2014 Los Angeles Auto Show - What To See And Where To See
The LA Auto Show is now open to the public, and that means that until November 30th, you can get an up close and personal look at some of the latest machinery to roll out of Asia, Europe, and North America. There’s nothing quite like seeing a bedroom poster come to life under the lights of the enormous Los Angeles Convention Center, gleaming and perfect. Or, more practically, it’s the ideal opportunity to recon for an upcoming automotive purchase. There are also tons of fun games and motor-themed activities, like the Pirelli F1 simulator and Ford RC car track. Either way, it’s a definite bucket list item for any petrol head; the sheer volume of cars available for examination is enough to quicken the heartbeat of even the mildest car enthusiast.
The show is broken into two main sections, the South Hall and West Hall, which are connected by a long concourse. There are a few satellite areas, but most manufacturers reside in one of these two halls. The convention center is enormous, so print out a map and mark the manufacturers you want to see beforehand. That way, you won’t have to slog through the multitudes as you bounce between each area.
But with so many cars to comb through, how should you spend your time? Don’t worry, because we got you covered. Past the jump, you can check out a few brief profiles on some of the more popular vehicles in attendance, and get insider tips on what to expect and how to approach them. Once those gates open, the clock begins, so plan well!
Check the full list after the jump.
2014 Los Angeles Auto Show - Floor Map
2016 Acura ILX - Acura Stand In South Hall
Honda’s luxury marque is giving North America a solid compact sedan option with the ILX, which now comes with the same 2.4-liter inline-four carried over from the TLX, with 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque on tap through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Acuras have customarily been about high technology offered at a competitive price, and it appears as though the ILX continues that tradition. Inside, there’s an eight-inch display coupled with a seven-inch touchscreen, power seats with a two-setting driver’s position memory function, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation, Collision Mitigation, and a Multi-View Rear Camera.
Although pricing is not yet official, we’re thinking the ILX will end up as a very smart buy, with similar features to its German competitors but without the premium price. Check it out nestled between Volvo and Cadillac in the South Hall. The Acura booth is not that large, but without a ton of attention-grabbing vehicles on display, it should still present a fairly easy visit.
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept - Chevrolet Stand In South Hall
Lean and mean are the main descriptors for this off-road beauty. Starting with the highly proficient Colorado extended cab, Chevy added a slew of equipment designed to give this truck a one up on Mother Nature. This includes a wider stance, knobby tires, electric winch, and rocker panel guards to protect that lovely Cyprus Green paint.
Not only does the ZR2 look the part, the 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel under the raised and louvered hood is definitely no poseur powerplant either. With a stout 369 pound-feet of torque on command, there’s enough grunt to backup all those body mods.
This thing looks like it belongs at the peak of some far-flung mountain, which means the all-terrain crowd will surely encircle it with great haste. Luckily, most folks in LA associate off-road capabilities with hopping a curb at Whole Foods, so you should have a somewhat clear view. You can find it in front of the Chevy booth in the rear of the South Hall.
Ford Mustang Rocket by Henrik Fisker and Galpin Auto Sports - Galpin Auto Sports Stand In Concourse Hall
In our opinion, pictures don’t quite do Fisker’s design justice when it comes to his super-powered Mustang. The six-figure Ford is a superb piece of design, and it’s great to see Fisker back at what he does best. Dubbed the “Rocket”, this muscle car is rippling with carbon fiber bulges and vents. Under the hood, you’ll find 725 horsepower from a supercharged 5.0-liter Coyote V-8. The wheels are 21-inches wide, the interior is inundated by premium red leather, and the suspension and brakes are heavily upgraded. The whole thing simply radiates supremacy.
You can find this finely tuned piece of art in the Concourse Hall connecting the West and South Halls. It’s definitely worth a stop as you travel between each of the two main areas, but be warned: there are some pretty nice exotics tucked away in this small space, so elbowroom will be at a premium.
Ford Shelby GT350 - Ford Stand In West Hall
We’ve been looking forward to the official reveal of the GT350 for some time. Now that it’s finally here, we’re buzzing with anticipation for the chance to actually get behind the wheel and turn over that 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V-8, just to let it wind out along our favorite country road. No worries about wooly handling- this pony car comes equipped with four-wheel independent suspension, MagneRide dampers, a wider front track, and increased spring rates to make it a beast both on the drag strip or the road course. Throw in a third pedal, and color us smitten.
