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Hooniversal Opinion: 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

Greg Kachadurian November 18, 2016 LA Auto Show 9 Comments

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It’s always one of the bigger and better auto shows on the global circuit, but this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show turned out to be one of the most important of the year. Dozens of new cars, trucks, race cars, and influential concepts made their first global appearance in the city of angels, some of which have absolutely dominated headlines around the world. Many of the rides born here will be talked about for years to come.

It’s time for us to take them down a peg or three.

As usual, I’ll still bring a factual recap on the stuff that matters in the news and Bradley will cover the race cars in his motorsports recap. This post isn’t about the facts though. This is the part where some of the special brilliant minds behind Hooniverse come together to berate and/or fondle these cars of the future with our highly-opinionated words. Sometimes we’re nice, sometimes we’re indifferent, and often times we’re mean as hell.

So click past the jump and see what we have to say, then chime in for yourself.

Aston Martin Vanquish S

vanquish-s_01

Aston Martin finally tacks on an S to the Vanquish. With the extra letter comes a whole extra twelve horsepower (up to 580 hp), revised air intakes, a new carbon front splitter and rear diffuser with quad exhaust, revised suspension, and more subtle additions to make this look a bit “S”-ier than the standard car.

 

I’m convinced that Aston Martin can no longer make an ugly car. I guess the Cygnet and DB-X concept got the ugly out of their system. This. Is. Spectacular. And I shouldn’t care about this, but I’m a little disappointed it only has 12 more horsepower. With those looks you’d think it was making so much more.

Greg Kachadurian

 

And what is the difference between this and the three other Aston Martin coupes, which I could also afford?

Kamil Kaluski

 

I asked my contact at Aston Martin about this car. He said he’d driven a mule and it felt like a proper Vanquish of old… a bit wild, and it will help separate it from the DB11. It looks fantastic with that revised fascia. I can’t wait to drive one.

Jeff Glucker

 

I have little to no taste in wine. If I go tasting and someone points of the differences in varietals or nuances or whatever I can follow along to a degree. However in isolation every one tastes like fermented grapes, with a hint of alcohol. Such are Aston Martins.

-Tim Odell

 

The current Aston Martin Vanquish is in my humble opinion the prettiest car to ever grace the face of the earth, and this butched up S model doesn’t ruin that. It’s nice to see the Vanquish getting a major update even in the face of the DB11 launch. It’s the best car in their lineup, even better.

Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Which colors will it wear at Le Mans in 2018 if/when Aston runs a GTE car? British Racing Green? Gulf Oil? Bizarrely McDonald’s-colored KFC?

Eric Rood

 

Another hot Aston, can this company do no wrong…. And yes bring on the GTE version.

Joel Strickland

 

If a car was ever to give you a strange arousal in the pants region, this is it!  Aston is just about at the point where they can do no wrong and for that I love them even more.

-Jason Connor

 

Honda Civic Si Prototype

Civic Si Prototype

Honda tops off the 10th-generation Civic lineup with the prototype Civic Si and it’s the fastest one yet. It’s expected to launch more or less as is, meaning it’ll feature active steering, active suspension, an LSD, short-shifting six-speed manual, and a turbocharged 1.5-liter with dual variable cam timing wrapped inside proper Si styling.

 

Maybe it’s just because I used to play Need for Speed Underground 1 and 2 and watch the first two Fast and Furious movies religiously, but I really love this. I’d be interested in knowing whether the new turbocharged engine without VTEC (as far as I can tell) will have anywhere near the same character as the old cars that could rev to the moon.

Greg Kachadurian

 

I’ve driven the new Civic and it is a fantastic not-so-little-anymore car. I, and many other enthusiasts who grew up around Civics in the 1990’s have been waiting for the spiritual successor to those cars for a long time. Whole Honda has tried, they never got the mark quite right. Will it be different this time? I hope so. I want this car to be great but Fords with ST badges, VW GTI, and many others make this a very competitive market, which we all should celebrate.

Kamil Kaluski

 

I agree with Kamil on there being so many great choices in this price and segment range. Honda really needs to bring it with this one. The styling is iffy, but I have to imagine the driving experience will be wonderful. The standard Civic is pretty great even if it does feel large for what it is.

Jeff Glucker

 

The Civic can afford to be different. When you look at its sales figures, in Europe at least, it’s just background noise against the Focus and Golf. So something with its own appeal might just be what Honda need to stir family the car water up a bit, even if it turns out to be a drop in the ocean.

-Chris Haining

 

If this is priced below $25,000 when it comes to market and has somewhere around 210 horsepower, it’ll be competitive. I would consider buying one if it weren’t so flippin’ ugly.

Bradley Brownell

 

This may or may not get be enough to get buyers’ attention in 2017, but when you’re shopping for a decent used one with 75k miles in a few years it’ll be the most intact, reliable option among its peers.

-Tim Odell

 

Great looking car, good to see Honda getting back into the spirit of Sports cars, hopefully we will get it down under if it goes ahead

-Joel Strickland

 

Even as a former Honda owner, I have always had trouble caring about the comings and goings of the Honda range. For example, I feel like we have had seven new generations of civic in the last five years. This new Si seems to be a bit of a wakeup call, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a Honda Turbo VTEC and one of their amazing manual transmissions again.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

It’s not so over styled like the Type R and remains the subtle enthusiast choice. Honda has to bring it, the world exists where the Fiesta ST is slapping others right in the mouth. I’m hoping the 1.5 turbo gives 230 horsepower but it’ll probably be 200ish. Oh well, boosted Hondas sans underglow is a welcome thing.

