New off-roaders star in this year’s LA Auto Show.
The 112th annual Los Angeles International Auto Show showcased an array of new models that focused on electrification and the SUV market in particular. Lexus ensured their was a zoomy new convertible sports car, but overall the theme was of practicality.
Although some big announcements occurred off-site, the timing and location of the Land Rover and Tesla reveals made them part of this year’s auto show. These are our 10 favorites from the 2019 edition of the LA Auto Show.
Aston Martin DBX
At 106 years, Aston Martin is nearly as old as the LA Auto Show itself. But the DBX marks the marque’s first entry into the SUV class. Propelled by a 542-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 sourced from Mercedes’ AMG division, the DBX rockets to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 181 mph. Pricing starts at $189,900, with deliveries scheduled for the second quarter of next year from Aston’s new factory in Wales.
(Image source: Aston Martin)
Audi e-tron Sportback
Audi is expanding the family of the e-tron crossover SUV we recently tested, introducing the Sportback as a sleeker, sportier version of the same vehicle. The Sportback’s racy lines contribute to an amazing 0.25 coefficient of drag, which aids the Sportback’s estimated 277-mile driving range per battery charge. The improved aerodynamics compared to the regular e-tron we drove adds another six miles of range just by slipping through the air more efficiently, according to Audi.
(Image source: Audi)
Hyundai reminded us that there is a future for non-SUV models with the RM19 concept. While it looks like a modified Hyundai Veloster, the RM19 has a mid-mounted 390-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels through 6-speed sequential gearbox rather than a transverse front-drive arrangement. Incredibly, Hyundai said that the company is gauging interest from customers and is considering selling this thinly veiled rally racer to the public. We can’t wait!
(Image source: Hyundai)
2021 Kia Seltos
Kia previewed the 2021 Seltos compact SUV by showing it in X-Line Trail Attack concept form at the LA Auto Show. It enjoys a two-inch lift and rides on 17×8-inch wheels with knobby tires for 9.2 inches of ground clearance. The production model is scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2020, with a turbocharged 175-horsepower 1.6-liter engine and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
(Image source: Kia)
2020 Land Rover Defender
The Defender is Land Rover’s signature model, so its return to the lineup is overdue. It rolls on an all-new aluminum chassis that is unique to this model rather than one shared with the Discovery and other Land Rovers. Just as importantly, the new Defender includes an entirely new electrical architecture to support a variety of modern electronic technologies, and, unlike its mechanical underpinnings, it will share this Electrical Vehicle Architecture 2.0 technology with its stablemates over time, as they get upgraded.
(Image source: Land Rover)
Lexus LC500 Convertible
The Lexus LC500 coupe is one of the most attractive cars on the road today, so the new LC500 Convertible is an obvious extension to the line that should appeal to sun lovers. With the roof removed, structural rigidity is reduced. Test driver Scott Pruett told Design News that he worked extensively with Lexus to tune the suspension accordingly, with the goal of making the convertible the perfect Pacific Coast Highway cruiser rather than a race track bruiser.
Lexus says we can expect the LC’s handsome folding canvas roof to open in 15 seconds and close in 16 seconds. We think that during cloudbursts, drivers will wish those numbers were reversed.
(Image source: Lexus)
Mercedes-Benz launched its “EQ” line of electric vehicles with the EQC, a compact crossover slated to arrive early next year. It packs a 402-horsepower all-wheel drive system that lets it sprint to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. There are no driving range estimates yet for the the 80 kilowatt-hour battery pack. Starting price is $67,900
(Image source: Mercedes-Benz)
Vision Mercedes Simplex
The Mercedes-Benz Vision Simplex concept is a tribute to the 1901 Daimler 35 PS, a race car that was the first to carry the name of Mercedes Jellinek, daughter of an important Daimler advisor and client. A video display takes the place of the original car’s radiator, highlighting the fact that the Vision Simplex is an electric runabout. It shows animations indicating the vehicle’s status.
(Image source: Mercedes-Benz)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made characteristically bold claims for the Cybertruck’s price, shipping date, and capabilities, but the angular machine certainly breaks the mold of pickup truck expectations with its unusual shape. Musk promises a 500-miles electric driving range, 3,500-lb. payload, and sub-2.9-second 0-60 acceleration, with a base price of $39,900. Production is scheduled for “late 2021.”
(Image source: Tesla)
Volkswagen ID VIZZION
Volkswagen has bet on a future based on its modular electrical toolkit (MEB) platform, which company CEO Scott Keogh said will underpin roughly 20 million vehicles by 2029. The ID VIZZION crossover concept is the version that will come to the US. Using an 82-kilowatt-hour battery pack, the ID VIZZION slices through the air with just a 0.24 coefficient of drag, permitting a driving range of 300 miles. In its 335-horsepower all-wheel drive form, the ID VIZZION acclerates to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds. Look for a production version in 2021.
(Image source: Volkswagen)
Dan Carney is a Design News senior editor, covering automotive technology, engineering and design, especially emerging electric vehicle and autonomous technologies.