Highlights from the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show
By Jeff Youngs, November 22, 2014
As another year comes to a close, the automotive world looks forward to what's in the product pipeline. The stage for such an occasion is the Los Angeles Auto Show, which this year served as the backdrop for a vast number of all-new, significantly updated, and simply noteworthy debuts of production and concept models. Fifteen of the most significant are detailed on the following pages in alphabetical order.
Audi Prologue Concept
If you're wondering what Audi models will look like in the not-too-distant future, take a gander at the Prologue Concept unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Company officials suggest that the Prologue's grille and headlight design foreshadow what we'll see on upcoming A6, A7, and A8 models, among others.
2016 Cadillac ATS-V
Nobody said hot rods had to wear only Chevy, Ford, or Dodge badges, a point that has been proven by Cadillac's high-performance V-Series models. The newest addition to the fleet is the 2016 ATS-V, available in coupe and sedan body styles with a host of visual and content upgrades, among which is a twin-turbocharged, 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 455 horsepower and 445 lb.-ft. of torque. A rev-matching 6-speed manual gearbox is offered, as is an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept
Chevy's Colorado pickup gets a macho upgrade with the ZR2 Concept, which appears to be ready for serious off-roading. Compared with the production model, the Colorado ZR2 Concept truck features a lift kit that increases ride height, redesigned fascias to increase departure angles (important when off-roading), electronic-locking front and rear differentials, and shock reservoirs integrated into the front bumpers. Power comes from the turbocharged, 2.8-liter, 4-cylinder diesel engine that will be available to buyers in the coming months.
2015 Chrysler 300
Chrysler's product revival continues with the arrival of the 2015 300 sedan, which boasts an 8-speed automatic transmission, refreshed styling, new 300C Platinum variant, updated infotainment system, and added safety systems including forward-collision warning plus. Engine choices include a 363-horsepower, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 or a 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6.
2016 Fiat 500X
Sharing much of its architecture with the Jeep Renegade, the 2016 500X is the newest addition to the Fiat lineup. This 5-door hatchback is available with front- or all-wheel-drive capability; 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder or 2.4-liter, naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine; five trim levels; and amenities that include an infotainment system and heated steering wheel. Sales start during the first half of 2015.
Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept
Making its North American debut at the 2014 LA Auto Show, the 4-passenger Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept is what the automaker describes as its "first foray into the premium sedan category." Infiniti has confirmed the development of a production model, which will compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series, among others.
2016 Kia Sorento
Kia is updating its 5- or 7-passenger Sorento crossover model for 2016 with new styling cues shared with the redesigned Sedona "I'm-not-a-minivan" minivan; three engine choices, including a new turbocharged 4-cylinder; and a long list of standard and available features, such as heated front and second-row seats, touch-screen navigation, infotainment system, and forward-collision warning.
Lincoln MKX Concept
Like the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept, the Lincoln MKX Concept made its North American debut at the L.A. Auto Show. While not a striking departure from the current MKX model, the concept does appear to be styled with more refinement and precision. The automaker has not released details about specific powertrains or features.
2016 Mazda CX-3
The newest subsegment of the crossover segment continues to grow with the unveiling of new models, such as the Honda HR-V and the 2016 Mazda CX-3 pictured here. Measuring 10 in. shorter and about 3 in. narrower than the CX-5, the CX-3 promises to deliver Mazda's sporty styling and "Zoom-zoom" character in a compact package. A 155-horsepower 4-cylinder engine is standard.
2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600
For those car buyers who find Mercedes' lineup of S-Class models to be lacking--and we're sure their numbers climb well into the single digits--the company presents the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600. Among the luxury sedan's many highlights are a 523-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V-12 engine, fragrance system with Maybach-specific perfume, massage function engineered to mimic the feel of a hot stone treatment, and a rear seat with leg room and recline angles that set "new standards in the automotive sector with respect to sleeping and resting comfort." Sales commence in April 2015.
2015 Mini Cooper 4-Door Hardtop
Though it's certainly cute, and the rear barn doors a unique touch, the Mini Clubman hasn't proven to be ideal for owners who need to occasionally provide a ride for more than one passenger. As a result, the Clubman is being scrapped and replaced with the 2015 Mini Cooper 4-door, which is essentially a stretched Cooper with an extra set of doors.
Scion iM Concept
Deviating from traditional auto show protocol, Scion unveiled the iM Concept pictured here and then announced that a production version would be showcased at the New York Auto Show in the spring. Now the only question is this: How closely will the iM production model resemble the iM Concept? Details are under tight wraps at this point, although Scion has suggested the starting price will be less than $20,000.
2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang
Ford marks the return of an icon with the debut of the 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang. In addition to a track-ready chassis and numerous body modifications to drop weight and improve aerodynamics, the Shelby GT350 features a flat-plane crankshaft, 5.2-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 engine that's projected to produce more than 500 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, though Ford hasn't announced exact figures.
2016 Toyota Mirai
Toyota is taking a significant leap into the hydrogen-powered car market with the 2016 Mirai, or the company's equivalent to the Honda FCX Clarity (and the Honda FCV Concept, also unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show). The Mirai will be available on a lease-only basis: 3 years, 36,000 total miles, and a monthly payment of $499 (plus $3,649 due at lease signing). Toyota has also announced its partnership with Air Liquide in the development of 12 hydrogen stations spread throughout New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
2016 Volvo V60 Cross Country
While car buyers with active lifestyles aren't exactly hurting for models designed with them in mind, Volvo is adding another option to the already-broad selection. The 2016 V60 Cross Country is a V60 T5 AWD Premier that sits a bit higher, looks a little tougher, and features tires designed to better protect the car's alloy wheels.