2019 LA Auto Show: Part III

VW, still reeling from the diese-gate disaster a couple of years ago, really needed to make a splash. And a splash it did make with the ID Space Vizzion concept and the more earthly 2020 Atlas Cross Sport. The latter is a looker, with a sloping rear section not unlike the BMW X6 or the Cayenne from VW’s sister company, Porsche.

The new Corvette took center stage at Chevrolet. With a shark like front end (see below) and a rear end that wouldn’t look out of place on a Lambo, the blue Smurf colored convertible variant attracted more than its fair share of looks.

Yawnfest at Honda, Subaru: Nothing to see here, really. Honda touted its commitment to “green cars,” whereas Subaru had a national park kinda booth. The latter announced a special version of the WRX / STI, dubbed “Series White,” that will cost up to nearly $44,000 (for the STI version). Right. Kind of like how they sell you “Recaro” seats that look like office chairs as an optional paid upgrade. We’ll pass.

Sure, Hyundai and Kia are technically two separate car companies… but not really. The former unveiled the Vision T concept, which is a wicked looking cross over. The design language is aggressive with lots of angles. We likes. The latter introduced the 2020 Niro and the brand new 2021 Seltos. A smaller SUV with either an NA 2.0L or a 1.6L turbo I4, it should do well in a market looking for ever more SUV / cross over options.

Toyota for the Family: New for 2020… RAV4 Prime, new Highlander and a new Mirai (which we did not spot).

Other cars that caught our eyes…

2019 LA Auto Show: Part II

Lexus: All models in the Japanese maker’s lineup remained pretty much the same – although they FINALLY added Apple Carplay to their 2020 line up (what took so long, I have no clue). The shining star in the booth was the LC500 convertible. I’ve pined for the hard top version since it’s inception and the convertible is no less sexy. The LC500 is what the Supra SHOULD have been. To hell with the price. Nearly 500 horsepower from a V8 is what it SHOULD have been. Not the poor excuse of a Z4 skinned like a MkV. Lame.

At BMW: Two cherries and… um… something to fill yet another imaginary gap in the line up was present. The M2 CS – the “real” M3, in my opinion – accompanied by the new M8. The styling of the latter doesn’t quite feel right. The M6 Gran Coupe is a sexy beast and the M8 4-door variant should have elicited the same emotional response. It didn’t… but the performance figures look healthy regardless. As for the 235i M – or is it the M 235i? It’s like what Merc is doing with the A series. These Germans keeps making cars for the downmarket. That’s not what German luxury performance is known for. Shareholder value, I suppose.

Across the South Hall at Audi: The RS Q8 and the RS6 Avant were on display. Both are beefed up beasts compared to their non-RS versions but these weren’t the cars that excited me. Rather, I’m looking at the Audi S8 with with 563 ponies that’s tickling my pickle.

Not much to see at Lincoln, save for the suicide doors on the Continental. Wow.

The manufacturer formerly known as Fisker returned as Karma. Nothing new in the way of a production vehicle, but they put out two stunning concept vehicles, the SC1 and SC2. The latter was far more stunning – and more practical – than the former roofless vision of the future. But what does practicality have anything to do with concept cars, right?

2019 LA Auto Show: Part I

Despite the rather chilly and rainy weather in downtown LA (yes, it actually RAINED in Southern California), hordes of automotive industry professionals and media heads – although I can’t understand how much of a “media” person anyone can be shooting photos with an iPhone – gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the latest edition of the LA Auto Show. Phew. What a mouthful.

There were a handful of new vehicle debuts to speak about, although few are going to raise anyone’s heart rate.

At the Ford Motor Co. booth: So what did Detroit unleash upon us? Their own version the Pontiac Aztec, it seems. While it’s 100% electric, it’s also 100% ugly. Nothing wrong with going all in on electric but the Mustang Mach-E looks nothing like its petrol-drinking brethren. I would be embarrassed to drive this thing around town. Wow. Speechless.

