But only a few of the cars are truly new, many of them making global or North American debuts. Here's a rundown of some of the more notable new offerings.
Having built nearly every other variety of Golf hatchback — turbo, diesel, electric, the go-fast GTI — VW is now promising a hydrogen fuel cell Golf. The "research" vehicle is a full-size SportWagen, losing some interior space for the fuel tanks. It has an estimated range of 310 miles, and, like a gas car, can be refueled in less than five minutes.
The Japanese brand best known for sporty sedans and coupes is going heavily into crossovers, showing off an updated mid-size CX-5 and an all-new compact CX-3. The cute-ute, making its world debut, will come in front-wheel or all-wheel-drive versions. It borrows a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine from the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback.
The builder of the nation's most popular sport utility vehicle — the Honda CR-V — has the same big ambitions for the smaller HR-V. The compact crossover is based on Honda's Fit hatchback and shares the Fit's appetite for cargo and people. The HR-V is powered by a drivetrain borrowed from the large Honda Civic — a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 138 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque.
The Scion iM hatchback concept car is a five-seater that will probably go into production next year. The automaker said the production version will offer excellent fuel efficiency, sporty handling and easy parking. It plans to provide more information about the transmission, engine and technology next year. The car is to be priced at less than $20,000.
Mini brought three new vehicles to the L.A. Auto Show — and one of them isn't a car. The automaker will be showing off, for the first time in the U.S., its Mini Superleggera Vision roadster concept car, which the company calls "British with an Italian accent." It will be displayed alongside the brand's new Hardtop 4 door. But the surprise in the bunch is the Mini Citysurfer — a 40-pound electric scooter that fits inside a mini's storage space.
Volvo is making a play for the active types with the V60 Cross Country station wagon and its bigger sibling, the XC90 crossover. The V60 is a family hauler designed for a dirt trek to a remote campsite or dinner and theater in the city. The second-generation XC90 that Volvo is displaying at the show is a three-row crossover that will start at $48,900 when it goes on sale next spring.
Although most automakers are content to bring one model to the Los Angeles Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz is unleashing several garages full of high-end hardware. The German luxury brand on Wednesday unveiled the all-new Mercedes-Maybach S600 sedan, the S550 plug-in hybrid, a face-lifted and expanded CLS lineup, and two new models from its performance arm, Mercedes-AMG — the AMG GT and C63 performance sedan.
Audi's Prologue concept car is a look at the new design direction for all upcoming cars from the German brand. Though shown in coupe form, this new design language will first be used on the next Audi A8 full-size sedan, then the A6 and A7 siblings.
Land Rover has come to the Los Angeles Auto Show with a vehicle likely to do well here — a "versatile premium compact SUV" dubbed the Discovery Sport. Designed to be the first in a series of Discovery vehicles, the Sport seats seven and is outfitted with a 240-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, connected to all-wheel drive by a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Porsche is showcasing a pair of GTS models from its 911 and Cayenne lines, along with an exclusive new Panamera. The top performer of the trio is the 911 GTS. Powered by a 430-horsepower rear engine, it rushes from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. The Cayenne GTS swaps out its previous V-8 for a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 that makes 400 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The German sports car manufacturer also introduced the Panamera Exclusive — with plans to sell just 100 of them worldwide.
Trumpeting the "return of the big, bold American sedan," Chrysler is showing off an updated 300. The luxury muscle car features exterior touches such as a new grille, new LED lighting and new wheels, and interior elements that include a 7-inch information display. An eight-speed automatic enables what Chrysler calls "V-8 performance with segment-leading 31 mpg highway fuel efficiency."
Taking direct aim at German sport sedans, Cadillac is launching the ATS-V. The 455-horsepower coupe and sedan are chasing