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The best and worst of the LA show

  1. Welcome to Los Angeles, the last big motor show of the year and, as a general rule, one of the oddest. LA always brings with it a curious blend of big hitters from the big boys - Mercedes-Maybach, Audi Prologue and Shelby GT350, we’re looking at you - along with a host of rather more… esoteric offerings.

    From Ford Mustang nail polish through an off-duty Spiderman to a Lexus on stilts, here’s the good, the bad and the very, very strange of the LA show.

    Pictures: Rowan Horncastle

  2. Galpin-Fisker Rocket Mustang

    From the man who penned the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9, V8 Vantage and the Fisker Karma comes this, the Galpin-Fisker Rocket.

    It’s a reimagination of the 2015 Mustang but with bodywork made nearly entirely out of carbon fibre (only the roof and doors that remain stock). It’s also had its engine pumped up to 725 bhp thanks to a supercharger strapped on top of the standard 5.0-litre V8.

    The Rocket wouldn’t look too out of place in GTA V, but if you’ve got $100,000, you can have one parked outside your house instead of parked in your Xbox.

  3. Chaparral 2X VGT

    Gran Turismo’s ‘Vision Concepts’ are quickly becoming interesting talking points among bespectacled car designer types.

    With their only limitation the ability for a PlayStation to spit them out in pixels, the Vision concepts have offered designers the opportunity to loosen their ties, crack their knuckles and do whatever the bloody hell they want.

    The latest graduate from the project is Chevrolet’s Chaparral 2X VGT, a race car fit for a head-to-head with Anakin Skywalker’s Pod Racer.

    Back in the Sixties and Seventies, Chaparral changed the shape of motorsport with radical aerodynamic designs, most notably strapping two fans to the back of a car to suck it to the track, all in the name of the motorsport voodoo: ground effect.

    With the 2X, Chevy is showcasing the future of motorsport with the help of a frickin’ 671kW laser. That’s not only powerful enough for the biggest, baddest Bond villain to shoot down the moon, but also propel the battery-boosted Chaparral from 0-60mph in 1.5 seconds, and onto 240mph.

    Bernie, you’re rich enough to build a grid of these. Do it.

    Read more about the Chaparral 2X VGT by clicking these blue words

  4. Mazda Global MX-5 Cup Concept

    We’re itching to get behind the wheel of the wonderfully diddy fourth generation Mazda MX-5. Or Miata, if you’re fluent in American.

    But before we’ve even had any seat-time in the road-going version, Mazda has unveiled a race variant. We want a go in this one, too.

    Powered by Mazda’s 2.0-litre ‘SkyActiv’ petrol engine, this racer has had its cabin stripped, then filled with a massive, supportive race seat surrounded by a metal lattice of a rollcage.

    It’s set to debut in the Global MX-5 Cup Race Series, a one-make championship that’ll be held simultaneously in Asia, North America and Europe from 2016. If there are any spare seats left, Mazda, TG’s sitting by the BatPhone waiting for your call.

  5. Want a Porsche 918? Tough luck, they're all sold out

    How convenient. Just a few days after Top Gear exclusively scrambled together the hypercar showdown that you’d all been waiting for - LaFerrari vs P1 vs 918 - the only car of the three with examples remaining has now sold out.

    Yes, all 918, um, 918s have now found homes. “We closed the order books for the 918 Spyder a few days ago,” board member for sales and marketing Bernhard Maier announced at the LA Show. “All are now sold out - and we’re able to confirm that of the 918 cars built, 297 of them are US-bound.”

    Despite clocking in cheaper than either the P1 or LaFerrari, the 918 took a while longer than its hypercar rivals. Maybe unsurprising: Porsche’s run of just under 1000 cars dwarfs the 375 P1s and 499 LaFerraris offering to buyers.

    So if you want a fancy, super-exclusive but blisteringly quick hybrid-hypercar, you better start looking at the Local Ads board at your local supermarket. That’s the only way of getting one now.

  6. Jaguar F-Types

    Since Jaguar released the F-Type, the two-seater’s fangs have been out for Porsche 911 blood. At the LA show, Jag showed off its latest F-Types to tot up the total number of variants to a Porsche-worthy 15.

