While the full features and specs for most of the vehicles found on this list have already hit the web we compiled some of the most notable for you all in one place. Fresh insight and pictures included. The Los Angeles Auto Show this year brought out a range of technologically advanced rides. Long gone are the days of non-digitized center consoles and ignorant ECUs. Hybrid performance has jumped leaps and bounds forward and big money luxury brands are now offering more affordable models.
The 2013 LA Auto Show featured various unveils to please the overall automotive enthusiast in every segment. Swift compact crossovers to AWD corner killers and big body luxury rides, below you will find the variety of new vehicles soon to be seen on streets near you.
2014 BMW i8
Awarded “Design of the Year” by sister publication Automobile Magazine, the BMW i8 took our breath away, and we haven’t even driven it yet. Much of the avant-garde styling introduced in 2009’s Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics seems to have been communicated in this production iteration, maintaining all the swoopy sleekness that marked the concept. Particularly cool were the aerodynamic touches, like the so-called “Stream Flow” air routing from the side to the rear, a smooth underside and the diffuser located beneath the rear end.
We geeked out tremendously over the visible carbon fiber that’s part of the i8’s skeletal structure. Pop up one of the sport coupe’s scissor doors and there, around the opening and along the edges of the entrance, plain as day, is a whole mess of composite material. BMW claims it’s the first to economically industrialize carbon production for autos, and through use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) was able to design both the i8 – and i3 – sans B-pillar. The uni-body isn’t all weave, flossing a lot of aluminum, too, but we were still mightily impressed.
Peter Miles, Executive Vice President of Operations BMW North America said, “The i Series is the beginning of a new trend in electric powertrains in the U.S. and California is the bleeding edge of that kind of technology. This is the bleeding edge of technology for us and the catalyst to expanding. Carbon fiber is very new in the auto industry from a mass production standpoint but will come into greater and greater use, for instance. The i8 delivers a high-performance car with a low carbon footprint.”
2014 BMW i3
The i3 definitely seems on the utilitarian end of BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” scale – more functional subcompact than anything you’d ever want to whip around a track. Don’t get us wrong; there’s lots of cool technology featured on the EV B segment, like a passenger cell that’s the first mass-produced monocoque made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), strong enough to let engineers forgo a B pillar.
There’s also a centrally mounted 22-kilowatt lithium ion battery that drives a rear-mounted electric motor linked to the rear wheels, charges in three hours and gives the i3 a range of 80 to 100 miles. Let’s be real, though; with only 170hp, 184 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60mph of something like 7sec, there’s very little that is really all that exciting about the BMW i3.
Peter Miles, Executive Vice President of Operations BMW North America said, “I don’t think the i Series is going to become a significant proportion of the total sales for some time –10 percent of the total electric vehicles sold over the next 10 years would be a fairly big number. Our belief in producing the i3 and i8 is that we will take the leadership position in the premium segment because consumers will see we have taken a very holistic approach. It isn’t just about creating an electric-powered vehicle. From the factories that produce these cars that are powered by windmills to the carbon fiber produced in part by hydropower to the recyclability of whole car and the recycled plastics used in the interior/exterior, this car is beyond simple electro-mobility. It is the whole proposition from manufacturing process to the car itself to the recyclability of it.”
2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible
BMW has dabbled in every avenue of the automotive market from the SUV, to sports cars, fully-electric and luxury sedans. The 4 Series Convertible offers buyers an alternative to the typical soft top while also providing the performance and features expected from the brand. Pricing has starts at $48750 for the 428i and $54900 for the 435i.
A BMW rep said this about the design on this car, “We had four things in mind when we developed this car: design, driving performance, features, and usability.” And this is most obvious with the new load assistance feature and others such as the neck warmers.
2014 Jaguar F-Type Coupe
The F-Type Coupe made its global debut on November 19, 2013 at Raleigh Studios in Playa Vista, CA. The Coupe R variant is equipped with a 550hp supercharged 5.0L V8 capable of reaching 0-60mph in claimed 4sec flat. Top speed is 186mph. The F-Type Coupe will go on sale starting spring 2014.
Tim Philippo, Jaguar Sports Cars Product Manager said, “What the Coupe really represents for us is that it more than doubles the market potential of the F-Type. We launched in California because California is the largest sports car market in the world."
2014 Range Rover Autobiography Black
The 2013 LA Auto Show welcomed two new longer and more luxurious Range Rover variants to the lineup: Autobiography and Autobiography Black. Both offer more passenger room and creature comforts.
Simon Turner, Range Rover Sport Product Manage said, “We find that our customers really have an ongoing appetite for more and more luxury and refinement and more amenities, so that is really the story with the Autobiography Black.”
You might be wondering the meaning behind the name. Turner explained, “The story is around black label, black labeled products are usually the pinnacle or the premium of whatever brand it is.” Prices start at $137000 for the Autobiography and $142000 for the Autobiography Black, which will be limited to 100 production units.