-Jason Connor

 

Mazda RT24-P DPi

2017 RT24-P

Next year’s IMSA field will feature all-new DPi cars in its top prototype class, replacing the old Daytona Prototypes. Mazda was the first to reveal their DPi car, dubbed the RT24-P. It has a new iteration of their excellent Kodo styling and highly revised aero all around. The same Mazda MZ-2.0T engine from last season is this car’s source for power with 600 hp on tap. Its competition debut will be at next season’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

 

I have plans to be at the Rolex 24 again next year and can’t wait to see this thing on track. It just looks spectacular! I love it dearly. The front end design is also very intriguing to me because it almost looks like it could echo the design of the next RX road car. I mean, if you think about it, it looks like some of those design elements could be easily adapted to fit a road car. I just hope they can finish a race with it.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Holy hot hell does this thing look incredible in person. Never thought I’d admire the paintwork on a race car, but we were all doing just that in person at the Mazda stand.

Jeff Glucker

 

YES. YES. YES. YES. YES.
I was skeptical when the concept of the DPi was announced, but as I hear more about it, I’m convinced this will be good for the state of the American sports car racing scene. That said, banking on manufacturer support for your prototype class AND your GT class seems like a risk. Any one of them could pull out at any time (See Audi/WEC).

Bradley Brownell

 

I very much hope Mazda is feeling the love that this thing is generating. If there’s one Japanese name that gets overlooked in sports car circles, it’s Mazda. It’s as if people forget there was life before Miata. This car is a loud cheer of corporate confidence.

-Chris Haining

 

I like that Mazda’s using race cars to showcase design language, rather than some CUV with a paper-mache-over-sustainably-harvested-birch interior and auto-tweeting connectivity. Among automakers, they get “us” more than anyone else.

-Tim Odell

 

Amazing race car, hats off to Mazda for creating this vehicle and supporting this category. Hopefully this leads to a return to LeMans

-Joel Strickland

 

As a host of the DFL show, I have been guilty about ragging on the previous Mazda IMSA prototype effort quite a lot. But this looks to be a fresh chapter for the Mazda program, and it’s a damn good lookin chapter at that. It’ll be interesting to see how the DPi class fully shakes out in January.

Patrick Hoffstetter

 

I’ve heard some comparisons to the Furai and other concepts in the car’s design language; I think that’s apt. The aero design looks, at face value, a bit dated compared the more complex language of modern prototypes. However, nobody’s calling modern prototypes pretty and this is probably the most attractive thing to come along in some time. It almost looks like it would have belonged in the ACO’s last crop of GT1 cars along with the Toyota TS020, Nissan R390, and Porsche 911-GT1. That’s a good thing.

Eric Rood

 

Ermagherd! Soul Red Crystal is just about the most perfect shade of red I’ve ever seen. It made the new CX-5 pop and with this stunning prototype it does it with even more flare. Further emphasizing that Mazda is one of my my favorite manufacturers.

-Jason Connor

 

Porsche 911 RSR

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This is it. Porsche’s newest 911 RSR is not like any other RSR before it. It still has a naturally-aspirated flat-six engine (not turbocharged as has been rumored), but it’s mounted in the middle, behind the front wheels but ahead of the rear wheels. Having a mid-engine layout allows Porsche more flexibility with the aero design as I understand it, so it’s not a “true Porsche” but should be very competitive in the 2017 season of IMSA and WEC.

 

Not sure if greatest Porsche 911 RSR ever because it’s new and exciting or worst Porsche 911 RSR ever because mid-engine (and the 911 GT1 doesn’t count because “it’s not a real 911”). I think it looks phenomenal and it should be enough to finally make a 911 competitive again, at least until IMSA and the FIA stack it against them again.

-Greg Kachadurian

 

Aero flexibility. Right.

Ferdinand Porsche is rolling over in his grave. OR Ferdinand Porsche is yelling from his grave “you stubborn morons, it took you sixty years to figure out that moving engine will make this a much better car!?” I don’t know.

Kamil Kaluski

 

This car looks vicious in all the right ways. It’s good to see Porsche evolving a bit to make their already stellar machines even better. Shifting the engine to where they have just makes a ton of sense, and it’s shocking it’s taken this long to do so.

Jeff Glucker

 

The 911 and the Cayman appear to be converging. With Porsche now using proper nouns for designations on all its other models, I wonder if 911 will one day be reduced to a trim level. “Hey, you want instantaneous oversteer and a pang of nostalgia? You need a Cayman with the 911 handling package”

-Chris Haining

 

Even more than the move to mid-engine, the big news here is that the 911 RSR has a new engine for the first time since the 90s. In all that time (and long before it was in the RSR), Porsche has been developing a derivative of the old Mezger-based engine architecture. The new engine is the direct-injection MA1 engine that has been in production since 2012. I am curious if this engine will have teething problems as it is foisted into racing scenarios, or if it will be a winner straight out of the box. The car it’s wrapped in is quite nice. The livery is a bit staid, but better than the garbage one they used this year.

Bradley Brownell

 

Bradley doesn’t hate it. I guess that says it all.

Greg Kachadurian

 

I worry Porsche is overdeveloping the 911 platform to be more of an R8, Lambo and Ferrari competitor rather than a top-of-the-line sports car. But then again, it could be that the casual (read: automatic convertible) 911 buyers have all moved on to Boxsters, Panameras, Cayennes and Macans.

