We compile everything you need to know from the City of Angels.
Auto show season has officially begun. After the Paris Auto Show kicked things off in early October, the Los Angeles Auto Show opened this week, bringing with it the exciting debut of several new passenger vehicles. We’ve rounded up all of LA’s major debuts below. Check them out and let us know which new car won the show for you.
One of the show’s biggest surprises was the launch of U.S.-based start-up Rivian’s first two vehicles, the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV, both of which are electric. Boasting a range of up to 400 miles (when you spec the largest 180 kWh battery pack), the R1S and R1T’s major talking points have been their blistering performance, with the combined electric system producing 754 horsepower and 826 lb-ft of torque.
This allows both cars to sprint to 62 mph in a mind-boggling three seconds, with 100 mph coming only four seconds later. They are practical too—the R1T can tow up to 11,000 pounds, and the more family-oriented R1S can still pull 7,700 pounds. Rivian is aiming to start deliveries in 2020, with the R1S starting at $61,500 and the R1S at $72,500 after a federal tax credit.
The special editions for the 991-generation 911 never seemed to end, but finally, the all-new 992 has arrived for the 2020 model year. The new 911, which debuts in Carrera S and 4S trims, features evolutionary styling upgrades, with the biggest difference being the futuristic full-length taillight.
The outgoing twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six has seen its power bumped up 23 hp to 443 hp, and a new eight-speed PDK transmission helps the S and 4S hit 60 in a brief 3.5 and 3.4 seconds, respectively. The Carrera S will start at $114,250 while opting for the all-wheel-drive 4S will cost you $121,650 when they arrive next summer. Porsche also revealed a new track-only version of the 991, the GT2 RS Clubsport. Based on the GT2 RS, it features a host of race car upgrades and costs a massive $457,000.
Mercedes couldn’t let Porsche steal all of the spotlight after it unveiled the new generation of the 911 sports car, so Mercedes gave its 911-rivaling AMG GT its own update, as well as a new hardcore track model. All of the pre-existing AMG GT models have received minor cosmetic changes, including a new headlight design and a restyled rear bumper.
The interior benefits from a new flat-bottomed steering wheel and a fully digital, 12.3-inch instrument display. While the GT S model has now been eliminated from the lineup (leaving a gap between the 469 hp base model and the 550 hp GT C), Mercedes added the PRO, a road-legal but track-focused extension of the GT R. Suspension upgrades, liberal use of carbon fiber, and a host of new aero attachments mean the PRO was able to slash about five seconds off the GT R’s Nurburgring lap time.
One of the shows most anticipated vehicles, the Jeep Gladiator, has been a long time coming. 26 years after Jeep’s last pickup, the Comanche, was laid to rest, the Wrangler-based midsize truck is now ready for production. This tough truck will come only in four-door crew cab styles, and derives its power from either the 3.6-liter gasoline V6 or a 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel.
The V6 will produce a healthy 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, and is hooked up to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. The diesel churns out 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque with the eight-speed automatic as the only transmission offering. The truck’s advanced 4x4 systems will help the Gladiator conquer any terrain when production begins in 2019.
Lincoln revived an old nameplate for its newest SUV model, the Aviator, which had been previewed earlier this year in New York. The sleek three-row SUV houses a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 under its hood, supplying 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. An optional hybrid option increases power to 450 ponies while the torque rating skyrockets to 600 lb-ft. A 10-speed automatic will shift gears for you as you bask in the Aviator’s high-end interior, which features a configurable 12.3 instrument cluster. Pricing is yet to be revealed.
Kia’s funky Soul crossover returns for a third generation in LA, maintaining the boxy outline but adding more smoothly designed fascias. The cheapest Souls will have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making a modest 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, with the option for a six-speed manual. The sportier GT-Line model will have a turbocharged 1.6-liter that ups power to 201 hp and torque to 195 lb-ft. A new EV model was also revealed, with a new 64 kWh battery giving the electric Soul 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque. Range details have not been released as of now, but 300 miles is the widely accepted estimate.
Toyota’s ubiquitous Prius has received its fair share of upgrades at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Most obviously are a series of cosmetic changes that attempt to fix the Prius’ busy design, and while the Prius still isn’t pretty by any stretch of the word, the simpler headlights certainly help ameliorate the overdone look of the outgoing Prius.
