The LA Auto Show is officially upon us, and with it comes all the news and excitement of new projects from the world’s leading automotive innovators. Along with a cornucopia of new cars, trucks, and SUVs comes an onslaught of redesigns, primed for the market in the next year or two. This year, we’re seeing the reintroduction of some vehicles of yesteryear, along with shiny new faces for some contemporary classics. Needless to say, the LA Auto Show is one of those events that have auto buffs salivating in anticipation.
So, what’s in store this year? An awful lot, to say the least. There are big announcements and debuts from automakers as diverse as Bentley and Chevrolet. There are new luxury cars to check out, as well as some of the fastest cars in the world, like the Audi R8 Competition, also making their debuts. Concept cars on are on tap as well, with projects from Lexus and Audi set to be announced.
What are some of the models that have people buzzing? Read on to see ten of the new and redesigned models from the LA Auto Show that have crowds clamoring for more.
1. Mercedes Maybach S600
We’ve previously discussed the re-addition of the Maybach into the Mercedes lineup, and now it’s getting a chance to strut its stuff on stage. Officially dubbed the Maybach S600, the new Mercedes range-topper will be the ultimate luxury car, and set to go up with the best that Rolls Royce and Bentley have to offer. The new Maybach will be suited with a 6.0-liter V12 engine, capable of making 530 horsepower. Yes, this is truly set to become one of the world’s most powerful luxury chariots.
2. Ford Shelby Mustang GT350
You’ve got your Yankees and Red Sox, your Coke and Pepsi, your Star Wars and Star Trek. Rivalries make the business and sports world all the more interesting, and among the most intense is the Mustang versus Camaro. Earlier this year, Chevy upped the ante with the Z28, which slotted betwixt the 426 horsepower SS and the 580 horsepower ZL1, and for some time, Ford didn’t really have an answer to the the track-focused 505 horsepower Z28. It does now — the return of the GT350, and with it, more than 500 horsepower, 400 pound-feet of torque, MagneRide suspension dampers, a flat-crank V8, and the attitude necessary to relinquish the throne.
3. Mazda CX-3
While Mazda is well equipped to take on the likes of the Subaru Forester, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V with the CX-5, it’s quite unprepared to go head-to-head with the subcompact crossovers that have been driving huge brand growth. These include the Subaru Crosstrek, the Nissan Juke, and the Chevrolet Trax (though the latter has yet to officially hit markets, the Buick Encore — cut from the same cloth — has proven immensely successful for the brand); to answer, Mazda is revealing the CX-3, to help bridge the gap between the mini Mazda2 and the CX-5.
4. Audi Prologue
The Audi Prologue concept can essentially be thought of as an A9; at least, that’s where it would fit into the brand’s lineup, as a two-door A8. Revealed this week in Los Angeles, the stunning coupe actually serves as the template for Audi’s future design ambitions, and the low-slung stance, muscular bodywork, and the sharp, accentuated features will find their way on to the new A7 and A6 sedans.
5. Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen R
We’ve already been introduced to Volkswagen’s potent and exciting Golf R, but what America is seriously under-exposed to is hot wagons. The rest of the world — Europe especially — have some downright ludicrous options for wagon-formatted sports cars, but the style has never really caught on in the sedan-loving North American continent. Moods will hopefully swing when VW introduces the Golf Sportwagen R, a 296-horsepower variant of the forthcoming Sportwagen that has migrated from the Jetta line to the Golf. Power comes from a considerably tuned version of VW’s ubiquitous 2.0 liter four, and it’s routed to all four wheels after passing through a six-speed manual transmission. We’ll take ours in black.
6. Scion iM
Another model that we had a little notice was in the pipeline, Scion and its parent company Toyota are moving forward with their iM project. The iM is a sleek and sporty hatchback, that will be targeted to younger demographics. As the Scion brand has seen many of its models decay to some extent in the minds of consumers, the iM is an attempt to add a breath of fresh air back into the equation. With models like the xB and xD in limbo, the iM should be able to come in and get some excitement going around the Scion brand.
7. Cadillac ATS-V
For American luxury buffs, the Cadillac ATS-V is definitely something to get excited about. Jumping off of the success of the CTS-V, Cadillac brass decided to apply the same treatment to their other popular luxury car, the ATS. Due on the market as a 2016 model, the ATS-V will house a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6, which will produce 455 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. Naturally, it’ll be loaded with a fistful of luxury features, and still make the sprint from 0-60 in only 3.9 seconds.
8. Chrysler 300
Chrysler isn’t dead, not yet. And the company is setting out to prove it still belongs with a freshly-redesigned 300, due out for 2015. The 300 offers consumers a pretty classy ride at a very reasonable asking price, and the company also throws in a pretty powerful V8 engine to boot. Several trim levels are planned, so drivers are apt to find one that fits their personal taste. There are numerous equipment and material upgrades, making the new 300 a model to check out next year.
9. Ford Explorer
Ford’s giving its incredibly popular SUV a big facelift. The Explorer is getting a redesign for 2016, and from the initial images that we’re seeing, it looks like a good decision. The Explorer will go on sale next year, and also get an upgrade to a Platinum trim level, which will reportedly cost upwards of $50,000. The fresh SUV also gets a new engine, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which should help cater to drivers who want an SUV that provides both plenty of capability and great fuel economy.
10. Jaguar F-Type All-Wheel Drive
Perhaps Jaguar has been paying attention to Tesla, because the company just debuted the F-Type All-Wheel Drive. Not only that, but a manual transmission is thrown in there as well. The 2016 F-Type will boast performance stats that include a rocket-fast 3.9-second time from zero to 60 miles per hour, as well as an overall top speed of 186 miles per hour. “Our target with engineering the all-wheel drive F-TYPE was to maintain that engaging rear-drive character that’s so important to Jaguar sports car DNA, and offer even greater dynamic capability,” says Jaguar vehicle line director Ian Hoban. “With the manual transmission option for the V6-powered F-TYPE models, we’ve gone to intricate lengths to engineer a very precise, technical and responsive level of interaction between the driver, the clutch, and the transmission shift mechanism. It’s one for the driving purists — and I count myself as one of them.”