Thanksgiving special: L.A. Auto Show’s top 10 turkeys
The L.A. Auto Show runs through Thanksgiving weekend, which seems appropriate, because there is a lot of turkey on the shows menu. From Hondas hydrogen-powered hypercar I guess thats tofurkey, of a sort to a huge, steroid- infused, poultry-yellow Rolls Royce that is lacking only a wattle, the shows collection of large, flightless birds is certainly worth a, um, gander.
I know, I know. Youre stuffed. Youve loosened your belt, maybe even undone your trousers ahhh. But perhaps theres room for one more tiny morsel?
-- Dan Neil, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
2009 Ferrari California Youve got to hand it to Ferrari. When they shoot themselves in the foot they fire both barrels and then reload. This silly, swoopy red confection, with a face like Pokemon and a keister like Tom Arnold in a thong, is probably the single least desirable Ferrari ever made. I didnt like this car when it was called the Maserati 4200 and I like it less now. They will sell thousands.
2010 Ford Mustang The new Mustang looks very-extremely-supremely like the old Mustang. It does have vertical bar taillamps that flash sequentially, a la the old Mercury Cougar. Now theres a press release Im glad I didnt have to write. The Mustang, now with Christmas lights!
2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible The G37 Coupe particularly the Sport 6MT package -- is a fetching and entertaining entry-level luxury-sport coupe that offers an indubitable power-weight-cost-luxury matrix. Sawing the top off it does not help in any way, unless youre competing in the Miss Toyota Solara Lookalike contest. Four hundred pounds heavier (totalling over two tons), with less horsepower and torque and thousands more dinero, the G37 Convertible (retractable hardtop, really) unravels much of whats good about the Coupe. Now, white meat or dark meat?
2009 Lexus IS250 Convertible Heres youre first runner-up in the Miss Solara Lookalike contest. If for some reason the Infiniti cannot fulfill the duties, well you get the picture. I know theres a market segment to cover, but I simply dont see the appeal of hacking off the top of a well-designed coupe and fitting it with the overlarge bustle required to store the retractable roof mechanism. This thing looks like its had its fanny paddled. More whipped cream for your pumpkin pie, honey?
Honda FC Sport Concept Looking less like a sports car than a wall-socket adapter for an iPod, the Honda FC Sport demonstrates, so sayeth the press material, the design flexibility and packaging advantages of fuel cell (FC) technology. Uh-huh. It demonstrates to me that Honda designers need a guide dog and a white cane. This thing puts the butt in butt ugly.
2008 Hummer H2 E85 Wow. Youre going to need a shovel to cover this turkey with cranberry sauce. Dead-brand-walking Hummer appeared at the L.A. Auto Show with an E85-capable Hummer H2. It requires some kind of perverse genius to figure a way that an H2 can get poorer fuel economy. Cornfields wither on the stalk when this thing drives by.
Mini E Concept This is like digging into a luscious Thanksgiving bird to discover its stuffed with floor sweepings and sawdust. The electric Mini is, in fact, a crude and rude retrofit of the existing British bumblebee, with a 28-kWh battery lump stuffed into the space where the back seat used to be. Then BMWs engineers carpeted the area over as if you wouldnt notice the missing seats. An electric Mini is an awesome idea, though. Cant wait for the company to try again.
2009 Toyota Venza I havent driven this car, so for all I know it might be the blue-skinned Vishnu riding on a cloud. It might be awesome. The appearance of it, however, is terrifying. Looking like a cross between the Toyota Camry, the Lexus RX350 and a shaver for ones personal areas, the Venza rivals the Pontiac Aztek for being visually disagreeable from every angle. It does for car design what raw pork does for digestion.
Brabus edition Smart Fortwo A slammed Smart Fortwo? Awesome. I guess. I suppose. Brabus, the famed German tuner of sports machines, supplies an aero kit for the Fortwo (chin spoiler, side skirts), though considering that the Smart wont go over about 70 mph, its aerodynamics are purely theoretical. The kit also includes 15-inch front and 17-inch rear alloy wheels (which do look nice). My favorite touch: the dual chrome-plated exhaust tips, the better to hear it wheeze. Price: $17,990 for the coupe and $20,990 for the cabriolet. For those who prefer Cornish game hen to turkey.
Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, in antacid yellow My friend in high school had a car this color. It was a 68 Camaro that had been left in his yard on cinderblocks for seven winters. Im all for carmakers thinking outside the Crayola box, but this is one tragic hue, less English custard than Jell-O pudding pop. And so much of it. Who wants coffee?