2019 Los Angeles motor show preview
With less than two weeks to go, we look forward to the most important cars making their debuts in California
This year’s motor show calendar is in full swing, with Frankfurt’s IAA event bringing us pivotal new models from countless mainstream manufacturers, and last week’s Tokyo motor show demonstrating that, for many firms, creativity is key in today’s challenging market environment.
Now though, it’s time to look ahead to the Los Angeles Auto Show, at which we’re expecting a huge variety of important US and Europe-focussed models to appear in the metal for the first time. Last year’s edition saw the debut of Porsche’s acclaimed 992-generation 911, the striking Audi E-tron GT concept and Mazda’s reinvented 3 hatchback to mention but a few, and 2019 is already shaping up to be just as significant.
Take a look at everything we’re expecting to see here:
Shown in camouflaged prototype form at March’s Geneva motor show, the rakishly styled Sportback variant of Audi’s E-tron electric SUV has since lost its disguise in the run-up to its LA reveal.
The standard E-tron’s 402bhp twin-motor powertrain is carried over unmodified, meaning the Sportback will be capable of 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds, a range of around 248 miles and 150kW rapid charging. Changes look to be limited to the reshaped roofline and a subtly restyled rear end, which includes an LED brake light bar similar to that of the A8 luxury saloon.
2 Series Gran Coupé
The largest model in BMW’s 2 Series line-up will make its public debut at LA, following a reveal in October.
The firm’s first small four-door coupe sits atop the same front-wheel-drive platform as the smaller 1 Series, and shares that model’s range of petrol and diesel powerplants. The range-topping M235i xDrive, however, gains all-wheel drive and will take on the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 with a 2.0-litre twin-turbo petrol unit pumping out 302bhp and 332lb ft.
M8 Gran Coupe
At the other end of BMW’s performance saloon range is this, the fearsome M8 Gran Coupe. Going up against the Porsche Panamera with up to 616bhp from its 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8, the five-door version of the firm’s new M8 is priced from £120,935, with deliveries due to take place at the start of next year.
B1 and B2
Newly established American firm Bollinger will showcase prototype versions of its B1 and B2 electric SUVs. The rugged-looking off-roaders sit atop a skateboard-style chassis, and have been engineered to meet road-legal requirements around the world. In spite of their aerodynamically unfriendly design and imposing size, the boxy models will hit 60mph from rest in just 4.5 seconds, thanks to a pair of electric motors producing a combined 614bhp.
‘Mach E’ electric SUV
Due to go on sale in 2020 as a rival to Tesla’s new Model Y, the model has been confirmed to offer a range of 370 miles on the WLTP cycle, but the company is withholding additional details pertaining to the model’s performance, pricing and design until its unveiling.
The standard model’s silhouette is retained, but spy shots show the Maybach version will feature bespoke design elements inspired by 2016’s Maybach 6 coupe concept. There are suggestions the top-of-the-line GLS could also offer improved rear legroom courtesy of an extended wheelbase.
John Cooper Works GP
Mini’s fastest model yet, the 300bhp JCW GP, has been teetering on the edge of an unveiling for a while, with prototypes making public appearances at high-profile events like the Nurburgring 24 Hours and Goodwood Festival of Speed, but now the wraps are finally coming off. Confirmed details include a £34,995 starting price and sub-eight minute Nordschleife laptime, but we’ll have to wait to see just how Oxford’s answer to the Mercedes-AMG A35 will differentiate itself style-wise from the standard Cooper JCW.
Not a new car, but almost as exciting, is the news that Porsche is adding a seven-speed manual option to its 911 sports car. The option is rolling out at no extra cost to buyers in the US, with a UK launch expected in the new year. It’s likely that Porsche will show the manual 911 at LA.
Launched as the entry point into Porsche’s new Taycan electric super-saloon range, the 4S offers considerably less power than the top-run Turbo and Turbo S models, but is also much more affordable, with prices starting at £83,000. Range is a still-respectable 252 miles in standard guise, with an optional Performance Battery Plus pack bringing that up to 287 miles.
Toyota will follow up its future-looking Tokyo motor show display with the unveiling of a new hybrid version of one of its biggest-selling models. The RAV4 PHEV will offer more range, power and battery capacity than the existing self-charging hybrid, over which it is likely to command a small premium.
Space Vizzion concept
Volkswagen will unwrap a new addition to its ID range of electric vehicles in the form of a Europe-focused, Passat-sized estate destined for production in 2021.
The new model will follow a wave of big-selling crossover and hatchback-style EVs from VW and its Skoda, Audi and Seat partner brands, as part of the company’s drive to produce 15 million MEB-based electric cars before 2028.