-Tim Odell

 

Nice to see Porsche thinking outside of the normal Porsche Box and going with this mid engine option. Looking forward to seeing it run at LeMans

-Joel Strickland

 

It’s always nice whenever Porsche does something to piss of the so called “Purists” which are just the Porker equivalent of the Alt-Right. From PDK to power steering they all feel hurt and left out. It’s all good then that none of those people actually matter to Porsche Motorsports. It’s a solid step forward for a program that was being left in the dust by cars like the Ford GT-LM.

Patrick Hoffstetter

 

A Facebook friend called this the Fat Cayman. I’m going to call it the Fat Cayman, too.

Eric Rood

 

Jaguar I-Pace

HyperFocal: 0

The I-Pace is Jaguar’s first go at an all-electric vehicle. It’s a concept SUV  with an estimated 220 mile range per charge and can deliver 400 hp and 516 lb.-ft. of instant torque to all four wheels. It’ll be quick, it’ll be luxurious, and if all goes to plan it’ll be revealed in production form by the end of 2017 before going on sale in 2018.

 

Jaguar’s first electric vehicle ever and it already looks better than the Model X. However they say this has “supercar looks”. No.

Greg Kachadurian

 

If the price of gas doesn’t go up, this will be a hard sell.

Kamil Kaluski

 

No it won’t… people actually want electric vehicles, and this one is far more interesting than that Model X. This one seems to combine space and range with actual performance, much like the Teslas out there, yet it looks good… unlike the Model X. 0-60 in four seconds and a claimed 220 mile range? Park it next to a rip roaring F-Type or a gorgeous E-Type and you have a pretty special garage.

Jeff Glucker

 

I reckon a car that delivers the sledgehammer performance of a Tesla, but with the heritage of Jaguar, could be sales dynamite. I can see Tesla becoming the Atari of the automotive world. They do the research, advance the science and prove that there’s a market, giving all the big boys a nice easy ride. What could be smoother than an electric Jag?

-Chris Haining

 

Introducing the all-new 2017 Jaguar I-dontcare.

Bradley Brownell

 

A little too heavy on the “electric vehicle of the future” cliches in the design language, but still way better looking than a Model X. I second Chris’ opinion that Tesla got an early lead and prestige, but the Big Boys are catching up and may will obsolete them. This is particularly true, given the next offering in their pipeline is the more plebeian Model 3 that won’t break and design or performance boundaries. Then again, I just spent a whole paragraph talking about Tesla instead of the car in question.

-Tim Odell

 

While the rear end might lose me in terms of styling, it’s nice to see Jaguar be a little less mad for once, and more pragmatic. I see this appealing to those that are turned off by the Model X. I expect to see a lot of these in Austin.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

An Electric Jag what is not to love, like Jeff said this adds nicely to an ultimate Jag garage.

-Joel Strickland

 

It was an interesting LA Auto Show this year. I’d have to say that this is the most “exciting” offering this year by the amount of buzz and commotion around the Jag booth. That being said my automotive ADD set in and I went to the next hall to see a full size TIE Fighter.

-Jason Connor

 

Mazda CX-5

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The Mazda CX-5 was the first vehicle to feature the current Kodo design language and it wore it well – so well that Mazda only needed subtle tweaks to add more refinement for the all-new CX-5. Three engines including one diesel are available (even in the US) and some can be had with a six-speed manual gearbox. It also gets G-Vectoring Control for greater agility, revised suspension and steering, and a more rigid body to solidify the CX-5’s status as the driver’s compact SUV. Just ask Jeff. 

 

In a world full of boring, ugly, shitty crossovers that people can’t stop buying, here comes Mazda with the only one worth your time. It looks great, allegedly drives great, and has no excess. I just wish I had a need for a compact SUV.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Each new Mazda that comes out is better than the one it replaces. Each one is also better looking and better driving than most of its competition. This CX-5 is no different. Why more people are not buying more Mazdas I do not understand. And diesel!

-Kamil Kaluski

 

My wife and I bought a 2016.5 CX-5. Now I wish we’d waited because this scaled-down CX-9 copy looks absolutely gorgeous. Also, you really have to see this new paint in person. Soul Red Crystal it’s called, and it’s a three-step process that’s automated. Just a few years ago it was a ten-step hand process needed to achieve this look. Who knew a crossover could create such gushing praise… and even paint?! People need to buy this if they’re shopping in this segment.

Jeff Glucker

 

Mazda is one of the few car companies that manage to drill down into the human psyche and appeal to that part of that makes us act on instinct. If they were just a little better at marketing… European roads are clogged with MPVs, many of them execrable, everybody would rather have a CX-5, if anybody had heard of it.

-Chris Haining

 

Here’s the deal, car people: get your boring normal friends to buy Mazdas. Benefit one is that the future market of random used cars will have a few more that are worth a damn from behind the wheel. Benefit two is revenue going to Mazda so they can continue to develop Miatas and mythical RX-whatever prototypes.

-Tim Odell

 

Mazda continues to be the “boring” car make that I keep recommending to everyone that will listen. Zoom Zoom fuckers.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

We’ll probably end up buying one, or the CX-9. But yeah it’s pretty awesome.

