John Stewart

The Los Angeles Auto Show

A beautiful exercise in glass and metal, the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept is a stunner from every angle. The concept car features lots of intriguing ideas, including a new hybrid powerplant that pairs a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine to an electric motor, making a combined 550 hp. Infiniti spokespeople say that the car is an indication of where they would like to take the brand in the future.The Los Angeles Auto Show has developed a reputation as a “green” show that strongly focuses on alternative fuels and novel forms of propulsion. This may have been the case in prior years, but the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show had more to offer enthusiasts than in recent years, as a burst of “track-ready” performance cars and creative variants on existing platforms came to light. That made it more like the SEMA Show—an optimistic environment in which OEM exhibitors launched fun-to-drive new models and showed off interesting concept cars that may very well enter production. Among them were several vehicles that could be of special relevance to SEMA members.

Chicago Auto Show Highlights

Automakers Predict Growth, Show Newest Models

Auto-sales analysts are predicting growth in car sales overall—some to levels as high as 15.4 million for 2013. That would be good news for aftermarket manufacturers and retailers, as unit growth in the types of vehicles that enthusiasts tend to customize continues to gain momentum.

Detroit Auto Show

New Models Take Center Stage

A host of cars and trucks that could be important to SEMA-member retailers and manufacturers were debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Among those likely to be of interest to enthusiasts and the companies that serve them are the ’14 Corvette, ’14 Lexus IS and ’14 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Also shown was a concept version of what is thought to be Ford’s next F-Series pickup. If there was a single theme to the show, it was about enhancing mileage without sacrificing performance.

Highlights From the Los Angeles Auto Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show has a reputation as a “green car” event that skews heavily toward advanced technology. This year’s show was consistent with that image, but there were more than a few debuts of high-volume production vehicles that will matter to SEMA members, along with an unusual number of interesting concept vehicles that may point the way to the future. Here are some that caught our eye.

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