LOS ANGELES, CA: European manufacturers came to the Los Angeles Auto Show with a wide range of vehicles ranging from nifty like electrics like the MINI plug-in hybrid to the mighty Mercedes AMG Project One called the first street legal F1 car.
Porsche’s presence was primarily about performance with the debut of the 2019 911 Carrera T.
With less weight, a manual transmission with a shorter constant transaxle ratio and a standard mechanical rear differential lock, performance and driving pleasure are heightened for this “purist” 911.
The 911 Carrera T (“T” stands for Touring) is also equipped with several performance-enhancing features that are not available on the standard 911 Carrera.
The twin-turbo 3.0 flat-six engine develops 370 hp and 339 lb/ft of torque, the latter of which is available in a broad range between 1,750 and 5,000 rpm.
Thanks to the manual transmission with a shorter constant transaxle ratio and the mechanical rear differential lock, the 911 Carrera T accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, 0.1 second quicker than the standard 911 Carrera.
The brand is also expanding the mid-engine 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman model lines with new GTS models.
A newly developed intake plenum and an optimized turbocharger increase the output of the 2.5-litre flat-four cylinder engine to 365 hp.
Like all 718 model variants, the new GTS derivatives come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission is an option.
When equipped with the optional PDK transmission both GTS models are capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The top track speed is 180 mph.
The Audi stand in LA saw the North American debut of the 2019 A8 flagship sedan.
Canadian A8s will be equipped with a 3.0-litre twin turbo direct injection engine with 340 hp and 369 lb/ft of torque. In Canada we will get the “L” versions, which offer a 1,300 mm (5.1-in) greater wheelbase for 32 mm (1.3-in) more rear legroom.
Interestingly, all A8s sedans are “mild” hybrids, thanks to a 48-volt electrical system that does away with the 12-volt system that has been around since the dawn of the automobile.
This allows for “engine off” coasting, increased start/stop operation and kinetic energy recuperation under braking made possible by a belt driven starter/alternator. With its standard lithium-ion battery, speeds of 55-160 km/h are possible on electric only.
Over at BMW, we saw the world premiere of the first-ever BMW M3 CS, the North American premiere of the BMW X7 Concept, the BMW 8 Series Concept and the BMW M5.
And in keeping with it’s promise to have 25 electrified vehicles, 12 of which will be all electric, by 2025, BMW Group held the North American reveals of the Auto Show including the North American premieres of the BMW i Vision Dynamics, MINI Electric Concept and BMW i3s.
But the highlight had to be the world debut of the i8 Roadster with its unique fabric soft-top which stows into a perpendicular position in the rear when opened, therefore taking up very little space. The three segments of the roof fold vertically in a Z-shape, leaving an additional 100 litres of storage space between the roof box and the seats, on top of the 88 litres of cargo space in the rear compartment.
Battery performance has been enhanced so the Roadster can cover 33 miles emission free thanks at a lithium-ion battery from 20 Ah to 34 Ah for peak output of 143 hp.
The largest ever range of Jaguar Land Rover vehicles were in LA with the 2018 Range Rover SVAutobiography making its world debut along with the first-ever JLR plug-in hybrids.
Also shown for the first time in North America was the Land Rover Discovery SVX concept, a new production-intent SVO model with design enhancements and increased performance and capability on a variety of terrains, surfaces and weather conditions
The Jaguar E-PACE compact performance SUV, Jaguar XJR575 flagship luxury sedan and Jaguar XF Sportbrake also made their first North American appearances.
Of several reveals on the Mercedes-Benz stand perhaps the most important was the world premiers of the third generation CLS that will have three, six-cylinder engines available when it goes on sale next year.
Standard equipment includes LED High Performance headlights, 18-inch light-alloy wheels with mixed tires, Lane Keeping Assist, Speed Limit Assist, a 12.3-inch media display, ambience lighting including illuminated air vents, Mercedes me connect services and a communication module with LTE.
First shown earlier this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show, LA witnessed the North American unveiled of the Mercedes AMG Project One with 1,000 hp hybrid drivetrain incorporating lessons learned with the brand’s Formula 1 racecars.
With four electric motors, the four-wheel powered hypercar has a top speed of 217 mph.
A resurgent Volvo brought its new XC40 compact CUV for its first showing in North America making it the third crossover in the lineup joining the mid-size XC60 and full-size XC90.
It is the first model on Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which will underpin all other upcoming cars in the 40 Series including fully electrified vehicles.
The XC40 will initially be available with Volvo’s T5 four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain and all-wheel drive.
Los Angeles was the first time Volkswagen has shown its three I.D. electrics on the same stage.
The I.D. compact is ready for sale in Europe and the much-anticipated I.D. Buzz people mover will be put into production.
But the big news was the I.D. Crozz concept shown in LA would be the basis for a compact CUV that will go on sale in North America by 2020.
About the size of a VW Tiguan, the I.D. Crozz blends an 83-kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a pair of electric motors, one on each axle.
The front motor generates 101 hp and the rear 201 hp resulting in a combined system output of 302 hp with an anticipated range of up to 300 miles.
The interesting thing about the motors and VW 4Motion AWD is the rear motor is the default driving force letting the front motor to automatically engage when needed for traction.
Or it can be switched on for off-road use or snowy conditions.