LA Auto Show: Observations from Day One

It takes a few minutes of being on the show floor to shake off the cobwebs of a summer without the cacophony of the bedlam that is the major auto show. The swell of foot traffic and the din of countless conversations regarding the latest and greatest from the auto industry. What only remains is your own consciousness and impressions of these new vehicles. Stripping away the free food and booze, as well as the countless shills from the automakers, the thing that is left over is you and the car that you are staring at. Here are the cars that I stared at the most. Jaguar F-Type:

LA Auto Show: Observations from Day One

I'll say it now; there will be more than one vehicle on this list that we have already covered quite a bit. (spoiler: one of them is another Jaguar) Who cares! When The biggest news from Toyota was a new RAV4 (yawn), I'd prefer to stick with rehashing actually fun-to-drive vehicles, and the F-Type looks like the funnest of them all. Granted you might be able to do more impressive vehicular features in the cars below, but just look at this cute little effer! Jaguar has been moving away from the stodgy old man image to the performance-luxury brand that it needs to be, but the F-Type is the final piece to the puzzle. Choice of supercharged V6 or supercharged V8? Well that's just supper too! (Note: It was so damn popular, that I couldn't get a clean shot! I had to use an OEM photo!) Porsche Cayman:

LA Auto Show: Observations from Day One

Many an automotive journalist has professed the new Boxster as perhaps better than the 911. Well the entrance of the redesigned Cayman further complicates that notion. It WILL be as good to drive as the Boxster, if not better. The adoption of the more squared off headlights allows the Boxster to have an identity of its own. The only question that remains is…does the 911 feel like the old dog that is being replaced before he passes on? Fiat 500C Abarth:

LA Auto Show: Observations from Day One

I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be excited to see the unveiling of a new Fiat 500, but here it is. Disclosure: I drove the drop-top 500C and the potent 500 Abarth this summer. The only redeeming quality of the 500C was its convertible top, which was also the only thing missing from the Abarth. Enter the 500C: a car that combines the best of both worlds. I imagine this being a blast to drive in the summer. Can't wait! Jaguar XFR-S:

LA Auto Show: Observations from Day One

If you can get over the alphabet soup going on with the name (which we're sure you will) this is one hell of a leaping cat. Based on the high-power XFR, the XFR-S gets the 5.0-liter supercharged V8, tuned out to 550 horsepower just as in the XKR-S. Also, like the XKR-S, it gets a revised aerodynamics, and that fetching powder blue paint scheme. Unlike the XKR-S, this sedan benefits from an already-attractive base model. It is a far sexier car than its coupe counterpart, and that is saying something! Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition:

LA Auto Show: Observations from Day One

Sweet babies. Perhaps its the off-roader in me that is so enamored with this Jeep, but I was bewildered by how few journalists were hawking all over it. BF Goodrich Mud Terrains, electronically locking differentials, and an electronic winch are only the tip of the iceberg on this badass Jeep. As fun as the other cars on this list are, I NEED to drive one of these soon. So those are some of the best cars from day one of the LA Auto Show. If you want to learn about the Toyota RAV4, you can go somewhere else. We will continue to bring you the exciting new debuts from the 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show!

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