2009 Mini E
Electric cars – any electric cars – have been about 10 years away for a good 30 years or so. Until now. If you live in Los Angeles or New York City and want to drive electric, go to www.miniusa.com and hope yours is the lucky number drawn. The 2010 Mini E is exactly that: A fully electric version of the little hatchback that's designed for urban driving, but with the fun that Mini promises.
Photo Credit: Ron Perry
2010 Nissan Cube
Scion's boxy xB has had the wheeled-shipping-container market to itself for far too long. Nissan has stepped up to the plate with the Cube, a seriously small but cleverly styled compact that slots in under the new xB. Its signature styling element is wrap-around rear glass that only wraps around one side. It's eye-catching, to say the least, and we think dreamers will love it.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 3
Honda Insight Concept
OK, true, this is a concept, but almost in name only since the production version of the Honda Insight Concept shown at the 2008 L.A. Auto Show will go on sale early next year. The Insight is a hybrid, roughly the same size and shape as the Toyota Prius, but with a price tag that rumors suggest will start at less than $20,000. Pinch us.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 4
2010 Ford Fusion
"Wow, that sure is a big chrome grille." That was the initial reaction at least one of us had upon seeing the 2010 Ford Fusion that debuted at the 2008 L.A. Auto Show. But the Fusion is refined inside, with more power under the hood, and a hybrid version that not only gets better city mileage than the Toyota Camry hybrid, but has a very cool digital dash as well. Positively dreamy, if you ask us.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 5
2010 Mercury Milan
All of the good stuff we just said about the 2010 Ford Fusion applies to the 2010 Mercury Milan that debuted alongside it at the 2008 L.A. Auto Show. It boasts the same powertrain upgrades, a similarly improved interior, and the same Camry-pulping hybrid powertrain, that gets up to 6 mpg better mileage in the city. It also boasts styling that's a little easier on some eyes.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 6
2010 Lincoln MKZ
The 2010 Lincoln MKZ doesn't have the hybrid powertrain of the new Fusion and Milan, but it does have some very worthwhile improvements, from what we saw at the 2008 L.A. Auto show. First, it has a greatly improved interior, one that does away with the odd retro theme of the old car for a modern, attractive and more upscale look. Second, it has a face that looks much more similar to the Lincoln MKS sedan, and less like a Fusion with a nose job. Since those were the two biggest complaints we've had about the MKZ, consider them dreams fulfilled.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 7
2011 Chevy Volt
Up until very recently, many thought that the 2011 Chevy Volt would remain nothing but a dream car. But the plug-in hybrid – GM prefers "extended range electric vehicle" – that could provide up to 40 miles of pure electric driving was at the show, and we can't wait to take it for a spin. The interior is pure dream car, too...imagine driving an iPod, and you're most of the way there.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 8
2009 Pontiac G6
We'll be the first to admit that the Pontiac G6 isn't exactly a dream car. However, it's been a strong seller, and the 2009 Pontiac G6 brings some noteworthy changes. There are improvements underhood, with more power and a six-speed automatic for the four cylinder versions. The nose and tail have been revised, and look significantly better. Finally, the interior has been upgraded as well, with nicer materials and better audio and climate controls.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 9
2010 Mazda 3
Mazda has won critical and public acclaim for its Nagare series of dream cars, and the 2010 Mazda 3 that debuted at the 2008 L.A. Auto Show is the first production car where some of that lineage is clearly evident. The pronounced grille opening in front and flowing fenders all remind us of those concept cars, but the result is still a practical, comfortable and attractive compact sedan. Want to drive a dream car to work? Here you go.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 10
2010 Kia Soul
Of all the cars we've seen lately, the 2010 Kia Soul stays closest to the original concept car. The production Kia Soul shown at the 2008 L.A. Auto Show stays very true to the original concept car that was introduced at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show. Designed to compete with the Scion xB, the new 2010 Nissan cube and other hip compacts, the Soul has the style and outright cool factor to pull it off.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 11
More live updates -- all day long -- from the 2008 L.A. auto show
MyRide's 2008 L.A. auto show coverage is a real-time, non-stop affair. And as long as there are new cars, concept cars and world premieres being unveiled at the L.A. auto show, we'll be collecting them and adding pages, photos and video to the stories like the one you. So over the next few days -- or even just a couple of hours from now -- you're invited to return to the 2008 L.A. auto show story you've just finished to see what amazing new cars and concepts we've added to it.
In the meantime, check out these other all-new highlights from the 2008 L.A. auto show:
Photo Credit: Ron Perry