Everybody no matter who they are, where they come from or how great a professional reputation they have can sometimes make a mistake. We are talking everybody here, even Porsche. And sometimes, even the smallest guppy in the pond which no one ever expected to amount to much can wind up delivering the idea that shakes up the world. Or one that at least keeps it fed and alive for another few years. If you can’t tell, this entire analogy works just as well with people as it does with automakers.
As follows are some of our choices for the biggest hits and surprising misses from the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Do you agree?
2015 Porsche Macan—Now here we go, no doubt we will get plenty of hate emails for ragging on this plain as a vanilla sundae with no nuts compact luxury SUV from Porsche which does offer 300 horsepower in base form and 400 horsepower in turbo S trim. But when you look at the outside of this Porsche Q5, oops and apologies to Audi, we can’t help but think an opportunity was missed. Also, prices easily escalate to $100,000 if you go crazy with options and while the interior looked lovely we found the pale white leather interior of one display model unsuitable for anyone with kids, pets or who wears blue jeans. Impractical and boring, a callous Porsche moneymaker if there ever was one.
2015 Lincoln MKC—It seems every other model from Lincoln is going
to be the “savior of the brand” but as far as getting new buyers into dealerships we think the 2015 MKC compact luxury utility will bring the fight to the Lexus RX. That’s a huge step.
2015 Infiniti Q30—We got past the odd styling and the pink exterior of the concept SUV but we hope and pray that when Infiniti launches this model that it remembers to include cargo hauling ability. In the past Infiniti sold the EX and FX SUVs but forgot to pack enough space for cargo hauling AND passengers. Sales reflected this.
2015 Chevy Colorado—We supposed that the 2015 Chevy Colorado competes with theand but to our eyes this new all-American midsize pickup occupies a market segment by itself. It could easily woo prospective full size truck buyers thanks to its amazingly stylish and well-built interior, available diesel power and array of options and body styles. Ford must be kicking itself for abandoning this segment and pulling the Ranger from the United States right about now. Here’s to hoping Nissan, Toyota and Ford give the new Colorado something to fight.
2015Hybrid—We aren’t sure but we think that we either fell asleep looking at, hearing about or while sitting in this semi-green 7-passenger SUV. Not only is the new Highlander an ungainly thing to look at compared to rivals but there really is nothing interesting to say about it. That’s a shame for a model that really paved the way for crossovers and hybrid SUVs.
Mercedes Benz Concept GLA45 AMG—This concept previewed the new Mercedes “entry-level” SUV based on the A-Class platform but with special AMG tuning, engine and price tag. When the GLA goes on sale in the United States no doubt sometime in 2015 expect to see non-AMG variants for those of us with more mundane budgets. We think the new GLA is a winning concept either as an AMG or with a more basic and affordable trim. This model should be huge for Mercedes Benz.
Mercedes Benz AMG SLS AMG GT Final Edition—Goodbye gullwing two-seat sports car. It appears Mercedes and AMG will no longer build this ridiculous supercar which basically resurrected the impractical engineering concept known as the gullwing door. Way to go guys.
2015—With bling in all the right places, a gorgeous and luxuriously resplendent interior as well as that inimitable Caddy style, we think the 2015
Cadillac Escalade will be a huge seller. And it is oddly much more handsome than its sibling the 2015 Chevy Tahoe so expect folks to be willing to fork out the extra for the Caddy variant.
2014 BMW 4-Series Convertible—Nice, classically handsome but seriously can BMW do something different with its styling and overall cautious conservatism lately? Apologies but if we drove a red 4-Series convertible we would be way too convinced that we were driving Kelly Taylor’s BMW from the original “Beverly Hills 90210” TV Show. BMW’s are becoming caricatures of themselves which means it’s time for a revolution at this brand. We aren’t holding our breath.
2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD—This introduction may seem a tad innocuous but we promise that the new powertrain in this model will knock anyone’s socks off. You see, we were lucky enough two years ago to drive a prototype of this powertrain around Acura Twin Ring Motegi Race Track in Japan and we walked away stunned by the power on offer and the amazingly tenacious handling. You see this hybrid features Acura’s 3.5 liter V6 as well as three electric motors—one in front and two on each wheel in back for a total of 377 horsepower through an all-new 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.
2014 Range Rover Autobiography Black LWB Limousine—First off, at $185,000 this vehicle may be able to haul dictators over rugged terrain in luxuriously serene comfort but we think for any other use it is a bit silly and over the top. Not that we would ever turn down a chance to ride in or drive one, of course.
Written by James Hamel
Photos by Jon Gala and James Hamel