Finding the unexpected at La La Land’s premiere automotive event

This year’s Los Angeles Auto Show was replete with both big hits and big misses, as most of the major automakers showed up to display their latest and greatest wares to the vast motor-minded audiences in attendance. Hell, even Tesla decided to make an appearance. However, nestled amongst the rows of shiny new SUVs, sedans, and sports cars, you could also find a few surprises – race cars, prototypes, one-off concepts, and just plain strange rides were scattered around like so many Easter eggs, and we got the good ones right here in the following list. These are the weird and random cars that we found at the 2017 LA Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the weird and random cars we found at the 2017 LA Auto Show.

Bollinger Motors B1 All-Electric Off-Roader

2019 Bollinger B1 AutoShow Exterior
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The big bad box you see before you is the first effort from Bollinger Motors, a startup truck manufacturer established in 2014 and based out of upstate New York. The big headline here is that this thing is totally electric, which in some ways, actually makes a lot of sense for an off-roader application (beyond the fact the great outdoors rarely comes with a charging station, of course). For example, all that low-end torque is great for crawling over obstacles, while the low-mounted batteries and electric motors keep it from tipping over. Then there’s all the extra space you get when you don’t have to engineer around a big bulky engine and drivetrain.

Dubbed the B1, the Bollinger Motors truck rides on a bespoke chassis, and gets a boxy, simplistic, utilitarian exterior that can be converted between either a half-cab or a full-cab. The interior is surprisingly spacious with its 95 cubic feet of cargo room, which also includes a full pass-through feature from the nose to the rear that’ll let you carry around long stuff. Making it go is 360 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, pumped out by a dual front/rear motor AWD system with dual gearboxes and a HI/LO range. Options include both 60-kWh and 100-kWh batteries, offering 120 miles or 200 miles respectively. Keeping it all topped off is regenerative braking, plus the option for DC fast charging. Suspension wise, there’s 15.5 inches of ground clearance, 10 inches of wheel travel, and a 56 degree/33 degree/53 degree approach/breakover/departure angle.

Read our full review on the 2019 Bollinger Motors B1.

Honda’s Indy 500 Winner

The Weird And Random Cars We Found At The 2017 LA Auto Show Exterior
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This past May, Takuma Sato managed to clinch victory at the 101st Indianapolis 500, becoming the first driver of Asian descent to win the legendary event. The race concluded in thrilling fashion, as Sato barely nosed ahead of the Chevy-powered #3 Team Penske car of Helio Castroneves, crossing the finish line with a margin of just 0.2011 seconds. Providing the power needed to edge out his rivals was Honda and Team Andretti Autosport, and in celebration of the win, the H Badge shipped out Sato’s triumphant blue and white #26 racer for all us mere mortals to gaze upon and drool over.

Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy

2017 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Exterior
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Back in September, Jaguar Land Rover announced it was launching a support race series for the FIA Formula E championship, set to get underway some time late next year. It’s called the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy, and it’ll sport a grid of equally prepped race-ready iterations of the battery-powered Jaguar I-Pace SUV, each of which will be piloted by a rookie driver looking to make a name for him or herself in the higher echelons of electric racing.

While exact specs on the I-Pace eTrophy are still forthcoming, we do know Special Vehicle Operations, Jag’s in-house skunkworks based out of Warwickshire, U.K., will be responsible for turning the wrenches. And, based on what we saw in LA, we also know each I-Pace eTrophy will get a deep front splitter, an enormous rear wing, meaty tires, and a lowered stance.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy

Mitsubishi Hybrid Outlander Rally Car

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Baja Race Car AutoShow Exterior
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While quick pavement pounders were in abundance in LA, Mitsubishi also brought out its own racing machine with this Outlander rally car. Notable for competing in the 29th Baja Portalegre 500 back in 2015, this terra firma-churner managed to place third in the first leg of the race, second in the Super Special Stage, and second in the second selective section, netting a third-place position for the final rally stage before grabbing second for the last stage. Impressive stuff, especially when you consider the Outlander was the only plug-in hybrid in attendance.

To keep it competitive, the Mitsubishi Hybrid Outlander gets a slew of upgrades over the standard road car. Providing the power is an upgraded battery pack (up to 16 kWh in the rally car) and a tuned 2.0-liter gas engine, while the front and rear electric motor control system was tweaked to make more of the go stuff as well. Keeping it floating over the bumps is a Tein suspension system, while 235/85 tires from Falken mounted on 16-inch wheels help it grip. Then of course there’s the usual lightweight exterior, plus interior strip down, bucket seats, and safety gear, while the charging port was moved inside the trunk.

