Los Angeles Auto Show: Tesla Model 3 and Other Electrifying Debuts


Tesla Model 3

With the Los Angeles Auto Show open to the public through December 1st, there is plenty on show to entice car buyers weighing what’s new, sleek, fuel-efficient innovative or just plain fun. People who has put down $1,000 deposits on the new Tesla Model 3 will finally be able to get a peek. But the hype around the Model 3—which Tesla has largely kept under wraps—isn’t the only big news going on at the LA Convention Center.

Auto brands are rolling out a significant number of new vehicles—more than 1,000 cars on show and 60 debuts—with key features and innovative developments, especially in the areas of electrification and SUVs, billed as the stars of the 2017 LA Auto Show. Show attendees can not only see them up close and personal, but experience new models via virtual reality and test drives.

Among the hot items at the 2017 LA Auto Show:

Aston Martin debuted the redesigned Vantage, which is “shaping up to be an absolutely brilliant sports car” according to Motor Authority.

Audi is debuting its flagship new A8 sedan as “the next generation of luxury” — a vehicle that emphasizes a future of driving autonomy and comfort. The fourth-generation A8 is “truly a technological marvel,” says the New York Daily News, “with advanced autonomous driving features, a mild-hybrid powertrain and significant changes throughout to increase style, comfort and convenience.”

BMW is displaying its Concept X7 SUV, the brand’s new flagship. It will be built in South Carolina with three rows and a twin-turbocharbed engine plus electric power for a plug-in hybrid “that excels in all driving situations,” the company said. In addition to showing its all-new M3 CS, BMW is talking up olans to make its MINI brand all-electric in the US in 2019.

Chevrolet introduces the 2019 Corvette ZR1 convertible, the first ZR1 droptop since the original in 1970. It’ll go on sale in the spring starting with a hair-whipping $124,000 sticker price, while a ZR1 coupe that will be introduced simultaneously starts at a mere $120,000. Let’s just say these won’t be autonomously driven vehicles.

Ford is inviting test drives including for the 2018 Ford Mustang GT, 2018 Ford Escape SE and the 2018 Ford Edge Titanium. The 2018 Ford Taurus SHO is positioned as offering “drivers the peace of mind of a large sedan and the performance chops of a smaller car.” Its Lincoln marque is also showing the latest version of Ford’s SYNC infotainment along with its active safety technology and LED headlamps.

Picture yourself here. #LAAutoShow

A post shared by 2017 LA Auto Show: Dec. 1-10 (@laautoshow) on

Hyundai is showing off its new Kona SUV, one of seven new or re-engineered crossover utility vehicles that it plans to add to the US market by 2020. Hyundai is addressing an imbalance in its product lineup that has favored sedans over utility vehicles. As one of its “answers,” Kona is styled in an “urban smart armor” design that should fare well in what the company called “adventure-oriented driving environments.”

Infiniti unveils a redesigned QX50 crossover that is an important vehicle for the Nissan-owned luxury brand, which has been growing fast this year. Arriving at dealers in Q1, the redesigned QX50 is powered by a variable-compression engine using technology that Nissan has been working on for about 20 years, the world’s first production car to use the mileage-boosting technology.

Jeep is taking the wraps off the redesigned 2018 Wrangler, a reboot of the iconic design that has become crucial to the fortunes of FCA. Wrangler is Jeep’s No. 2 seller in the US, and Jeep is the brand that most has kept Fiat Chrysler relevant as the US market levels off and SUV sales keep taking more share from sedans. While the exterior design remains about the same for the iconic silhouette with the exterior door hinges, the new wrangler gets on-road performance enhancements and better fuel economy.

Lexus has updated its best-selling vehicle, the iconic, mid-sized RX SUV, by lengthening it four inches and upping its human capacity to six or seven people with a version it calls RXL. The three-row model gives Lexus a better-known nameplate in the accelerating big SUV race among luxury makes.

Mercedes-Benz is wooing attendees to take its heart-pounding test drive experience on a simulated mountain. Also on show: the all-new CLS, equipped with striking front end features, a fully digital cockpit, and Intelligent Drive technology as the CLS morphs into an increasingly functional coupe-like four-door; the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE hypercar; and the 2018 S-Class Cabriolet, which the brand describes as where “cutting-edge technology meets distinctive design.”

Porsche has four world premieres at this year’s LA Auto Show: The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, the 718 Boxster GTS and the 718 Cayman GTS are each the flagship of their respective model lines, while the 911 Carrera T takes the role of puristic lightweight. In addition, the new generation of the Cayenne is celebrating its first outing in the United States.

Porsche Hall (and 1,000 other vehicles) are around until December 10 at the #LAAutoShow. We’ll see you here

A post shared by 2017 LA Auto Show: Dec. 1-10 (@laautoshow) on

REV Group introduced a wheelchair-accessible Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan in the first public show for REV‘s new specialty vehicle brand, Revability. The vehicle features front and middle-row captain’s seats with wheelchair accessibility from the rear

Subaru bid to maintain the growing relevance of its SUV lineup by unveiling the all-new Ascent three-row SUV, which puts the hot brand right back into the large-utility market three years after its ill-fated Tribeca was dumped in 2014. Tribeca wasn’t a great vehicle, but Subaru executives promise that Ascent — which will be built in Indiana — will be, as the brand’s biggest-ever model and pricing that begins in the low $30,000s. Executives got help from a puppy in introducing Ascent to LA show journalists.

Tesla is displaying Model 3 at the show even though it typically has done little at auto shows. The vehicle has been pretty shielded until now, symbolizing the murky view that would-be customers, investors and the general public have of the new model that has caused Tesla some well-publicized production headaches as CEO Elon Musk tries to gear up volume output befitting a mainstream EV. There’s also a Model X crossover and Model S sedan at the Tesla display, as well as Tesla’s home-energy products. Tesla is promoting research showing that EVs are cheaper than gasoline-powered cars to fuel and drive—and that regular car dealerships aren’t eager to promote electric vehicles.

Follow the Los Angeles Auto Show on Twitter and Facebook.