It’s that time again. All things new and exciting in the automotive world have descended on the LA Convention Center for 10 glorious days. Since today is the first day doors will open to the public, I thought it fitting to share some of this year’s not-to-be-missed highlights. Also, be sure to check the blog in the coming days, as I cover these vehicle debuts in more depth.
#1: Volvo’s Concept 26
As someone who has spent way too many hours of my life in traffic, this was by far the most mind-blowing thing I saw at the auto show. While I am a driving enthusiast, I have to say, the thought of being able to literally kick back and catch up on my Netflix while being squired around the stand-still streets of Los Angeles by my autonomous car had me practically turning cartwheels in front of the exhibit.
#2: Mercedes SL Roadster
Mercedes is hoping the latest generation of the SL series will bring the luxury roadster segment back to life. With its sleek lines and powerful performance specs, there is no doubt it will be a desirable option for those in the market for a two-seat roadster. While launching this beauty in the fun-loving California market is a stroke of genius, it remains to be seen whether the $100,000 roadsters can make a comeback in light of our new economic realities. If they do, the 2017 SL550 will most certainly be leading the charge.
#3: Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept
After months of teasing, Audi finally revealed its beautiful, all-electric, luxury class sport SUV. During the big reveal, Audi not only issued a mea culpa for the TDI debacle, but vowed to take the brand to the forefront of the electric mobility platform. Boasting three electric motors and a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds, if the E-Tron Quattro Concept delivers what is promises when it hits the market in 2018, it’s will not be hard to take Audi at their word. This concept is definitely worth stopping by the Audi booth to see in person.
#4: Jaguar F-Pace
Five years ago I met with a Jaguar representative at the LA Auto Show and asked if they had any plans to make a Jaguar SUV. He laughed and pointed to the multiple Land Rovers and Range Rovers on display and said, “There are our SUVs…right there”. Well turns out he was wrong, because on press day, Jaguar revealed their brand new luxury sports utility vehicle, the F-Pace. Taking inspiration from it’s sports car brother, the F-Type, the F-Pace is the total looks and performance package for the soccer mom wanting to make a statement.
#5: Mazda CX-9
Mazda has finally finished its complete fleet overhaul with the unveiling of the all-new CX-9. The last in its fleet to get a facelift, the new body style is all class. It’s a bigger, roomier and higher performing version of the CX-5. Packed with style and fun, this one is sure to be a hit with the family circuit. While not as sexy as the F-Pace parked a few stalls away, it provides quite enough style for the practical price tag that comes with it.
If you have some extra time, be sure to stop by the Toyota booth to check out the Back to the Future display featuring Marty McFly’s 1985 Toyota Tacoma, as well as a DeLorean-inspired Toyota Mirai, complete with gull wing doors and a Mr. Fusion.
I also recommend trying your hand at the Dodge Viper Challenge. Climb inside an actual Dodge Viper and race around a simulated track at top speeds. Ask for the manual mode and you’ll feel like you’re actually flying around the racetrack.