Stud: 2009 Nissan 370Z
What makes the 2009 Nissan 370Z a stud? DNA. Bred for performance by Nissan's best engineers, the latest generation of Nissan's VQ V-6 (now displacing 3.7 liters, hence the name), puts out 332 horsepower -- not a bad output for a $29,930 sports car. The DNA is also clear in the 2009 Nissan 370Z exterior styling -- there's just enough original Datsun 240Z in the new car to make it look like a natural athlete. Look for this stud to show up at your Nissan dealer in January.
Photo Credit: Staff
Stud: 2010 Ford Mustang
The ponycar king of the 2008 L.A. auto show is none other than the 2010 Ford Mustang GT. Ah, sweet V-8 power just begging to peel the rubber off the rear tires, and a look that captures the eyes. The 2010 Ford Mustang is a 2010, all right, but with a vigorous nod to the 1960s. The real move forward for the 2010 Ford Mustang GT, however, belongs to the other senses, like touch, taste and smell, thanks to an interior that's nothing short of a revolution.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 3
Stud: Honda Insight Concept
Let’s say you want to drive a hybrid, because you figure that you owe the planet for giving you your entire existence and all that jazz. However, let’s also say that you don’t have the 25 large it takes to get into the King of Hybrids, the Toyota Prius. Heck, you don’t even have the $22,000 for a Honda Civic hybrid. What to do? Well, how about a sub-$20,000 Honda Insight? Going on sale early next year, the Honda Insight Concept that debuted at the 2008 L.A. Auto Show is far and away a stud, not because it has lots of power or performance, but because it brings hybrid driving to the masses.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 4
Stud: 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder
Talk about a shoo-in. How could we not vote a 560-horsepower, all-wheel drive, convertible Italian exotic sports car onto our list of studs? Debuting at the 2008 L. A. Auto Show, the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder not only is one of the sexiest and most powerful cars on display, it also has one of the longest names. But no matter. Who wouldn’t want to drive, or simply be seen in, this dramatically styled automobile? The fact that it actually drives at least as good as it looks is practically icing on the cake.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 5
Dud: Honda FC Sport Concept
OK, this was a close call between Stud and Dud. We think the idea of a fuel-cell powered sports car is both kinda cool and futuristic, especially with the mid-engined (fuel-celled?) arrangement in the FC Sport Concept, which debuted at the 2008 L.A. Auto Show. From most angles, it looks pretty cool too, and we like the central driving position, which reminds us of one of our favorite exotics of all time, the McLaren F1. Then you get to the back, and the long tail sticking out that makes the FC Sport look like it’s about to poop out another car, and the whole thing suddenly falls flat.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 6
Stud: 2009 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL 65 Black Series
With 661 horsepower and 738 lb.-ft. of torque from its 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine, outrageously extroverted styling and performance that is sure to cause nosebleeds, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz AMG SL 65 Black Series that debuted at the 2008 L.A. Auto Show is so studly that we’re pretty sure it actually runs on pure testosterone. Of course, pure testosterone is a pretty expensive fuel, but if you can already foot the $299,000 bill for an SL 65 Black Series, then filling the tank with human performance hormone shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 7
Dud: BMW X6 ActiveHybrid
Although at least one of us on staff still thinks the BMW X6 looks pretty cool, the vast majority of opinion runs counter to that. And all of us have to admit that, despite the promises made by BMW, the X6 is a vehicle without a solid mission statement. So we’re not entirely sure that trying to green up its image with a mild hybrid system is really going to sway us one way or the other. Sure, we like the idea of better fuel economy, but this isn’t that much better. Now, if BMW wants to get serious about its green image and introduce a diesel version of the X6, that might actually make our studs list. But for now...dud.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 8
Dud: 2010 Ford Mustang
It's a Dud (in addition to already being a stud):
For all the first-class marketing -- including a brilliant 2010 Ford Mustang Striptease campaign -- that Ford has been building anticipation for the new Mustang flawlessly. Then came the unveiling at the 2008 L.A. auto show. Studly: Good looking car. Good retro styling with a modern twist. Coupe and convertible. Dudly: Looks a lot like the Ford Mustang we've been praising. Same horsepower as the car it replaces. Less horsepower than the Dodge Challenger and Chevy Camaro that it's going to be competing against. The 2010 Ford Mustang is cool, but it doesn't move the needle, change the game, or polish up any cliche we can think of. Yes, it's a stud, and sexy and worth waiting for, but so is the current Ford Mustang. Nice interior, but where's the new part?
Photo Credit: StaffPage 9
Dud: 2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Now, let us be perfectly clear here: This is not an indictment of all Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupes. Quite the opposite, we think the ostentatiously styled, teak-wood bedecked reverse-hinged door Roller is the epitome of luxury driving. However, we do wonder what exactly caused someone to paint one of these magnificent beasts sweat-stain yellow, and what possessed Rolls-Royce to actually put said vehicle on display for the world to see. If we had a WTF award, this would win it.
Photo Credit: StaffPage 10
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