Now that the 2015 Los Angeles auto show is in the books, we have some time to take stock of all the interesting new metal that premiered. To go along with our Hits, Misses, and Revelations from the show, we picked 10 highlights to showcase on video. Check out the compilation below to see AUTOMOBILE editors’ thoughts on cars like the Fiat 124 Spider, Buick LaCrosse, and Mazda CX-9.
2017 Fiat 124 Spider
Arguably the biggest debut of the entire show, the Fiat 124 Spider is built on the chassis of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but it doesn’t use the same naturally aspirated engine. Instead, it has a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four, which pairs with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Seeing as it’s based on one of our favorite sports cars, we’re expecting sharp handling, but we’re still split on the looks.
2017 Buick LaCrosse
The new Buick LaCrosse is a bit of a tease, as it’s a front-wheel drive sedan with its styling previewed by the rear-wheel drive Avenir concept from the 2015 Detroit auto show. But while it’s no Avenir, it’s nicely detailed inside and out, and comes with an updated Epsilon platform along with GM’s new 3.6-liter V-6 making 304 hp.
2017 Lincoln MKZ
Lincoln is desperate to differentiate itself from Ford, and this updated MKZ is a step in the right direction. It’s not an all-new car, but it does have a new face, first shown on the Continental concept earlier this year, that will eventually roll out to all Lincoln models. It also has an exclusive-to-Lincoln 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 making up to 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, along with all-wheel drive and torque vectoring for better handling.
Scion C-HR Concept
The small crossover segment is hot right now, and Toyota is jumping in with this Scion C-HR that will debut next year. The concept version shown in L.A. wears an extreme design, but that’s not a bad thing in this segment—just look at the success of the Nissan Juke. It also strikes us as a smart move to badge this as a Scion in the U.S., as Toyota’s “youth” brand could use a breadwinner like this.
2016 Mazda CX-9
Mazda’s redesigned CX-9 three-row SUV adopts the company’s attractive Kodo design language, and the interior uses impressively nice materials to elevate this crossover into more premium territory. Under the hood is a promising new 2.5-liter Skyactiv turbo four-cylinder, which makes 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, with the latter coming around 2,000 rpm.
Volkswagen Beetle Dune
The Volkswagen Beetle Dune, which will go on sale next year, brings a bit of rugged style with its raised ride height, plastic body cladding, and a few unique paint colors. It doesn’t have all-wheel drive to back up this Subaru Outback-like treatment, but it should help drum up a few more sales for VW’s retro-mobile.
2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible
Just when you thought that the departure of the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet meant that no one would attempt a convertible SUV ever again, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible shows that chopping the top off an SUV can look good. Although it does add 1,000 lb to an already heavy car, now you can enjoy off-roading in open-top weather. It has a cloth softtop that can be raised at speeds up to 25 mph.
2016 Honda Civic Coupe
The new two-door version of the 2016 Honda Civic, like the sedan, will be available with two powertrains: a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated VTEC four-cylinder and a 1.5-liter turbo-four. It looks a lot wider (and sportier) than its sedan counterpart because Honda has sucked in the rear windows and flared out the rear fenders, and it hews closely to the look of the Honda Civic concept shown earlier this year.
Jeep Wrangler Backcountry
Of all the special-edition Jeep Wrangler models out there today, the Backcountry is our pick simply because you won’t see yourself coming the other way too often. Jeep is only making 4,000 of these, and it’s not every day you see an off-roader in this shade of extreme purple.
Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Porsche debuted this track-only racer which it plans to homologate for series like the Pirelli World Challenge. It isn’t just a Cayman GT4 with more aero-focused bodywork and a stripped-out interior; The suspension has been plucked from a 911 GT3 Cup Car, and the manual transmission that you get on the regular GT4 is swapped out for a quick-shifting PDK automatic.