The LA Auto Show is over and I have mixed feelings again this year. Maybe this green desire of better energy efficient vehicles is taking its toll on me and manufacturers, but it seems this year was mostly about sedans and design. While this is not a bad thing, it left me wanting more.. much, much more. Green cars to the side, pickup trucks and SUVs move up and sedans take front row.
The LA Auto Show 2015 Best Of
My favorite finds at the LA Auto Show were the Alfa Romeo Giulia, of course and the Fiat 124 Spider. I can’t tell you the pleasure it was to see the Alfa Romeo logo in the main hall. And yes, this green transportation veteran still has a soft spot for this brand. Alfa Romeo is back and they mean business.
Neither cars, Alfa Romeo’s Giulia and the new Fiat 123 Spider are specifically fuel efficient, or even green, but what class acts they are. In the case of Alfa Romeo, the company is going directly against for the sleepy German carmaker industry, targeting M3 and AMGs. I sat at the wheel of the Alfa Romeo Giulia and found everything to be as one would expect from Alfa, perfect. The thin, carbon fiber seats were comfortable and elegant. The steering and pedal alignment was also perfect. The overall feel was what I look for in an Alfa, performance and crisp performance, if its specifics are anything to judge from. Check back over the holidays for a more in depth article on Alfa Romeo and where the company hopes to lead. See Aaron’s terrific Gizmag article here.
Meanwhile, the Fiat 124 Spider is a looker! I wouldn’t know which one to choose between it and the Mazda MX3. What it boils down to is if you like the futuristic look, then the Mazda will win you over. However, the retro hints of the Fiat will win over those with 1970s tender memories of running top down with an Italian. I believe the deciding factor are the interiors of either cars, as you can see form these pictures.
The LA Auto Show 2015, Subaru, Volvo, Ford and VW
There were notable vehicles we should include. Subaru unveiled its new design with the Impreza Sedan Concept, which shows where the company is going. We might say it’s a tad more conservative than we’re used to and it seems the company is eager to join the mainstream carmakers. Volvo showed us the future of vehicle cockpits, along a well displayed idea of its future plug-in hybrid, PHEV platform. The company promises that all cars will be PHEVs by 2020. Lincoln seems to be back on top of its game with a resolutely elegant grille that should lock in an eluding clientèle.
VW was the most anticipated press event. The company handled it the way we would want all manufacturers to do, head on and openly. It showed its GTE PHEV concept, which we hope to see on our streets instead of on display. BMW’s stand was probably the most interesting of the German manufacturers with an almost even split with internal combustion engines and a mix of Hybrids, PHEVs and electric vehicles, EV. The 330 PHEV was displayed, but no word on its curb weight.
The LA Auto Show 2015, The Aftermarket
Probably the most fun you’ll have at the LA Auto Show is the off the beaten path Aftermarket Hall. The Aftermarket Hall is always choke full of surprises. I discovered a few goodies that should raise eyebrows and show that entrepreneurs are still strong in America. Count Margo and his retro-futuristic cars and toy cars were a sight to behold, as you can see in our own video above. Also, a great new company with a terrific idea, Four – Ever In Motion, showed us a toddler seat that molds all the way up to an adult size at the flip of a switch. We feel this would be a great addition to Volvo, Lincoln’s and Cadillac’s lineup.
The LA Auto Show 2015, Conclusion
Will EVs come back next year? That is a big question. We can only hope we will see more energy efficient cars that marry this year’s push into more innovative designs and the incredible drive Alfa Romeo and Fiat have shown at the LA Auto Show 2015.