The importance of being green in L.A.


By Ted Biederman editor

(November 17, 2010) LOS ANGELES — Highlights of the 2010 version of the Los Angeles Auto Show reflect once again the importance of being green.

BEV’s, plug-in hybrids, hybrids, diesels, hydrogen fuel cells, and maybe a compressed air machine are all the topics of conversation at major international auto events, and Los Angeles is no exception; in fact the L.A. show has been and continues to be the single most important venue for alternative fuel vehicles among the major auto shows.

L.A Auto Show attendees will not only see such entities as Chevy’s Volt plug-in and Nissan’s battery powered Leaf, but a myriad of other alt-fuel vehicles such as Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV and the Toyota RAV4 that uses Tesla’s lithium-ion battery technology. Two California companies — Coda Automotive and Fisker Automotive — will debut electric vehicles that will begin production in 2011. And for the first time, electric vehicles have vied for the Green Car of the Year award.

But as important as Kermit’s greens are, so too are the hundreds upon hundreds of cars and trucks that occupy the majority of space on the exhibit floor, including more than 50 world and North American premiers that will bow in this the car-crazy capital of the world.

Yes, we know, Detroit is Motor City, albeit smaller but wiser today than in years past and Beijing pushes people thru the turnstiles faster than a chef with a slick wok. But L.A. is L.A. with a zillion people who are famous for being famous and the most important market for generating buzz about cars — the whole world wants to know what’s hot amongst the hot.

They say if it sells in L.A. even Peoria will eventually buy it. The people of L.A. drive trends east. And for no other reason this car capital makes the other car capitals of the world sit up and take notice.

So for every Paris, Lindsey and Britney of the world and for every Tom, Dick, Harry, Judy and Trudye this show is for you…and for all those due east waiting to hear what you have to say about 2011, 2012 and beyond…

2011 Green Car of the Year Revealed


Green Car Journal announced the Chevrolet Volt has won its annual Green Car of the Year award for 2011. The Volt was chosen from a group of five finalists including the 2011 Ford Fiesta, 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

The Green Car of the Year award is a program that honors environmental leadership in the automobile field and recognizes vehicles that become available to consumers during the award year. For the first time, the Green Car of the Year finalists include two primarily electric-drive vehicles in addition to two hybrids and a high mile-per-gallon, gasoline internal combustion engine.

"These five 2011 finalists reflect an auto industry in transition," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of "It wasn't long ago when electric drive was a novelty. Now, it's expected that auto manufacturers will include electric drive in some form among their model offerings."

While four of the five nominees do incorporate electric drive, the Ford Fiesta nominee underscores that internal combustion continues to evolve in important ways. This hatchback achieves up to 40 EPA estimated highway fuel economy, running on conventional gasoline. Along with vehicles incorporating electric drive, a new generation of internal combustion gasoline and clean diesel models are expected to push efficiencies ever higher in the coming years.

Nominees must stand out as exemplary models that foward environmental performance in meaningful and quantifiable ways. Market significance and "newness" are also factors. All nominees must be on sale by January 1 of the award year.

Jurors included leaders of the nation's top environmental organizations, including Carl Pope, chairman of the Sierra Club; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society and Matt Petersen, president of Global Green USA. Also, Jay Leno, noted auto enthusiast and host of the "Tonight Show," as well as automotive icon Carroll Shelby joined Green Car Journal editors in rounding out the 2011 jury.

-- Ted Biederman

Here is a look at some of the new sheetmetal that is on display.


CONCEPT 6 — Direct from Paris for its North American premiere is the BMW Concept 6 Series Coupé. This design study for a premium-class 2+2-seater shows flowing lines and aesthetically sculpted surfaces that define the design where BMW coupé styling cues are given a modern rendition. Among the innovative details featured in this concept study are full LED headlights and a newly designed, freestanding Control Display for the iDrive operating system.

X3 — Boasting enhanced dynamics, ride comfort, interior space and versatility, the new BMW X3 is significantly different from its predecessor. Here for its North American launch the new BMW X3 is also the first BMW X model to feature electromechanical Servotronic steering as standard and the option of Drive Dynamic Control. Also unique in this segment are the driver assistance systems from BMW ConnectedDrive available for the new BMW X3, which include Adaptive Headlights, Head-Up Display and the rear view camera with Top View.