-Jason Connor

 

Subaru Viziv-7 Concept

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Though just a concept, Subaru has every intention of building this seven-passenger SUV in the near future. They haven’t made a big SUV since the Tribeca so the next one will be bigger and better than ever. Because it’s a Subaru, it’ll make full use of their AWD technology so expect a proper explorer’s SUV that can still haul the entire family in comfort and safety.

 

I probably shouldn’t be excited for another SUV (normally I’m not), but I think Subaru can make something really neat with this. A guy I knew from high school has a really cool Crosstrek (@jimurl) with a few basic mods – imagine that on a full-size SUV. I’m excited.

Greg Kachadurian

 

I’m kind of divided on the idea of Subaru taking away what we all love and coming back with something, er, else. But I like the Tonka looks, and that Ford grille is pretty neat.

-Chris Haining

 

Big SUVs that aren’t truck-based are dumb. For the money and lousy fuel economy, you can get a Tahoe that’ll tow and offroad worth a damn. “But I don’t need to tow or offroad!” Then get a minivan. So, what to make of Subaru’s foray into that space? They’ve got a decently shaped mishmash of generic boxy-but-not-a-truck styling queues. Hopefully it comes with a flat eight under the hood.

-Tim Odell

 

I fail to see why this SUV exists. It fails to feel Subaru to me, and looks like every other gross SUV on the market.

Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Did you guys know that the Australian version of the BRAT was called the Brumby, which sounds like something that is totally not worth the extra $10 and oh god, why can’t I forget that night?

Eric Rood

 

Having owned two previous Subaru’s I am always interested to see what the company is working on. The Impreza Concept from a few years back has to be one of their best ever concepts, this is close to being just as good. It is stunning. Subaru has been missing a SUV since the Tribeca left dealerships – hopefully this will be its replacement.

Joel Strickland

 

Finally, a three-row SUV from Subaru. And it looks great, too, at least in this concept form. In case you are not aware (cough, Patrick, cough) people with kids want three row SUVs for many reasons. It’s a hot market and that third row is key to many buyers.

My only question is – what will power this thing? It’s quite large and I don’t think Subaru has the right motor for it in its current line-up.

Kamil Kaluski

 

Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet

Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Cabriolet

The Maybach trim adds loads of luxurious stuff to an already luxurious S-Class Cabriolet. It still has a V12 with 621 horsepower and 738 lb.-ft. of torque, but it also has saw blade wheels… and uhm, other stuff. Only 300 will exist worldwide.

 

It’s more special because it the number is higher which means it’s better and more expensive. The higher number gives it superiority over the POS S65. Only losers buy the S550. The S63 is reserved for V12 wannabes, people who wear Michael Kors watches.

-Kamil Kaluski

 

Those saw blade-like wheels are mesmerizing. They must also be a royal PITA to clean. But I guess anyone who can afford this dumb and hilariously expensive status symbol won’t need to worry about that.

-Greg Kachadurian

 

This car is very dumb. I want to drive it to Vegas though at 155 with the top down and the music blasting.

Jeff Glucker

 

All our more wealthy and insane readers should buy one of these. There is literally no rational reason to buy this car when both the Rolls Phantom convertible and the regular S-Class cabrio exist as well.  Actually, what they need to is change the name. This should be the S-Class Cabrio, and the regular version should be the S-Class Cabrio Economy.

-Chris Haining

 

For all that money and exlcusivity, it still registers as a generic fancy MB convertible. No more special in appearance than a “lowly” C-class drop top (which they still make, right?).

-Tim Odell

 

Luxury and convertible still just don’t mesh in my mind. I still feel that Maybach should have stayed dead.

Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Needs a bit of wraparound glass to keep the prole blood from splashing on your evening wear. It would be very unbecoming to wear blood to that black-tie fundraiser and the subsequent Hank Scorpio TED Talk.

Eric Rood

 

Jaguar XKSS

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It’s a “new” Jaguar XKSS, the first one built in almost 60 years… if you exclude the one they showed at New York earlier this year. Nine of these are being built by hand to match the exact specification of the original cars from 1957 by a dedicated team from Jaguar Land Rover Classic.

 

I was really confused when I saw this press release. I guess this is the first XKSS continuation being delivered to a customer? Otherwise, this is the exact same announcement that I got back in March at the New York International Auto Show. They called that the first XKSS built in 59 years and they call this one the first XKSS built in nearly 60 years. I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Greg, you young fool. In NY they announced that they were going to build. Now they announced that they actually did built it, and there it is. It’s all about branding, buzz, and other industry terms. The car is cool, too.

Kamil Kaluski

 

Well damn. They had loads of XKSS photos out when they announced it and at the time they made it sound like that was the first of nine that would be built. This is why I have trust issues, guys.

Greg Kachadurian

 

No joke… there’s a puddle of oil under the one on the stand.

Jeff Glucker

 

I would think I had been sold a counterfeit if it didn’t leak.

-Chris Haining

 

Jeff it’s not leaking so much as displayed as it will sit in some millionaires garage. It’s true to life like an ikea showroom.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

The coolest car ever built by any manufacturer ever is the XKSS. Making this the second coolest thing Jaguar has ever done. What a stunner.

Bradley Brownell

 

I think most ex-Kiss members have puddles under them by this point.

Eric Rood

 

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Chevrolet revealed the new performance halo for the Colorado and it’s a halo that likes to get dirty. The Colorado ZR2 aims to be the off-road enthusiast’s mid-size truck with loads of hardware and technology that make this “a segment of one” among off-road pickups… unless you count the Tacoma TRD Pro. Gas and diesel engines are available though, so that’s unique.

