LOS ANGELES, CALIF.—There was quite a varied selection of four-wheeled delights on display at this year’s LA Auto Show. We’ve already covered the grid full of new racing cars that Porsche, Mazda, and others unveiled, as well as taken closer looks at the Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV, Chrysler Pacifica minivan Jaguar’s I-Pace electric concept, budget performance cars from Honda and Nissan, a new compact SUV from Ford, and a connected concierge service from Volvo. But as one of the nation’s three major auto shows (along with Detroit and New York) there was obviously a lot more going on. After pounding the floors of the LA Convention Center’s halls for a few days, the gallery above represents some of our highlights.
Audi usually does something to impress, and this year was no exception. The company’s new A5 Sportback wowed us in particular. It has all the brains of the A4 sedan, but in a lither body that keeps four doors and a capacious trunk. Audi brought the S5 (a sportier variant) along, and while we couldn’t get official confirmation I’d bet good money that a carbonfibre-clad RS5 version will join the fray before too long. Because it has all-wheel drive and plenty of practicality to go with performance, I may just have found the eventual replacement for my trusty Saab 9-2x Aero.
Audi also had a laser headlight-equipped R8 on display. One of an edition of 25, the company has finally been able to get US regulators to approve the technology. The throw of the light beams is a little different to the European version, and there are safety lockouts that prevent the laser lights from coming on below about 40mph. The sticking point? It turned out to be the US Food and Drug Administration, which classifies lasers as medical devices.
Hyundai was on hand with the latest Ioniq concept. The Autonomous Ioniq Concept is notable for its use of a front bumper-mounted LIDAR sensor. Hyundai is testing this out as a possible location for the sensor, which works in fusion with radar, three different cameras, and high accuracy GPS.
The Galpin hall at the LA show is usually a place to find some weird and wonderful vehicles, and this year was no exception. There was a new Spyker—a Dutch supercar maker who consistently turns out some of the most imaginative interiors—and my personal favorite, the Pink Panthermobile. Yes, the earworm has lasted three days at this point.
We also got our first good look at the 3D-printed components from Divergent 3D. This is a startup that recently signed a partnership with the PSA Group (Peugeot and Citroën) to explore the technique in production cars. Divergent 3D had their concept sports car on display, and the quality of the work looked amazing.
There’s plenty more to explore in the gallery, including new plug-in hybrids from Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, a gigantic SUV from Volkswagen, the first time we’ve spotted Tesla at an auto show, and an assortment of concept cars. Oh, and there’s a TIE fighter.
Listing image by Jonathan Gitlin