Thu | Jul 19, 2018

Top picks for best of LA Auto Show

Published:Sunday | December 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Toyota FT-AC concept
Mazda Vision Coupe
Porsche 911 Carrera T
The BMW i8 Roadster
Volkswagen ID Buzz
Tesla Model 3
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The Los Angeles Auto Show features hundreds of new cars and trucks, many of them on display for the first time in North America and some for the first time in the world.

Here are our nominees for the most beautiful, the most significant, and the most interesting.

 

MAZDA VISION COUPE

 

Mazda is calling this a concept vehicle, but those dazzled by the elegant Vision Coupe may beg the company to take a leaf from the European exotic car makers and produce a limited-production run of this sweet, sleek touring car.

 

TESLA MODEL 3

 

Tesla is using the 2017 auto show to show off its Model 3, the affordable electric four-door sedan that it hopes will further co-founder Elon Musk's plan to put every American driver in a battery-operated vehicle. Tesla wouldn't let anyone get inside the new $US35000 car, but from the outside, it looked very tasty.

 

BMW I8 ROADSTER

 

Savvy auto enthusiasts knew that BMW was coming to the show with a flock of electrified vehicles. But the new i8 Roadster, a hybrid convertible sports car whose elegant dihedral doors highlight dramatic design language, was a bright surprise. The German automaker says that the combined electric motor and turbocharged 3-cylinder gasolene engine makes a combined 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque for a total driving range of up to 330 miles and a zero-to-60mph rate of 4.2 seconds.

 

VW ID BUZZ

 

Volkswagen's smiley-face all-electric reinvention of the 1960s microbus turned heads when it was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance last summer and got visitors' iPhones popping at the convention centre last week. The only bummer? Although the all-electric VW ID sedan and ID Crozz SUV will be out in 2020, the ID Buzz won't be available for sale until 2022.

 

TOYOTA FT-AC

 

Toyota has teased us with a couple of new crossover concepts this year, and now, the Japanese giant has brought its proposed FT-AC to the convention floor. It is still technically a concept vehicle, but it looks prepped for production and seems an off-road-ready competitor for hot crossovers like the Jeep Renegade and Subaru Crosstrek.

 

JEEP WRANGLER

 

Fiat Chrysler's design team scores another victory, with a major Jeep Wrangler update that makes this iconic vehicle look rugged, old-fashioned, and modern all at the same time. Show visitors praised its retro styling. Rock climbers will appreciate its 21st century drive train and transmission.

 

CORVETTE ZR1 CONVERTIBLE

 

Chevrolet blew the socks off a nighttime crowd by unveiling the first convertible version of its ZR1 sports car since its 1970 debut. Chevy says that the car's LT5 6.2-litre supercharged V-8 engine will produce 766 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, giving the convertible version a top speed of more than 200mph.

 

PORSCHE 911 CARRERA T

 

Porsche unveiled the Carrera T well before the auto show, but that didn't stop sport-car enthusiasts from going slightly gaga over this new lightweight, back-to-basics 911. Based on audience reaction, it is almost guaranteed to be a top seller for 2018.

 

- By Charles Fleming, Russ Mitchell and James F. Peltz, Los Angeles Times