Here Come the Auto Shows: L.A.’s Up First

Frankfurt and Tokyo were the appetizers, but here comes the main course — the Los Angeles Auto Show, which kicks off on Friday, Nov. 16 and winds up on Sunday, Nov. 15. More than 40 auto debuts are scheduled during the show, including the 2009 Pontiac Vibe, the redesigned 2008 Toyota Sequoia, and the 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt (above).

The new Bullitt, which is a particularly intriguing debut, will feature a slightly souped-up V8 engine, a specially tuned exhaust, and Dark Highland Metallic exterior paint that mimics the car driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 cop-and-chase film “Bullitt.” The new Bullitt will mimic the original Mustang GT 390 in a number of other ways as well. Like the original car, the 2008 version will be stripped of its exterior badges, scoops, and spoilers, with the exception of the a “Bullitt” graphic on the rear trunklid. Even the chrome pony on the new black-mesh grille will be absent, as it was on the original car.

The BMW 1-Series coupes and convertible will receive their official U.S. unveiling in L.A., as will the Bentley Continental GT Speed (see “What Would George Washington Drive?” below). Other cars scheduled for their U.S. debuts include the Lamborghini Reventon, the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, the Jaguar XF, and the Mini Clubman, a cool little number based on the popular Mini, with a longer wheelbase and a vertically split tailgate. A number of concept cars are also scheduled to be unveiled, including the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the Audi A1 subcompact.

Finally, the Green Car of the Year will be announced at the L.A. Auto Show on Nov. 15th. Reportedly, the nominees have been narrowed to five vehicles. We’ll have to wait until next week to find out which car will be declared the winner. Stay tuned for more info on all the unveilings at the L.A. Auto Show.