 

Does it come with TAPOUT window decals? For real though, I absolutely love this. I love the Raptor more, but this kinda makes a bit more sense. It’s probably better to live with every day, easier to maneuver, and you can get it with a high-torque diesel which should be great off road. I can’t wait to see bros ruin the truck’s highly advanced, carefully calibrated suspension setup with eBay lift kits and shitty brodozer wheels.

Greg Kachadurian

 

You may not see it, but the world has gone nuts for proper 4x4s. Wranglers are selling like crazy and the aftermarket is ridiculous – modified $70,000 JKU are not out of norm. Other Jeep are Trailhawk this and that. Mercedes sells every G-wagen they can make. There is a wait list for Range Rovers. Toyota has like three different off-road packages for Tacomas, 4Runners, and Tundras. The ZR2 is an obvious decision.

Kamil Kaluski

 

The show this year was pretty tame and quiet. That’s why a truck like this was creating such a stir, that and because it’s also pretty awesome. A baby Raptor-fighter with a Duramax under the hood? Yeah… we’re going to have to borrow one and jump it a few times.

Jeff Glucker

 

This car will sell like condoms in a brothel, for reasons that are  absolutely nothing to do with how capable it is, and everything to do with it being The Most Colorado. As an uncultured limey out of touch with life in the colonies, I ask, would this be a ‘Bro-dozer?’

-Chris Haining

 

“Mid-sized”

Bradley Brownell

 

No, my stupidly-tall Excursion is closer to bro-dozer, though it lacks the proper SoCal lower-in-the-back stance. I’m with Kamil, it only took like 20 effing years for all the major manufacturers to figure out how to put decent suspension, gearing and lockers under their offroad-package vehicles. Crew cab diesel ZR2 is kinda the truck version of the BMW M325i: not the biggest beast, but just right.

-Tim Odell

 

Well this is the first time I have ever cared about a Colorado, so that’s something. I wonder if multimatic would make those shocks for my Miata….

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Rezvani Beast Alpha

rezvani-beast-alpha-sidewinder-doors-1

Rezvani, a relatively small coach builder-style supercar manufacturer out of California, has a new hard-top version of the Beast. There’s actually a lot that’s new here despite the very similar styling. It’s built off a Lotus chassis rather than an Aerial, its K24 four-banger is turbocharged rather than supercharged, it has a removable hard top roof, and crazy new “SideWinder” doors that manage to be even more complex than Koenigsegg’s.

 

I guess this is our yearly reminder that Rezvani still exists.

Greg Kachadurian

 

This will only be sold via duPont Registry because that’s the perfect demographic – knowledgeable buyers with great taste. Wait, no… I meant idiots with money. Sorry.

Kamil Kaluski

 

I’m really pleased that Rezvani exists, and I’m delighted that they’re doing what they’re doing, but this thing just resembles a ludicrous amalgam of every other supercar on the market, crowned with a set of ‘ah, but look what I can do’ doors. As a failed, no, abortive car designer myself, it’s slightly frustrating to look at.

-Chris Haining

 

Commit this page to memory to win Automotive Obscure Trivia Night some time in the mid-2020s.

Tim Odell

 

This is literally the first time I can remember hearing about Rezvani, and all it did was remind me of Rez for the PS2. That game was trippy as fuck.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Agree with Tim, not sure how they still exist. Beyond Chris Brown who else bought one?

-Jason Connor

 

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

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This is Alfa Romeo’s rumored SUV brought to life. They promise great driving dynamics and killer performance with the optional 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 with 505 hp and 443 lb.-ft. (basically the Giulia Quadrifoglio engine). It’s an SUV as only Alfa Romeo could build one.

 

I thought for sure that I’d hate the Stelvio. Automakers are rushing to spew random SUV crap out from their factories so they can move units to soulless buyers and prove to corporate accountants that they deserve to exist, and all we’re left with is a bunch of boring, passionless boxes. I feel that this is different though. Its design resembles the Giulia in all the best ways and its expanded proportions don’t look odd at all. It just works. This is perhaps the only SUV I can walk past with a smile. So yeah, I think I love an Alfa Romeo SUV. Foot in mouth.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Imagine how fucking sexy a  Giulia Quadrifoglio wagon would have been. But no, you get this.

-Kamil Kaluski

 

I no longer love it as much. Thanks, Kamil. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Greg Kachadurian

 

This looks pretty menacing in person. It’s a 505 horsepower middle finger to crossover SUVs… and I’m okay with that. Still, yeah, a wagon would’ve been cooler.

Jeff Glucker

 

I’m not sure how this has happened. I see a Maserati Levante and I think the range of SUV choice has just swollen for douchebags everywhere. Yet I see this and think, people are going to buy these and enjoy them. I’d probably buy one over a Giulia. Maybe.

-Chris Haining

 

I ran out of high-end sporty CUV hate a few years ago. They’ve gotten better and I’ve got better things to be angry about.

Tim Odell

 

Hell yeah, I can’t wait to have this wonderful, beautiful, Italian SUV that will never work right and will have to dump on craigslist for $15k a year after the warranty is gone.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

But does it sound good? An Alfa that doesn’t sing is like an ‘80s action movie without gratuitous nudity. Yeah, there’s probably other good stuff, but it doesn’t really count.