If you want to see it yourself, you’ll need to trek to the far corner of the West Hall, behind Kia, near the exit. It’s up on a big, white, round stage, with a giant blue wall behind it. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a peek at the classic Mustangs parked nearby, plus the Ford RC car track just outside.
Nissan Juke Color Studio - Nissan Stand In West Hall
What do the kids want? More colors! At least that’s what the execs at Nissan were thinking when they okayed the Juke Color Studio. Anyone looking for hands-on customizability will be delighted to give 12 different parts of their Juke a new shade of their choosing, which should yield results both amazing and…uh, let’s go with unique.
With a front fascia makeover, access to the NissanConnect infotainment system, and the Color Studio program, this Japanese crossover should have no problem differentiating itself from the pack. Apparently, sales have been good enough to justify a slight price increase across the entire range, with an extra $1,000 dollars per model required over last year. With more technology and options, we’ll see if it pays off.
You can find Nissan and it’s technicolor Juke box next to Honda in the West Hall. Just take a left at the front entrance and keep walking.
2016 Mazda6 - Mazda Stand In South Hall
The zoom-zoom company is proud of the fact that every car in its lineup exhibits some form of sporting intent, and with the 6, that recipe is definitely well executed. It’s a fantastic blend of performance and practicality. The sedan looks great, offers very decent interior refinement, and, most importantly, it’s a joy when carving up the payment. This year, the 6 received light updates, mostly centered on the interior, with the dashboard and center console being the most noticeable. Under the hood is the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder from yesteryear, with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque running through the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. The 6 was already a fantastic balance between what you need and what you want, so it’s no wonder the new model so closely resembles the previous. A little more power couldn’t hurt, but hey, we say that about pretty much everything.
To see it yourself, head towards the back of the South Hall. Sitting between Chevrolet and VW you’ll find a sea of red, with the 6 sitting out front.
2016 Mazda CX-3 - Mazda Stand In South Hall
With the KODO “Soul of Motion” styling language to back it, Mazda is creating some of the best-looking crossovers on the market. This is no different with the all-new CX-3, unveiled for the first time at the LA Auto Show. Despite its compact size, the CX-3 sits five passengers comfortably. Although official figures have yet to be released, a Skyactiv 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will probably create around 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, which should be more than effective at motivating the relatively low-weight Mazda to an estimated 7.5-second 0-to-60 time and 125 mph top speed. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only available gearbox, but buyers can choose between either front-wheel-drive or an all-wheel-drive system. Those looking for a bit more peace of mind can rest assured with several advanced safety technologies, both active and passive, such as collision aversion and cabin deformation suppresion. On the interior, there are some really nice touches as well, like a driver-centric infotainment screen and minimal HVAC controls.
The CX-3 sits a bit further back in the Mazda booth, which is located at the rear of the South Hall, across from Maserati. We expect lots of interest in this brand new model, so get there early if you want an obstruction-free assessment.
2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan - Cadillac Stand In South Hall
Named one of TopSpeed’s “Best of Show” for this year’s event, the ATS-V is a stunner for sure. Let’s sum it up: take a striking interior, bathe the interior with luxury, and stuff a ton of performance underneath. Sound good?
This is Cadillac’s move to take on the European carmakers that traditionally dominate the segment, and clearly, it’s pulling no punches. With a twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V-6 creating 455 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque, there’s no shortage of muscle. Turning it all into traction is a six-speed manual, or optional eight-speed automatic, both of which connect to the rear wheels by way of a limited-slip differential, thus delivering 0-to-60 times slightly under four seconds.
The ATS-V is no stranger to the track, and as such, the suspension features GM’s adaptive Magnetic Ride Control for quick adjustment and maximum cornering. The brakes are from Brembo, with six-pot calipers in front and four-pot calipers out back, and there are even a couple available track packages with carbon fiber aero and a Performance Data Recorder.
But even with all these track-oriented goodies, don’t forget: it’s still a Cadillac, and that means luxury. Interior surfaces are covered in Alcantara, there’s a haptic feedback control panel, Bluetooth, voice recognition, Wi-Fi connectivity, and all the other opulent bits you’d expect. Space in the back is a little tight, but that’s ok; larger passengers hurt lap times.
Cadillac has a large booth at the center of the South Hall. Upon entering, walk straight past Audi and look left. The ATS-V will be the blue one surrounded by gawkers.