REGAL GS — Often seen as a concept, then as a pre-production vehicle, then introduced to select consumers in Miami the GS finally makes its official debut at the LA Auto Show. Based on the Opel Insignia OPC sport sedan the U.S. version is expected to be powered by a 2-liter turbocharged Ecotec inline 4 producing an expected 255-horsepower matched to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic according to the manufacturer.

Buick's Interactive Drive Control System is standard on the GS, allowing drivers to customize the driving experience by changing the suspension settings and steering sensitivity between three modes: standard, sport and GS. The 2012 GS goes on sales sometime in the second half of 2011.


CADILLAC URBAN LUXURY CONCEPT — Cadillac on Wednesday introduced the Urban Luxury Concept, a design study exploring a new type of vehicle that offers a luxury experience in a diminutive size. The Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept complements its compact dimensions with the design, features and technology for which Cadillac is known.

“The Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept celebrates its scale with intelligent, innovative content that makes it unique regardless of its size,” said Clay Dean, Director of GM North American Advanced Design and Cadillac Brand Champion. “It has a small exterior footprint, but is roomy inside.”

Conceived and designed in the Los Angeles area, where tight, confined parking areas for apartments, office buildings and even suburban homes are part of everyday driving, the concept weaves Cadillac’s iconic design elements into a form that eschews conventional vehicle design to answer the needs of those metropolitan motorists.

Comparable in size to popular city cars found in Paris, Shanghai and London, the Urban Luxury Concept demonstrates a departure from conventional vehicle design. It seats four, with easy access to all seats available via a pair of scissor-type doors that extend outward and rotate forward when opened. The design fosters a roomy passenger area, which is trimmed in exquisite materials and features next-generation interactive technology. Touch-pad screens and projected readouts take the place of most traditional gauges and serve as the audio and climate system controls – a design feature that helps open up the interior for greater passenger space.

“While small in size, this concept is an exploration of what Cadillac could be in the future, as the brand continues to focus on redefining industry standards for advanced vehicle design and integrated technology,” said Don Butler, vice president for Cadillac marketing.



2011 CAMARO CONVERTIBLE — Although 100 custom made Camaro convertibles made an appearance in this year’s Neiman Marcus holiday catalog (they sold out in three minutes) the LA Auto show will be the official world premier for the ragtop. While the Neiman cars sold for more than $75,000 a copy the everyman version will start at $30,000 including destination charges. The familiar choices of the 312-hp V6 or the 426-hp V8 for the SS trim will be available on the new convertible.


2011 CHRYSLER 200 — The long awaited Sebring sedan replacement makes its world debut here. Although Chrysler refers to the 200 as a mid-cycle refresh virtually every system in the sedan is new or upgraded. New sheet metal, a new V6 powertrain, a redesigned and retuned suspension and an all-new interior give the 200 its own identity.

The mid-size sedan features three trim levels (LX, Touring and Limited), all carry the 2.4-liter Inline 4. The LX has a four-speed automatic; the Touring and Limited have a six-speed auto. A 3.6-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic is available on the Touring and Limited.


2011 DODGE DURANGO — A world debut for the all-new Durango. Developed off the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, the new, smaller and more efficient Durango still sports three rows of seats and is available in four trim levels: Express; Crew; R/T; and Citadel.

All the trim levels are available with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Smart looking, comfortable and easy to drive give the Durango a new demeanor. Standard is the 3.6-liter V6 twin-cam with the iconic 5.7-liter V8 HEMI available as an option. Both engines feature variable-valve timing.

2011 DODGE CHARGER — The all-new Dodge flagship also makes its world debut here. Using some of the finest premium brand cars as benchmarks, the iconic Charger takes it sculpted sheet metal and new interior to new levels defined by more than 4,100 critical customer defined requirements. Add to that the new 3.6-liter V6 or the HEMI 5.7-liter V8 and what you’ll find is an infinitely improved Charger at all levels. Trim levels include SE, R/T and R/T AWD with a myriad of packages to entice every brand of enthusiast into the showroom.


2011 500 — This will be the first sighting of the American-spec version of the iconic little Italian that’s built in Mexico for the Chrysler Group. The 500 offers small-car buyers an alternative to say the Mini. The North American version of the Fiat 500 will be equipped with Fiat’s 1.4-liter, in-line four-cylinder featuring the MultiAir system.