Eric Rood

 

Shut up and take my money (that I can’t spend on anything more than the CX-5).

-Jason Connor

 

Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid

The Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid goes on sale in North America in

Cadillac’s flagship sedan is going green with a new plug-in hybrid variant. The CT6 Plug-In Hybrid benefits from a new gas-electric drivetrain with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder gas engine and two electric motors to fill the gaps. Total system output is 335 hp and 432 lb.-ft. It can go about 30 miles on electric power alone or 400+ miles in total range.

 

I’m sure this won’t help with its stale personality, but I’m all for adding more hybrid tech to cars like this. Cadillac’s flagship sedan was practically asking for it.

Greg Kachadurian

 

I suspect I’ll never see one of these in the UK. Our loss, I guess.

-Chris Haining

 

Handsome car, decent technology, what’s not to like? “Starting at starting in the U.S. at $75,095 plus a $995 destination freight charge before any applicable electric vehicle tax incentives…” Sigh.

Tim Odell

 

Way too expensive, but I like where they are going. I wonder if we’ll ever get an M5/M6 fighter from the CT6.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Well, it’s not an ELR, so it’s got that going for it.

Eric Rood

 

Nissan Sentra Nismo

2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO

After having countless fake Nismo badges thrown on stock Sentras, Nissan decided it was time to just make the real thing. The first ever Sentra Nismo features a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-banger with 188 hp and 177 lb.-ft of torque paired with a six-speed manual as standard (there’s also some Xtronic thing as an option). It also has a stiffened body structure and unique suspension tuning worthy of the Nismo name. They’re aiming for a $25,000 price tag.

 

I Manuel Carillo is figuring out who to perform… favors for in order to drive this before anyone else. The Sentra SR Turbo is supposed to be a great little car to beat on according to reliable sources, so this should be even greater. I’m actually… uhm, excited about a Sentra. Guys. Help.

Greg Kachadurian

 

This has to be a blast to drive… slow car fast for sure.

Jeff Glucker

 

College kids- you are looking at the next big second-hand forgotten first-car fast-car bargain.

-Chris Haining

 

I need to get my hands on one of these. Bigly.

Bradley Brownell

 

188hp and 177hp from a turbo 1.6 is pretty far behind the curve for 2017, but still, more cheap sporty cars with three pedals is a good thing.

Tim Odell

 

A cool project from NISMO for sure, but I don’t see anyone picking one of these up over a Fiesta ST. I’m still sure it’s a better car than the NISMO that Jeff loves.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

What Tim said.

Eric Rood

 

The Sentra SR Turbo is like a rental car with a turbo and a stick. The KneesMoe adds a bit of flare to that mentality of which I would really like. I need to do a comparison review of this vs the Elantra Sport.

-Jason Connor

 

A review of the Sentra SR Turbo is coming your way. Nissan obviously created the NISMO version because the SR Turbo needs improvement.

Kamil Kaluski

 

Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2 Spyder

lamborghini-huracan-rwd-spyder-1

Simply put, it’s a rear-wheel-drive Huracán Spyder. Also simply put, it’ll be a hoon’s dream.

 

Mid-mounted V10, rear-wheel drive, folding top. It’s hard to beat that. I should make a joke about how Lamborghini is finding a million ways to sell the same car, but this is one of those extra models that I simply love.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Hehehe… It will be in my garage next week. Seriously.

Jeff Glucker

 

Don’t get jealous, world. I met Jeff once and he smells kinda funny

-Chris Haining

 

And he’s got dumb hair.

Bradley Brownell

 

I call dibs on Brad’s podcasts.

Greg Kachadurian

 

The world needs bright yellow drop top Lambos. How else would you easily identify (and thus, avoid) the people who’d buy a bright yellow drop top Lambo?

Tim Odell

 

Look, the “base” Huracan was already a lot to keep up with, and now I imagine you can go even crazier AND get a bee in your face at 100+ mph.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

I reserve any opinions until after I drive one. You know…for science.

-Jason Connor

 

Mercedes-AMG GLE43

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLE43 SUV

It’s a GLE SUV with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 and other AMG performance hardware. 362 horsepower, 384 lb.-ft. of torque, nine-speed auto with AWD, and a Q1 2017 release date. Yep.

 

Mercedes-Benz’s new design language works on anything, even this. But that doesn’t mean I like it. Big fat pile of meh.

Greg Kachadurian

 

Perfect! I found the GLE63 AMG to be a bit much and the GLE350 just lacking.

Kamil Kaluski

 

Sigh… Mercedes used to try and beat BMW at its former game, and it was doing just that. Now it too plans to offer a million variants of a million made up models and segments. I like the power figures. I don’t think every gap in a lineup needs to be filled.

Jeff Glucker

 

Well, I guess it’s a step up from the embroidered floormats and branded wheels of your common or garden AMG Line, but it’s still not quite the real thing, is it? I want my AMG engine hand-built by Jurgen. This is called an AMG because everybody wants an AMG.

-Chris Haining

 

Ah, it’s nice(?) that AMG finally has a competitor to M package bimmers. Sad to see the One man One Engine philosophy gone though.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

Lexus Sriracha IS

2017_lexus_sriracha_is_17_530ecdb04f2a1ced11a355cc90ffefef618c7a85

This is a one-off custom Lexus IS made in partnership with the company behind Sriracha sauce. It has custom Sriracha Red paint with green accents, a Sriracha driving mode which is basically just a sportier sport mode, Huy Fong Foods logos everywhere, a Sriracha-injected steering wheel (seriously), and 43 bottles of Sriracha in the trunk. Guys, this is real.