Meanwhile, at Porsche: The Taycan was the rage. Couldn’t get a clean photo because attendees were too busy leaving the fingerprints all over the car, inside and out. Regardless, I am really excited for this all electric car as it will give Tesla a serious run for its money. And frankly, Tesla’s brand cache will take a serious hit once the Taycan hits the road.

Yes, electric Porsches are cool but I was more titillated by their gas guzzling counterparts. Namely, the new 911 Carrera 4S on display (drool) and the IMSA GTLM winning 911 RSR. Oh my…

Nothing to see at Nissan: Perhaps it’s reflective of their horrible sales numbers… There was nothing to see at Nissan, except a “50th anniversary” edition of the GT-R. And a customized Nissan truck. Neither really excited anyone, AFAIK, but here are some photos for shits & giggles.

Still working on other photos. Coverage will continue tomorrow. Stay tuned!

2019 LA Auto Show Coverage – Coming Tomorrow!

The 2019 LA Auto Show kicks off in earnest with a bevy of press conferences tomorrow (November 20, 2019), which we are sure will include new vehicle debuts. Manufacturers holding press conferences include:

  • BMW
  • Hyundai
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Porsche
  • Kia
  • Toyota
  • VW
  • Mazda
  • Alfa Romeo
  • Acura
  • Fiat
  • Lincoln
  • Chevrolet

Look for lots of photos and commentary from the show soon!

2019 SEMA Show: A Not So Triumphant Return to Las Vegas

It has been – literally – TEN years since RevdCars attended the SEMA show in Las Vegas. Granted, the automotive aftermarket has morphed and changed during that decade. In “our”world of sport compacts and import cars, companies have shuttered their doors; those car shows that thrilled and wow’d us have been in dramatic decline for some time; import drag racing is all but non-existent; and, unhappily, those “import models” who made our hearts skip a beat have moved on and, frankly, the new generation doesn’t hold a candle to their predecessors.

With all that being said, there was a certain sense of excitement and curiosity as the 2019 SEMA show quickly approached on the calendar. A last minute decision was made to attend. Honestly, we can’t say it turned out the way we had hoped / expected.

  • Supras were all over the place, but save for a few there was nothing bedazzling about any of them; it was primarily cosmetic with some suspension and wheels
  • Trucks were EVERYWHERE (is this where the industry is headed?) with huge, ridiculous lift kits and equally ridiculous wheels (“brodozers”) – not a fan
  • Would say about 1/2 of the wheel companies in South Hall were those of the Chinese variety; can’t speak to any of them as their brands were unknown and quality probably just as suspect
  • The only real Import “tuning” companies on hand were HKS and GReddy, with the latter making a comeback in the market as I heard from more than a few talking heads
  • The North Hall, which WAS typically filled to the walls with mobile audio companies, was barren; most of the floor space was taken up by hand tool companies as far as I saw; as mentioned above, OE audio is so good, there’s an ever decreasing need for aftermarket head units and speakers

Underwhelmed, we probably won’t go back to the SEMA show again. The car business is just not the same anymore. We will adjust. In the meantime, enjoy the gallery below. We stuck to shooting only those things and people of interest inside the exhibit halls.

Next: 2019 LA Auto Show coverage in a couple of weeks!

2019 LA Auto Show: Debut Vehicles Update

The 2019 LA Auto Show is just around the corner and there’s much to be seen and experienced at Southern California’s premiere OEM auto show. According to the latest information provided to us from AutoMobility LA, here are some of the debut vehicles we can expect to see in November. We’ll be there to cover it all so stay tuned!

AutoMobility LA 2019 Poised To Have One Of The Largest Number Of Debut Vehicles In Show History

More than 65 Debut Vehicles Including 25 Global Reveals Confirmed for LA Auto Show’s Press and Trade Event

BMW, Hyundai, Karma Automotive, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen Set to Make News

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Los Angeles Auto Show (LA Auto Show®) today announced that it will have one of the largest number of debut vehicles in its history, as more than 65 are confirmed for AutoMobility LA, its press and trade days, taking place Nov. 18-21, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This year’s debut vehicles span across all segments, price-points, and powertrains, including electric.

