LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Among the nearly 1,000 cars on display at the 2014 LA Auto Show, a growing number of the most buzzed-about debuts are plug-in hybrids.
BMW showed off its M-Class series, like the X5 and X6, while Audi kicked off its North American tour with the X8 and its new concept car, the Audi Prologue. Even Mercedes has gotten into the hybrid swing of things with the S550, the automaker’s first plug-in hybrid.
“It’s a California-only launch, for this very important market for us that has very high fuel prices and customers who are very enthusiastic about environmentally-friendly cars,” said Mercedes spokeswoman Kaitlyn Aurilio.
The concept car that has experts especially abuzz is the Infiniti X80 Inspiration, a sleek plug-in hybrid with 600 horsepower and no door handles. The cocoon-shaped car’s interior is covered with leather, except for the passenger-side floor, which is 100 percent bull hair. The car’s backseat center console even features a champagne holder.
“The rear cabin is about relaxation,” said Alfonso Albaisa, executive design director for Infiniti.
The LA Auto Show’s hybrids aren’t just about luxury, however. General Motors will unveil its Chaparral 2X Vision GT, a concept car based on the video game “Gran Turismo.” The vehicle, which is only 30 inches in height, is said to be based on what racing will be like in 2030.
“You actually lay into this vehicle, almost with your belly down and head first,” said Clay Dean, design director for General Motors.
The LA Auto show opens to the public Friday and is open through Nov. 30, including Thanksgiving Day.