LA Auto Show Preview: Jaguar Fuels Desire for New F-TYPE and more

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When the Los Angeles Auto Show holds its media preview on Wednesday, it’ll become more apparent than ever that in the world of cars, as in some other things, California remains vastly disconnected from the rest of America.

That’s because the nation’s strictest emissions standards and laws mandating electric-vehicle sales put a premium for auto brands on showing the best side of their electrification efforts at the L.A. show. And so while EVs have continued to sell at a snail’s pace across most of the rest of the United States, California has become a robust market for electric vehicles.

It’s also America’s hottest market for sexy cars, of course, which is why Jaguar USA is at the LA Auto Show. The brand hosted a pre-show event Tuesday night to unveil the all-new F-TYPE two-seater. It also unveiled the trailer for Desire, a short film being released next year, which stars Emmy Award-winning actor Damian Lewis, produced by Ridley Scott Associates with music by Lana Del Rey. Check it out below along with other previews at the LA Auto Show.[more]

Here’s a glimpse at what some other brands will be highlighting in L.A. this week:

Acura will debut a production version of its RLX sedan after it unveiled a protype at the New York auto show in April.

Audi plans no world introductions but will detail its new diesel-engine strategy for the United States, which basically extends an offering of the Turbo Direct Injection clean-diesel option across the brand’s mainstream lineup for the American marketplace.

Chevrolet will be debuting the Spark EV, an electric version of the brand’s Korean-made subcompact, which it is offering first in California.

Chrysler will take the wraps off an S version of its Chrysler Town & Country minivan, which dresses up the long-selling model with amenities such as a segment-exclusive Blu-Ray DVD player and with bold new exterior colors such as Deep Cherry Red.

Fiat plans to unveil the 500e, an electric version of its sole vehicle family so far in the U.S. market, the 500c Abarth featuring Beats by Dr. Dre audio, and the 500L.

Ford will ease into public view a minivan-like Wagon version of its Transit Connect, which until now has been a business-oriented vehicle. Ford hasn’t sold a minivan for five years, but its new “people mover” will go on sale late next year. Meanwhile, the company also plans to unveil the new ST (for Sports Technologies) version of its Fiesta subcompact that took some of its design cues from video games.

Honda will be testing the waters hoping for a good reception for the revamp of its Civic, a much-criticized 2012 design. Just 18 months after Consumer Reports and other third parties dumped on the first new version of the car, Honda is coming back with a new instrument panel and center cluster that are meant to address the gripes.

Kia will show off a redesigned 2014 Kia Forte that is lower, longer and wider than what it replaces.

Mercedes-Benz will show off the SLS AMG Black Series, which sports a 6.3-liter V-8 engine and is billed as capable of reaching 196 mph.

Mini will debut a Clubvan small delivery wagon based on its five-door Clubman passenger wagon, but with only two seats and a flat floor. It goes on sale in early 2013.

Porsche will sport its redesigned 2014 Cayman coupe, according to reports.

Subaru will stage its redesigned 2014 Forester crossover-utility vehicle, which is roomier than its predecessor with unchanged exteior dimensions. It goes on sale in the first quarter.

Toyota will show off a redesigned RAV4 that goes on sale early next year. The model will remain a bit larger than most of its competition but reportedly delete a six-cylinder engine option.

Volkswagen will introduce a redesigned 2013 Beetle Convertible with three engines, including a clean-diesel option. The soft-top goes on sale in December.

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