What to Expect at the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show
There are some massive reveals every year
The Los Angeles International Auto Show, which is trying to rebrand as Automobility LA but will always be the LA show to us, is quickly becoming one of the most important shows on the circuit. With apologies to the biennial Tokyo show, LA is the one that really kicks off the show season, and it’s also the one that happens when the weather in most of North America is still nice, even though next year’s Detroit show will change some of that. It all means that there are some massive reveals every year in LA. So, two weeks before the start of the LA show, here’s what to expect.
Audi E-Tron Sportback
Audi has said that the E-Tron Sportback will make its debut in LA this year. That’s the crossover-coupe version of its electric E-Tron. With a 95 kWh battery and a pair of motors delivering 400 hp in the standard version, don’t expect the Sportback to have specs that are all that much different. This is Audi doing what German lux brands do best: expanding into more segments.
BMW M8 Gran Coupe/ 2 Series Gran Coupe
BMW already revealed the 600 hp M8 Gran Coupe and 617 hp Competition version, but we’re expecting LA to be the car’s auto show reveal. The first time the public can walk up and touch it. This car is now the largest M because yes, what started out as a two-door coupe is now longer than a 5 Series. Similarly, expect the company’s new small car to make its first public appearance here. Another Gran Coupe, this time the 2 Series. This one’s a transverse-engine front-drive base with AWD standard here, but its likely that zero buyers of this stylish car will care or notice. Expect a 302 hp top-spec version to take on the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35
Ford’s Mustang-Inspired EV Crossover
The Ford Mach E, with a name taken from the classic Mach 1 performance Mustang model, was first teased back in early January. Now it’s finally been confirmed to be revealed in LA, on the 17th. It’s Ford’s first real shot at what we’re expecting to be a purpose-built EV. A crossover, with Mustang-inspired bodywork. Think something like Jaguar’s I-Pace EV crossover. We don’t know all the details, but we do know Ford’s confirmed a 480 km range. We had been hoping to finally see the Bronco SUV, but Ford’s now said that one will be revealed in Spring.
Genesis G90 or SUV
The G90 sedan got an update back home in Korea for the 2020 model year, and we haven’t seen that one here yet. So it’s likely that the refreshed G90 is the car Genesis will be showing off in LA. That’s also taking into account that the brand’s press conference is being held more than three hours after the end of the last conference before it. However, it’s still possible that we could finally see the brand’s much-needed crossover in LA for the first time.
We’re seeing rumours that Mercedes will be bringing a Maybach flagship version of its big GLS SUV to LA. Maybach means luxury, so better trimmings inside and out, possibly more power, maybe a longer rear wheelbase for more legroom, and definitely a high price tag.
Porsche Taycan 4S
Porsche has already done a reveal of the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S models, but this should be the first public appearance of the slightly cheaper and slower 4S model. That’s the one that gets a smaller battery back for a 407 km range (optional 463 km) and “just” 522 hp instead of the 700+ of the Turbo S. That’s still more than enough to make this EV lightning fast, but more buyers will likely appreciate the $119,400 price tag that trims nearly $100k from the top model.
Toyota RAV4 PHEV
Toyota’s been teasing a plug-in version of its popular RAV4, and that’s what we’re expecting to see in LA. No specs, but Toyota said it’ll be “the most powerful RAV4 yet.” If that’s true, it means it’ll need to have more than the 269 hp that Toyota offered from the 3.5L V6 way back in the third-gen RAV. Expect more battery capacity than the current RAV4 Hybrid, likely including a swap from NiMH to Lithium-Ion cells.
Volkswagen ID. Concept
VW is holding its cards close to its chest on this one. We know there will be a new ID. unveiled at the show, expanding its ID. electric lineup once again. They are calling this “all-new” though, so don’t expect it to be just a production version of the ID. Buzz or Crozz. Instead, maybe something like the Buggy off-roader concept.
The “we’re not sures”
A trio of automakers are managing to keep everything quiet, and not have any information trickle out. Those are Hyundai, Kia, and Mazda. All three have press conferences scheduled, but we don’t yet know what they’ll be bringing to the party. We’re sure we’ll find out sooner rather than later.