Now that we have shared with you the 11 cars that will make their way to the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, it’s time to see some of the early highlights of the show as friends from Motor Authority had the privilege to witness the opening last November 29.
Chevrolet’s ZR1 is the automaker’s fastest and most powerful Corvette. With the new LT5 V-8 giving 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, that’s enough to hit 212 mph (a feat considering that supercars must at least hit 200 mph. Although it
was definitely a showstopper, it is somewhat overshadowed by the rumored mid-engine ZR1 range-topper that is expected to be the next-gen C8 Corvette.
California’s Aria Group is celebrating its 21st anniversary with the FXE hybrid supercar concept. This company which specializes in building concepts and other one-offs started off by making a mid-engine Corvette as a tribute to the works of the late General Motors designer Ed Taylor. Fast forward to today, Aria’s new FXE concept has 1,150 horsepower and may see production if the demand is sufficient.
Saleen also showed its own mid-engine car, the new S1. Saleen hasn’t had a standalone car since the S7 supercar went out of production last 2000. Hence, their new beast packed with a 450-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 contained in an aluminum central tub and carbon fiber body is a very much welcome. It is indeed a great addition to their lineup. There are two production factories—China and Mississippi. Production from China will cater to the Asian market while those built in Mississippi will be for the American and European markets. However, Saleen’s Chinese factory will eventually take over all production as this is what founder Steve Saleen’s dream is all about—to introduce Chinese-built cars to America.
Infiniti unveiled a new design replacement for its aging QX50. The 2019 edition carries several key technologies in the engine, platform and electronic driving aids.
A third generation Mercedes-Benz CLS has a rounded grille that almost mimics the Panamericana design by Mercedes-AMG. It flows into a hood with an almost fluid-like surface, and is flanked by wide and low-set headlights. This redesigned features introduce the next step in the automaker’s evolution of “sensual purity” design philosophy. That means sculptural, three-dimensional surfaces will be the focus in creating character compared to creases or overly complex graphics.
The Jeep Wrangler made the cut as expected. The looks have not changed and the interior still gives off that impression that it can still be dipped in the mud and everything will still be a-okay. What else can we say?
Aston Martin revealed a new generation Vantage whose front fender vents and huge rear diffuser are not just sexy but adds to the car’s airflow and overall aerodynamic performance. The new Vantage is part of Aston Martin’s Second Century plan to make seven new cars in seven years. The previous Vantage is the best-selling model in the automaker’s history. There is no doubt then that higher expectations are set in place this latest edition.
Lincoln is letting go of its alphanumeric naming strategy and that’s a good thing because it is just plain confusing. During the show, what the automaker unveiled was its mid-size crossover 2019 Lincoln Nautilus. It’s actually the updated version of the MKX (and that’s different from MKC, MKT, MKZ. See, how confusing the names are?). Aside from the fresh face, the Nautilus has an updated powertrain and an advanced driver assistance technology.
A new rival for the Nautilus was also present at the show. Volvo’s XC40 is a rugged-looking compact crossover with the next-gen compact platform. It’s the first car to be made available in the Care by Volvo subscription. The membership requires at least $600 dollars per month to drive the XC40 T5 model that has Momentum trim and 19-inch wheels, and insurance coverage via Liberty Mutual Insurance. Servicing and maintenance costs, a 24/7 customer care and concierge services, and roadside assistance are also thrown in. Gas and registration taxes are excluded, of course.