The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public Friday. Here are some of the most talked-about vehicles that will be making their world debuts at the event:
— MAZDA6 DIESEL: Mazda will offer a diesel version of its new, sportier Mazda6 sedan in the second half of next year. It's not releasing full details yet, but says diesels can get 30-percent better fuel economy than gasoline-powered cars. Mazda says it will be the first Asian automaker to offer a clean diesel engine in a non-commercial vehicle in North America.
— SUBARU FORESTER: The new Subaru Forester, which will go on sale this spring, has more leg room and cargo space (74.7 cubic feet) than the previous model of the small SUV. The base 2.5-liter, 170 horsepower engine remains the same, but buyers can also upgrade to a new, 250-horsepower turbocharged 2-liter. The design is less boxy and more aerodynamic, with a new mesh grille and sporty front bumper.
— JAGUAR XFR-S: It's the second model in Jag's ultra-high performance lineup, with only 100 being offered for sale in the U.S. during the 2014 model year. It has a 550-horsepower supercharged V-8 engine that takes it from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds, yet it avoids a gas-guzzler tax by getting 23 mpg on the highway. The car starts at $99,000 and goes on sale early in the summer.
— PORSCHE CAYMAN: The third generation of the two-seat mid-engine sports coupe is lower, longer, lighter and faster than the old model, yet more efficient, Porsche says. The base model has a 2.7-liter, 275 horsepower engine, while the sportier Cayman S has a 3.4-liter motor with 325 horsepower. The S can hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4.4 seconds. The Cayman goes on sale in the spring and starts at $52,600.
— TOYOTA RAV4: The fourth-generation of Toyota's RAV4, which practically invented the crossover segment when it first went on sale nearly 20 years ago. The latest RAV4 has sharper, more aggressive styling, better fuel economy (up to 31 mpg on the highway), a new six-speed transmission and other features to help it compete against its archrival, the Honda CR-V. The V6 engine option, side-hinged liftgate and optional third-row seat will no longer be offered.
— HONDA CIVIC: Honda is showing off a new Civic compact car, revamped just 19 months after the company introduced the last one. Honda did a lightning-quick revision of the popular car after realizing that compacts from other automakers had caught and passed the top-selling Civic. Honda is expected to address criticism that the 2012 model was noisy, cheap-looking and didn't handle or perform as well as older Civics.
Continue reading this story on the...