LA highlights: The 13 best bits from the 2019 LA Auto Show
Alex Goy is a freelance motoring journalist who writes for the likes of Motor1, Carfection, CNET and DriveTribe.
Ah, LA, where everyone goes to become stars, where image is everything, and where opportunity is behind every manhole cover. Once a year it plays host to a motor show, rounding out the US auto show calendar with a display of concepts, debuts, and the odd surprise.
This year’s show was pretty small, all told. There wasn’t too much we didn’t already know about/hadn’t seen before, and not everything that was unveiled was super thrilling. Here’s a cheeky round up of what was there.
Hyundai’s RM19 concept was a wonderful surprise. A mid engined 2.0-litre 385bhp concept that’ll be used as a test bed for a future Hyundai N halo product.
Hyundai says it’ll crack 0-62mph in sub four seconds, too. Looks mega as well.
BMW’s M2 CS broke cover at LA and it looks... different. Any subtlety of the ‘normal’ M2 is gone. This is a bit more Halfords – gold tinted wheels, a nose scoop, more angles, more protein shake than cake.
It’ll be a car for a certain type of client – namely one with £75,000. Still, a 444bhp RWD manual is a rare thing these days and that’s to be celebrated.
A new Mini
MINI’s GP3 was ace to see. The much teased mental aero looks incredible, and is made out of recycled bits from i3 and i8 production. It’s wing is ludicrous, too, which keeps it in line with GP1 and GP2.
Much like its forbears it’s the most hardcore MINI of its generation – in this case that means over 300bhp, 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, and a limited run of 3000.
Audi x 3
Audi brought three slices of coolness along – the new RS 6 is simply obscene in the metal and I adore it.
The new RS Q8 looked… bright in green – and is the fastest SUV around the ‘Ring now).
And the e-tron Sportback boasts a bit more range to go with sleeker (if less practical) looks.
Behold the new 90
Land Rover’s new Defender was on show, and it was nice to see the smaller 90 version in the metal.
While still vast, it looks more compact than the 110. Should go down a storm in the US.
While Land Rover’s off roader appealed to my tiny British mind, some of the VAST trucks on display made my head feel all strange.
The stuff you can buy from the forecourt is mad enough, but then people go to town on them. Suffice to say I left feeling somewhat confused.
Storage from front right through to the rear
Bollinger’s B1 and B2 electric pick ups were cool. 200 mile range, 614bhp, and a trunk/frunk thing that goes down the length of the vehicle.
It’s super utilitarian, meaning you can throw it around and not worry too much about what happens to it. It’s not for posing, but for doing.
The Karma SC2 was a nice surprise. Its doors were ludicrous, sure, but its promised 1.9 second 0-60mph time, 350 mile range, and 1085bhp were rather appealing.
Its main party piece, though, is its ‘Drive and Play’ tech – it lets drivers relive their, or other people’s, previous drives thanks to lidar, lasers, sensors, and cameras recording everything that’s going on. Sounds cool, will never actually happen.
The new 'Vette
The new convertible Corvette was there. Oh my it’s ugly. Spectacularly so.
The Mustang Mach-E
Ah, the Ford Mustang Mach-E. It’s a Mustang, but an SUV and an EV. Which, if you read lots of the internet, cannot be a thing. However, if you’re Ford it can be.
In person it looks pretty good, wearing its OG Mustang-inspired details well. Lots of people are cross about its name, and that’s understandable because Mustang has meant one thing for decades now. But associating this massive gamble with a known, iconic name is a smart move on Ford’s part as it means when someone looks for a Mustang they’ll have a choice of MASSIVE V8 coupé, or family-friendly EV. Win win, frankly.
The overall winner of the LA show didn’t have a wheel at each corner, but a paw. Subaru had a pen full of rescue dogs for show attendees to meet and, hopefully adopt.
Each day the rescue centre Subaru displays changes, helping out as many as they can throughout the duration of the event. These were the goodest boys of the 2019 LA Auto Show.