MultiAir is a technology that delivers an increase in power up to 10 percent and a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions up to 10 percent. The all-new Fiat 500 will be available for ordering later this year in the Sport, Pop and Lounge models, followed by the all-new Fiat 500C (cabrio) in the spring of 2011.


KARMA — Responsible luxury says Henrik Fisker, CEO and executive design director for the California company that bears his name. “The Karma is the perfect car for LA – mixing world class styling and performance with industry leading economy and lower emissions than nearly any car available. It has the world’s largest solar roof panel on a car, wood trim reclaimed from California forest fires, and an available high-grade animal-free interior package PETA members will love.” 

The plug-in hybrid electric four-door sporty car making its North American debut boasts 403-hp, a top speed of 124 mph and fuel economy of 100 mpg equivalent. 


North American version of 2012 Ford Focus bows in LA

The all-new 2012 Ford Focus makes its North American debut with a sporty five-door hatchback and sleek four-door sedan, both taking center stage at the 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show.

The all-new Focus is expected to deliver 40 mpg, the only gas engine-powered vehicle with an automatic transmission in its segment to do so.

"Focus brings a desirable combination of dynamic design, outstanding driver engagement, unmatched levels of technology and impressive fuel economy," said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. "The new model should expand Focus appeal to a whole new generation of customers."

Focus is Ford's most significant global nameplate. With more than 10 million units sold since launch in 1998.

Focus is the second vehicle following Fiesta to be developed under the company's One Ford strategy. Focus demonstrates how to meet the universal needs of worldwide customers, while fine-tuning to suit regional preferences, says Ford.

"In every world market where Focus competes, customers are looking for expressive design, meaningful technologies, responsive performance and exceptional fuel economy," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. "Focus will set new standards for these comparatives and offer a class-leading range of standard and available content, enabled by its global scale."

The new Focus has a sleek and sporty design packed with affordable technologies. Developed in Europe and for sale in more than 120 markets worldwide, the all-new Focus will be a key element of the North American Ford product portfolio. The next-generation Focus range has been expanded to include a sporty ST model and a high-series Titanium model that is geared to drivers shifting from larger and luxury-class vehicles.

Focus goes on sale during the first quarter of 2011.


2012 MUSTANG BOSS 302 — After 42-years the Boss is back! American performance distilled by Ford to its purest race car form.

Making its auto show circuit debut the Boss has been crafted out of the 2011 GT, getting stronger, lighter, and more refined. “The decision to build a modern Boss was not entered into lightly,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “For us that meant a production Mustang that could top one of the world’s best — the 2010 BMW M3 — in lap times at Laguna Seca. We met our expectations.”


2011 Elantra — The new Elantra which will be built in Montgomery, Alabama will makes its North American debut here. Pictured here is the Korean version called Avante. Totally redesigned the new Elantra will join the Sonata and Santa Fe as built in the U.S.A. models. The three vehicles comprise more than 50% of Hyundai’s sales.


2012 M35h — The 2012 Infiniti M35h with Infiniti's Direct Response Hybrid technology, makes its North American debut here. The M Hybrid is based on the popular Infiniti M sedan and promises V8 performance with 4-cylinder fuel economy from a 302-horsepower (est.) 3.5-liter V6 supported by a 50 kW (67 horsepower est.) electric motor. Dubbed "the driver's hybrid," the M35h will be able to be driven on electric power alone at speeds up to 50 miles per hour. The compact Lithium-ion battery pack design also allows use of a spacious passenger cabin and ample trunk capacity.

Electric Vehicle Concept — Set to launch in 2013 the lux EV today is only a sketch with a promise of “inspired performance.” Infiniti promises a stylish, high performance five seat luxury vehicle with zero emissions technology.


C-X75 Concept — Direct from Paris this stunning range-extending supercar concept is both homage to the 75-years of Jaguar design and innovation and a promise to the future to build fast, beautiful cars with sustainable technology. In the case of the C-X75 that sustainability comes from four 195-hp electric motors, one at each wheel that in total produce 778-hp and 1,180 lb.-ft. torque. Two gas-turbines generate extended range capability to 560 miles.


2012 Range Rover Evoque — While the three-door was introduced in Paris the five-door debuts here in LA. Built on a modified version of the LR2 platform, the smallest and lightest Range Rover expands the buyer base with this new entry level vehicle that should be cross-shopped with BMW X3 and Audi Q5. Look for a 2-liter turbocharged direct injection engine that develops 240-hp to be the primary powerplant.


