A Personal Top 10 Reveals at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show

Written by Lee Bailie | Photography by Lee Bailie or Courtesy Manufacturers on .

Alfa Romeo Giulia LA show models nose

For me, one car stood out above all the rest at the L.A. Auto show this year. Not to spoil the surprise too early, but it may not be the reborn Italian sporting machine you imagine. Many of the others were significant in their own way, either in potential sales or enthusiast terms, but none had the emotional appeal of my number one.

Alfa Romeo Giulia LA show 3q

  1. 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

    The North American debut of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio was easily the most visceral and riveting of the 2015 Los Angeles Autoshow. Following a blistering multimedia presentation, the car rolled down a long catwalk, flanked by some very long-legged ladies in racing suits. Passion indeed! Any why not? Raw emotion is as much a part of Alfa’s DNA as anything else, and the Giulia is the embodiment of that euphoric feeling. In short, this car is about performance, first and last. Powered by a Ferrari-derived 2.9-litre bi-turbo V6 that produces 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque, the Giulia is an out-and-out rocket: 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, top speed of 307 km/h and a blistering 7:39 lap time at the Nürburgring - the fastest lap time of any production four-door sedan, according to Alfa Romeo. North American ETA is slated for late second quarter of 2016.

    Hyundai Elantra LA show

  2. 2017 Hyundai Elantra

    Hyundai’s sixth generation Elantra boasts a design that departs significantly from the current model. A prominent hexagonal grille centres the car’s front end that also features adaptive HID headlights with vertical LED daytime running lights. Contoured body lines – which Hyundai claims were inspired by the precision of fighter jets – give the Elantra a sleeker, longer profile. The ’17 Elantra is slightly longer (by 20 mm), wider (by 5 mm) and taller (by 5 mm) than its predecessor. Under the hood, the Elantra will be powered by an all-new 2.0-litre Nu MPI Atkinson 4-cylinder engine with multi-port injection, a first for an Atkinson cycle engine in the compact class. Power output is rated at 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft. of torque and can be matched with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The 2017 Elantra will begin arriving in Canada in February.

    Fiat 124 Spider LA show LB wm

  3. 2017 Fiat 124 Spider

    Almost 50 years after the original Alfa Romeo 124 debuted, now it’s reborn as a Fiat, not an Alfa. The new Fiat 124 Spider will come to market with some Japanese DNA, as it will be sharing a platform with the Mazda MX-5 and will be built alongside the Japanese roadster in Madza’s Hiroshima plant. Mazda touches are noticeable in the interior, with common trim bits visible in the dash and centre console. The design and drivetrain are all Fiat, however, with FCA’s MultiAir 1.4-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (160 hp / 184 lb-ft.) mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The Fiat 124 Spider is slated to start arriving across North America in the summer as a 2017 model.

    2017 Infiniti QX30 LA show LB wm

  4. 2017 Infiniti QX30

    The first vehicle to be produced through Renault-Nissan’s technical alliance with Daimler Benz, the Infiniti QX30 shares a platform with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class platform that underpins the GLA, among other Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The QX30 will also share its powerplant, a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (208 hp / 258 lb-ft.). The exterior looks – wide open-mouth grille, large air intakes and sharply angled headlights, with dramatic character lines – are all Infiniti. It bears a strong resemblance to its stablemates, particularly the mid-size QX50, in that regard. A tastefully refined interior, complete with soft leather seating and handsome piano black and satin-finished chrome accents, also contains a few Benz touches in the instrument cluster and on the centre console, but they’re well integrated into the overall design. The 2017 QX30 will go on sale in Canada in mid-2016.

    2017 Buick LaCrosse GM LA show low rez

  5. 2017 Buick LaCrosse

    The all-new 2017 Buick LaCrosse, revealed for the first time in Los Angeles, is a direct descendent of the Avenir concept that was revealed at the 2015 North American International Autoshow, in tamer production form. Due to begin arriving early next summer, the 2017 LaCrosse features bold grille, highlighted by a wing element that spreads out from Buick’s traditional tri-shield logo. Greater use of high-strength steel has lightened the LaCrosse by 136 kg (300 lb) compared to the current model. Powering the LaCrosse is GM’s second gen 3.6-litre V6 (305 hp / 268 lb-ft.) mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    Mazda CX-9 LA show

  6. 2016 Mazda CX-9

    The biggest of Mazda’s three crossovers, the CX-9, finally gets the all-new treatment for the 2016 model year, bringing to a close a first generation that has been around (with two significant facelifts) since 2007. Due to go on sale across North America next spring, the big news here, aside from adopting the same design Kodo design language of other late-model Mazdas, is the changing of the guard under the hood. Gone is the Ford-sourced 3.7-litre V6 in favour of Mazda’s SkyActiv 2.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder mill, which is rated at 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. of torque. The switch is expected to improve fuel economy by up to 20 percent, according to Mazda.

    Mercedes-Benz SL65 LA show

  7. 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL Class

    When the next-gen Mercedes-Benz iconic grand touring roadster rolls into North American dealerships in the spring, not only will it be wearing spiffy new duds reminiscent of the GT, but power will get a boost as well. The beginning of the model range, the SL 450, gets a beefed up 3.6L V6 with 362 horsepower (a 34 hp increase) and 369 lb-ft. of torque. The 4.7L V8 in the SL 550 gets a 20 horsepower boost to 449 (516 lb-ft.). On the AMG front, the SL 63’s 5.5L biturbo V8 is rated at 577 horsepower (up from 530) and 664 lb-ft. of torque, while the 6.0L V12 in the range-topping SL 65 puts out 631 horsepower and 738 lb-ft. of torque.

    Subaru Impreza concept resized action

  8. Subaru Impreza Sedan Concept

    Subaru took the wraps off the Impreza Sedan Concept, the first vehicle from parent company Fuji Heavy Industries’ Mid-Term Management Vision Prominence 2020 strategy. Essentially, this means the Impreza Sedan Concept is being positioned as a sign of things to come from Subaru on the design front. The new Dynamic x Solid design language features a low and wide stance, prominent hexagonal front grille with hawkeye headlights, pronounced character lines along the sides and extended fender flares. Dimensionally, the concept has a longer wheelbase (by 25 mm) than the current Impreza sedan, yet is shorter (by 30 mm), wider (by 140 mm), and lower (by 12 mm). It will seat five passengers, like the current car, but there’s no word yet from Subaru on powertrain specifics.

    2017 Lincoln MKZ LA show LB wm

  9. 2017 Lincoln MKZ

    There’s a lot of Jaguar-ness in the all-new 2017 Lincoln MKZ, especially from the front, but some new engineering steak to go with that more graceful steak. Once it begins to land in dealerships next summer, it will be available with a brand new 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged GTDI (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) V6, slated to produce 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft. of torque. All Canadian models will come with standard all-wheel drive. A hybrid powered by a 2.0-litre GTDI (245 horsepower) four-cylinder will also be available.

    Range Rover Evoque Convertible LA debut

  10. 2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible

    One of the most intriguing debuts in Los Angeles was the 2017 Range Rover Evoque convertible, a vehicle that takes top honours for being the most audacious. I mean, when was the last time you saw a convertible SUV make it to production? At any rate, the Evoque convertible will go on sale across Canada next spring starting at $64,990. It’s a four-seater, but cargo space will be a bit tight (251 litres). Operation of the top, however, will be fast: down in 18 seconds, up in 21. Power will come from a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 251 lb-ft. of torque and will scoot from 0-100 km/h in 8.6 seconds.

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