Read our full review on the 2016 Mitsubishi Hybrid Outlander Rally Car.

Mitsubishi Re-Model A

The Weird And Random Cars We Found At The 2017 LA Auto Show Exterior
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Next to the dirt-busting, race-ready, hybrid Outlander rally car is something even weirder – the Mitsubishi Re-Model A. To help celebrate it’s 100th anniversary this year, Mitsu decided to give its very first model a little refresh. Starting with a Mitsubishi Model A, the Japanese brand went to the iconic West Coast Customs shop to infuse the century-old automobile with equipment and options straight outta 2017.

While the exterior retains the same antique styling, there’s a whole lot going on under the skin. Providing the platform is Mitsu’s Outlander PHEV, which means it’s got the make’s Super All-Wheel Control system (S-AWC) for grip and plug-in potential for recharging. The interior is another amalgamation of both new and old, with a modern dash plus old-timey bench seats, while features like Forward Collision Mitigation and smartphone support are included as well.

Police Responder Hybrid

The Weird And Random Cars We Found At The 2017 LA Auto Show Exterior
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Now you don’t have to burn tons of gas while out cruising for perps. Say hello to the Police Responder Hybrid, a greener alternative to the Blue Oval’s past law enforcement vehicles. Based on the Ford Fusion, the Police Responder Hybrid gets the combined power of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and electric motor to produce 188 horsepower and return 38 mpg. Coming complete with a front ramming bar, driver side spotlight, black and white exterior graphics, and classic red and blue lights on the roof, this thing looks the part perfectly, while the interior is decked-out with all the usual cop gear, plus a stain-resistant rear bench to help clean up the blood or vomit or whatever else the criminals might discharge.

Project Redspace Reds

The Weird And Random Cars We Found At The 2017 LA Auto Show Exterior
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Now we’re getting into the really strange stuff. This funky looking box thing is called the Redspace Reds, and it aims to bring hassle-free, all-electric, autonomous transportation to the masses. Created for a “megacity” environment, where streets are almost always crowded in near-constant gridlock and space of any kind is at an absolute premium, the Redspace Reds includes an interior that provides passengers with a mobile workspace, like a modular seating arrangement that’ll see the chairs rotate for face-to-face meetings, plus a fold down desk for paperwork or a spot to prop up a laptop. It looks pretty crazy, no doubt about it, but considering Redspace hails from China, a country where megacities are much more the norm, this might be the direction we’re heading as well.

GMC All-Mountain

2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept AutoShow Exterior
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The whole tank-treads-on-a-car thing has been done before, but this concept from GMC takes it to impressive new heights. Dubbed the All-Mountain, this massive slab of truck is based on the Sierra 2500HD Denali 4WD Crew Cab, rocking a torque-tastic 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V-8 as motivation for the four powder-churning tracks in the corners. With over 900 pound-feet of torque on tap, this thing has the twist needed to get to the top, while the suspension sees a massive lift to help it roll over anything in its way. Outside is an assortment of racks and mounts to get the gear there intact, while a Kicker audio system blasts the toonage while you shred the gnar. Fresh pow, bruh!

Read our full review on the 2017 GMC All-Mountain.

Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker

2018 Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker AutoShow Exterior
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Speaking of simply massive machines, check out this latest movie tie-in from Nissan. Dubbed the Titan AT-M6 Walker, the Nissan was built to help promote the latest addition to the Star Wars franchise, The Last Jedi, with full-size sci-fi effects that look like they came straight off the silver screen. Rightfully so – taking responsibility for its creation is Vehicle Effects, the same northern California-based studio that did the cars for the Fast & Furious franchise and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Of course, the Titan wasn’t the only force-powered vehicle in attendance, with a slew of smaller Nissan-based starfighters joining it on the show floor, but without a doubt, this one had the most presence. Biggest laser too.

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker.

Sondors Three-Wheeler EV

The Weird And Random Cars We Found At The 2017 LA Auto Show Exterior
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Last, but not least, we have this svelte little all-electric three-wheeler. Developed by electric bike-maker Sondors, the trike hopes to offer customers low-cost, highly efficient electron-driven transportation for around town and weekend fun. There are three seats inside, while an Italian design house penned the exterior. Pricing should start at around $10,000, with options for 75 miles, 150 miles, and 200 miles between plug-ins. Acceleration takes between 5 and 8 seconds for the 0-to-60 mph benchmark. Sondors built the prototype off 100 percent crowdfunding, and is currently seeking more money to get pre-production rolling. However, Sondors is declining to offer pre-orders to make sure it doesn’t “oversell and under-deliver.” How… contrarian?

References

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide
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Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

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