 

Lexus product manager: “I want us to have the hottest new car at the LA Auto Show!

Intern: “I got u fam.

There’s no other way someone could have come up with this. I’d like to draw your attention to the Sriracha-injected steering wheel again… per Lexus, “a Sriracha-like liquid was cast in resin, then formed into a Lexus steering wheel, complete with a warning for “Hot Handling”. JUST… WHAT.

Greg Kachadurian

 

I’m really trying to think of something to say, but it’s difficult to be condimentary.

-Chris Haining

 

I quite like Siracha… this thing is dumb. I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek’ness of the video. Still though. Give us a modded LC designed to look like a race car or something. Show that 200+mph Land Cruiser. Don’t make a Siracha car.

Jeff Glucker

 

I’d pay $1,000 to see the taut, dour look of disapproval on the faces of the visiting Japanese Toyota Executives as some 20-something branding consultant attempts to explain to them why this vehicle is in their booth.

Tim Odell

 

I feel like Lexus forgot to come up with something to bring to the show until like last week when they realized that they had already paid for their space. Also, hats off to whoever at Sriracha just made bank by licensing the name to Lexus.

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

“Guys, we just need marketing!”

“Yeah, marketing! Why haven’t we tried that before?”
“Yeah, I don’t know.”

“How do we marketing?”

“Uhh…”

[Silence]

“Synergy?”

“Yes! Synergy! I’ve heard of that!”

“What…What is it?”
“I don’t know, but we should synergy and marketing!”

[Golgafrincham B Ark continues deep-space trajectory toward narrow-scoped joke]

Eric Rood

 

Cock sauce. There I said it, I feel much better now. They painted the exhaust tips green, I almost felt bad for how much shit I gave this thing in person…almost.

-Jason Connor

 

Ford EcoSport

Ford EcoSport

The Ford EcoSport is a mini SUV that’s just now making it stateside after being on sale worldwide for over a decade. It’ll be built in India and will run with a 1.0-liter three cylinder EcoBoost engine. Basically it’s a taller Fiesta.

 

Horrible name but I am really glad that there finally is a really small Ford CUV. The Escape is just too vulgar for many vegetarian buyers.

-Kamil Kaluski

 

Agreed on the dumb name. Maybe I’m alone here, but I’d rather just have the Fiesta. As far as I can tell, all you gain here is a slightly higher riding position, a little more space, and a lot more weight to carry around with the same engine the lighter Fiesta uses. But the people who need to ride a little higher to feel special will buy the hell out of this thing.

Greg Kachadurian

 

This car really worries me. It feels like the Cityrover all over again. We’ve got a gap in our western car range, let’s bring something in from India to fill it. It’s OK, but nowhere near the strong game Ford has been playing elsewhere of late, I’m afraid this is a retrograde move.

-Chris Haining

 

Hey man, entry-level product managers have to start their career with something, right? Still, smaller more efficient cars is a good thing in general, so um…woohoo?

Tim Odell

 

Helpful: A car I can always give a wide berth to because its occupant(s) will be texting and/or Snapchatting.

Eric Rood

 

I love the 1.0 Ecoboost. This should do quite well.

-Jason Connor

 

Jeep Compass

jp017-079cpm4ovpjhgh3456gmoeb4o9q180l-3

As has been covered here before, the Jeep Compass is all-new for 2017. New styling makes it look not boring, a Tigershark 2.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine makes it a bit quicker, and it’s available with three transmissions ranging from a six-speed manual to nine-speed auto. Front-wheel and four-wheel drive are available along with a Trailhawk model which adds some actual off-road capability to the thing.

 

The last and so far only Compass I’ve ever driven was a rental car. The brakes were so bad that it would start to creep forward from a complete stop even with the brake pedal on the floor. The driveline would also chatter a bit when making U-turns. This new Compass doesn’t need to do very much to impress me.

Greg Kachadurian

 

The important huge void between the Renegade and the Cherokee is finally filled. Phew!

Kamil Kaluski

 

Motoring publications the world over thank Jeep for making production editors lives easy – cue a million “Jeep Compass Shows rivals the way” feature titles.

-Chris Haining

 

I’m confused. We’ve now got the Renegade (new, small), Patriot (old, same small or slightly bigger?), Compass (medium), Cherokee (medium large?), Grand Cherokee (medium larger?) and upcoming Wagoneer (large large). Given that the Compass was the most hated and roundly panned vehicle in Jeep history, it’s amazing they’re keeping that name around in the future state. Liberty would’ve even been better.

-Tim Odell

 

If you took apart a Tigershark engine, would you find a license plate and a paint can? I’m just here to make stupid film and TV references.

Eric Rood

 

Volkswagen Passat GT Concept

passat_gt_concept_6633

This is the closest thing we have to a Passat GTI right now and it’s just a concept. The Passat GT concept has several styling elements taken directly from the Golf GTI to create the sportiest Passat ever created from the factory. It also has a 280-horsepower VR6 to back it up.

 

It’s the sportiest and probably fastest Passat ever built and it’s still boring as shit.

Greg Kachadurian

 

This is a very desperate move to get attention away from #dieselgate. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it!

-Kamil Kaluski

 

Yeah… Kamil is right. Still a performance Passat is something I’m okay with. Make it the Passat R though, and give it that powertrain. Then we can talk.

