Los Angeles is about as perfect a setting one can have to see new cars, being the car-centric city it is. Each fall the LA Auto Show brings in thousands of car enthusiasts to come see which cars will be lighting up our roads in the near future, and for those of us who crave a little more than the standard, there are very exciting cars on the horizon. Some within our reach and most just a fantasy away, there were also concept cars that had us begging for more.
Subaru pulled the covers off their latest WRX, which in this generation comes only as a sedan with the primary focus of delivering an excellent handling vehicle to consumers. It's powered by a 2.0L direct-injection turbo Boxer engine that pushes 268hp and 258lb-ft at 15.9psi. It's linked to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission that has three drive modes: Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp. New for this WRX is a colored Multi-Function Display that has a built-in boost gauge, and the chassis has been made stiffer with an increased turn-in that's greater than the BRZ. We will have a thorough test drive of the WRX in our next issue.
No, you're not looking at a concept car. This futuristic sports car is actually going into production and will be on sale by this spring. It's the new BMW i8 made of carbon-fiber and aluminum, given all-wheel drive performance and features 362hp and 420 lb-ft of torque thanks to its two motors (one is turbocharged three-cylinder, the other is electric). The combination helps move the i8 0-62mph in 4.4-secs while having the fuel economy of 94mpg!
Mercedes Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo
Fans of the popular Gran Turismo racing game series will love this: working alongside Mercedes Benz, GT producer Kazunori Yamauchi brought a curvaceous, gullwinged concept car from the video game realm to real life in the form of this AMG Vision Gran Turismo concept. It features a 5.5L twin turbo V8 that puts out 577hp-and while you won't be able to buy this even if you could, you will be able to play it (to your heart's content) in GT6.
The stunning 918 Spyder is ungodly, employing a twin-electric motored V8 for 887hp—yet the one at LA also carries the Weissach package that includes tons of carbon fiber, lighter hybrid gear and lightweight magnesium wheels. For the more everyday vehicle, we took a massive liking to the Macan, a smaller SUV that's more sportscar because of its Porsche DNA. It's available in three models—S, Turbo and S Diesel—but spring for the 400hp Turbo, obviously.
While we had been anticipating at least one NISMO model to come from the Nissan camp, there were no qualms discovering two more. Following the Premium, Black Edition and Track Edition GT-Rs comes the NISMO GT-R, a 600hp beast that uses turbos from its GT3 program to make it the fastest GT-R ever. It set a production car lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife with a 7:08.679. Juke fans were treated to the NISMO RS version, which has either a 215hp and 210lb-ft FWD configuration or 211hp/184lb-ft AWD engine, tuned suspension/ECU/exhaust and tons of other signature NISMO touches. Lastly, a Sentra NISMO Concept actually makes us somewhat of a believer in Sentras again as this concept proves it can look good with the NISMO treatment; the engine's been tuned to 240hp/240lb-ft, and it rocks a NISMO suspension, 19" RAYS wheels and NISMO/Recaro Sportster seats. A definite 1, 2, 3-punch, knockout from Nissan.
It's been called out as copying the Ferrari California, but eff the haters. The new F-Type Coupe is hot stuff! The convertible was introduced earlier this year, but the new Coupe is sportier with 55 more horsepower in the R Coupe trim level. Better yet, the R Coupe starts at $99,000 while the supercharged V6 starts at $65,000 making it one of the quickest, sexiest and most affordable sport coupes to hit the market.
While it won't see public roads until sometime in 2015, Honda's fuel-cell electric FCEV Concept is ready to take hydrogen power to the next level. It's technology that has still yet to catch on but it's expected to provide 300 miles of driving range and a quick refueling time. All we want to know is: where the HPD or Mugen accessories at?
While it's only a concept, this hatchback got us a little more excited for the future of VW. It's been given an aggressive body kit with additional fins to look fast just standing there. Under the hood is nothing sissy either. Engineers have installed a 503hp 3.0-liter V6 engine capable of 186mph. Not bad for a little GTI, right?