2015 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
Executives looking for a new ride to chauffer clients around, listen up. Paul R. La Penta, Assistant Product Manager AMG said, “The S65 is the flagship of the S-Class, pinnacle of the industry and sits at the top of the S-Class. It is really the ultimate in luxury and performance. Not only does it have a high performance V12 engine but it also has a stop/start system, which helps on fuel consumption. It’s not only about performance, we are also very aware of the environment.”
The 2015 S65 AMG has a number of technological features including pedestrian detection, which can stop the vehicle a person jumps out in front of you. Pricing for the U.S. has not been announced.
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250
Enter a very affordable compact SUV from ‘Benz. While GLA250 pricing has yet to be announced, we predict that the younger crowd will have an easier time entering into the Mercedes-Benz brand than ever before. Anna Kleinebreil, Assistant Product Manager CLA, GLA, SLK, B-Class Product Manager said, “It will do something similar to what the CLA has done for us, to bring in new customers to the brand and bring attention to younger people and the young at heart. It is also for customers who have a very versatile and active lifestyle and that need a car that is very design oriented.”
Some impressive features include: collision prevention as standard and the dual clutch transmission that is being introduced into models such as the GLA as standard.
2015 Volkswagen e-Golf
With an ever-growing presence in the green car market, Volkswagen has finally unveiled its first ever fully electric car to the U.S. The 2015 VW e-Golf features consumer friendly looks unlike some electric cars we have seen roaming the streets. This zero emissions vehicle is sure to sell in large numbers here, thanks to a growing demand for more environmentally friendly vehicles.
Wade Harris, E-Mobility Specialist Product Strategy, spoke with us about the significance this model plays to the Volkswagen family, “It is really to bring sustainable driving to the Golf family and the Volkswagen world. This is our first fully electric product in the U.S. The chassis is one of the greatest parts; it’s our new modular transverse matrix platform that allows us to package all types of engines and powertrains including electrics into the same vehicle.”
Pricing has not yet been released, but we can see this one flying out of showrooms, emissions free.
2014 Lotus Exige V6 Cup Car
Made for track junkies everywhere, the Exige V6 Cup Car is equipped with the same supercharged V6 engine from Evora S but in a smaller Exige chassis weighing about 2400 lb. An available 345hp, 0-60mph time of 3.8sec and top speed is 165mph this go-kart is legal for closed circuit use only – useable in the Lotus Cup USA racing series.
Then there is the V6 Cup R. it is the same basic car but lighter still at about 2300 lb with a little more power and a much more prominent rear wing for increased down force. It is available with an X-Track sequential gearbox too. This one is meant for use as a true race car. Just like the new Elise S Cup R coming out for track use only. Production of these starts early next year.
2015 Audi A3 Sedan
Audi said farewell to the A3 hatchback and replaced it with the Audi A3 Sedan. In response to the newly launched Mercedes-Benz CLA250, Audi Engineers produced a sedan with the ability to compete in the compact luxury car segment.
The base model will go on sale in the spring of 2014 and carries a base MSRP of $29900 (before destination charge). It comes equipped with a 1.8L turbocharged engine capable of producing 170hp using a six-speed automatic transmission. According to Audi, smaller doesn’t have to equal sacrifice, so even the base model comes standard with leather seats, xenon headlights, panoramic sunroof, and Bluetooth connectivity. An S3 (AWD 2.0L), TDI, Cabriolet and e-tron will also be available.
2015 Audi A3 e-tron
Audi introduced a new sportback plug-in hybrid into its lineup, the 2015 e-tron. According to Audi, sustainable mobility was the main focus when designing the four-door hatchback, as well as an alternative drive system. It comes equipped with a 1.4L turbocharged gasoline engine integrated into a six-speed automatic transmission.
Impressively, it features a combined output of 201hp and 258 lb-ft of torque when the 100hp e-motor is also engaged. Audi has not specified its electric range capability. It won’t be available until early 2015.
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
Here is a hybrid supercar that lapped the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 6:57 and can reach 0-62mph in 2.7sec – the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo did it in 7:08.679. Need we say more? More affordable Porsches like the new Macan will continue to help fund the brand’s development of wild hybrids such as this 918 Spyder.
Want one? Hopefully your bank account also supports purchasing luxuries like a gold-plated cigarette boat. The base model costs $845000 while the more performance-oriented Weissach package will set you back near the million-dollar mark.
2015 Porsche Macan
The baby brother of the Cayenne is here. The envy of every suburban soccer mom has arrived in the compact and affordable 2015 Porsche Macan crossover. Make no mistake, it was birthed from the brand’s performance leading DNA – hints of the Cayenne and 911 are found throughout. Buyers have the choice of two engines: 3.0L twin-turbo V6 making 340hp or a 3.6L twin-turbo V6 making 400hp. AWD and a 0-60mph in the 4.4sec to 5.2sec range, depending on the performance package purchased, means it will be fun to drive.
The interior is plush and for a price somewhere in the range of $52000-$62000, according to Motor Trend, expect to see these all over Southern Californian streets and middle class suburban communities near you. The Macan will be available in the spring of 2014.