2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe - Cadillac Stand In South Hall
Just like its four-door sibling, the ATS-V Coupe is a rocket ship. With the same powerplant, suspension, and performance specs as the sedan, the coupe version might make a bit more sense for those looking into purchasing a high-performance vehicle. You can fold down the front seats to squeeze some malleable passengers into the rear, but that’s only in a literal pinch. If you care less about people hauling and more about smoking tires, clearly, the decision is already made. The sedan looks great, but in our opinion, the coupe looks even better, as the lines fit the two-door layout much more elegantly. As a BMW M-Series and Mercedes AMG fighter, ATS-V owners can line up next to the Bavarians with pride, whether it’s the impromptu parking lot car show or some deserted stoplights.
The ATS-V Coupe can be found parked close to the blue ATS-V Sedan in the middle of the South Hall, across from the Buick booth.
2015 Chrysler 300 - Chrysler Stand In West Hall
The 300 has a long history attached to it, stretching all the way back to 1955. The original idea was a powerful luxury car that combined high-end looks and interior amenities with major displacement under the hood. Discontinued and revived more than once, Chrysler wrestled with a newer version in the 60s and 70s, before finally debuting a modern 300 in 2004. For 2015, the sedan received several updates to both the exterior and interior, such as a new front fascia, taillights, rear spoiler, and new cabin materials and color schemes. The engine lineup remains unchanged, with either a 3.6-liter V-6 rated at 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, or premium HEMI 5.7-liter V-8 putting down 363 horsepower 394 pound-feet of torque. However, Chrysler did add an eight-speed Torquelifte automatic transmission to the range-topping V-8 model. At only $31,395 for a base 300, this could shape up to be quite the bargain.
2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS - Porsche Stand In Petree Hall
Despite the howling of Porsche purists worldwide, the Cayenne has been a windfall for the German automaker ever since it was first put into production in 2002. We first saw a GTS version in 2007, when the sporty SUV received lightening and aero enhancements that slotted it just behind the more powerful Turbo model. The most recent update includes several interior and exterior tweaks, but most notably, a new engine. Replacing the V-8 is a twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V-6. At 440 horsepower, the Cayenne is still no slouch, running to 60 mph in just under five seconds, with a top speed of 163 mph. However, accompanying this new package is an enormous sticker price increase of $12,200, up to a total just south of 100K at $95,500.
Anyone seeking the Cayenne has to travel a bit out of the way to get there, specifically to the Petree Hall located just outside the main entrance of the West Hall. This Porsche-only area features lights that are too bright, abundant electronic music, and several overly concerned car handlers.
Audi A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro Concept - Audi Stand In South Hall
As the search for an alternative to fossil fuels continues, Audi is making headway into developing its own hydrogen-powered vehicles with the A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro. Featuring the same subdued-yet-stylish exterior design available on the production A7 Sportback, this concept boasts a hydrogen fuel cell under the hood that promises a range of 300 miles, 227 horsepower, and 398 pound-feet of torque. While figures like these translate into less than impressive performance specs, the carbon free emissions render the point mute. Beyond the futuristic hybrid driveline, the A7 H-Tron concept comes with all the regular A7 features, like a large interior with plenty of leather and aluminum surfaces, MMI infotainment, and the obligatory all-wheel-drive system. This thing looks ready to roll. Now if only the rest of the world could catch up.
If you want to see Audi’s vision for the future of hydrogen, take a hard left past the entrance of the South Hall and look for the R8s.
Audi Prologue Concept - Audi Stand In South Hall
Never content to rest on its laurels, Audi brought several concepts to LA, including the grand unveiling of its Prologue Concept. The four ring brand has long endured criticism that its styling schemes are stuck on repeat, a reputation it hopes to overcome with the Prologue. The result is not necessarily a dramatic departure from what we’ve already seen, but it’s certainly far more than just a mild refresh. The nose, for example, is now sharper, with the headlights, grille, and lower vents carved at harder angles, lending a much more aggressive frontend appearance. The backend falls away very quickly, which lends a sporty flavor to the rear. While a bit shorter than the production A8, this car is still low and long, measuring in at 17 feet in length and only 4.6 feet in height. The interior is supposed to be a move from the traditional button interface to touch displays, which should simplify the layout enormously.
Although the interior is off limits, you can still get a glimpse of the this striking piece of German design on stage at the Audi booth in the South Hall, immediately adjacent to the front entrance, across from Hyundai.
