LA Auto Show: North American Debuts

Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Ford all have some exciting cars that will make their North American debuts at the LA Auto Show.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: No gull-wing doors, but lots of headroom.
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2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series: The letters AMG are something special in Mercedes-Benz-speak. The German automakers' in-house tuning shop brings us the C63 Black -- a road car designed for the race track.
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Volkswagen Beetle R: Volkswagen has tried to beef up the Beetle by taking some of the bubble out of its shape. The R stands for VW's performance line, which makes this the baddest Beetle.
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2012 Fiat 500 Abarth: Just when it looked like the Fiat 500 had nothing but cute to offer, along came Abarth. Actually, the cute factor lingers, but now it's on top of 17-inch wheels and a sportier suspension.
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Bentley Continental GTC: Bentley's GT goes convertible and gets a C. Price: Not a bargain.
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Ford Focus ST: A Focus, but much more than the base model. It comes with a more powerful engine, upgraded suspension and a lowered chassis, adding a light and nimble car to Ford's U.S. lineup.
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Ford Fiesta ST Concept: Ford's racy version of the Fiesta is another step toward a more high performance strategy when it comes to its small-car offerings in the U.S.
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2012 Honda Insight: Billed as the "hybrid for everyone," the Insight's starting MSRP is $18,350.
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Mazda CX5: The small crossover does away with Mazda's grinning face in favor of a more resolute countenance, as if to say, "Let's pick up the kids and go get some groceries, and let's do it now."
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Morgan 3 Wheeler: Unlike the Reliant Robin and its charmingly unstable single-front wheel layout, Morgan believes (correctly) that a three-wheeler's solo wheel should be at the rear. Here's a nod to the company's roots with an updated 3 Wheeler that takes advantage of what the 21st Century has to offer.
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Mastretta MXT: A debut from a new manufacturer, the Mastretta MXT is from Mexico. Light and designed with agility, not straight-line speed, in mind, the MXT has a highly tuned Ford Duratec. And, it comes in orange. Expect limited production.
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Audi R8 GT Spyder: Whereas Mastretta has a limited parts bin from which to pull for its sports car, Audi does not. One of the world's most refined sports cars, the R8 in GT Spyder spec offers a V-10 rated at 560 hp -- with the top down, that's not good for hair.
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Audi S7: Audi's contender in the "four-door coupe" battle gets a very important letter -- S. The S version delivers only slight exterior and interior changes from the A7, but under the hood rests a dialed-up 520 hp. The V8 has a four-cylinder shut-off system to increase efficiency when driving with reduced zest.
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Audi S6: The latest version of Audi's S6 provides potential A6 buyers with reasons to hesitate. Again, it looks a lot like the A6, but the turbocharged V8 generates more horsepower.
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Audi S8: The third Audi S model to make its North American debut at the LA Auto Show, the S8 is Audi's larger-than-life executive sedan. The new V8 engine replaced a V10, but still produces a crashing wave of torque to propel this 2 1/2-ton monster.
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Dok-Ing XD: From Croatia, the electric city car is designed to slip through the air. It is about half the bumper-to-bumper length of the previously pictured Audi S8 sedan.
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Lotus Exige R-GT: The car marks the automaker's return to the World Rally Championship since its Talbot Sunbeam days of the early 1980s.
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BMW i3 Concept: An all-electric small car designed for moving up to four people around an urban area.
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BMW i8 Concept: The i8 uses a small petrol engine and a electric motor to create high levels or torque and excitement.
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Jaguar C-X16: The way the roofline melts into the rear haunches makes it hard not to stare. Under the hood -- a 375-bhp supercharged six mated with an electric-dive system. On the steering wheel -- a button that activates boost from the electric dive, similar to Formula 1's "push-to-pass" button.
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Kia GT: The GT, equipped with rear-hinged "suicide doors," would be going up against a list of heavy-hitters in the "four-door coupe" market, such as Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes. But at the Frankfurt Auto Show, a Kia designer described it as the "kind of car Kia should be making."
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Land Rover DC 100: Land Rover has called the DC 100 the beginning of a journey, suggesting it's not production ready.
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Land Rover DC 100: An open-air concept.
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Volvo You: The four-door fastback You is a major change in styling for Volvo, and the changes are evident inside, too. An iPad-like center touchscreen eliminates the buttons, knobs, levers, dials and anything else that might offend the smooth interior lines.
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