Jeff Glucker

 

It actually produces 400hp, but it trips into a ‘low output’ mode when it detects that you’re putting it to the test

-Chris Haining

 

The perfect car to drive to the grave of the Audi R18TDi. #AudiSportDiedForYourSins

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

You can also drive it over the Polo WRC program’s grave while you’re at it.

Eric Rood

 

Chevrolet Spark Activ

The 2017 Chevrolet Spark ACTIV is a sportier take on the brand

Chevrolet debuted a “sportier take” on the Spark. You can tell it’s sportier because it has “Activ” in its name. It’s a taller Spark that looks like it can drive over tall grass. It starts at $16,945 with a manual transmission.

 

It’s not a surprise that this vehicle has come to be. What is a surprise is that there will be several thousand people willing to buy it.

-Kamil Kaluski

 

If I think of this as a modern interpretation of an 80’s Civic Wagon I don’t hate it as much.

… Actually, I still kinda hate it.

Greg Kachadurian

 

If the Chevy Spark is the automotive equivalent of a laundry-room appliance, the name of this one sounds like the washing powder you put in it.

-Chris Haining

 

90s nostalgia is a thing now. GM’s totally on top of it with stupid special editions and more plastic cladding. Hopefully the wheel center caps say ABS on them.

Tim Odell

 

This is a perfect vehicle to drive other people around in. Uber express here we come!

-Patrick Hoffstetter

 

It’s like the Fiat 500L (aka the “FML”) but a General Motors product so it’ll be more reliable but also more spiteful. If it has the same CVT as the 2016 Spark I rented, the spite will indeed be strong with this one.

Eric Rood

  • Sjalabais

    Tim’s comment about wine and Aston Martin products is one of the most spot on comparisons the internet has managed to produce. Salute!

  • Tomsk

    FYI: I think Chris’ first two comments each got shifted forward one vehicle.

    All I can say about the Lexus is, “The Relentless Pursuit of WAT”

    http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/173/576/Wat8.jpg?1315930535

    • Yup. They’re trying to make me look more drunk than I actually am. That is to say, not enough.

    • Greg Kachadurian

      I’m dumb. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Wayne Moyer

    What’s really sad is that I think Lexus could sell a thousand of those hot sauce cars with ease.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b1880f109d5699833254e9f6004966a710fc8dd01313c3758a6bbf9b59477376.jpg

  • Joey DaVive

    EcoSport different from B-Max how? Sedan version of MPV?
    Crack pipe, Ford NA. Crack. Pipe.

    @Tomsk – Honestly, I couldn’t tell. This whole post was made of “wat”

    To Erik Rood +1 for “FML” Somebody at FCA knew this.
    Also (BU) Renegade

  • bv911

    I think Ferry would give this new 911 RSR a big fat thumbs up:

    http://www.conceptcarz.com/images/Porsche/48-Porsche-356-Prototype-DV-08_PBC_02.jpg

    (First Porsche ever made, and one guess where he put the engine…)

  • CraigSu

    Jaguar appear to be channeling the Shelby Series 1 with the i-Pace bonnet design.
    http://hollywoodwheels.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/IMG_1047-1024×753.jpg

  • Ross Ballot

    I was shocked by how “big” this year’s show was. Seems like it was the first time in years at which there were a number of cars that debuted that I actually cared about.

    A few random musings:

    -Civic Si – very excited for this. I’ve always had a thing for the Si, and this is no exception. So long as it remains the nimble, walks-to-the-beat-of-its-own-drum mantra, it should be good. I don’t expect it to compete with the STs, GTIs, and WRXs of the world, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun.

    -Jag I-Pace – silly name for what would likely sell very well. Somebody said it’s 90% of what the production version will be, and that’s a good thing. It’s like a Model X with Jag’s design language, and I hope to see them on the roads soon.

    -CX-5 – the original’s design was so good that I’m a bit let down by this one. Rather, I just don’t think it’s as attractive. The paint is gorgeous, but the back doesn’t do it for me, and there’s something about the grille that reminds me of the new grille on the Acura MDX. Not saying it’s bad, it’s just not as attractive to my eyes. The interior is a solid improvement though.

    -ZR2 – possibly the most unexpected unveiling, and probably not only my favorite new car of the show but of any new car over the last few years. Incredibly excited to see the “midsize” pickup segment getting some of the love that the fullsize segment has gotten. The ZR2 should be a hell of a truck, incredibly competent off-road while not being a lumbering behemoth on-road. I’ll definitely be looking at these once they’ve been out for a few years and you can scoop one up CPO or at Carmax. Too bad it doesn’t have a V8 though…the diesel is slooooow.

    -Sentra NISMO – I get the excitement, but I’m ready for Nissan to put their money where their mouth is and replace the 370Z already. It’s nice to see sporty versions of the otherwise mundane cars, but more than anything I think they need a dedicated sports coupe.

    -Compass – finally, a Compass worth its space in the Jeep lineup. The Compatriot twins were pretty terrible, not in a vacuum but when compared to the competitors, so it’s good to see a replacement. Not sure about keeping the Compass name though, given the bad taste it left in the mouth of so many journalists. Otherwise, it looks like a good, capable, Jeep-worthy little thing that’s infinitely better looking than the Cherokee. Jeep’s lineup is getting a bit overcrowded but I guess when your vehicles are selling as well as they currently are, you make as many as you can.