Next week, the great city of Los Angeles will make way for the greatest event of the year: the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. It will be a scene of awesome adventure and heart stopping derring-do— No. No it won’t. Instead, you’ll find a thin array of carmakers still trying to make this auto show model relevant. But at least the LAAS has recognized that and added a bunch of mobility- and tech-oriented events to make things interesting.
Will they succeed?????? Probably not.
It’s a little sparse this year, but that’s because auto shows are drying up more and more every year. That’s why you’ll see way more mobility- and tech-oriented displays,. Which is actually a good thing, because car tech is beginning to share the stage with regular car reveals. Although it might also be a bad thing, because “mobility” and “tech” are buzzwords that the numbed masses are supposed to like, much like we were all supposed to love 3D TV.
The show’s public days are from November 18 to November 27. You can buy tickets here.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
A crossover. An Alfa crossover. Don’t whine and moan about the apocalypse, the apocalypse clearly came and went a long time ago. Expected to share the base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found in the Giulia, the Stelvio crossover is also expected to borrow visually from the sedan. Nevermind that Alfa Romeo looked into making a crossover way back in 2003—better late than never!
ReachNow. Like Reach Toothbrush. We know, silly name already, so not the best start. In prepping for a future where cars are less personal and more shared spaces, BMW will launch a car-sharing service that will offer short-term and long-term rentals. Currently, it offers the base two- and four-door Mini Cooper, a 328xi and the electric i3 with the gasoline range extender. Think about it like BMW Zipcar.
Honda Civic Si
THE CIVIC Si!!!!!! Okay, so its reputation has suffered a bit in recent years as Honda got lazy and complacent and other people made better cars with names like Focus ST and BRZ and whatnot, but Honda looks like it might be back, maybe! Whether or not the Si will have a detuned version of the Civic Type-R’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the new SI should be one for the drivers. Hasn’t it always been?
(I guess? If you’re willing to get something that’s okay?)
Land Rover Discovery
While I highly doubt that there will be a Discovery actually swimming at the LA Auto Show, it will be there and I will probably go and sit in it at some point. It’s a pity that the thing won’t be moving because, judging from our initial story about it, it’s quite the off-roader:
With the optional $1,500 air suspension, the fifth-gen Discovery—based on the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport platform— has a 34 degree approach angle, a Ridiculous For An SUV This Big 27.5 degree breakover angle, a solid 30 degree departure angle, and 11.1 inches between the belly and the ground.
Seems to me like the place to experience this car is out in the desert, not on a carpeted convention center show floor.
What we have of the all-new Mazda CX-5 right now is this shadowy image. The previous one was an exciting crossover that came with a manual (!), but you could also get it in an automatic if you wanted to, I guess. Hopefully, the new one will gain a bit more power than the current 155-HP and 184-HP versions and also come with a three-pedal option.
If somebody put a gun to my head and said, you must buy and own a crossover, doesn’t matter which, I would wholeheartedly go with the CX-5. Mazda’s design has been on point lately, and if you’re going to sell your soul in the name of conformity, at least be able to do it with some flair.
Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 and E63
Formally known as the GLE400, the GLE43 is the new AMG-ified SUV with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. We all knew it was going to happen. What counts as a bonafide AMG becomes more and more unclear with these nomenclature shifts, but it’s 2016 and this is the world we live in now. Nothing makes sense. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.
Meanwhile, the E63 and E63 S have finally been both fitted with an all-wheel-drive system. This was inevitable. Maybe it will help tame the 563- or 603-HP twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 somewhat? Also, it’ll have Drift Mode. Remember, Older And Distinguished Mercedes-Benz Buyer With Money, Drift Mode doesn’t turn you into a drift god. Don’t do it to show off to your friends because the only people who will be impressed will be the people laughing at you on YouTube.
Or do do it, so that we can laugh. It’s good to laugh. Right, friends?
It’s big and its grumpy face is coming for us. The new Countryman is here to fulfill the American need for big cars and storage space. And adventure-having on the weekends. Does it kind of spit on the traditional Mini mantra of small and maneuverable? A little bit! But whatever sells, I suppose.
Nissan Sentra Nismo
This one may or may not happen, but c’mon, how cool with a red-and-black Nismoed Sentra be? If anything, it will put some zing back in the compact economy market.
Porsche Panamera Executive
Porsche limos are coming to the show—the Executive versions of the Panamera’s all-wheel-drive variants have stretched the already long silhouette of the Panamera by nearly six inches. I’m not complaining, though. They look great.
I’ve never thought that anyone would prefer to be driven in a Porsche over actually driving a Porsche, but anything can happen. Look, if it sells, cool. More 911s for the rest of us.
Volkswagen Atlas and Golf
The appropriately named Atlas won’t come in a diesel (duh), but is poised to be the SUV that will help save Volkswagen in America. The reasons for this include being a big, honking seven-seater SUV and appealing to a wider audience than the Beetle, GTI or Golf R.
Cheap gas means that Americans feel more okay with buying SUVs, so this is a strategic move on VW’s part. It’s the first leg of a long climb back into the good graces of the American market after floppy sales and, uh, that whole diesel thing.
The new Golfs will get a power bump from 201 HP to 227, while the Performance Package goes from 230 HP to 245 HP. The outside has been sharpened up a bit and the inside will feature the fully digital Active Info Display instrumentation panel and infotainment screen. Can anyone say Audi A4?
No, really, because the more the Golf becomes A4-esque, the more I see no reason to buy an A4. That is, if you don’t care about brand snobbery.