After posting my excitement over the Audi Prologue (A9) concept last night, I thought I’d share the rest of my coverage and photos, too…while the A9 stole the show in my eyes, there were many other noteworthy cars that debuted. This was my second year attending the LA Auto Show (2013 coverage here) and much like last year the show didn’t disappoint – many new sports cars, convertibles, and alternative energy cars launched. Audi followed that trend by showing off the gorgeously redesigned Audi TT pictured above, as well as the R8 Competition, A7 H-Tron concept, and refreshed A6 and A7 models.
The R8 Competition looked very handsome, albeit the exterior enhancements were basically akin to a facelifted version of the R8 GT. Nonetheless, the Competition edition will be a great goodbye to the current R8 platform as the fastest R8 to-date, and only 60 will be sold in the US. Audi also brought the Audi A7 H-Tron, which was a “technology demonstration” that could achieve over 300 miles range on a single fill-up, and only takes 3 minutes to refill the hydrogen – an exciting concept if hydrogen-powered cars become scalable in the US (or elsewhere).
Oddly enough my second favorite debut/event came from Cadillac, who was displaying the new line up of ATS-V sedan and coupes, as well as the GT3 version above – it’s a very compelling car, and will definitely compete against the S4/5 and M3/4 among many buyers.
Also very noteworthy to me was Mercedes – they started by sharing that they plan to introduce a new model every quarter for the next decade – an impressive goal! At the LA Auto Show they debuted the new AMG GT S, pictured above, which I like much better than it’s predecessor, the SLS, from a design standpoint. Also introduced was the AMG C63 and the Mercedes-Maybach S600 – I’m very curious to see how the Mercedes-Maybach does from a sales perspective, but I think it’s a very smart strategy…the last Maybach was really nothing more than a fancy S-Class, so at least they’re being honest about it. Reviving the name-plate means Mercedes can sell a more expensive S600, but the real determination of success will be the price point – if they price it in Bentley territory, I think it’ll be a tough sell…but if it’s priced as a premium S-Class, then it might do really well for those Mercedes owners wanting to one-up the Joneses.
Porsche had a great display, where they unveiled the new 911 GTS and Cayenne GTS models…but the 918 Spyder in white certainly stole the thunder, as did Magnus Walker hanging out in front of it. If you haven’t seen Urban Outlaw, I highly recommend it – you’ll have a new respect for Porsche as a whole, and it will make you want to “get out and drive” as Magnus frequently says.
VW had the GTI Roadster on display – a super cool design concept, even if it never makes it to production – as well as new Golf R variants including the Golf R 400 (as in 400 horsepower) and the Golf R Wagon. Sadly I did not get photos of either, but it would be great to see either go into production and sold state-side.
Another car I was very excited to see was the 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 – growing up with a 65 and 67 Mustang in the family, I’ve always had a soft spot for the pony car. The new 2015 Mustang looks great to begin with, and it’s even more stunning in Shelby clothing. In the same expo hall was the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, another exciting car from the good ol’ USA…it’s no longer necessary to buy from the Germans if you want a well-built, fast car, although both the Mustang and the Hellcat are still far lacking on interior design and fit-and-finish to be a true competitor to Audi and friends.
Last but not least, I’d like to thank Kelley Blue Book for the Press Day Invite – they announced their all-new Best Buy awards this year, and you can check out the results here. Audi didn’t take home any awards this year, but I’m sure they’ll be in contention next year in the Luxury Car segment.
You can check out the rest of my photos on my Flickr page or viewing the slideshow below: