• Top 10 debuts at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

    The 2016 Los Angeles Auto show takes place at the LA convention centre, and is open to the public November 18-27th.
    • 2016 LA auto show
    Dan Heyman

    This year’s Los Angeles Auto Show ended up being quite the adventure, with all sorts of unique debuts and some surprises from certain brands wading into segments they haven’t before in the North American market. What follows are some of the most interesting and surprising debuts from this year’s show.

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    • nissan sentra nismo

    2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO

    So, finally, we North Americans are getting a car fettled by Nissan’s performance division that A) isn’t a $150K supercar and B) isn’t a crazy-looking crossover. The Japanese and European markets have had the joys of stuff like the Nissan March (“Micra” here) NISMO and Versa Note NISMO for some time, but we’ve never really had the pleasure. With the Sentra NISMO, we’re going to finally get a taste, and with 188 hp of turbocharged 4-cylinder power, reinforced body, tuned chassis and unique wheel/tire combinations, it could taste mighty fine.
    • Mazda CX-5

    2017 Mazda CX-5

    While Mazda’s popular crossover (it’s the brand’s highest-selling model in Canada) got a slight refresh for the 2016 model year, the big news is coming next year, with the 2017 CX-5 arriving in showrooms with new chassis tuning, new styling and most importantly, the eventual arrival of a SKYACTIV-D diesel engine, perhaps in a 2018 model. That’s a risky proposition considering the hellfire diesel engines have come under lately, but with no hybrid or turbo option, Mazda feels that this is what the CX-5 is going to need to keep pace in the red-hot compact crossover segment.
    • ford ecosport

    2018 Ford EcoSport

    Down the line from the CX-5 stands the Ford EcoSport, a Mazda CX-3-size subcompact crossover riding on a Fiesta platform that’s set to do battle in one of North America’s fastest-growing car segments. Two engines will be available: a 2.0L four and a miniscule 1.0 L turbo 3, that’s been doing service in the Fiesta since ’14. AWD and FWD will also be offered, but only cars equipped with the 2.0L will get AWD. Other interesting tidbits include a side-swinging rear door, contrasting interior trim colours and SYNC 3 infotainment.
    • mini countryman

    2017 Mini Cooper S E Countryman

    No, the space between the “S” and the “E” in the car’s name is not a typo, and the letters don’t stand for “special edition”. Instead “S” signifies what it’s always signified when it comes to modern Minis – the higher performance model – and “E” stands for – you guessed it – “Electric”. For 2017, the Countryman crossover will get a plug-in hybrid variant that makes use of a turbo 3 cylinder engine and EV motor to provide a combined power output of 224 hp and a range of 40 km. Mini also claims that you’ll be able to cruise at 125 km/h on electric power alone, and takes just over two hours to charge. And yes, it gets AWD, too.
    • honda civic si

    Honda Civic Si Concept

    If the addition of a turbo/manual transmission combination on the regular Civic wasn’t enough “oomph” for you, and you can’t wait until the Type-R arrives to get your fast Civic kicks, then the Si could be just right for you. The LA show car being a prototype, power figures haven’t yet been announced but expect them to be in the neighbourhood of 200-210 hp and equal amounts of torque from either the sedan or coupe variants. What Honda did share, however, was that the Si would be getting tech like active dampers, a limited-slip differential and special 19-inch wheels shod with available performance tires. So, it should handle just as well as it goes.
    • Jaguar i-pace

    Jaguar I-Pace Concept

    Yes, Jaguar’s foray into the all-electric SUV market is technically just a concept for now, but the Jaguar folks on-hand at the show were keen on saying that what we’ll see when the production I-Pace does arrive for the 2018 model year will look very much like the concept. That means a striking half-coupe, half-SUV profile, signature Jag fascia and hopefully some wheels that at least look something like the space-aged items on the show car. Inside, expect the digitized interior to make it to production, as chief rival Tesla has been doing a similar thing going on four years now. Oh, and the claimed range? 500 – five-hundred! – kilometers. We can’t wait.
    • vw atlas

    2017 Volkswagen Atlas

    While it actually made its world debut to a select few execs and media last month, the LA show marks the first time the general public is going to have the chance to check out VW’s first foray into the three-row SUV market. Available with either a 2.0L turbo four or a VR6 powerplant and front- or all-wheel-drive (V6 only if you want AWD, though) the muscular-looking Atlas also gets an optional digital gauge cluster and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability. Look for it in VW dealers in Q2 next year.
    • colorado zr2

    Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept

    With the debut of a new Toyota Tacoma last year and the arrival of the performance-oriented Ram 1500 Rebel around the same time, it was time for Chevrolet to gussy-up their popular small truck. That means special off-road spec suspension and tires with beadlock wheels, new underbody skidplates and tougher front fascia that’s also been modified to allow for better approach and departure angles. Chevrolet is following in Mazda’s footsteps and ignoring those that say diesel is dead in North America, as under that tough hood sits a new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel 4-banger good for 181 and 369 lb-ft of torque.
    • cadillac escala

    Cadillac Escala Concept

    Yes, you’ve seen it before, assuming you’re well-heeled enough to attend the Pebble Beach Concours, where it was originally shown. It’s here, though, simply because if ever there was a concept that you really wanted to see built, this has to be it. Just look…at…those…lines. Angular yet luxurious in all the right places, this is a car that even makes the wonderfully massive Sixteen concept looks just a little ordinary. Is this the basis of that Cadillac flagship we’ve been hearing about for so long? Perhaps. That being said, even if it’s just a design study for what all Caddys are going to look like going forward, we’ll take it.
  • 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

    When a bandwagon is rolling this quickly, you just have to get on, eh? First Maserati comes to the party with the Levanté, then Alfa Romeo – another Fiat/FCA brand – brings us the Stelvio, so named for the famous road in France that makes up part of the Monte Carlo event on the World Rally Championship’s annual calendar. The Stelvio, however, is much more akin to the Giulia sports sedan than the Levanté; I guess you could say it’s the latter’s job to do battle with the Porsche Cayenne, and the former’s to take on the massively-selling Macan. It certainly has the style and tools to do it; the highest-po engine is a 505 hp V6 – yes, you’re reading that right plus AWD, so bye bye Macan Turbo in a straight line – but even the less-powerful all-aluminum turbo-4 is nothing to sneeze at, as it makes 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque. Being from an Italian marque, the Stelvio gets the looks, too, with aggressive headlight lenses, taut proportions and sharp black 19-inch wheels.