2012 MAZDA5 MULTI-ACTIVITY — An eye catching design that integrates Mazda’s Nagare (flow) design language the new 5 makes its U.S. debut here. Powered by a 2.5-liter making 157-hp the inline 4 can be paired with either a manual or automatic transmission.  The mini minivan still provides for six passengers in this “Zoom-Zoom” family transport vehicle.

SHINARI CONCEPT — The first vehicle to feature Mazda’s new global design language, Kodo (soul of motion) makes its U.S. debut at the show. The four-door sports coupe may never see the light of day as a production vehicle but it offers designers new ways to explore form and surface that can offer future designs greater strength and flexibility.


2012 MB CLS — The second generation of the CLS Class makes its North American debut here. This is the first significant redo of the vehicle that set the stage for the four-door coupe segment. True to its origins the CLS retains the key design elements while allowing for a new modern look starting upfront with a more upright grille. Altogether it’s a beautiful new rendition.  Also expect to see the CLS63 AMG outfitted with its new 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8. The AMG will without a doubt be more aggressive with unique trim, wheels and interior.


2012 i-MiEV ELECTRIC — Very similar in look to the already in production i-MiEV’s for Japan and Europe, the new vehicle making its debut here is larger and its interior is designed for American tastes.  The new wider body was crafted to meet the new crash testing rules put in place this year. The lithium-ion battery powered vehicle is expected to sell for approximately $30,000 before any federal or state tax credits or rebates.


2011 Quest — Making its debut in LA the new Quest is a complete redesign keeping it competitive with the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey and the gussied-up Chrysler Town & Country, all coming as 2011 redoes. The minivan market seems to be picking up so the new fashionable Quest is right on time with this intro.

2012 Murano CrossCabriolet — Calling it the “world’s first all-wheel-drive crossover convertible,” Nissan says the four-seater will be a two-door as pictured but sans the roll-bar. Few  details have been made available but the topless Murano is another important world debut for Nissan in LA.

Ellure Concept Sedan — Adding to the big Nissan splash in LA is a new sedan concept said to set “a new dimension to traditional sedan design – a dimension named innovation.” Whatever that means the Ellure four-door will be yet another world debut for Nissan.

2011 Leaf – Unless you’ve been asleep for the past year the introduction of the production version of the soon to be unleashed Leaf EV will be on hand. A finalist for the Green Car of the Year award the all-electric car is creating a bit of a stir and it is said that its entire 2011 production of 20,000 units is already sold out.

2012 GT-R U.S. Spec — This is the premier showing for the sports car that has been significantly refreshed including new front and rear bumpers that improve down-force keeping the beast better planted. The cd has been reduced to 0.26. Additional detail has been made to the body structure and suspension for improved handling and stability. Output has jumped up to 523-hp from 485 and torque is increased from 434 to 451 lb.-ft.



2011 911 SPEEDSTER — Making it North American debut it’s only the fourth model to carry the iconic name since the original 356 Speedster in 1953. In tribute to the original only 356 will be built with 100 headed to the U.S. 

Like the 911 Speedsters of the past (1988 and 1994) the new car features a lower windshield and the double-bubble hardcover for the manual soft top. The two seat roadster delivers 408-hp through a 3.8-liter flathead 6. The “Pure Blue” (exclusive color) Speedster carries near all 911 options and several exclusive to the Speedster. MSRP is $204,950 including destination charges.

1950 356 CABRIOLET — As part of Porsche’s 60th anniversary celebration in the U.S. and the launch of a search for Porsche classics sold in this country they came across a “distinguished” Porsche — a blue 1950 356 Cabriolet , a very rare car. Although not originally sold here it is owned by a Maryland family. 

The car is one of the very first series production 356s built in Stuttgart, after the company relocated from Gmund, Austria. Impeccably restored with original parts sourced from around the globe, the 356 will be on display here during the show.

2011 911 CARRERA GTS — This is the North American premier of the GTS, available as a coupe or cabriolet it brings 23 more horses than the Carrera S and narrows the gap with the GT3. With all this muscle it manages 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. The coupe starts at $104,050 and the cabriolet starts at$113,850, both include destination charges.



