The Los Angeles International Auto Show is always greatly anticipated. This first installment of the domestic auto show season always delivers a host of new unveilings, and 2013 did not disappoint.
Think back to 2008, which represented a low point for the auto industry. With each successive year and each successful sales quarter since, the shows have inched back to their former glory.
The actual function of auto shows has changed since 2008. In the past, there was a good chance you might not have information or photos of vehicles prior to the show. Now, cars make their “official debut” online weeks ahead of the actual show. Still, it’s not “official” until we see the car in person and take in a lungful of that new car smell.
This year’s LA show was good for GM’s truck division, where a mid-size pickup returned, and the full suite of GM sport utility vehicles saw the debut of their respective replacements. From Korea to Germany, the brands appear to be moving upmarket, with a new BMW 4 Series convertible and a new luxury flagship from Kia.
Pictured: Porshe’s Bernhard Maier explained the features of the Macan, Porsche’s debut into the small SUV market. Next
2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe
If any coupe could put a Porsche Cayman to shame, it’s this Jaguar. When the F-Type coupe arrives next spring, it will be just one year since the F-Type roadster debuted as the company’s first new sports car in nearly 40 years. In our brief time behind the wheel, we felt the F-Type was certainly worth the wait, and the coupe promises more stiffness, speed (up to 550 horsepower), and sex appeal. You may not want the $66,000 V6 coupe or the $100,000 R with its supercharged V8 and biker gang sound effects, but for art’s sake, at least show some appreciation.
2015 Chevrolet Colorado
GM has resurrected the Colorado mid-size truck, but this is a far more powerful, efficient, and capable vehicle than the previous generation, which left the market in 2012. The new Colorado is available with either a 195-horsepower inline-4, or a 3.6-liter V6, making 302 horsepower—2 more HP than the optional V8 on the old Colorado.
The new truck is based on the Global Colorado, sold in Australia under the Holden badge. It will be fitted with the latest technology, a handful of USB ports, and Chevrolet MyLink, with apps. Now that rivals Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier are almost 10 years old, the Colorado should quickly dominate the mid-size pickup market. Next
2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
Any Mercedes V12 quickly depreciates, but the AMG V12 models sink like grand pianos tossed off the Trump Tower. So in three years, this $200,000 luxury sedan will be a relative steal with its 621-horsepower twin-turbo V12 and nearly every electronic convenience known to mankind. The new S-Class is the world’s biggest supercomputer on wheels (it nearly drives itself) and is the most pampering (heated armrests, perfume on command). The S65 continues the streak of providing Mack truck torque and Porsche 911 speed, all in the largest, most pretentious wrapper possible. It arrives next March, but we’d advise waiting until enough hedge fund managers trade them in. Next
2015 Lincoln MKC
With a generally milquetoast lineup, it looked as if Lincoln’s days were numbered—until the MKC crossover debuted. Based on the same platform as the Ford Escape, the MKC is a five-passenger, mid-size crossover, which wears Lincoln’s current styling cues much better than the MKZ sedan.
Buyers can choose from either a 240 horsepower 2.0-liter EcoBoost I4, and a 2.3-liter EcoBoost I4 that makes 275 horsepower. Given the sheer size of the crossover market, this vehicle alone could carry the Lincoln brand out of obscurity. Next
2015 Subaru WRX
The last time we drove a WRX, we had loads of fun while trying to ignore its U-Haul-style interior, cobbled together out of horrendously cheap materials. Thanks to the current Impreza’s high-quality interiors, we no longer have to pretend with the 2015 WRX. On the outside, a new front end makes the WRX stand out versus the standard Impreza, and under the hood a smaller but more powerful 268-horsepower 2.0-liter flat four delivers greater fuel economy. The all-wheel-drive system now includes torque vectoring to steer the car faster through turns, and a stiffer chassis, larger brakes, and 6-speed manual promise to make this rally racer more tolerable in daily driving. Next
2015 Kia K900
Like Hyundai before it, Kia is moving on up. The K900 is a full-size premium sedan with internals shared by the Hyundai Equus luxury sedan. Unlike the Equus, which gets a standard V8, the base K900 is fitted with a 311-horsepower 3.8-liter V6. You can still get the available Tau 5.0-liter V8, making 420 horsepower, sent to the rear wheels through an advanced 8-speed transmission.
Pricing has not yet been announced, but considering that the Equus starts at $61,000, the K900 pricing should sit somewhere in the low $50,000 range. Considering that Kia entered the US market in 1993, you can’t help but say Kia’s come a long way, baby. Next
2015 Porsche Macan
By next spring, the cheapest Porsche won’t be the famed mid-engine Boxster, but a five-seat compact SUV meant to sway those who might not be able to afford a Cayenne. At $51,000, the new Macan S comes with a twin-turbo V6 good for 340 horsepower, while the $73,500 Turbo pushes 400 horsepower and promises to outdo everything else in the segment. With staggered-width tires, air suspension, and speed-sensitive headlights (yes), the Macan goes over the top. It’s a Porsche, after all, although we’d really prefer a Boxster. Next
2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible
The replacement for the 3 Series Convertible has adopted the name change so that it can grow to compete with the likes of the Audi A5. The 4 Series Convertible is actually a retractable hardtop, which drops its top in 20 seconds, and is available in 428i and 435i variants. The 428i is equipped with a 240 horsepower turbocharged inline-4, while the 435i is fitted with a 300 horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged I6. Both models send power through an 8-speed automatic transmission to rear-wheel-drive. The 428i is available with xDrive all-wheel drive.
The 428i starts at $48,750 and can get from 0 to 60 in 6.2 seconds. The more powerful 435i will set you back $54,900, before options, and will get you to 60 from a standstill in just 5.5 seconds. Next
2014 Range Rover Autobiography Black
If pulling up in a Range Rover doesn’t sound like a big enough statement, there’s the $200,000 Autobiography Black, Land Rover’s first long-wheelbase SUV that delivers more than seven inches of extra legroom. Along with supple backrests that massage and recline, rear seat passengers enjoy a fixed center console with powered metal tray tables, a refrigerator, power window screens, mood lighting in 10 different colors and two entertainment displays mounted to the front seats. The lucky person on the right can rest her legs with an extended calf rest. Only 100 will be imported to the US next year. Next
Nissan Nismo Cars
Nismo is Nissan’s performance division, and the company rolled out a trio of sport variants last week. The Nissan Sentra Nismo Concept boasts aerodynamic bodywork, Brembo brakes from the Nissan 370Z sport scar, and a 240-horsepower engine—110 more ponies than the conventional Sentra.
While the Sentra Nismo is just a concept for now, the Nissan Juke Nismo RS is a very real, very potent vehicle. It makes 215 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft. of torque, representing a bump of 27 horsepower and 33 lb.-ft. compared to the standard version of the Juke. Next
Nissan GT-R Nismo
The crowning achievement of the Nismo lineup is the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo. It debuted not in Los Angeles, but at the Tokyo Motor Show, which was held simultaneously. It provides a number of mechanical upgrades, including an increase of 55 horsepower—now delivering a full 600 horses. The new GT-R can get around Germany’s famed Nurburgring racetrack in a blistering 7’08”, making it the “fastest volume production car,” to make it around that track. Back to the beginning
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