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2009 Los Angeles Auto Show

The Non-Show

2009 Los Angeles Auto Show
Posted December 4 2009 11:48 AM by Edward A. Sanchez 
Filed under: Opinions, Trend Observations, Truck News

white hummer h2

Being a 10-year veteran of this industry, I've been to plenty of car and trade shows. I've been to the Los Angeles Auto Show many times. I have to say, this year was one of the most non-eventful in memory. Especially in regard to trucks.

There was very little truck or SUV action at this show to speak of. All of the trucks at the show had already debuted elsewhere, and were on regular display in L.A.

2010 Hyundai Tucson

Perhaps the only noteworthy "truck" introduction (if you can call it that) was the 2010 Hyundai Tucson. An ultra-lightweight (3,100 lbs.) compact crossover, it stretches the very definition of "truck" but I had to justify my day out of the office somehow. At any rate, it's a significant improvement over its predecessor in terms of style and content. Also, it's continuing the trend of engine downsizing, with only one engine, a 2.4L four-cylinder, being available at launch. However, the new four-banger offers more horsepower than last year's optional V6, although slightly less torque. But considering Hyundai also unveiled it's stunning new Sonata midsize sedan with a direct-injection engine developing 200 horsepower in top trim, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to see that engine migrate to the new Tucson as well.

2011 Toyota Sienna - Front View

The other big headline-maker at the show was surprisingly enough, a minivan. Although there's nothing "mini" about most of the contenders in this segment anymore. Toyota pulled the wraps off its 2011 Sienna, and is clearly making a deliberate effort to appeal to a demographic beyond the 30-something mommies. An SE model with a sport appearance package featured 19-inch wheels as well as a rear roof spoiler to give the family hauler, dare I say it...a sporty appearance.

2011 Toyota Sienna - Rear View

Of course, for those of us with edgier tastes, there were the usual suspects relegated to Kentia Hall (also known by veteran auto-journos as "the basement") which featured mostly leftover SEMA vehicles with loud paintjobs and ridiculously oversize wheels.

So when are we going to see big news in the truck world? Well, traditionally, Chicago has been the big show for truck news, and that's not happening until February. The potentially big upcoming news in trucks (based on a compilation of unverified rumors, verified facts and wild-@$$ speculation) are the production debut and announcement of the EcoBoost V6 in the Ford F150, the public introduction of the Dodge Ram Hybrid, the announcement of official power figures for the new Ford "Scorpion" 6.7L Powerstroke, the on-sale date and availability of the Mahindra mid-size diesel truck, the new 2011 GM HD models, including specs on the new LML Duramax diesel. There's also a good chance that the Nissan Titan is due for a major refresh soon (now that it's no longer going to be a platform-mate with the Ram) which could possibly include a version of the direct-injected 5.6 liter V8 shown in the new Infiniti M56 sedan, and possibly a V6-powered entry-level model.

So...stay tuned. Truck news may be slow now, but rest assured, good things are coming in 2010 and 2011. 

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