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Andy Wallace reached a world-record 304 mph earlier this year in this Bugatti Chiron Longtail.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

Andy Wallace reached a world-record 304 mph earlier this year in this Bugatti Chiron Longtail.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

Tesla’s Truck, a Mustang SUV, and 12 Other L.A. Auto Show Standouts

Electric vehicles loomed large.

Now in its 102nd year, the Los Angeles Auto Show saw a crush of electric vehicles, record-breaking supercars, and a few big trucks. Most of which, as it happens, did not actually touch the convention center floor.

Instead, Pininfarina opted to show its progress on the all-electric Battista at an intimate, private event at the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood; Bugatti showed its Chiron Super Sport 300+ in an exposed-brick warehouse in the downtown arts district; Audi hosted the press to share the novel headlights of its e-Tron Sportback on a 5 a.m. drive in Koreatown; Aston Martin debuted its long-anticipated DBX SUV at a talent agency in Beverly Hills.

In fact, the two biggest splashes of the week happened out of town, technically speaking: Tesla unveiled its armageddon-ready (but not shatterproof) Cybertruck at the company’s Design Center in Hawthorne, Calif.; Ford, not coincidentally, was nearby, showing off its Mustang Mach-e SUV at an air strip next to Tesla’s Space X headquarters.

Consider it another indication that the auto trade shows are running on empty when it comes to relevance for consumers and payoff for manufacturers. There are rumors the Los Angeles show will change its traditional November date in 2020. The reasoning: If expansion plans for the convention center do not allocate enough space for the event, it will be forced to move; that seems like a pale excuse for alterations in light of how much news this year happened off-site altogether. 

That said, the vehicles that did make it to the convention center floor in L.A. included some hotly anticipated models, especially Porsche’s Taycan, Audi’s RS Q8 SUV, Land Rover’s reimagined Defender, and even BMW’s R18 motorcycle. Here are the best of them.

US-AUTOMOBILE-TESLA-CYBERTRUCK

Tesla Cybertruck

At a Blade Runner-themed party on Nov. 21 in Hawthorne, Tesla founder Elon Musk unveiled his latest work, the electric and very angular Cybertruck, which has a stainless-steel skin and will come in three different variants. Car launches are usually quite scripted and over-rehearsed, but this one didn’t go as planned. A company spokesman broke two windows trying to demonstrate how strong its bulletproof glass was supposed to be. It was the shatter heard round the world: Tesla shares had fallen 5.5%, to $335.32, as of 9:47 a.m. in New York, the sharpest decline in almost two months. Pricing will start at $39,900.

Photographer: Frederic J. Brown/AFP

Ford Mustang Mach-E Electric SUV Reveal Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show

Ford Mustang Mach-E

At a high-energy event on Nov. 17 before the opening of the L.A. Auto Show, Ford introduced the Mustang Mach-E, a small SUV-type electric vehicle with Mustang’s familiar badge on the front and sides. Ford, which noticeably showed off the rig next to Space X HQ in Hawthorne, has said the Mach-E will take on the EV offerings from Porsche and Tesla when its electrified Mustang goes on sale next fall. The Mach-E really isn’t a Mustang sports car at all. The vehicle trades on the iconic nameplate but puts it in a new body. The idea is that Ford will leverage its most iconic vehicles, the Mustang and F-150 truck, to build its EV profile as it struggles to gain footing in the rapidly changing automotive landscape. Pricing for the Mach-E, which is being built in Mexico, will start at $43,895.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Inside Automobility LA Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show

Porsche Taycan 4S

The company unveiled the 2020 Taycan 4S on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The least expensive model in the new line—it starts at $103,400—it’s also the most hyped EV since the Tesla Model S, and the next step toward total electrification, with the 911 last to go. The four-door plug-in Taycan 4S gets 252 miles on one charge of its electric battery and reaches 522 horsepower. A “performance” option with an 800-volt battery extends the range to 287 miles and amps it up to 563 hp. And, yes, it’s fast: The 4S will hit 60 mph in 2.6 seconds.

Photographer: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg

Inside Automobility LA Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show

Audi AG RS Q8

The AG RS Q8 is the fastest production SUV to lap the Nürburgring racetrack, with an official time of 7 minutes and 42.2 seconds. More practically for the everyday driver, it features a bi-turbo V-8 engine that gets to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 189.5 mph. With eight-speed automatic shifting and all-wheel-drive, the RS Q8 lets the driver customize seven different profiles behind the wheel: Comfort, auto, dynamic, all-road, off-road, and RS-specific modes RS1 and RS2. The latter two can be activated directly with a button on the steering wheel. Audi's first SUV to be sold in America will arrive in mid-2020. Pricing is yet to be announced.

Photographer: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg

Inside Automobility LA Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63

The AMG GLS 63 is a staple for the Stuttgart-based German brand, but this year adds more room to the second row and all three rows are fully adjustable electronically. It’s been equipped with a new MBUX system, allowing drivers to control infotainment with voice commands or hand gestures. This is the first Mercedes to introduce V-8 and inline-6 engines enhanced with EQ Boost and a 48-volt electrical system. It gets up to 483 hp on its eight-speed all-wheel-drive system and can go from zero to 60 in 5.2 seconds. Deliveries begin this summer. Daimler has yet to announce the pricing, but the 2019 GLS 63 started at $126,150.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Inside Automobility LA Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show

BMW Concept R18

BMW first showed this bike at the Concorso d’Eleganza Ville d’Este show this summer but brought it to Los Angeles, as well, to introduce in what will likely be its biggest market: California. The bike uses a prototype flat-twin engine that makes it the highest-capacity boxer motorcycle ever produced; the unusual spoked wheels are big (21" front and 18" rear) and built to match the considerable proportions and large overall stance of the bike. The R18 is an 1,800cc concept bike meant to show the design direction BMW will take for its future cruiser segment. 

