Any color car you want as long as it is green

The annual car lust event is coming to the LA Convention Center from November 18 through Thanksgiving Weekend and the pre-show announcements have a decidedly green tint to them.  The first large show on the new auto calendar sets the agenda for the year.  Among the 1,000 refreshed or redesigned cars, 50 vehicles are being introduced with about half of these completely new vehicles that are extended mileage (> 40 mpg ICE), Low Emission (LEVs), Hybrid Electrics (HEVs) or Electric Vehicles (EVs).   Of course, the other half of the brand new vehicles are high performance and luxury badges that are always star attractions.  And while this later group can turn you green with envy, they aren’t likely to win many plaudits from your neighborhood Prius drivers.

The list of green entrants includes the new Chevy Spark, CODA sedan, Ford Focus EV and XD – a 3-seater from Croatian speciality vehicle designers DOK-ING (pictured here).  The new model year versions of Nissan Leaf, several versions of Toyota’s Prius including a plug-in, and several Honda hybrids will make their debut.

And the show will again host Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year competition.  The finalist this year include:  the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, 2012 Mitsubishi i, 2012 Toyota Prius v and 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI.  The GCOY is meant to demonstrate how much environmental progress is being made by the automobile industry.  This year’s crop of candidates all demonstrate some aspect of greening of the industry:  electrics, high-efficiency engines, low emissions, advanced technology and alternative fuels. 

The auto show is also a showcase for new manufacturers, after market add-ons and always very popular sneak peek at concept cars – the design themes for future models.  Journalist will be invited to ride & drive new and experimental models from all the major brands – Audi, Chevy, Lexus, Mercedes and Toyota as well as fast growing Fiat, Kia and Hyundai.

Of course, some reprobates will only go so far in establishing their green bona fides.  Perhaps this Cayman R would be a good first step toward living a sustainable lifestyle.  The new version – lighter, more powerful hard top boxer in pretty Peridot Metallic:   175 mph track speed, 330 hp, 6 speed manual, 2855 pounds of Teutonic pleasure while getting 27 mpg highway and 0-60 in under 5 seconds. 

Now if we could just get a CA & Fed rebate for this green car….. 

Go visit the show when it opens in a couple of weeks.  Whether you’re looking for the latest environmentally sensible plug-in or the decidedly nasty 580 hp Camaro ZL1.  It is a view into the future of automobiles, the industry and personal transportation that is worth the modest price of admission.

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