My personal hilights from the 2019 LA auto show (lots of pictures)

Just got back from the auto show, here are some of my favorite pictures:

A few thoughts on seeing the cars there in person:

  • C8 Corvette

I’ve been following this car more closely than anything else, and it’s one of two cars I’m considering buying when my M3 lease is up. When Chevy revealed it, I had mixed feelings. The good news: I strongly prefer the exterior in person to photos. I thought the car had too many creases and was overstyled, but in real lighting they’re less pronounced. It looks even more like a supercar in person, aggressively low and wide. The front looks amazing. The bad news: I dislike the interior more in person. The square steering wheel is really ridiculous and it’s way more obvious how bizarrely the center tunnel completely isolates the passenger. It just looks miserable to ride in as a passenger. I still have mixed feelings and I don’t think I’ll be able to make up my mind until I can actually drive one.

  • The Mach E

A practical EV focused on a sporty driving experience from an established, reliable manufacturer? I’m pretty sold. The car looks really low, it’s almost more like a station wagon than a crossover. I love the styling, and it looks great in person. The interior looks great, too. Is it a “real” Mustang? I dunno, but what I do know is that everyone (especially outside the US) hates the blue oval and Ford wouldn’t have been able to compete with Tesla selling these without a Pony on it. I’m optimistically curious.

  • Civic Type R

Not much to say about this one, but it looked great in this spec. The off-gray paint is really nice with the red accents.

  • Veloster N

The fact that you can buy this car for $27,000 is nuts. It’s such a fun affordable bargain I think I would honestly buy one to beat on if I had extra garage space. It looks great, the third door makes it practical enough to daily, and I’m dying to drive one. If it’s half as good as everyone says, it’s the performance bargain of the decade. The drawback? The interior is pretty spartan. All hard plastic and cloth, it doesn’t have any pretenses of being a luxury car on the inside like much of Hyundai’s lineup.

  • Toyota Supra

I gotta say I also like how this looks more in person than the pictures. The back is really sexy, though I still find the front kinda weird, especially the headlights. Sitting inside the car, it really feels like a BMW. The number of parts and materials that seem like they’re identical to my M3 is bizarre. Personally, that doesn’t bother me. I think BMW does interiors way better than Toyota. That said… if you’re specifically a fan of Toyota, you can’t help feel like this car doesn’t actually feel much like one when you’re in it. I don’t quite know what to think of this car. I liked it more in person than I thought I would, but I can’t see myself buying one. I’m generally in favor of automatic cars (especially in really quick stuff like the C8) but this car just seems like it’s begging for a manual. It’s a lightweight enthusiast car you can’t shift for yourself, a Toyota that isn’t a Toyota, and a $55,000 car born into the shadow of a $59,000 supercar killer.

  • The 2020 convertible R8 v10

Not much to say here, Audi killed it with their flagship, as they usually do. The color, materials, and design are all stunning. If I had $180,000 to spend on a supercar, the coupe version of this would be a no-brainer.

  • AMG GT

Another one I don’t have much to say about. This car was beautiful when it was announced a few years back, and the little updates have only improved on it. It’s a stunning GT car with aggressive styling and a brutish engine that makes it stand out in a segment that Porsche ruled for too long with almost no competition.

  • Aston Martin ?

This was in one of the customs halls. I’m honestly not totally sure what model it is. Looks nice though.

  • VW electric concept

Interesting concept. Feels closer to possible reality than a lot of concept cars. Curious what ideas will make it to production. The light up touch handles are interesting, and I like most of the exterior. Cool direction if this is where VW wants to go.

  • Lexus electric concept

Opposite of VW, feels weird even for a concept car. It’s so far from anything that would be produced I can’t even gather much from it. Also, dear god that front fascia. Even for a Lexus, it’s not very easy on the eyes.

  • Ford GT40/Ford GT

So cool seeing these in the Le Mans livery next to each other. Legendary cars. What else is there to say. I’ll likely never have the chance to sit in a GT, much less a GT40. But just taking either of these for an hour would be a dream.

  • Fisker concept car

Fisker is still a thing? Huh. Looks cool. I’d be amazed if these ever see the light of production.

  • 992 Carrera

The 911 has long been a dream car for me, and while their new models still remain firmly out of my grasp, the most exciting this about the 992 for me is that it’s pushed used 991 models to a range I can afford. This is the main contender against the Corvette for next car for me. Anyway, to speak to the 992 – I really prefer the front with the sport package. On the base model the black plastic piece on the front fascia is kinda awkward to me. Otherwise, though, it’s beautiful. The rear of the car is absolute sex, and the interior is classic Porsche perfection. Aside from that weird new shifter.

  • Taycan (Turbo S and 4s)

These cars looks beautiful in person. It almost feels like it could have been the next generation Panamera, blending classic styling with an EV twist in what I think is a real home run. The interior is exactly what you’d expect of Porsche, which is excellent because it means it’s top tier quality with perfect ergonomics and clean design. No gimmicks, no ridiculous portrait tablet taking up the whole center of the car.

The only thing that is hard to defend is the price. With a starting price at an eye-watering $104,000, the Taycan isn’t just Porsche’s most expensive base car, it’s also a whopping $30,000 more than the base Tesla Model S, which has more range and more power and a more established charging network. Of course you have to settle for Tesla’s not so wonderful interior and reliability issues. But for $30,000 it’s a kinda tough decision to make. The Turbo model boosts the price all the way to $185,000. I mean, it’s Porsche. I guess I should have expected the pricing, but it’s so unattainable it hardly seems worth throwing into the electric car discussion for the average consumer.

  • A few other random thoughts from cars I saw:

Genesis – the interior of their cars are just incredible and they’re a bargain overall.

Kia has a lot of attractive cars these days. Again, very nice interiors for the price.

Visiting Infiniti is sad. They’re so far behind the competition, and seeing the 2020 Q50 with a basically identical interior to my 2015 made me cringe.

Mazda is killing the interiors these days. They felt legitimately on par with the BMWs and Mercedes we looked at inside.

Mercedes has a lot of nice looking cars. The new A and CLA cars aren’t as nice as a C Class, but they look sharp. Seems like they’ve grown into legit Mercedes. It’s not embarrassing to the brand like the first gen CLA.

Audi’s lineup is very consistent. Handsome, understated looking styling and they all are great inside. My fiancé is pretty convinced she wants an S5 Sportback as her next car, and I’m totally on board. Amazing interiors and tech stuff all around.

Some brands felt like they were lagging. Toyota/Honda seem nice but with Kia and Hyundai’s pricing and interior quality, it’s getting harder to see why you’d get a Toyota or Honda instead of one of those.

Nissan is just sad. Their slumping sales are no surprise seeing their cars next to direct competitors.

Subaru had a really cool display this year where they built a little campsite type environment and showed all their cars there. They definitely get their audience. That said, I wish they put a little more love into their interiors. While a bunch of brands have stepped up and basically hit the benchmark of last generation luxury cars, Subaru feels like what I would have expected five years ago from an eco brand. All plastic and rough cloth or mediocre fake leather.

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Nevin Manimala

Nevin Manimala is interested in blogging and finding new blogs

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