    However, this dilution of the model brings GOOD NEWS! Something called a manual gearbox.
    Apparently this is a method of changing gears in which you disengage the clutch using your left foot, while simultaneously selecting the gear yourself (there are six to choose from), and then engaging the clutch to get on your merry way. Having one adds mechanical interaction and makes you a proper petrolhead, apparently. We can’t wait to try it.

    In other F-Type news, Jaguar is continuing its partnership with Bloodhound by donating a 542bhp, 5.0-litre supercharged V8 from the F-Type R. Why? Because it’s going to act as a whopping fuel pump for the 12-foot long, 18-inch wide, 450kg firework that’ll hopefully send Wing Commander Andy Green and his intrepid gang to 1,000mph on the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in the near future.

  7. Mercedes-Maybach S600

    If you’re a fan of luxury - or your name is Theo Paphitis - you’ll be glad that Merc’s revived the Maybach moniker. But unlike the original, £300k Maybach (a car that’d burn a £350 hole in your pocket each day through depreciation alone) the new one is spun off the S-Class platform, with a bit more length grafted on. And it’s half the price of the old ‘Bach. Good news for hard-up oligarchs.

    Having sat in the back, treated our backsides to Maybach’s buttery, handcrafted leather and pressed our cheeks into the plump scatter cushions, we can confirm that the new S600 is a cocooning womb of luxury. In fact, it’s more like a private jet that’s had its wings clipped than a car.

    Speaking to Dr Hermann-Joseph Storp, the development director for the S-class, there’s more than a distinct possibility that you’ll be seeing more cars from the Merc sub-brand.

    “We can use this Maybach philosophy on other models,” Dr Storp told Top Gear, “But a Maybach needs lots of space, they have to be big cars to fit in the luxury, special NVH features and space. It’d work for the GL, or even a coupe, but we’ll have to wait at least a year to see how people respond to the brand.”

    Read more about the Mercedes-Maybach by clicking these blue words

  8. 1965 Ford Mustang GT350

    You’ve seen the new flat-plane cranked GT350 Mustang, now meet its grandpappy.

    This is the 1965 GT350, the original gangster of beefed up pony cars. For you Mustang fans (we read the comments, there are plenty of you out there) this is prototype number eight from Shelby American and features a number of bits that made it onto the production drop-dead gorgeous fastback. Most notably, the Crager wheels, different hood and painted on rocker-panel go faster stripes.

    This or the new one? Let us know below. We’ll have both, thanks.

  9. SpongeBob SquarePants Toyota Sienna

    Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! But what does he park in his pineapple double garage under the sea? A Toyota Sienna, apparently.

    Built to showcase S’Bob’s new flick, the Sienna has been kitted out for the perfect trip around SpongeBob’s hometown, Bikini Bottom.

    It’s got a hoop on the top that blows bubbles, enough room for Patrick Star, Squidward Tentacles, Mr. Krabs and Sandy Cheeks (TG clearly does not know far too much about this children’s cartoon), as well as a helm instead of a steering wheel. Oh, and a set of DUBs. Because even fictional animated titular characters gotta roll on big rims.

  10. Cadillac ATS-V.R

    Got wing? The Cadillac ATS-V.R sure does. And it’s spawned road-going versions. Watch out, BMW M4.

  11. VW GT Vision Concept

    Like the Chaparral 2X, this is another alumni of the Vision GT programme. But this 500bhp Gran Turismo concept has a twin-turbo V6 and wants to tear a hole through time. It’s also very pleased to see you.

  12. Audi Prologue

    See that bold new ‘face’ on this sleek 597bhp two-door coupe? Get used to it. You’ll be seeing it on the upcoming Audi A6, A7, A8 and potentially even a new Audi A9, a possible four-ringed rival to the Mercedes S-Class Coupe.

    Read more about the Audi Prologue by clicking these blue words

  13. Mercedes GLA ‘Mr Brainwash'

    Oh no! It appears the graffiti hoodlums of South Central LA broke into the convention centre overnight, and have been vandalising cars. The yobs.

