Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Ford’s most powerful, naturally aspirated engine ever could be hiding under the hood of pretty much anything and you know we’d love it. When this mega motor is snug inside the new Shelby GT350 Mustang, well, consider us smitten. This 5.2-liter V-8 will deliver in excess of 500-horsepower, minus the use of any trick turbos or superchargers, and comes fitted to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Aimed directly at cross-town rival, the track-tuned Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, the GT350 employs lightweight materials in its build – to trim weight and boost performance – and comes with a magnetic ride control system.
The future is here, and it’s not exactly pretty. Alright, we’ll admit the Toyota Mirai is not a beauty queen – to put it mildly! But look beyond the over-sized front air intakes, those strange front fenders, the completely disjointed shape of the rear tail lamps…umm, what were we saying?
Oh yes, this Toyota is hydrogen-powered and emits no harmful emissions (unless you have an aversion to water vapor coming out the tail-pipe). Capable of traveling approximately 300 miles per tank, sales of the Mirai will migrate across the country as plans to increase a hydrogen-refueling infrastructure come to fruition.
Jaguar F-Type AWD
Jaguar is making it very hard to find flaws with its F-Type Coupe and Convertible. The standard V-6 models have loads of power but, for the ultimate in British hooliganism, the mighty supercharged V-8 is a masterpiece of sound and fury.
Now you can even take this 2-seater in the snow, should you so desire, thanks to optional all-wheel-drive. When fitted to the 550-horsepower F-Type R Coupe, this system helps launch the Jag from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.9 seconds. Getting to and from your favorite ski slopes is about to get a whole lot faster, and more fun. (Admit it, a ski rack on an F-Type Coupe would look pretty awesome!)
Audi Prologue Concept
Big, bold and, apparently, also the new face of the Audi brand. The Audi Prologue Concept is a massive luxury coupe that is absolutely filled with the German automaker’s finest hardware. This includes Audi’s aluminum-intensive architecture, of course, along with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 that delivers a staggering 605-horspower and more than 500 lb.-ft. of torque.
The cabin is refined and cutting-edge, with a minimalist design that hides the fact this car is a technical showcase for the brand. And as we mentioned, the exterior styling is a strong indication as to where the rest of Audi’s lineup will be headed, stylistically speaking. Generally, we love the clean surfaces and the pillar-less coupe design.
But is it us, or does the front grille and headlight treatment look a tad, erm, Ford Fusion-like?
Volkswagen Golf R Variant
Volkswagen could be pandering to automotive journalists here in L.A., courtesy of the sleek and powerful Golf R Variant wagon. Yes, for whatever reason, car journalists have a strange fondness for wagons – despite the fact that most U.S. car buyers vastly prefer SUVs, crossovers, or taking the bus.
Wagons aren’t too popular stateside, that’s for certain. But this one could help change things, thanks to the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and quick-thinking 6-speed DSG automatic beneath the handsome proportions of this VeeDub.
Frugal and fast – the run from 0 to 60 mph takes 5.0 seconds – the Golf R Variant is a long-shot for U.S. sales, though its appearance in Los Angeles hints there is a chance, however small.
Bentley Grand Convertible
Coming to a Beverly Hills mansion near you, we present the Bentley Grand Convertible. Car names are rarely so blunt and accurate as this big Bentley drop-top. As you’ve noticed, this is a convertible version of the existing Mulsanne sedan and, oh yes, it happens to be very, very “Grand.”
The rich duotone paintjob and wood veneer trim that covers the convertible top when it’s folded is simply mesmerizing. Powering this stately beast is a 6.75-liter V-8, that produces 530-horsepower and, wait for it, an incredible 811 lb.-ft. of torque.
No price has been mentioned, but considering this is a rival to the similarly audacious Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, something in the region of $450,000 per copy seems about right.
Scion iM Concept
The Scion lineup was looking a little old for a brand that’s supposed to be targeting a youthful clientele. The iM Concept is technically a show-car here in Los Angeles, but we’re betting big money on this being the direct replacement for the current xD hatchback.
We love the exaggerated wheel arches and large alloy wheels fitted to the iM Concept – despite the fact that production models will undoubtedly feature less extreme bodywork and rims. In this category, you’re talking 4-cylinders and front-wheel-drive, with an eye towards economy versus outright sportiness.
That’s fine, though we’re hoping Scion offers a performance variant, something with extra attitude (and a turbocharged motor!) that keeps most of this concept’s flair.
Volvo V60 Cross Country
Amongst all the sports and supercars here in L.A., it can be easy to forget some of the real-world models. While it won’t smoke tires like the Mustang GT350, or impress the neighbors like the Bentley Grand Convertible, there is a lot to like in this Volvo wagon.
Ride height has been increased by more than 2.0 inches, and all-wheel-drive comes as standard equipment in the Cross Country version of the V60. Power will initially be provided by a 250-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine when the V60 Cross Country goes on sale here.
Comfortable, slightly more rugged, and with Volvo’s legendary reputation for safety, the V60 Cross Country proves the L.A. Auto Show has a quieter, more sensible side to it.
Cadillac is not giving up its ongoing chase of German luxury sedans – especially those with AMG or M logos on their haunches. The ATS-V Coupe and Sedan have bulked up, performance-wise, thanks to a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6 engine that is available with your choice of 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic.
This Caddy will slingshot its way from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds, and can hit a top speed in excess of 185 mph. Giving the game away that this is no normal ATS, the exterior features a new hood with functional vents, along with other aero-friendly addendum to keep this Cadillac planted to the road at high speed.
BMW X5 M and X6 M
Maybe we’re getting too focused on the performance cars at the L.A. Auto Show – but really, is that a bad thing? And be honest, how could we not include this pair of over-the-top BMW super-sport-utilities on our list of favorites here in the City of Angels?
Fitted with a 567-horsepower, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine, these monsters will haul themselves (and a fair amount of cargo) from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds. Wilder air intakes, bigger alloy wheels, and subtle interior improvements mark this pair out as being the SUV of choice for anyone who wants go-anywhere capability coupled to racetrack-ready performance.