To the naysayers who insist that auto shows are on their way out of existence, I point to this year's Automobility LA as Exhibit A on why that's not the case.
The show, which opened to the public last Friday, was absolutely swarming with media during the preshow press events. Both exhibit halls at the Los Angeles Convention Center were filled with a plethora of brands.
Activations spilled out onto the nearby streets and included an EV test track powered by Electrify America, and a fun charging exhibit hosted by Mini USA.
Mini built a giant electric vehicle charger displayed in close proximity to the show on the corner of West Olympic Boulevard and Flower Street.
The automaker says the charging station, which takes the shape of an RC controller, was inspired by the world of radio-controlled cars.
The charger was fully functional Nov. 18-19, the first two days of the LA auto Show. EV owners interested in plugging into the RC charger could look for a parking space with the message “Out-fun the competition” spray-painted within, as well as signage on either side pointing arrows and the message “Charge this way.”
Mini wasn't alone in its education efforts regarding electric vehicles, although the average Californian is likely to be considerably better versed about the ins and outs of EVs compared to many other parts of the country.
There were several vehicle models that made their debut at the show, including a radically all-new Toyota Prius. The sporty exterior styling coupled with a flowing, one-motion silhouette is a huge change from the vehicle's current generation.
The original 2001 Prius, Latin for “To Go Before” became the world’s first production hybrid car and ushered in a new generation of vehicles that combined an electric motor with a high efficiency engine to squeeze more miles out of every gallon.
The 2023 model version of the vehicle will be the most fuel-efficient Prius ever, with up to a manufacturer-estimated 57 combined MPG. The fifth generation hybrid powertrain packs a punch with up to 196 horsepower.
Toyota also debuted a bZ Compact SUV concept vehicle, giving a glimpse of what the future could be with the Toyota bZ Compact SUV, extending the vision under the “Toyota bZ” brand umbrella.
Subaru of America also unveiled the all-new 2024 Impreza compact car with new styling, in-vehicle technology, performance and safety. This 6th generation Impreza features a sportier 5-door hatchback design. A 10% stiffer chassis and improved performance are promised by the automaker.
The brand has some history with the show. The Impreza debuted 30 years ago at the 1992 Los Angeles Auto Show, offering customers a value-packed compact car with available Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
A pioneer in the compact car segment, Impreza was the only vehicle at the time to offer all-wheel drive. The Impreza also laid the foundation for the legendary Subaru WRX, the performance car with rally championships spanning four decades.