2011 Saab 9-4X – This is the last thing GM has done for Saab and it may be the best. Developed on GM’s Theta platform, the same found under the popular, new Cadillac SRX, the Swedish premium crossover will make its world debut using a choice of compact V6 engines, naturally-aspirated or turbocharged.

The 265 hp, 3.0-liter motor for entry-level and premium variants features direct fuel injection and variable valve timing; while the 300 hp, 2.8-liter exchanges direct injection for twin-scroll turbocharging and is exclusive to top-of-line Aero variants. Both engines are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions under adaptive, electronic control.

Don’t worry you won’t confuse this well structured and nicely crafted Scandinavian design with the nicely done Cadillac. While they share underpinnings there is not much else in common; each taking a separate path to the same premium marketplace.


IMPREZA DESIGN CONCEPT — Subaru is showing the Impreza Design Concept, which previews the carmaker's new "Confidence in Motion" design and brand strategy. The Impreza has been Subaru's global compact car since 1992.

Built to express possible future Subaru design elements, the Impreza Design Concept conveys a sporty and lively "four-door coupe" style. The Impreza Concept combines environmental compatibility and comfortable ride of the Impreza with the trusted performance that Subaru's Symmetrical All Wheel Drive provides. The designers blended two ideas – "dynamic flow and confident stance" — to showcase Subaru's engineering core values of dynamic performance, safety, driving enjoyment and quality. The Impreza Design Concept features a roomy four-passenger interior.

From the front, the Impreza Design Concept is clearly recognizable as a Subaru, with a hexagonal grille with spread wings in the center and hawk eye-style headlights. At the same time, the front view previews a new direction for the brand's design, with the hood, grille and headlights designed to project three-dimensional character.


2012 or 2013 RAV4 EV — After buying a $50 million stake in Tesla, Toyota has made a $60 million deal for lithium-ion batteries, motor and electronic controls from Tesla for a RAV4 EV under development and slated for introduction in 2012. This will be the world debut for the all-electric sport utility. 2012 could be a busy year for Toyota alt. fuel vehicles as they target a spring debut for the pending Prius Plug-in Hybrid EV.



2012 EOS HARDTOP CONVERTIBLE — With an updated design and numerous new features the Eos will make its world debut at the show. Highlighting the changes on the new Eos are new headlamps and grille consisting of three shiny black louvers, part of VW’s design DNA. Two part LED rear lights with fiber optic technology and a redesigned rear bumper with diffuser are new on the back end of Eos.

Inside is a new multi-functional IP with color display. A new Keyless Access system that also opens and closes the roof by wireless remote highlights a variety of new technical systems.

Design Challenge:
Automotive Design Studios envision 1,000-pound car

The Design Challenge is part of the Design Los Angeles Automobile Designers' Conference that is held during the Los Angeles Auto Show Press Days. Each year, a new Design Challenge theme is chosen and the major automotive design studios showcase their talents, competing against each other to flex their creativity and further explore new ideas in automotive design.

With consumers seeking to minimize consumption of the earth's resources, auto manufacturers and designers are challenged to meet these growing socio- and economic trends with style, while adhering to government and safety regulations.

This year's Design Challenge asks design studios to envision a 1,000-pound, four-passenger vehicle that is both comfortable and safe, while delivering satisfactory driving performance without sacrificing the styling consumers' demand. The entries range from vehicles made from organic materials and powered by compressed air, to futuristic models relying on the latest high-tech advancements.

For the last six years, the Design Challenge has been focused on the Southern California automotive design community. For the first time, Mercedes-Benz studios from Germany and Japan will join the competition to add an international perspective. The winning design will be announced during the Design Los Angeles Conference.

Judging criteria is based upon not only meeting the weight constraint (1,500 pounds maximum with occupants), but also for the artistic beauty, comfort, uniqueness of design, roadworthiness, sustainability, performance and user-friendliness of the vehicle.

2010 Design Challenge entries include:

General Motors Advanced Design Studio, North Hollywood, Calif. — The Cadillac Aera (Aero + Era) takes an innovative and stylistic approach to ultra-light weight vehicle design. A 1,000-pound 2+2 touring coupe, with a range of 1,000 miles utilizing alternative fuel.

Aera's highly advanced body structure utilizes a polyhedral, 3D lattice, mono-formed frame with a flexible pressurized polymer skin for body panels and glass, optimizing weight, aerodynamics and safety.


