Everything you need to know: the 2018 LA Motor Show
New 911, new AMG GT R, electric trucks... here's your guide to California's big auto show
The all-new Porsche 911
"Design-wise it’s obviously an evolution of the old one; a delicately feathered crank of the design knob that keeps things classy but will cause people to say “it’s boring” because “it looks like the last one.” Yes, the silhouette is very much a 911 but the proportions have had a radical shake-up. Unlike 911s of the past, there’ll be no narrow body cars as the front track has been widened by 40mm and all Carreras will have the same wide booty of the GTS. It doesn’t matter if it’s two or four-wheel drive, it’s one-size-fits-all bodyshells for everybody. One that’s made of more aluminium than ever..."Advertisement - Page continues below
Audi e-tron GT concept
"The e-tron GT uses a “more than” 90kWh battery pack that fills the space between the axles. There’s a motor front and back to provide quattro traction and torque vectoring. Total system output is 590bhp, good for 62mph in 3.5secs and 124mph in 12secs (Porsche quotes the same figures, but puts ‘under’ in front of them). Max is 149mph, WLTP range is 250 miles, and 800 volt charging means you’ll be able to charge to 80 per cent in 20 minutes..."
Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro
"While it uses the same 577bhp twin-turbo V8 as the GT R, it’s had some significant tweaks elsewhere. There are standard carbon-ceramic brakes, lightweight forged wheels and redesigned aero, much of its addenda crafted from carbon fibre. There’s even a carbon roof..."Advertisement - Page continues below
The now new-old Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport
"Basically, Porsche is (official industry term here) ‘doing a Zonda’. In the Oxford English Dictionary, that’s defined as ‘building ever more extreme versions of your old sports car while forging ahead with a new one’. So, while ramping up production of the new 992-gen 911, and making sure collectors get their hands on the 935 ‘flatnose’ special and 991 Speedster, Porsche’s also found time to turn the Nürburgring-conquering 911 GT2 RS into a track only, race-ready monster. Meet the Clubsport. Only 200 will be made..."
"Sticking with a jutting front overhang and an opposing curvaceous rear accentuated by a chunky C-pillar, Mazda’s design team has managed to use clever panelling and reflections to give the Ford Focus, Mercedes A-Class and VW Golf rival a purposeful and sporting look. Unfortunately, the killer stance and wheels shod in slick rubber have had to go for production, but the round rear lights have remained. Is it just us, or is there a whiff of Alfa to them?"
"This is a pickup truck. It comes from a company called Rivian working out of California and London, and – to be blunt – it is extraordinarily quick. Welcome to the all-electric, five-seat R1T pickup.
"Yes, all-electric. The new R1T is the first vehicle to emerge from Rivian, with the aim of helping “customers get out and explore the world”. You’ll be exploring it rather quickly, because the R1T comes with four electric motors – one on each wheel..."
"The R1S SUV weighs the same as the pickup – 2,650kg – and the fastest version is the 135kWh battery version. That car – again, like the pickup – does 0-60mph in 3.0 seconds, 0-100mph in under seven and tops out at 125mph. Even the smallest 105kWh battery allows for 0-60mph in under five, so no version is what you’d call ‘slow’..."Advertisement - Page continues below
Bentley GT Convertible
"Since when did Bentleys get this fast? The new Continental GT Convertible is a 626bhp, 664lb ft car that can do 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds. It has a top speed of 207mph, for heaven’s sake. That’s supercar speed, from a two-tonne-plus luxury GT. The mind boggles..."
"Built by America’s foremost off-road enthusiasts, it ought to monster all the terrain when you go off the beaten track, just like baby brother Wrangler. The Glad will be offered with either a 3.6-litre V6 petrol or a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, connected to either an eight-speed auto or six-speed manual. Unfortunately, performance figures are yet to be announced, presumably because we’re still waiting for John Anderson’s second whistle..."Advertisement - Page continues below
"The bigger news lies beneath, though, with the addition of ‘Hybrid AWD-I’, Toyota’s first all-wheel-drive hybrid system. An additional electric motor operates on the rear axle, at all times when pulling away, and when the car detects low-grip situations below 44mph. That drunken ride home from your Christmas party might suddenly be a whole lot safer..."
Kia Soul EV
"Say hello to yet another EV revealed at this week’s LA Motor Show. It’s the new Kia Soul, and it’s coming to the UK sometime next year. And no, you don’t have to have one in the brightest and most lurid shade of green we’ve ever seen a car painted..."
"This is the Honda Passport. And if you’re sick of SUVs forgetting about the U (for utility), it could be the answer to your woes.
"Honda says it “can tackle the kind of tough terrain normally reserved for less refined body-on-frame or off-road focused SUVs”, and has thusly provided lots of pictures of it being flung through mud and towing heavy things..."
BMW Vision iNext
"Squint beyond the concept-car flourishes, and this is the autonomous, electric BMW crossover for the road ahead. The production version, BMW says, will happen in 2021.
"They’re calling this “your favourite space”. A bit of a swerve from “the ultimate driving machine”, eh? It’s all about the cabin, the cocoon. Most of all, about the way autonomous and connected travel should give you the most precious luxury of all: more time..."
BMW 8 Series Convertible
"Like for like, here is a twin-turbo, convertible V8 BMW that’s over 100kg heavier and two-tenths slower to 62mph than its equivalent twin-turbo, coupe V8 BMW.
"So, welcome everyone, to the inevitable: the new BMW 8 Series Convertible, the second variant in the all-new 8er line-up before the Gran Coupe arrives to complete the range..."
Audi R8 V10
"The Audi R8 is the subtle supercar no longer. To tempt you away from the likes of the McLaren 570S and Mercedes-AMG GT R, this new, facelifted gen-2 Audi R8 has so much front and rear grille going on, it’s a wonder there was any space left to put the headlights. Angry, innit?"
"Welcome to a MASSIVE radiator grille, and the SUV to which it’s attached. Ostensibly for the American market, we suspect, the BMW X7 is designed to compete with the full-fat Range Rover and Mercedes GLS. But at 5,151mm long, 2,000mm wide (how much of that is the grille?!) and 1,805mm tall, the seven-seater isn’t just BMW’s biggest-ever SUV, it could well be Britain’s, too. It’s longer, wider and taller than a Range Rover, which is just about the biggest car you can get away with in the UK. Gulp..."
Porsche Panamera GTS
"Available in both normal saloon or more booty ‘Sport Turismo’ spec, these two new models mark the 17th and 18th variant of the two-tonne, tech-laden executive shuttle you can buy. Which is knocking on the door of 911 levels, but if there’s another way to skin a cat, Porsche will sure as hell do it. Because profit margins..."
"This is the fastest, seventh-gen BMW 3 Series you will soon be able to buy that’s not a fully-fledged M model. It is the BMW M340i: a four-wheel-drive saloon that’s quicker than an old V8 M3 saloon..."
Porsche's new 918 successor "must achieve 6m 30s" at the 'Ring
"Porsche’s fascination with the Nürburgring shows no sign of abating. Speaking to TopGear.com at the LA Motor Show, Porsche Motorsport boss Frank-Steffen Walliser laid down the gauntlet for the core of whichever car supercedes the 918 Spyder hypercar.
"It won’t be whichever powertrain best fits the company’s increasingly electrified message, but whichever powertrain allows it to take nearly 30 seconds out of the 918’s 6m 57s lap of the ‘Ring..."
Every Rivian will be "an electric adventure vehicle"
"Indeed, both R1S and R1T claim a frankly baffling 10,325lb ft of torque, which is around nine Bugatti Chirons’ worth. The company’s only kept quiet for those seven years because it reckons it’s found a real gap in the market, and wanted to keep its cards close to its chest until the cars were fully ready..."
BMW's Hommage cars *might* yet make production
"They’re just concept car playthings though, we suggest. 'Let me say this. Yes, they were playthings in a way, but they were designed to show we are proud of our heritage. If we were asked the question, then we would be more than ready and able to reinterpret these cars into the future. Let’s see.'"
Porsche's Cayman GT4 rally car is awaiting production
"Should Porsche get enough interest to build and sell the Cayman GT4 rally car, it’ll only ever compete in customers’ hands. Porsche has no interest in running its own rally team, nor returning to Dakar to try and replicate the 959’s winning exploits. Shame. But a forest full of howling flat-sixes would probably help make up for it…"
Should we like the Lincoln Aviator?
"Internet, we have a problem. Lincoln used this week’s LA Motor Show to reveal its new Aviator SUV and, well…we quite like the look of it..."