Speed, style, and sizzle

The journalists have all left the Los Angeles Convention Center, leaving it to the motor-minded public to take up the slack and fill the halls at this year’s LA Auto Show. Behind the gates, attendees will find several high-profile makes missing in action, with names like Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari, and Rolls-Royce all absent for 2016. Nevertheless, La La Land still managed to muster up some very impressive debuts, and we’ve collected our top five right here for your perusal and enjoyment.

While crossovers were undoubtedly the dominant body style at this year’s show, there were also several exceptions that brought fun, sportiness, and luxury to the table as well. Long story short, the crème de la crème from the 2016 LA Auto Show offers a little something for everyone, so read on for the lowdown.

Continue reading for the full story.

Best In Show

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
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Probably the most important debut of the show was the Stelvio SUV, the Italian automaker’s very first foray into the jacked-up body style segment. As part of Alfa’s refreshed product portfolio, the Stelvio uses the same Giorgio platform as the Giulia sedan, and it pulls styling cues from the aforementioned four-door as well.

But of course, Alfa Romeo is best known for it’s lithe little sports cars, such as the 4C, which makes the Stelvio a pretty big break from tradition. That said, the Stelvio should still be a lot of fun, especially when you consider that it takes its name from the Stelvio Pass, a hairpin-heavy ribbon of tarmac widely considered one of the best driving roads in the world.

To back the nameplate, Alfa is equipping a Ferrari-derived 2.9-liter V-6 producing over 500 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, making this lovely-looker a direct competitor with top-shelf iterations of the BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, and Porsche Macan. Look for it in dealers next year.

Read the full review here.

Honda Civic Si

Honda Brings Civic Si Prototype to Los Angeles, Confirms 2017 Launch High Resolution Exterior
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There are very few sport compacts out there with as much tuner cred as the Civic. But throw a few extra letters on the name, and you’re looking at true import royalty. Such is the case with the new Civic Si, which just debuted in prototype form at this year’s LA Auto Show.

Outside, we find uprated styling and aero, which slots in neatly as a mid-range offering just below the ballistic Type R variant. Although still labeled as a prototype, we’re thinking the look shown in LA won’t change much by the time it hits dealers. The same can be said for the sporty interior, which boasts heavily bolstered bucket seats, red stitching, and a TFT display behind the steering wheel.

Performance-wise, we’re still waiting on a final spec, but we’re expecting a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder pumping out around 200 horsepower.

Read the full review here.

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension High Resolution Exterior
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When Chevy unveiled the Colorado ZR2 concept back in 2014, we were left excited. Now that enthusiasm comes full circle, as the Bowtie just dropped cover on a production version that looks like it’s bringing all the good stuff of the original design study.

Offered as a serious midsize off-roader, the Colorado ZR2 will come with options for both gas and diesel power. Priming it for a stint in the Dakar Rally is impressive suspension travel and 31-inch tires.

Our resident truck specialist, Mark McNabb, had this to say:

“Chevy is on fire these days, and the ZR2 is the long-awaited, purpose-built truck the industry has been calling for. Finally, the Raptor has honest competition from a truck fitted with high-tech shocks, locking differentials, unique bodywork, and traction management software designed to make the most out of the hard-core hardware.”

Read the full review here.

Mercedes-Maybach S650 Convertible

Spoil Yourselves Silly With The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Los Angeles – the land of well-compensated entertainers and media moguls, where superlative style (and the associated atmospheric cost) is paramount to success. That makes LA the perfect place to debut one of the most eye-wateringly expensive models to ever wear the three-pointed Mercedes star.

Based on the already-opulent Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet, the Maybach S650 raises the stakes with touches like crystal-embedded headlights and unique 20-inch wheels. Inside, you’ll find one of the very finest interiors in the world, with high-quality wood trim and quilted leather upholstery. The original AMG party piece carries over unchanged, offering a real shove with the right pedal firmly depressed thanks to 621 horsepower, 738 pound-feet of torque, 12 cylinders, and six liters of boosted displacement.

Exclusivity will be set at just 300 units, with each example priced at well over $300,000.

Read the full review here.

Mazda CX-5

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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We’ve always liked Mazda’s fun-to-drive CX-5 crossover, as it mixes traditional tall-body qualities with a healthy amount of Mazda-style zoom-zoom. As luck would have it, Mazda introduced a second generation in LA, and we like what we see.

To rise above the din of this decidedly congested segment, the new CX-5 starts with an updated look, including new Kodo design language cues and marginally wider dimensions for the exterior. The cabin is also refreshed, thanks to a new dash design, a new 7.0-inch display screen, and a 4.6-inch driver’s information screen.

Helping the second-gen turn is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system, which complements the MacPherson strut and multi-link suspension for improved handling prowess. Powerplant options include the same 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter four-bangers as before, but this time around Mazda also added its 2.2-liter diesel for the oil-burner fans.

Read the full review here.

Honorable Mention: Lamborghini Huracan RWD Spyder

Lamborghini Huracan RWD Spyder Goes Topless In LA High Resolution Exterior
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If Lambo decided to actually set up a booth at the LA Convention Center this year, the new topless Huracan would definitely be part of our top five. Unfortunately, the Raging Bull opted to introduce the Huracan RWD Spyder in an ancillary event in SoCal, which means it doesn’t qualify for a spot in the list.

Still, we adore this thing, so we had to at least give it a mention. It’s got all the right Lambo cues, plus blue sky above and power at the back. And while the soft top is a little heavier and slightly slower than the hardtop, it’s still packing a mighty punch.

That’s because the Spyder gets the same 5.2-liter V-10 powerplant as the coupe, laying out 580 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. Handling cog swaps is a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, while optional Magneto Rheological Suspension keeps it glued to the road.

Look for the Huracan RWD Spyder in dealerships this January, with pricing slotting in somewhere north of $200,000.

Read the full review here.

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