2016 Jaguar F-Type AWD Convertible - Jaguar Stand In South Hall
To stay competitive with the Carrera 4S and R8 Spyder, Jaguar made the wise move to offer an all-wheel-drive version of the F-Type. As such, we now have a beautiful British sports car that is proficient at handling both dry, winding tarmac, and the occasional ski run. With the convertible version, long drives up and down the coast with the wind and sun rushing above you are also just a button push away. Incredibly, the F-Type convertible is just as capable as the hardtop version, which means that there’s very little that this car can’t do (beyond carrying more than two people and a gallon of milk, of course).
Under the hood, you’ll find either a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 with 380 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque, or 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 with 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. Either way, you’ll get plenty of good sounds coming out the exhaust and a torrent of thrust to pin you in your seat.
To get a glimpse at this west coast fantasy machine, head to the South Hall and take a left past Audi. Across from Acura, between Land Rover and Lexus, you’ll see a row of F-Types, with at least one sans roof.
2016 Jaguar F-Type AWD Coupe - Jaguar Stand In South Hall
Just like the convertible and rear-wheel-drive version, the coupe F-Type AWD Coupe is a stunner to look at. In fact, we’d go as far saying that we like it better as a coupe. Yes, a million miles of sky makes a sports car that much more interesting, but the roof bookends the sleek lines so well, you’d be hard pressed to automatically go with the droptop.
The same supercharged V-6 and V-8 engine options that you get in the convertible can be found in the coupe, as well as the eight-speed Quickshift automatic gearbox that’s required for enjoyment of the AWD drivetrain. Anyone looking for a clutch pedal will need to opt for the rear-wheel-drive model, which makes sense from a sliding sideways point of view. With a solid cabin, odds are you’ll get a better taste of the 770-watt Meridian audio system whenever wide-open throttle is less than appropriate.
The Jaguar booth isn’t very large, and with the curvaceous appeal of the F-Type, there are sure to be several onlookers waiting to get close. Situated close to the South Hall entrance, Jag could make the perfect first stop early in the day.
2015 BMW X5 M - BMW Stand In South Hall
BMW’s performance SUV got all kinds of updates this year, with the exterior, interior, and drivetrain all receiving a refresh. Now, five years into production, those are welcome changes in a market where competition is growing ferociously. Visually, there are new bumpers on both ends, reshaped headlights and taillights, and the usual M bulges and air intakes. There’s the usual leather and Alcantara draping the interior, plus an optional heads-up display that gives a jet fighter-like way to monitor vitals like speed, gear, engine rpm, and shift warning. Most interesting, however, is the engine upgrade, where the twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 gets 12 more horses and 53 addition pound-feet of torque, bringing total yield to 567 and 553 respectively. This latest X5 M runs to 60 mph half a second quicker than the previous model, with a total time of four seconds flat.
The Bimmers are parked in the far corner of the South Hall. After entering, go straight back and hug the left wall. You’ll see it just past Sebastian Vettel’s F1 car.
2015 BMW X6 M - BMW Stand In South Hall
The X6 M is one of those vehicles that fly in the face of what should be physically possible with five and half thousand pounds of mass. It’s a huge automobile, but with a twin-turbo V-8 under the hood, sports car performance figures are more than attainable. There’s also all-wheel-drive grip from BMW’s xDrive system, which, in conjunction with Dynamic Damper Control and Active Roll Stabilization, makes this low-slung SUV turn far harder than it should. Appropriately behemoth six-piston brakes in the front help reign in the 567 horses kicking under the hood. Inside is all the tech and luxury you’d expect from a six-figure Bavarian import, like Merino and Nappa leather, aluminum, a Harman Kardon sound system, navigation, and even a lap timer for those interested in showing up for a track day.
Mercedes-Maybach S-Class - Mercedes-Benz Stand In South Hall
The Maybach revival won our attention as a "Best in Show" at this years event for its impressive exterior design, high technology, and simply insane interior. Outside, the Maybach makes its presence known with sleek refinement that looks taut and modern. Powering this mega-cruiser is 600 horsepower from a twin-turbo V-12. But the most impressive features are found behind those long doors. With eight inches of extra wheelbase over the standard S-Class, you need a telescope to see the front dash from the rear seats. There are individual infotainment screens, massage features, foldable tables, champagne flutes, and a mini fridge. If you can, try to snag a moment to sit and bask in $275K of extravagance.
There are two examples of the S600 at the Mercedes booth, one in silver, and the other in chestnut. After walking through the main entrance, veer left and don’t stop until you reach the far wall, where you’ll find Merc cattycorner to Volvo and Lexus.
Scion iM Concept - Scion Stand In South Hall
It looks like Scion is ready to give itself a much-needed jolt with the iM Concept vehicle. With the FR-S as a showcase for Scion’s sporting intent, we have high hopes that this new move will live up to the impressive exterior design on display at the LA Auto Show. Inspiration is drawn from “European touring” race cars, and as far as we’re concerned, the results are a resounding affirmative. Underneath the reworked body panels is a stock Toyota Auris, which is granted a new front bumper, stylized hood, wider fenders, angular rear diffuser with central exhaust, spoiler, side mirrors, and 19-inch forged wheels. The stance is low, suggesting a sport suspension setup, and with large brakes and grippy rubber, we expect the iM to turn and stop like a proper hot hatch. No word yet on expected performance figures, but we’re leaning towards an updated 1.8-liter four-banger making 180 horsepower through a six-speed manual gearbox.
As expected, Scion is placed dead center in Toyota’s massive booth in the South Hall. Through the entrance, head right. You can’t miss it.
2016 Ford Explorer - Ford Stand In West Hall
As one of America’s favorite SUVs, the Explorer is currently in its fifth iteration. Ford unveiled several updates for the 2016 model, including new styling that simplifies things with a honeycomb grille and rectangular headlights, plus a bit more panache with larger fog lamps. Wheels are standard 18-inchers, or optional 20-inch pieces. On the top-range Platinum model, you’ll find a dual-panel moonroof, silver-painted skid plates, and exhaust soot guard. There’s also plenty of options for the interior, including leather, brushed aluminum, and wood trim, heated steering wheel, and 500-watt Sony Audio System with sound dispersion elimination technology called Live Acoustics and Clear Phase. There are also new door seals to further improve interior sound quality. Finally, there are three engine options to choose from, including the addition of a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that can also be found in the Mustang and Lincoln MKC. For those looking for a little more power, there are two 3.5-liter V-6 mills, one naturally aspirated, the other in EcoBoost trim.
Ford’s trucks and SUVs can be found in the West Hall, behind Lincoln, adjacent to the muscle cars. Give it a walkthrough after drooling over the GT350 parked nearby.
Bentley Grand Convertible Concept - Bentley Stand In South Hall
Bentley is looking to chop the top from the Mulsanne with this two-door drophead concept vehicle. While still a while off from production, the Grand Convertible looks ready to rock, with a Mulsanne body that’s shorter than the hardtop, and only two doors to open. The interior is made from stained walnut, a material repeated in the lines leading from the door tops to the rear deck. The center console is gleaming with a mirror-finish chrome. Under the silver bonnet is a 6.75-liter twin turbo V-8 that produces 530 horsepower and a downright astonishing 811 pound-feet of torque.
Bentley is surrounded by Japanese automakers in the South Hall. Take a right from the entrance and head behind the large divider that sits between the Brits and Hyundai. Expect a large railing and equally large bouncers who will politely tell you in a lilting English accent that no, you can’t get any closer.
Volkswagen Golf R Variant - Volkswagen Stand In South Hall
While you could consider it old news, we think VW’s latest high-performance 5-door deserves another look in LA. We first got a peek at the US-spec Golf R at the Detroit Auto Show this year, and we were impressed: 290 horsepower form a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine, plus full-time all-wheel-drive with VW’s 4MOTION system added up to an extremely exciting package. Throw in 18-inch aluminum wheels, big brakes, and a suspension system derived from the unflappable GTI, and you have one of the most exciting sport compacts at the show. The first quarter of 2015 is nearly here, which means you can get your hands on your own Golf R in a matter of months for $36,595.
Volkswagen is well placed for comparison’s sake between Mazda, Mini, and Subaru in the western corner of the South Hall. Head straight through the entrance, turn right at Chevy, and look to your left.
Lexus LF-C2 Concept - Lexus Stand In South Hall
It was recently revealed that Lexus might forgo putting the LF-C2 into production in favor of a three-row crossover. While rather unsurprising, we still hate to see it go. It’s basically a preview of the inevitable RC convertible, with an enormous grille, slightly modified LED headlights, and angular front fascia. Inside, the concept does away with the mission control button scheme of most luxury vehicles, and instead uses a variety of screens for the user interface. A long center console stretches the length of the cabin, dividing the passenger and driver’s side with a stripe of body color. And what a color it is: the golden hue you see here is much more striking when seen in person. It’s rich and deep, and worth a visit to the Lexus booth in and of itself.
Check it out by heading to the South Hall, hanging a left past the entrance, and walking until you see this sweet nugget spinning in front of the Lexus booth.