducing carbon emissions, a whole pack of electric vehicles are in or entering production and will be highlighted at the show, including Mitsubishi's all-electric i, the Ford Focus Electric, BMW's i3 Concept, CODA's Sedan, Nissan's LEAF and an import from Croatia, the DOK-ING XD. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids continue to grow and highlights at the show include the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the new Honda Civic Hybrid and the updated Honda Insight Hybrid. BMW will also have its groundbreaking, i8 plug-in hybrid sports coupe concept. 

  Mazda CX-5, 2012 will debut at that Los Angles Auto Show
 
More than half of the 50 L.A. Show debuts fall in the performance and luxury vehicle category like the Audi R8 GT Spyder, Porsche 911 and Jaguar C-X16 sports car concept. Bentley is returning to Los Angeles this year, premiering the marque's 2012 Continental GTC ultra-luxury convertible.

The show will also feature the BMW M5, the fifth-generation edition of the sports sedan, now powered by a 4.4-liter, turbocharged, V8 engine; the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, an open-top power statement with a 563-horsepower, 6.2-liter engine producing 479 lb-ft of torque; and what GM is calling the world's most powerful production convertible, the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, boasting 580 hp produced by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. The AMG Roadster and Camaro convertible are just two of at least a half dozen convertibles debuting at the Show.  
 
The performance and luxury category is also noteworthy this year for being a showcase for new entries into the segment, including Hyundai's continued push upward with the premiere of the 2012 Azera, as well as the U.S. debut of entirely new manufacturers, like the Mastretta MXT from Mexico.

And, showing performance attributes are crossing traditional lines, the Fiat 500 Abarth demonstrates the further evolution of the once-overlooked compact category. A modified, 135-horsepower version of the recently reborn Fiat 500, the 500 Abarth, will join other "super" compact debuts including the Ford Fiesta ST and the Mazda3 SKYACTIV.  

As the first major North American auto show of the season, the 2011 L.A. Auto Show will host some of the industry's most important new vehicle debuts and set the tone for the rest of the year.

The dates are Nov. 16 and 17 for media days and Nov. 18-27 for the public.

For more information, visit: www.laautoshow.com.

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