Honda Advanced Design Studio, Pasadena, Calif. — The Honda Air concept is a vision of the future of lightweight and alternative fuel performance vehicles. Inspired by the modern roller coaster, as well as skydiving wing-suits, the Air is powered by a compressed air and pneumatic regulator system.

At just under 800 pounds, the powerful anthem of pneumatic propulsion exemplifies Honda's concept of fun to drive. The pow[air] of dreams.


Mercedes-Benz R & D Japan: Advanced Design Center Japan — Leveraging values of the classic "Jin-Riki-Sha" (human powered rickshaw), the MAYBACH DRS "Den-Riki-Sha" (electric powered rickshaw) embodies the attributes of a radically new car culture in the near future.

The result: A futuristic composition of ultra light construction with a unique luxurious exterior and interior expression. Powered by a self balancing electric drive unit and controlled by an onboard computer plugged into a mega city's transport infrastructure, the MAYBACH DRS delivers a smooth, luxurious journey cross town.


Mazda Design Americas, Irvine, Calif. — With each component in the MX-0 redesigned to carry out the functions of several MX-5 components, a multitude of parts have been replaced with fewer, simplified ones, using innovative lightweight materials.

With its ultra-light mass pushed by high-torque electric motors, the MX-0 delivers impossible acceleration and instant cornering. It's more like flying than driving.

Mercedes-Benz R & D: Advanced Design Center, Carlsbad, Calif. — The Mercedes-Benz Biome utilizes technologies from nature to achieve ultimate light weight and seamless integration into the ecosystem.

Grown in the ecologically sustainable Mercedes-Benz Nursery, each vehicle is grown from two seeds. One seed, the front star, grows the interior of the vehicle from Mercedes-Benz DNA, while the seed capsule creates the vehicles exterior. Both seeds grow together and are genetically engineered into customer's specifications.


Nissan Design America, La Jolla, Calif. — The Nissan iV is a super-lightweight sports tourer that showcases "organic synthetics," a revolutionary and sustainable manufacturing technique in which automotive parts are cultivated like agriculture.

Every detail of the Nissan iV is engineered toward renewable, lightweight strength. Derived from fast-growing ivy and re-enforced with spider silk composite, the biopolymer frame is flexible and ultra-light, yet extremely robust.

Mercedes-Benz R & D: Advanced Design Center Germany — The Smart 454 is manufactured by incredibly high tech robots that look as friendly and cuddly as our grandmothers. The Tridion-frame (chassis), knit by "Smart Granny Robots" (otherwise known as SGRs), creates complex shapes and forms out of carbon fibre, enabling the geometry to be optimized in strength and weight.

Calty Design Research, Newport Beach, Calif. — The NORI concept presents the idea that the body and chassis are one as a PODULAR form; that is designed to be strong, light and beautiful.

Created using "nori," (the Japanese word for seaweed) combined with a carbon fiber weave for strength, the NORI not only reduces weight and the number of parts while capturing and generating energy, but minimizes the impact on the ecosystem.


Volvo Car Monitoring and Concept Center, Camarillo, Calif. — Minimizing weight and complexity, while maximizing driving enjoyment, is the philosophy behind the Volvo Air Motion Concept.

Thousands fewer components are employed than in a traditional car thanks to the powerful, yet simple, compressed air motors. The Volvo Air Motion demonstrates the beauty and purity of Scandinavian design and delivers a guilt free, raw driving experience.

Entries will be judged by Tom Matano, director of Industrial Design at San Francisco's Academy of Art University; Imre Molnar, dean of Detroit's College for Creative Studies; Stewart Reed, chairman of Transportation Design, Pasadena's Art Center College of Design and Clive Hawkins, president of Aria Product Development.

Modern electric vehicles bring a new sense of green to LA

This year's show marks the historic arrival of the modern electric car era. After years of anticipation, consumers can finally purchase mass-produced electric vehicles complete with factory warranties.

The first two highly anticipated vehicles to kick-off this modern era of electric transportation include Chevrolet's range extended electric Volt and Nissan's battery electric Leaf. Los Angeles will be one of the first markets to receive these two vehicles in November and December of this year and the LA Auto Show will be the ideal place to learn all about EV ownership.

Featuring more than a dozen electric drive vehicles arriving in the near future, the show will map out how electric transportation will progress in the coming years.

Some of the electric vehicles coming to the LA Auto Show: