BMW, determined not to be outdone by its smaller British offshoot, Mini, was also on the green trail at Los Angeles. It revealed a mild hybrid version of the new 7 Series powered by a new twin-turbo V8 engine with a 20bhp electric motor promising 15% fuel savings over a comparable petrol-only model. There were also clean diesel versions of the X5 and 3 Series, both using the company's twin-turbo 3.0-litre engine. Don't bet on the last two making it to the UK unless our tax laws change, however.
Honda spring the surprise of the Los Angeles show by taking the wraps off a sleek, sporty, three-seater hydrogen fuel cell concept car, the FC Sport (sounds like the name of a football team). It was created by the company's American design centre in Pasadena and uses the same power system as the FCX Clarity, the fuel cell car now available for Californians to lease under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'hydrogen highway' programme. Will something like it ever go into production? With Honda, you never know.
Mercedes is displaying a prototype of a new internet-based infotainment system called myComand at Los Angeles. It updates itself each time the engine is switched on and offers such things as variable navigation views, weather on your route, access to any radio station in the world, free telephone calls and full web access. You'll also be able to book tables at restaurants or theatre tickets and see and post reviews of other people who have already been there. No date has been set for its possible introduction.