Feature: A Look Back At The Los Angeles Auto Show

Feature: A Look Back At The Los Angeles Auto Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show is over, and I think I speak for everyone in the business when I say that I already miss it. I know I speak for Big Three staffers, who will now fly home to frigid Detroit, return to their frigid desks, and presumably spend the frigid Thanksgiving holiday searching for job openings in Southern California.

Of course, the LA Auto Show isn’t really over. Only the press days have passed, which means the show is now filled with normal residents of Los Angeles, people just like you and me except occasionally they see minor celebrities at the airport.

The auto show world depends on these people: good, hardworking Americans who take time from their busy schedules just to see the latest models; who stand in line for hours to get tickets; who believe an unlocked car is an invitation to steal the radio buttons. Salt of the earth folks, really.

But if you’re not in LA, you may have already forgotten about this year’s show. Fortunately, I’m here with my usual auto show retrospective to remind you of the many highs and lows from Los Angeles. Here goes:

Porsche started things off by revealing a new crossover, the Macan, its latest in a series of models designed to piss off the kind of people who haven’t purchased a new Porsche since the 944, yet still complain about the brand’s direction on Internet forums.

Nissan debuted several eye-grabbing new models in LA, including the sporty Juke NISMO RS (211 hp). The latest Juke slots above the Juke NISMO (197hp) and the regular Juke (188hp), proving that even a frog-shaped compact crossover can learn a lesson or two from the Porsche 911.

Nissan also showed off the seriously cool Sentra NISMO Concept, a high-performance sedan released to collective gasps from assembled automotive journalists who could’ve sworn Nissan stopped making the Sentra six, maybe seven years ago. According to Nissan’s press release, “we also still make the Quest, you know.”

Chevrolet rolled out the Sonic Dusk, a new trim level that features dark wheels primarily aimed at addressing rental car agency complaints about the amount of time spent wiping off brake dust.

Chevrolet also rolled out the all-new Suburban to the excitement of precisely no one in eco-obsessed Los Angeles. There were, however, restrained smiles of delight from tudor-style homes in Connecticut, where wealthy Protestant families might finally replace the 1995 model they’ve been using to haul their boat to the lake for the last two decades. For its part, Nissan responded to the new Suburban by reminding shoppers “Hey everyone, we still build the Armada. It has a V8 and everything.”

Hyundai says it’s going to release a hydrogen-powered SUV, the Tucson Fuel-Cell, sometime next year. We can only imagine the mental anguish this new option will cause all 19 nationwide Honda FCX Clarity drivers as their leases expire.

Lincoln revealed the handsome new MKC crossover, which will undoubtedly turn around the Lincoln brand, and if it doesn’t, then the next one will.

In “you must be dreaming” news, Kia showed off a new sedan called the K900, which will compete in the fast-moving “full-size sedan” segment that currently consists of old people deciding between the Hyundai Azera, the Toyota Avalon, or just keeping their 1998 Buick LeSabre for a few more years. Upon seeing the K900, Nissan PR staff issued a press release insisting that “The Maxima is still for sale. Really, it’s around here somewhere.”

Jaguar showed off an all-new F-Type Coupe, which boasts handsome styling, V6 or V8 power, and a larger rear end where Jaguar can store ever-increasing amounts of trunk money.

Subaru used this year’s LA Auto Show to roll out the gorgeous Legacy Concept, which features a beautiful coupe-like profile and flared fenders. Unfortunately, the Legacy Concept will reportedly stick to Subaru’s typical concept car strategy, meaning its primary purpose is to show attendees precisely what the next Legacy could look like, but won’t.

Ford showed off the all-new Edge Concept, which offers start/stop technology in an apparent bid to piss off any remaining customers who haven’t already been angered by SYNC and MyFord Touch.

The new long-wheelbase Range Rover LWB is a high-end luxury SUV designed to attract wealthy new buyers to the brand. Of course, they will all leave the brand upon discovering that they’ll be spending half their lease driving an LR2 with “LAND ROVER SERVICE LOANER” window decals.

