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Photos: LA Auto Show highlights include Ford's new Fiesta, concepts from Honda and Nissan, the improved GT-R

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

Ford's redesigned 2014 Fiesta at the LA Auto Show. There a 3-cylinder engine under that snout. That's right, a 3-cylinder engine.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

The new Ford Fiesta retains the compact Euro-hatchback design that makes it a winner for versatility. It's half small car, half wagon.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

Nissan's Hi-Cross Concept crossover. It's a small crossover SUV with the bold styling that has become a hallmark of Nissan vehicles.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

A single piece of glass spans from the windshield to the rear hatch on Nissan's Hi-Cross Concept vehicle. Let the sun and moonshine in!

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

Honda Accord's plug-in hybrid vehicle on display at the LA Auto Show. The evolution of the ever-popular sedan continues.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

Honda's EV-Ster electric concept car. In fact, it's really and electric concept roadster — and it looks like something a kid who really, really likes space ships would dream up.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

The Honda EV-Ster Concept is an electric car with a throwback roadster vibe. If you're throwing back to the 23rd century and like to hang out with space aliens.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

The interior of Honda's electric concept car EV-Ster. Look Ma, no steering wheel!

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

2014 Nissan GT-R at the LA Auto Show. It's not a brave new look for Nissan's 545-horsepower supercar. But it's still a GT-R. And it's still Godzilla.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

Inside, the 2014 Nissan GT-R finally shows some manners. But don't be fooled! All that stitched leather hides a cruel heart that wants to do nothing but go very, very fast.

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Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

The Nissan GT-R doesn't like speed bumps. Doesn't like them at all.


Earlier  Wednesday, I blogged about how the 2012 L.A. Auto Show is less about green cars and concept cars than it is about cars as rolling platforms for smartphones and apps. But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of save-the-world and see-the-future cars in the mix (as well as one or two rides designed to frighten small animals)! It wouldn't be the L.A. Auto Show without them!

Flip through the slide show for some highlights of the good, the bad, and the high-concept.

THE GOOD

2014 Ford Fiesta

The redesign of Ford's popular subcompact comes with an interesting new wrinkle: a 1-liter, 3-cylinder turbocharged version. That's just one more cylinder than a lot of motorcycles. The turbo — Ford calls it EcoBoost — squeezes more power of of engines that are highly fuel-efficient. The styling may be a bit too Euro-hatchback for a lot of Americans, but the trend of smaller engines delivering the same power, performance, and comfort of their larger siblings isn't just a trend a this year's auto show. It's a trend in the entire auto industry.

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