Under the skin, the Prius acquires all-wheel-drive for the first time, a smart system that can alternate between full AWD and front-wheel-drive. It uses an electric motor to drive the rear wheels from zero to six mph and then when necessary up to 43 mph. Look for the 2019 model to infiltrate Uber fleets soon.
After the stunning Kai Concept debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, we prayed that its striking design would reach production. Our dreams have now come true, with Mazda revealing the new 3 in both hatchback and sedan form in L.A. The 3’s elegant curves and long, low hoods gives it a purposeful and luxurious appearance, which is echoed in the upscale interior design. The 3 also features Mazda’s revolutionary Skyactiv-X engine, which features a Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition system creates an efficient engine that can still provide performance.
Gas engines will come in a range of sizes—1.5-, 2.0- and 2.5-liter versions—while a 1.8-liter diesel will also be available. While specifications have not been released, we do know they will be paired with either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.
Like Lincoln, Honda has brought an old SUV back from the dead in Los Angeles. The Passport returns for 2019, squeezing its way in between the CR-V and Pilot in Honda’s lineup. Looking like a more brawny, off-road oriented Pilot, the Passport has just one engine option—a 3.5-liter V6 pumping out 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Front- and all-wheel-drive are both available, and the Passport shifts gears with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Honda has given the Passport a series of upgrades to allow it to perform well off-road, and the towing package permits a 3,500-pound capacity on FWD models and 5,000-pound limit on AWD models.
Hyundai used the Los Angeles show to introduce a new flagship SUV, the Palisade. The spacious SUV can fit eight passengers and features a swath of tech inside to keep the occupants busy. A 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine delivers 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to either two or four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The massive Palisade will also spawn a Kia sibling, the Telluride, in the near future.
While Nissan didn’t have anything major prepared for Los Angeles, it gave a nip and tuck to two of its popular models, the Murano crossover and Maxima sedan. Under the hood, the Murano retains the same 3.5-liter V6, while the exterior saw simple adjustments with updated head and taillights and a new grille. The Murano won’t arrive until December 2020, unfortunately. The received a similar treatment, with carryover mechanicals and updated front and rear fascias. The Maxima, however, will be available for the 2019 model year.
Audi stole the show this year with its breathtaking e-tron GT Concept, which previews a production electric four-door coupe that will arrive in 2021. Chiseled styling and an aggressive but purposeful stance helps the e-tron blow the Tesla Model S out of the water visually. The e-tron GT should also rival the Model S when it comes to performance, with electric motors on the front and rear axles putting down a total of 590 hp through all four wheels. This will allow a 0-62 mph sprint of about 3.5 seconds, and the concept’s 90 kWh lithium-ion battery gives a range of over 248.5 miles. Look for this stunner to debut in production form in a couple of years.
Toyota is not a brand synonymous with sportiness, but this is a perception the Japanese company is trying to change. Along with the upcoming Supra and the launch of the GR subbrand in the rest of the world, Toyota is now expanding the TRD lineup in the US, adding a TRD model for both the Camry and the Avalon in LA. The engines receive no extra power, staying at 301 hp, but exhaust, suspension, and brake upgrades should make them better to drive. Both sedans also get a body kit featuring a front splitter, side skirts, a spoiler, and a rear diffuser. Expect the TRD treatment to proliferate Toyota’s lineup in the coming years.
After reviving the 8 Series Coupe at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, BMW’s has chopped the roof off the create the first ever 8 Series Convertible. In the US, the 8 Series Coupe will be sold only in M850i xDrive trim at first, and this applies to the Convertible as well. While everything under the hood is the same as in the coupe, the fully-electric soft-top roof takes only 15 seconds to raise or lower at speeds up to 30 mph.
BMW also brought its largest vehicle ever, the new X7 SUV, to the City of Angels. With three-row of seating and an imposing design, this behemoth will start at $73,900 when it goes on sale early next year. Under the hood, the X7 packs a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six with 335 hp in the xDrive40i trim. Big spenders will opt for the xDrive50i, with its 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. Producing 456 hp, this engine helps propel the X7 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, 0.6-sec quicker than the xDrive40i. An SUV-coupe dubbed the X8 is expected to be arriving not long after.