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

relates to Tesla’s Truck, a Mustang SUV, and 12 Other L.A. Auto Show Standouts

Aston Martin DBX

The company finally joins the luxury SUV fray with the DBX, which starts at $189,000. The four-door, five-passenger rig has a 542 hp, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine and gets 516 pound-feet of torque. It will go from zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds, with a top speed of 181 mph. The DBX takes notes from the Vantage, with a sharply slanted rear, but also evokes other SUVs from Lamborghini and, dare we say, Ford. A very wide grille stretches across the front of the vehicle, and frameless doors blend seamlessly into the sides, elongating the look of the car. The nine-speed automatic SUV, which begins deliveries in summer 2020, will double the manufacturer’s production numbers by the time it reaches peak production. 

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

Inside Automobility LA Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show

BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe

The first-ever 2 Series Gran Coupe has four doors, but it’s considered (by BMW at least) a coupe nonetheless. The doors are made sleek by their rimless outlines; the shark nose is defined by brilliant LED headlights, a new mesh kidney grille, and aggressive-looking air intakes at the bottom. The car also has frameless twin 90mm exhaust pipes—a first for any BMW 2 Series. Under the hood, the new 2 Series packs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 228 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. The car is expected to start at $38,000, with deliveries beginning in March 2020.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

relates to Tesla’s Truck, a Mustang SUV, and 12 Other L.A. Auto Show Standouts

Land Rover Defender

A much-anticipated continuation of a 70-year-old icon, the new Defender comes with two or four doors and up to 395 hp on its V-6 engine. Top speed is 129 mph, and it will hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds—but that’s not really the point. The modern Defender is highly capable off-road, with configurable terrain response, electronic active differential, torque vectoring, all-terrain progress control and a myriad of other systems to smooth out rough roads. The starting price for the Defender is $49,900.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

Karma Automotive Vehicle Reveal Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show

Karma Revero GTS

The 2020 Revero GTS hybrid is a performance version of the company’s luxury electric Revero GT, which debuted earlier in 2019. Karma has floundered in recent years but continues to eke by as it tries to make a truly sporty and reliable version of a hybrid sports car. This one has a BMW-sourced turbocharged three-cylinder engine that acts like a generator, providing electricity for two rear-mounted electric motors. In the Revero GT, those motors produce a combined 536 hp and 560 pound-feet of torque; the figures for the GTS have not been released, but Karma does say it will go from zero to 60 in less than 3.9 seconds, and have an electric-only driving range of 80 miles. Top speed is anticipated to be 130 mph. 

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

relates to Tesla’s Truck, a Mustang SUV, and 12 Other L.A. Auto Show Standouts

Bugatti Chiron Longtail

This is the actual vehicle that driver Andy Wallace piloted to the world-record 304 mph earlier this year. Bugatti hasn’t confirmed it will make more of them … yet. (Although a four-seater priced at less than $1 million may be in the works.) The production version of the Chiron has a 16-cylinder engine and an electronically regulated top speed of 261 mph; this “near production” spec included an additional safety cell, aerodynamic changes, and a taller seventh gear. It was displayed prior to the L.A. show alongside the company’s previous fastest car, the Veyron Super Sport. . A production version of that record-setting car was there, too. The €3.5 million ($3.8 million) Chiron Super Sport 300+ will be limited to just 30 examples; deliveries start in mid-2021.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

Inside Automobility LA Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show

Volkswagen I.D. Space Vizzion Concept

The I.D. Space Vizzion EV crossover is the latest in a spate of seven electric concept cars from the Wolfsburg-based German brand. Volkswagen says the Vizzion will be powered by an electric motor on the rear axle and get 275 hp; an all-wheel-drive version, with an additional electric motor on the front axel, will get 355 hp. Inside, it has a 15.6" touchscreen and a second, smaller display that sits behind the steering wheel. A panoramic sunroof covers the top of the vehicle. The wagon will get 300 miles per charge out of an 82 kWh battery, if and when it comes to the U.S. in production form in 2022. 

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Inside Automobility LA Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show

Buick Encore GX

The new Encore is a larger crossover that comes in just below the Envision and replaces former general models like the Verano. Buick has said little about the vehicle, which goes on sale early in 2020, except that there will be two engines available, both of them turbocharged three-cylinders: The base engine is a turbo 1.2-liter with front-wheel drive; all-wheel-drive is optional on a 1.3-liter with a traditional nine-speed automatic transmission. The SUV will deliver 155 hp, according to early estimates. 

Photographer: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg

Inside Automobility LA Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show

BMW M2 CS

BMW is offering a special edition of its excellent M2 line, called the M2 CS. The handsome coupe, positioned as a high-performance model above the M2 Competition, joins the precedent already achieved by the M3 CS and M4 CS variants. Lighter than its siblings in the M2 line, it has a new front splitter, a distinctive “Gurney” spoiler lip on the trunk lid, and a rear diffuser made of exposed carbon fiber. It has a six-cylinder in-line engine with 450 hp; peak torque is 405 pound-feet. The M2 CS can hit 62 mph in four seconds, and top speed is 174 mph. Prices for the BMW M2 CS start at €95,000 ($105,000). 

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg