In this blog post, we take a look at the events, happenings, and highlights of the 2015 LA Auto Show. Dating back to 1907, the LA Auto Show has emerged as one of the premier auto shows in the world, featuring 7 days of events for the public, as well as a three-day connected Car Expo for media and industry professionals.
Each year in November, the auto show “season” is kicked off by the LA Auto Show, one of the largest and longest running car shows in the world. Over a 10 day period, car enthusiasts, industry professionals, and journalists are treated to a peak at the new releases and concept cars that are on the way. The NAIA Auto Show is next up on the agenda in Detroit in January, while the New York Auto Show awaits in the spring.
In terms of trends that we witnessed at this year’s LA Auto Show, there were a few that stood out. Crossover vehicles (a more compact utility vehicle) continued their climb in popularity. Crossovers have recently become a hot item in the auto market, largely because of the combination of fuel efficiency that is generally reserved for smaller cars, and the better visibility and durability that comes with a utility vehicle. Many new crossovers, like the Jaguar F-pace, have incorporated a sleeker and more visually appealing look to their newer models. As usual, horsepower, high-tech features, and electric cars were all on display this year too.
Five New Cars That Stood Out Form The Crowd
Though they were all impressive, a few of the cars from the 2015 show definitely stood out from the crowd. In this section, we’ll take a look at five cars that caught our eye for different reasons.
Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport – Though it’s not street-legal, the new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport has just about anything you could ask for in an affordable racing car. Coming in it at a price around $170,000, the GT4 comes with lighter suspension and an emphasis on safety with a full roll cage and multiple point safety harness, as well as an onboard fire extinguisher. It is also available with a larger gas tank to maximize your mileage on the track.
Fiat 124 Spider – The Fiat 124 Spider is a decidedly Miata-like roadster that comes with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Similar to a Mazda Miata MX-5, but with a turbocharger, the car was been referred to as the “Fiata.” Mazda and Fiat worked together on the new Spider to produce an updated take on the 124 while keeping the interior similar to the popular MX-5. In terms of tech, the Fiat 124 is equipped with a blind spot monitor, backup camera, adaptive headlights, and a 7-inch touch screen.
Jaguar XE – The Jaguar XE is a sports sedan with a ticket price aimed more at the mainstream. With a base cost of $35,000, Jaguar hopes that this affordably priced model will be able to compete with the immensely popular BMW 3-series, which has virtually cornered the market for sports sedans. The new offering from Jaguar will also offer plenty of tech features that include a head-up display, an 8-inch touch screen, blind spot monitoring and autonomous emergency braking.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio – Another car aimed at the sports sedan market, the Alfa Romeo Giulia comes in with a much higher price tag at around $70,000. It is one of the most powerful street cars ever released by the company and comes with a twin turbo V-6 engine and four adjustable driving modes. The Italian auto maker didn’t skimp on the interior either, which comes with a large touch screen that offers 3-D navigation.
Ford Escape – Ford made a splash with its affordable crossover utility vehicle for 2016, the Escape. With a reworked and more spacious interior and a slew of new high tech features, the Escape promises to offer a great value. It has an emphasis on fuel efficiency and safety, and comes with several new features: lane departure warning system, parking assist, and an electronic parking brake, just to name a few. It also allows remote locking and unlocking through a smart phone app that can locate the car for you. Expectations are that the Ford Escape will be in the same price range as previous models, somewhere around $30,000.
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Green Car of the Year For 2016: Chevy Volt
We would be remiss to ignore one of the emerging highlights of the LA Auto Show: the Green Car of the Year. The award, presented by the Green Car Journal, has been given each year since 2006 to recognize the best eco-friendly cars of the current model year. This year’s winner was the Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid that also won the award with its first generation car in 2011. The Volt is the only car to have won the award twice.
In addition to the first repeat winner, this year saw some previous winners return the award. Due to recent scandals around emission standards, Volkswagen and Audi both returned their Green Car of the Year awards, which were won in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Click here to see the other cars that were included as finalists for the award this year.
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