  14. Sebastian Vettel's shiny helmet

    This is Seb Vet’s helmet. It’s very shiny. Top Gear was not permitted to touch Mr Vet’s shiny helmet.

    Next year, of course, that Red Bull logo will be replaced by the Cavallino Ramparte

  15. Cadillac Escalade

    Hip-hoppists! Footballists! Tiger Woods! This is the new Cadillac Escalade. It’s the size of Yorkshire.

  16. Mullen GT

    We thought it was just us Brits who like to ambitiously sit in a shed and drink lots of tea before taking a crack at making a supercar. “How hard can it be?” is the attitude of these many, many supercar upstarts, before getting their spanners out and digging their way into financial ruin.

    But, it turns out that it’s not just us bumbling Brits home-brewing supercars.

    This is L1X-75 GT from ambitious American outfit Mullen Motor Company. It’s a carbon fibre ‘supercar’ that you can have with either a supercharged V6 or an electric motor that’ll top out at 120mph.

    According to one of the engineers, this car is finished with the quality of an Audi A8. We’ll let you be the judge of that…

  17. Spider-Man spotted!

    Ever wondered what Peter Parker does to help pay off his monstrous dry cleaning bills? This.

  18. Dodge Dart R/T Concept

    Less Viper, more grass snake, don’t you think?

  19. Nissan Juke

    We’ve all played the ‘what’s the worst possible paintjob I can conjure up?’ game using online car configurators. It appears that Nissan accidentally hit ‘print’ on their most, um, ambitious Juke design.

  20. Ford Mustang nail polish

    Talk about laying the branding on thick…

  21. Kia K900

    How to improve the Kia K900: a three-step guide.

    One: fit a custom body kit with carbon fibre inserts, blacked-out chrome trim and 21-inch gloss black wheels.

    Two: lower on Eibach suspension, fit with eight-piston brakes and 15-inch cross-drilled rotors.

    Three: turn up wick on 5.0-litre V8 to 650bhp with addition of Garrett 2871R twin-turbo.


  22. Golf R Estate

    Weirdly, you can’t buy a Golf GTI estate. But now you can buy a super hot Golf R wagon.

    VW completely jumping the GTI stepping-stone doesn’t make sense, but TG doesn’t care. We love the Golf R hatch, and the wagon might be even better. 0-50mph in just 3.8 seconds, 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds, a limited top speed of 155mph and the ability to fit a Christmas tree in the back? Win.

    Read more about the Golf R SportWagen by clicking these blue words

  23. Toyota Camry Dragster

    This seemingly normal Japanese appliance shocked onlookers when the team yanked up the bodyshell of a bland Camry to reveal a tube-framed, 850bhp dragster lurking beneath its mild exterior.

The engine is a 5.7-litre V8 lifted from a Toyota Tundra pickup, enhanced with a TRD supercharger and, just to make sure it doesn’t get left behind, a wet nitrous injection system.

    The end result is a car that looks like it gets sand kicked in its face but that will handily remove yours every time you light it up. The team who built it reckon it’s good for a 9.8-second quarter mile.

  24. Lexus car stilts

    Live in a floodplain? Hate parking your car at the top of the hill to stop it getting swept away during heavy rainstorms? Well fear no more! Lexus has the solution.

  25. Lamborghini V12 evolution

    White Countach. White Murcielago SV. White Aventador. All white with us.

  26. LA trucking scene

    “Um, Dave?”

    “Yeah, Bob?”

    “My truck won’t ground out on that speed bump, will it?”

    “I think you’ll be alright, mate…”

  27. Li'l Red Wrecker

    Complete with a V8 mid-ship, this custom tow truck was the creation of famed custom car builder George Barris. Known as the Li’l Red Wrecker, it was built for Redd Foxx of the 1970s sitcom Sanford and Son. We think it should go on the RAC’s breakdown fleet immediately.

  28. Ford Mustang rolls over

    One of the ‘hashtag cute’ moments of the show, this. A friendly Mustang rolls over for a belly rub. “Ahhhh! Coochie-coochie-coo!”

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