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An electric embrace, topless SUVs: Best rides from season's last major auto show

Updated 23rd November 2015
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An electric embrace, topless SUVs: Best rides from season's last major auto show
Written by Greg Morrison, for CNNLos Angeles
This month, a series of North American and world debuts take center stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Domestic brands showcase new designs for full-sized sedans, such as the Lincoln MKZ (equipped with a V6 engine designed exclusively for the Lincoln brand), the Cadillac XT5 crossover, and the Buick La Crosse sedan.
The latter, uses a bold front fascia, wide stance and upscale headlight assembly, and incorporates LED and projector beam technology, as part of its redesign.

European talent

European carmakers are also teasing new models. Range Rover, for example, features its Evoque Convertible, the world's first small luxury SUV convertible.
The convertible, while distinct for being a one-of-a-kind vehicle, does not stray from the Land Rover's confident design DNA, evident by a front end treatment that looks as if it's been transplanted from one of the brand's larger offerings.
Jaguar, better known for producing sport sedans and coupes, provides an up-close look at its F-Pace, the brand's first venture into SUVs.
Italian automaker Fiat expands its lineup with the revival of its 124 Spider, for the North American market. The 2017 version is a sleek two-seater open car, that bears an uncanny resemblance to the Mazda MX5 in terms of layout. Rear LED lights, a swept back deck, and polished wheels complete the restyling.
Corporate cousin Alfa Romeo is elbowing its way back into the public eye with its distinctive Giulia. For Alfa loyalists the luxury sedan is a reaffirmation of a vehicle that exhibits aggressive design features along with promises of high-end performance. This follows last year's introduction of the 4C coupe and hardtop.
Not to be outdone, Porsche once again sets the bar for performance and luxury with a turbocharged version of the 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S. Technophiles will appreciate the all-wheel drive system, rear axle steering and lowered suspension, for opportunities to open it up on a winding mountain road or a day at the track.

Traces of scandal

Hanging over the event, is the shadow of the Volkswagen diesel scandal that broke this autumn. The company has since admitted that millions of its diesel vehicles were fitted with software used to cheat emission tests.
At the show, German media crews could be seen polling their American counterparts about reaction to the news and possible impact on other German built brands.
Comedian and car enthusiast Jay Leno used it as fodder during remarks at the L.A. auto show's Green Car Awards, an annual honor given to vehicles that embrace new, environmentally friendly technologies.
Only a few years ago, the panel had honored VW, for what was then considered ground breaking diesel technology.
The winner of this year's Green Car Award was given to the electric-powered Chevrolet Volt, which uses a small gasoline engine to generate power for a longer range.
The Volt's redesign boasts a cleaner look and improved aerodynamics. Its app friendly display screen has been updated to accept the latest in connected car technology.

An electric embrace

The industry embrace of electric cars is growing to the point that automakers like Nissan, BMW and charging firms Charge Point and Blink have worked together to create an industry association called ROEV, which encourages access to one another's public recharging networks. Noticeably absent from the group is Tesla, which only makes electric vehicles.
While the calendar year is winding to a close, the LA show is considered the first major North American auto show of the season each year.
Next up, petrolheads will look to January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit and the New York Auto Show in the spring.
Scroll through the gallery above to see L.A. auto show highlights.