Mercedes really stole the show with this year’s Vision Gran Turismo Concept, a crazy looking futuristic coupe with a teardrop shape and huge wheels. While the Vision GT doesn’t have an engine, Mercedes told journalists to pretend it has a 577-horsepower turbocharged V8. Upon realizing this is a potential strategy, Mitsubishi told journalists to pretend that its cars compete with Ford, Honda, and Toyota.

Oh, and I almost forgot: Chevrolet also rolled out the new Colorado pickup, which will be highly exciting to city-dwelling plumbers in about four years, once used models reach $10k. Reached for comment, Nissan said: “I think we still build the Frontier, but let me check. I know we build the Titan.”

And there it is, ladies and gentlemen: the Los Angeles Auto Show. If you’re thinking of visiting, just remember: it’s never too early to start a collection of radio buttons. Oh, and be sure to check out the Nissan Murano which, I’m told, is still available as a new car.


10 Responses to “ “Feature: A Look Back At The Los Angeles Auto Show”

  1. David Poon says:

    At least you didn’t write a piece about Toyota and left out Honda. How is it going Demuro?

  2. Ltd783 says:

    Why, oh why, do some dealers put that loaner vehicle sticker across the windows on their cars? Do they think people don’t know a LR dealer offers loaners, or are they just trying to shame their current customers?

    My Volvo dealer basically lets me test drive whatever car I like on their lot for a day or two while mine is getting repaired. It’s a nice feature for me, and a low pressure sales tactic for them. I’d never be so interested in an XC70 if I hadn’t gotten to spend a free weekend in one.

    PS- And I for one, am excited about the MKC. I spent two weeks with 2.0 ecoboost Escape, and LOVED it. Everything except for it’s Alien-face dashboard, which thankfully Lincoln did away with. If they can keep the price reasonable relative to the Escape, I’d definitely consider one.

    • Doug DeMuro says:

      I think the dealers do that so people know that THIS DEALER gives out LOANER CARS. I’ve driven so many Mercedes C250 loaners I could do an exhaustive review of the car today.

      I’m very excited for the MKC also. I honestly still believe Lincoln will turn itself around…

  3. JasonR says:

    I have the worst timing of any human being on the planet, I’m certain of it! I was in Los Angeles (Woodland Hills) visiting family from 11/9-11/20. I could easily have moved my trip back a few days or stayed a few more days so I could go to the Auto Show! I actually had no idea when the L.A. Auto Show happens each year. In my mind, late March is Auto Show season because that’s when the Atlanta Auto Show takes place each year…

    BTW, I went to the Petersen Automotive Museum (on Wilshire Blvd) and it kinda sucked…the story of my life! =/

  4. Chris Johnson says:

    I’ve never really understood why some people feel so compelled to possess a number “2″ radio preset button from a 2014 BMW X5 that they’ll steal one from an auto show. Are the guys standing on the street corners around the L.A. convention center offering “Smoke…blow…buttons.” to passers by?

    Its either that or somewhere right now there is a 40 foot shipping container sitting at the Port of Long Beach filled to the top with thousands and thousands of stereo buttons and cigarette lighters stolen from the L.A. Auto Show for customers in China, Russia and eastern Europe.

  5. Jeff Simmons says:

    At the Portland Auto Show they’ll still let you have the buttons, but some brands have removed the shift knobs. I sat in an Impreza hatch last year missing the automatic shift topper. Sadly that was the most notable aspect of the car.

    • Ltd783 says:

      Yeah, even here in the midwest we’ve never had cigarette lighters left in car during a car show, and recently I’ve noticed random makes will remove the shift knob. Never heard of the buttons being stolen though.

      My favorite is how some of the premium brands will keep their doors locked, and the salesperson will only let “appropriate” looking people in.

      Maserati tried this last year, on a convertible, with the top down. Well, I let myself in with the inside door handle, and sat gleefully pressing in the clutch and shifting gears making engine sounds while the annoyed woman from Maserati walked over, stood next to me as politely as she could, “helping” me with any questions.

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