Entering the 2012 L.A. Auto Show, I think I had the same rush of questions that pretty much everyone in that position does:

Does this town really have that many car-lovers? Can I touch the cars? Can I drive them? Can I have them? Did I remember to make a mental note of where I parked? Will someone try to sell me a car that looks like a shark?

(If you’re curious, the answers are: yes, usually, occasionally but only outside, maybe but only in exchange for money, oh God no, and yes.)

Luckily, once you’re inside, you stop asking questions — and start drawing conclusions. Here’s my photo diary of the event and 10 (pretty much) infallible truths I learned. You can click the photos to make them bigger.

1. Bright colors are in; Hollywood stops are out

Fiat 500e making its world debut.


Chevy Tru 140S concept car boasts 40 mpg while also making you crave a Starburst.

2. Bond drives an Aston Martin — and you won’t soon forget it!

Because, well, Aston Martin won’t let you.

3. The (much anticipated) “Coolest Font” award goes to: Porsche

Why do I like that so much?
That same Porsche GTS in full view.

4. This is now officially my favorite car ever

The aforementioned shark car from The Morgan Motor Company.

5. The future is now, and it’s hogging all the best lighting

Nissan Hi-Cross Concept, making its North American debut, boasts a hybrid power train and seating for 7 in 3 rows of seats.
BMW i3 Coupe, making its world debut, is an all-electric vehicle capable of hitting 0 to 62 mph in less than 8 seconds.
The Mercedes-Benz Ener-G Force concept car runs on hydrogen and electric power. Though it’s designed (loosely) as the highway patrol car of 2025 L.A., it’s more likely it’ll turn into a villainous Transformer 5 seconds from now. Someone please double-check that I’m still alive.

6. The “Most-Curvaceous” award goes to: BMW

Their i8 Spyder, making its North American debut. Va-va-voom. (And it’s a plug-in hybrid no less!)

7. Someone at Porsche mixed up their shipments

“I’m so very alone.”

8. The Smart Fortwo Electric Drive is supposedly the tiniest consumer car in America …

… story checks out. (That’s me, nearly reaching headlight-to-taillight.)

9. Mini is planning a top-secret move into home decor

Just an ordinary lamppost, you say?
How dare you!

10. The “Most-Whimsical Display” award goes to: Chevy

Camaro on a giant Hot Wheels track. Ah, that takes me back.

So just how good was the L.A. Auto Show?

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then these pics say it all.

Around the nation | Getting there


about Alex

As copywriter for Esurance, Alex had professional experience in everything from film to literature to (thanklessly!) correcting the grammar in friends' emails. As a fervent Minnesota sports fan, he spends most of his non-writing time gently weeping into cereal bowls.