The city of Los Angeles and I have a long love/hate history. The traffic along the 110 brings out unmentionable evil thoughts. The traffic in Beverly Hills inspires feelings of pure love, though that’s mostly due to the rumble of Maseratis.
I love the ocean. I hate the heat. I love Disneyland. I hate earthquakes. You get the idea.
I also love the annual LA Auto Show, a showcase of shiny awesomeness with a hint of the kind of extravagance only LA can provide. This year’s show has featured plenty of exciting cars, some of the most interesting of which are shown after the jump.
2012 Jaguar XKR-S convertible
Jaguar is making only 25 of these beauties available in the U.S., so it’s no surprise they are sold out already. What do the lucky 25 owners of the top XK get? First of all, their bank accounts are nearly $140,000 lighter, but they’ll get the fastest and most powerful open-top Jaguar ever built.
2012 FIAT 500 Abarth
This new American-market version of the viciously cool Abarth 500 has a turbocharged engine producing 160 horsepower and performance-tuned steering and suspension, plus an exhaust sound that rumbles as much as a 1.4-liter 4-banger can rumble.
Umm… that’s the big redesign? The Lincoln front end is still too toothy and top-heavy for my tastes, but Ford hopes the changes to its premium brand can pave a road to profitability and competitiveness.
Porsche Panamera GTS
Forgive the cliche, but the Panamera GTS takes the somewhat bloated sports sedan’s performance and turns it up to eleven. It has a more powerful 430-horsepower engine and a lower body. The GTS can scoot from zero to 60 in a scant 4.3 seconds.
Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder
The “2” in its name signifies that this Gallardo is rear-wheel drive, instead of all-wheel drive, like most Lamborghinis, giving the car a more traditional sports-car feel. It’s powered by a 550-horsepower V10 engine and can go from 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds. How about that – it beats the Panamera GTS by only three-tenths of a second…
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible
With all the attention recently given to the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, we should take a moment and acknowledge Chevy’s worthy competitor. The Camaro ZL1 is the most powerful convertible Chevrolet has ever sold, with a 6.2-liter 580-horsepower V8 lurking beneath the hood. It also has the same magnetic ride control system used in Cadillacs.
Which of these would win your vote for Best in Show?