• Ten can’t-miss exhibits at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

    What follows is a list of some of the coolest cars at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.
    • Ford bronco redux
    Dan Heyman

    Sure, new car debuts are good and all, but often, one of the best parts of a car show is the fringe stuff; the aftermarket tuners, weird and wonderful displays, or even the manufacturer cars that aren’t on the main bandstand. What follows is a list of some of the coolest cars at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

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    • Mercedes G550 4x4 squared

    Mercedes G550 4x4 Squared

    Like the ‘Vette GS, this is not exactly new but this model, which essentially comes straight from the Mercedes manufacturer in Graz, Austria right alongside more vanilla G’s, can go toe-to-toe with all the lifted trucks and Jeeps in the aftermarket hall. Carbon-fibre fenders, dual reservoir shocks and increased ride height all make for a truck that manages to inject yet more life into what is otherwise a decades-old design.
    • corvette gs

    Chevrolet Corvette GS

    It’s not new, of course, but the Corvette GS (“Grand Sport”) is nevertheless a standout on the Chevrolet stand, what with its Z06-style bodykit, classic white-on-blue styling and blacked-out wheels that recall the fantastic – and rare -- C4 GS of the early ‘90s. Oh, and the Z07 package with its carbon brakes and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber helping provide 1.2 G on the skidpad helps, too.
    • wrangler trailcat

    Jeep Wrangler Trailcat

    Not for the faint of the heart, this. As the name suggests, what you’re looking at is an extended-wheelbase Wrangler Sport powered by a 6.2L, supercharged V8 sourced from FCA’s Hellcat line of muscle cars. To complete the transformation, the suspension has been modified, the tires beefed up and the doors replaced by thick tubing. It’s all very Baja 1000.
    • pink panther

    Pink Panther Rocket Car

    It appears the folks at Galpin have a sense of humour, too; this wedge-shaped oddity based on an Oldsmobile Tornado is also one of theirs, bought at auction an restored to its original form, which made various appearances during the show’s run in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It actually drives; that’s a 455 CI V8 there, being used as a headrest. The driver sits outside; the real dignitaries ride inside, behind a full-length gullwing door and surrounded by shag carpet, caviar, and champagne.
    • galpin rocket

    Galpin Rocket

    Definitely not your grandfather’s Mustang, this. Galpin Ford, one of the biggest Ford dealers in North America also builds their own custom tune jobs of the various vehicles they sell. As you can see, the Rocket uses a modern Mustang GT as its starting point, but that’s where it ends. Galipn has added a Whipple supercharger and modified the engine internals to withstand over 700 hp in this particular car, but they offer all sorts of tuning options. What’s quite remarkable is that the transmission hasn’t been touched, a testament to how capable the stock GT’s six-speed transmission is.
    • lexus sriracha

    Lexus IS300 Sriracha Edition

    Yep; this sedan comes pretty much as advertised. Lexus took a garden-variety IS to the good folks at West Coast Customs, and told them to give it their best go. The result? A sporty Japanese sedan that’s painted to match the Huy Fong Foods bottles of spicy chili sauce that seem to be in every grocery store and restaurant these days. More than just a paintjob, the brake calipers, grill and wing-mirror turn signals are green, to match the bottle caps. Even the interior has been given a once-over, with various control buttons being switched from the usual black to a spicier reddish orange. Oh, and a trunk loaded with bottles of the spicy elixir, of course.
    • ford bronco

    RMD Garage Ford Bronco Redux

    It’s something that both Bronco and 4 x 4 enthusiasts alike have been bugging Ford to do for quite some time now: please, oh please bring back the Bronco, one of the most respected nameplates in the truck biz for years, from its debut in the 1960’s until its eventual demise in the ‘90s. By then, Ford had started focusing on the Explorer, making it the go-to SUV from the Blue Oval. Officially called “Urban Madness” by RMD, what you see here is basically a ’69 Bronco, with a new fascia and fenders to bring it up to speed with the modern SUV world. It looks fantastic, providing a great window into what a modern Bronco could look like.
    • acura precision

    Acura Precision Concept

    Yes, we’ve seen this one before – it debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year – but that doesn’t mean it should be kept off this list. Fantastic lines, bold, sharp-edged styling and the fact it represents the future of Acura styling is all gravy. Not to mention that the interior had previously been hidden until the LA debut of the “Acura Precision Cockpit”, and it does well to match the edgy interior blow-for-blow, down to the exterior colour-matching centre console.
    • pink beetle

    Volkswagen #Pinkbeetle GRC

    Well, if you thought the actual #Pinkbeetle with its pink exterior colour and matching interior bits was a little Barbie aisle, this particular version may have you re-focusing your impressions. AWD, 560 hp, 630 lb-ft of torque and a 2.2 second 0-100 km/h time will do that. Not to mention the laurels it earned as manufacturer champion in the 2016 Global Rallycross Championship, with a Driver Championship for driver Scott Speed.
  • Chrysler Pacifica Cadence Concept

    Oh so you think minivans are just for soccer moms and dads and five-person families? Well allow me to retort, with this particular Pacifica as exhibit A. Special Mopar-sourced vinyl wrap that recalls FCA’s various drift competition cars over the years (in colour, anyway; pretty sure no surfer has ever appeared on one of these), blacked-out 20-inch wheels, running boards and a Thule surf board carrier complete with stand-up paddle board make this one eye-catching minivan from the outside. On the inside, I suppose the Stow N’ Go bins that most Pacificas get would be great for transporting wet surf gear, while an actual kennel mounted in the trunk would be great for Rufus. Will it ever have the same cachet among surfers as the VW bus? Probably not, but at least they’re trying.