As many auto shows are getting cancelled due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, it’s time to look back at one of the last major shows before the shutdown – the LA Auto Show taking place November 22, 2019.
Okay, the real reason I’m posting this is that I’ve simply been behind on editing photos and creating blog posts, but in a self-quarantined state I’m finally getting caught up!
But as I look back, this show really was a great one. Audi brought the thunder with the RSQ8, RS6 Avant, updated RS7, and a lot more to look forward in the line-up. There were a bunch of other great cars there too, but since this blog is primarily about Audi, we’ll start there.
Audis on Display
The RS6 is probably what I was what most excited to see, and boy did it deliver. Audi recently announced it will be going on sale for $109K in the US, putting it out of most enthusiast’s budgets, but for those lucky enough to buy one they will enjoy it. Although it has slightly less power than the E63 AMG, the styling and driving dynamic make it a very impressive rival nonetheless.
It looked great from all angles, I can only hope that they depreciate at a decent clip and I can add one to my stable down the road as a perfect family hauler…
Speaking of family haulers, Audi recognizes that is primarily what us Americans want, even those without families…and with the smashing success of the Lamborghini Urus, it was time for their to be an Audi “Uber SUV” and thus comes the RSQ8.
The Q8 is one of the best looking SUVs on the market, but the base model has a rather dull powerplant and is far from “sporty” despite its looks. The RSQ8 fixes that, putting down a whopping 591 hp. It is the fastest SUV around the ring at the moment, besting even its Lamborghini big brother, and I’m pretty sure it’s kicking the RS6 Avant’s ass. Maybe this is the better baby hauler?
Either way, if you want to go fast and bring your family with you – Audi is ready.
Audi had pretty much their full line-up on display, and other noteworthy debuts were the refreshed RS7, e-tron sportback, and the R8 Spyder. The RS7 looked great in person and the aggressive facelift suits it well, especially in my favorite color, red.
Porsches on Display
Next up we’ll cover Porsche, since it’s within the Audi family, and while I haven’t officially announced it on the blog until now, I recently bought one…more on that to come, but for now let’s just say I’m starting to really appreciate the world of P-cars.
Everyone was most excited to see the all electric Taycan. They’ve since hit dealers, and I’ve even had the privilege to drive one already. The future is electric, and it is fun. Porsche has gotten some flack for the range being less than stellar (and far less than Tesla), but the driving dynamic and interior more than make up for it. As electric cars keep getting better and better, gasoline combustion engines will not only be on their way out rapidly, but not even missed by enthusiasts like me.
There were a handful of other Porsches on display, but the Taycan really stole the show…that being said, a race car can always grab my attention, too.
SUVs on Display
Besides the RSQ8, there were a lot of other great SUVs at the show – most notably the new Land Rover Defender. I’ve been super excited about this car for a long time, having appreciated and driven the D90 since I was in high school nearly 20 years ago. The new model is fantastic, and I’m so relieved and happy that Land Rover nailed the styling, kept the price point reasonable, and maintained the ethos of the car as a fun, capable, and rugged SUV that is neither too big nor too small.
Speaking of super capable offroad vehicles, Toyota had a great lineup featuring the Land Cruiser Classic, a TRD Pro 4Runner, and even a modified LX SUV.
Ford debuted the new Mustang Mach-E, somewhat controversial at the time for using the Mustang nameplate on a vehicle that wasn’t a sports car, but in the few months that have passed everyone has gotten over this faux-pas. It will be great to see mainstream manufacturers (sorry Tesla & Porsche) start to produce some electric cars worth getting excited about, at price points more people can afford.
Lastly, VW had a pimped out Atlas on display. Why? I’m really not sure. VW needs to try harder to win in the ultra-competitive SUV market, and personally I think their entire lineup of SUVs is super boring compared to the Audi & Porsche counterparts…perhaps that is the point so as to not compete against each other, but think how cool it would be to have an affordable “R Model” of each SUV like they did for the Golf R (and how few S3/RS3 model sales that actually cannibalized).
The Rest of the Cars
And lastly, here is everything else I found worth photographing, ranging from exotics to modified street cars.
Ford was certainly touting their racing heritage in wakes of the Ford vs Ferrari movie that had recently came out (and was amazing, even if you don’t like cars, but especially if you do). The original GT40 and the new GT Race Car were stunning, and even checking out the Shelby Mustang next to it got me in the feels having recently watched the movie myself.
For some reason I was also really drawn to a modded yellow Ford Ranger, perhaps as when I was a kid I still remember the mid-90s Rangers in yellow with a flareside cab being one of my dream cars, and then wanting to turn it into a minitruck just like the one photographed above.
There was a little bit of everything else too from Alfa Romeo to Bugatti – and a ton more than I didn’t photograph, and maybe even some I should have.
After the show I got dinner with my friends and then enjoyed a long yet spirited drive back to San Diego in an E63 AMG wagon, making it a near perfect day in car land…hopefully all of this Coronavirus stuff is behind us by November of this year and I can start to look forward to going back!
Drop me a comment and let me know what car above you’re most excited for, or better yet what car show you plan to attend next once public gatherings are no longer a public health risk.