New Automobility LA + LA Auto Show combined logo, March 2019

On Tuesday, Nov. 19, industry and media professionals at AutoMobility LA will share insights around the future of transportation and witness vehicle debuts from Karma Automotive and press announcements from innovative startups and suppliers, including AEye.ai and Vulog.

AutoMobility LA continues on Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 20-21) with many more vehicle unveilings and press announcements by automakers introducing the latest advances in transportation innovation. Among the confirmed debut vehicles, 38 percent will be making their global premiere at AutoMobility LA, with 35 percent of those being hybrid or electric vehicles. 

Confirmed automakers bringing debut vehicles to AutoMobility LA 2019 include (but are not limited to):

  • Alfa Romeo: The debut of the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia and 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio 
  • Audi: The all-new, fully-electric Audi e-tron Sportback and the new line of RS performance models, including the Audi RS 6 Avant 
  • Bollinger Motors: Bollinger Motors’ all-electric models, the B1 and B2, will be making their auto show debut 
  • Hyundai: Hyundai to reveal five vehicles; the marque’s lineup of concept and production models will showcase powertrains including ICE, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric 
  • INFINITI: The INFINITI Edition 30 line will make its auto show debut; the limited-quantity product line will include the 2020 Q50, Q60, QX50, QX60, and QX80 models 
  • KIA: KIA announced that it will have a debut for its press conference 
  • Lexus: Lexus has confirmed debut vehicles, including a global premiere 
  • Mazda: Mazda has confirmed the debut of several all-new and refreshed 2020 models for its press conference 
  • Subaru: Subaru will showcase multiple debut vehicles; two will make their North American premiere 
  • Toyota: Toyota has multiple reveals for its press conference, including vehicles with new and alternative powertrain options 
  • Volkswagen: Volkswagen has confirmed multiple debuts for its press conference, including the global premiere of its latest all-electric concept and the auto show debut of the Atlas Cross Sport

“From a new product standpoint, electrification continues to be the big trend across the spectrum of automakers,” said Terri Toennies, President of the LA Auto Show and AutoMobility LA. “While Los Angeles is all about car culture, it’s also a city that takes environmental consciousness seriously. This makes AutoMobility LA and the Los Angeles Auto Show ideal destinations for our media, industry, and consumer visitors to experience all the latest and greatest ways to get from point A to point B.”

Following AutoMobility LA, nearly 1,000 vehicles will be on display during the 2019 LA Auto Show (Nov. 22-Dec. 1) for visitors to experience, alongside activations, displays and test drives from auto manufacturers including Acura, Audi, Fiat, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Tesla and many more.

Top Rank Importers Open House: October 13, 2019

I’ve known the gang at Top Rank Importers for a very long time and we recently reconnected at the SPOCOM show in Anaheim. Dating back to the days of Motorex in Gardena, CA – which had afforded me the opportunity to play with R32, R33 and R34 iterations of the Nissan GT-R (and shoot two prints ads. a “fashion” feature in Super Street magazine featuring the well known “Blackbird” R34) – these guys love cars. And started the Top Rank business in earnest to bring various Japanese cars into the US market LEGALLY (I won’t get into the fine details about the challenges of making a car legal in California vs. the rest of the United States, for example).

But I digress. Doors were opened to the public to take a peek at the vast selection of GTRs, Supras and many other RHD Japanese gems. I found a new favorite of mine in the Mitsubish Delica Star wagon – the looks of an old school Japanese minivan combined with 4WD and turbocharged diesel engine.. and in stock at Top Rank.

If you’re hankering for your next RHD build or just curious about the importation process, give the Top Rank team a call. I’m sure they’ll do their best to answer your questions.

Top Rank International Vehicle Importers
5595 Corporate Way
Cypress, CA 90630
(844) 523-2233
www.importavehicle.com