OC Auto Show Showcase Latest Development For Big Name Brands



Orange County tends to get a jump on trends, and the Orange County International Auto Show gets a jump on the new car model year each fall.

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"We've got over 600 new vehicles, all in one place. We've got exotics, we've got concepts, we've got commercial trucks. So if it has four wheels, you'll find it here," said John Sackrison, executive director of the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association, which puts on the show.

Making its Southern California debut is the Prius Prime, a variation of the Toyota Prius with something extra – it's a plug-in hybrid.

"If you're only going on electric, range is 22 miles, and that's actually double what the previous plug-in was," said Dana Greger, a spokesperson for Toyota.

Orange County-based Hyundai shows off its new multi-flavor alternative fuel vehicle, the Ioniq. It will be available soon as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or fuel-cell vehicle.

And Orange County is also the U.S. home of Mazda. The company is displaying its slick new hardtop Miata with fastback styling, the MX-5 FB.

"This features the retractable fastback roof, which goes up or down in 12 seconds," said Eric Booth, a Mazda spokesman.

Also sure to wow the crowds is a show-vehicle Lincoln. The electric gullwing doors and cascade steps of the company's Navigator concept will likely be a magnet for camera phones this weekend. Its overall design, minus the fancy doors and steps, is a preview of what the next generation Navigator will look like.

Something else likely to draw the attention of cameras and eyeballs is Mercedes-Benz's new top-of-the-line convertible, the S-class cabriolet.

"This is a very important market for us in Southern California, one of the largest in the world. So it's definitely a place to put our best foot forward, and bring our best products, which we have," said Michael Minielly, a representative of Mercedes-Benz, USA.

The S-class cabriolet carries a top-of-the-line price tag, too: $131,000 to $176,000.

As people shop for cars in all price ranges, the first step is to see what strikes their fancy and give it a once-over on the show floor.

Then a test drive would be a logical next step, and you can do so at this show in over 100 different models parked right outside or downstairs.

Or, stay inside the convention center and experience Camp Jeep, a challenging obstacle course meant to mimic extreme off-road conditions. Jeep staff will do the driving, leaving you free to enjoy the ride, and perhaps take great pictures to share on social media..

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