Reporters get a sneak peek of LA Auto Show

Chrysler's Fiat 500, which its designer describes as being eco-friendly, is displayed at a preview of the LA Auto Show on Nov. 17, 2010.
Chrysler's Fiat 500, which its designer describes as being eco-friendly, is displayed at a preview of the LA Auto Show on Nov. 17, 2010. Corey Moore/KPCC

In downtown Los Angeles, the red carpet’s rolled out - not for Hollywood stars - but for top-of-the line cars. The L.A. Auto Show is revving up for its annual one-week visit at the Convention Center. Starting Friday, Southland car enthusiasts can marvel over hundreds of floor models.

Chrysler’s Fiat 500 looks like a big scene stealer. The mini car - a four-cylinder, six-speed automatic - grabbed plenty of attention from reporters during a preview today.

Chief designer Sergio Marchionne showed off a candy apple red version of a vehicle he hailed as eco-friendly.

“You will see a lot of initiatives inside Chrysler," Marchionne said. "A lot of which have been driven by some of the things Fiat has done and a lot of them that have been sort of developed internally that will make combustion a much easier process to present to the public which much less negative implications for the environment. We need to get that under control.”

Auto makers say the Fiat 500 will start at about $15,000. They’re marketing the car under its Italian name - “Cinquecento.”

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