It may be over, but LA Auto Show news is still buzzing through the auto industry media and the Internet. The show was the site where the Green Car Journal named the 2011 Chevrolet Volt as the Green Car of the Year. It is the first electric vehicle to be given the honor. Moreover, the Cadillac Aera 2+2 Touring Coupe and the Smart 454 WWT tied for the Design Challenge Award. The contest asked automotive design studios to create a four-passenger 1,000 pound car.
The event was also the showplace for the introduction of new models and the unveiling of cool concept vehicles. Kia showcased its new 2011 Optima hybrid, which uses the same powertrain as the Korean manufacturer's 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid - but it sports more radical styling. Mitsubishi showed its iMiEV electric car specifically designed for the U.S. market and Nissan introduced its 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet with a 3.5 liter, V6 engine and Xtronic continuously variable transmission. Jaguar showed off its new 2011 XJ, which comes in six models, ranging in price from $72,700 to $113,200. All models are powered by an AJ-V8 third generation 5.0 liter V8 engine. The British car maker also showed off its new 2011 XK, which is available in two models -- a coupe and a convertible. A 5.0 liter naturally aspirated V8 powers the car but a 510 horsepower supercharged engine is also available as an option. The most expensive version of the car helps to celebrate Jaguar's 75th birthday. The XK price runs from $83,000 to $104,655 for the special edition 75th anniversary coupe. Buick unveiled its 2012 LaCross hybrid which has an EPA rated 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. MSRP is said to be $30,000. Finally, Porsche showed its 2012 Cayman R, which is lighter than the previous Cayman and shows a number of exterior styling upgrades.
Of course, there were a number of concept vehicles that were exhibited. Nissan showcased its Ellure, which features boomerang headlamps and taillights with lots of angles and curves to its uniquely styled exterior. The car features a supercharged 2.5 liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine and 25kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery. Jaguar's concept vehicle was the C-X75, which helps the car company celebrate its 75th anniversary and shows where Jaguar plans to go for the future. The 205 mph four-wheel drive supercar can run in a pure electric mode for 68 miles on a single charge. It also features lightweight micro gasoline turbines which quickly recharge the batteries to increase the car's range to 560 miles. Each wheel has its own electric motor and thus the car is all-wheel drive. Subaru showed the Impreza Design Concept which features a 2.0 liter boxer engine and continuously variable transmission.
Car companies also showed off some new electronics. MINI Cooper revealed an iPhone app that allows the car to integrate into web radio, Twitter and other functions that are in the phone. Chrysler showed its next generation UConnect Infotainment system which has fewer buttons than the current UConnect system.
It goes without saying that this review only scratches the surface on all the cars, concepts and other news surrounding this year's L.A. Auto Show -- one of the greatest shows of any kind anywhere.