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2014 L.A. Auto Show Tour: Hydrogen Power Play and West Coast Madness

Jochen Knecht
Tour of the LA Autoshow 2014
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D √ľnne disposable plastic bags are in from June 2015 California banned. Much too polluting, says Governor Jerry Brown. Very commendable, no question about it. However, if the good man should stop by the Los Angeles Convention Center at the auto show in the next few days, it should ruin his mood. There are no plastic bags. But there is also very little groundbreaking in terms of environmentally friendly mobility. That was different. It wasn't that long ago that virtually no manufacturer dared to go to the fair without an eco-car. Long history. Today, the people of the trade fair squeeze their noses flat on the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. You can also understand. The return of a legend. Already an absolute eye-catcher in 1965 and today with provocatively displayed angularity and more than 500 hp from a 5.2-liter V8, sorry Mr. Brown, simply razor-sharp.

Fuel cell - some do it, others hint

Only a few do it more discreetly in LA 2014. Toyota, for example. With the Mirai, the Japanese show the world's first mass-produced hydrogen car. A car entirely to the taste of the ecologically correct Californians. It is not for nothing that the largest Prius taxi fleet in the world drives around here. You just have to be able to afford it, the clean fuel cell future. You have to invest more than 79,000 euros to put one of the 100 Mirais destined for Germany in your garage. Despite the really extremely unfavorable design, the Mirai is a giant technological step that no other manufacturer can take. And certainly none from Europe. We already know everything from the Prius. Toyota builds the series car, and from the old continent there are mainly series cars that show that they can. If you really wanted to.

And so it is not surprising that the Volkswagen Group in L.A. is conjuring up two hydrogen studies at the same time as the Mirai premiere. Audi has the A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro with it. 'With the concept car H-Tron we are showing that we have mastered fuel cell technology as well. As soon as the market and infrastructure justify it, we can start the production process,' said Audi Chief Technology Officer Ulrich Hackenberg at the presentation. Means: will take a while. Just like the Golf Variant HyMotion, by the way. A research vehicle that toostill waiting for the market and infrastructure to be justified. Enough blasphemed. Above all, Audi has a real trade fair hit with the Prologue study. Nothing less than the design future of the brand, distilled in a handsome XL coupé. Whether you like the giant cooler or not, the prologue is always good as a view of the A8 and A6.

Block instead of spill

Anything else? Lots of luxury and performance. In the Mercedes-Maybach S600, for example. Or, of course, in the Mercedes AMG GT S. Not enough? Then of course we have the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. 717 hp from a 6.2 liter supercharged Hemi V8. The strongest muscle car in the world. Alleluia. Not quite as extreme, but pretty self-confident: the Cadillac ATS-V. 461 hp from a 3.6-liter V6 biturbo are a real announcement. Especially on the BMW M3. It has 'only' 430 hp and costs 62,000 dollars in the US. Of course, the ATS-V is cheaper. But only a little. The ATS-V should cost around 60,000 dollars.

Oh, you would like a little more space? No problem. Then we still have the brand new Ford Explorer. A huge dream of a four-wheel drive. Full-size SUVs are called those things in the USA. Means: Well over five meters long, three Rows of seats and enough luggage space behind them for a family vacation. If you have it, you can still tow three tons of trailer load. By the way, nobody has to be afraid of encountering such a thing in the parking garage of their trust. The Explorer will continue to steer clear of Germany in the future make.

You can find even more highlights from LA in the picture gallery!

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