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.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He operates PlaysWithCars.com. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn't work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.