After the week-long debauchery in Vegas for the SEMA Show and a day spent in beautiful downtown Buttonwillow for our Super Lap Battle finals, we had but just one major automotive event left to tend to: the LA Auto Show. With the FR-S concept already well documented, the only truly exciting car we were looking forward to seeing here was Subaru’s BRZ Concept—and with the Toyota 86 debut having been unveiled just a week after the BRZ Concept in Japan, well, you can pretty much guess that the worldwide buzz over the new RWD coupe was the talk of the town. Other than that, a fairly mild auto show in terms of new releases, but hey, big ups to Hyundai for giving us journalists a treat with a private show featuring John Legend. Now, here’s a look at the cars:
Subaru BRZ Concept & Production Model
Before their official press announcement and what was originally to be an unveiling, we noticed early on that a very distinct, Subaru-blue hued coupe was sitting front and center on the main stage, like a hot act waiting to be tipped heavily—we couldn’t resist sneaking an early peek. Subaru decided to bare all early, the BRZ Concept open to all eyes. Clearly, this version of the collaboration between Toyota and Subaru looks like it’s much closer to a production model than the FR-S Concept, and judging by the production model photos released the same time
the Toyota 86 made its world debut in Japan, it really wasn’t far off at all. For the most part, the front end retains most of the same look with the exception of the carbon-fiber lip spoiler and foglights; there are no carbon-fiber side skirts and the rear lights have a new shape and clear lenses (we would’ve preferred the all-red tails ourselves). Perhaps we might see some of these details come back in the form of STI-related accessories? We’ll make a trip to the champagne room with the BRZ, if that’s the case…
Ford Focus ST
As if the scent of hot dogs and tubs of free Coke on ice wasn’t enough to lure us into their booth, Ford did us proud by displaying the Focus ST. For those in the know, this isn’t the crappy hand-me-down turned airport rental you’re used to; this will be the one Focus that Europe has gotten to know and love for years, the lovechild crafted from the European Team RS and US SVT engineers. It’s the first time North America will have one as an option, so take advantage of the turbocharged 2.0L EcoBoost engine, its six-speed manual gearbox and all the other unique ST bits that make this the one Focus you should set your eyes upon.
Nissan’s GT-R Adds Muscle to Its Already Buff Package
The Nissan GT-R might still be well outof reach of most our means, but that doesn’t mean we can’t admire the damn thing. For 2013, they’ve upped the power in the VR38DETT, taking it up 15 horses for a total of 545hp; torque is also increased to 463lb-ft from 448lb-ft. A premium Black Edition model will also be made available, with a retuned suspension, special black RAYS wheels, leather Recaro seats, a handcrafted dry carbon rear spoiler, as well as a light-up tachometer ring to match the shift position indicator, and a RearView monitor on all models. Ah, someday…