There was no better way to duck out of those rare, rainy days in Los Angeles than dashing into the 2013 L.A. Auto Show, held at the downtown Los Angeles Convention Center from Nov. 22 through Dec. 1. Quite a few new models and concepts are debuting here, and I had two days to get as intimate with them as I can.
As soon as my media wristband was secured, I made a beeline for Porsche. Sandwiched between harsh stage lights and an immaculately white floor, Porsche’s new topless missile-cars gleamed and preened. The new 911 Turbo Cabriolet, with 520-horsepower, and Turbo S Cabriolet, with 560-horsepower, still share the coupe’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo flat-six. Needless to say, each will crack a 3.3-second and 3.1-second 0-60 mph time with $160,700 and $193,900 price tags, respectively.
The L.A. Auto Show also hosted the world premier of the anticipated Porsche Macan. The company’s first compact crossover, scheduled to be available by 2015, will come with two models: the Macan S – with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 making 340-horsepower – and the Macan Turbo – with a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6. With active all- wheel-drive systems to sort out messes, the cars feature the 918 Spyder’s steering wheel, and Porsche’s seven-speed PDK transmission will come standard. Porsche aims to sell 50,000 Macans annually and assures customers that the car is built to the standards of any 911, despite its $50,000 starting price.
Oh, and there was a 918 Spyder casually tucked into a corner, too.
Jaguar pulled the sheet off their new F-Type R Coupe, swapping the drop-top for a hardtop. Besides adding a letter to its name, the Jaguar F-Type will run 550-horsepower from the same 5.0- liter supercharged V8. Bigger brakes have been fitted to the car to stop it from the higher top speeds it will be achieving, as well as a new torque vectoring system and electronic active differential to deal with the added power and torque. Pricing starts just shy of $100,000.
Nissan’s halo car this show is the 2015 GT-R Nismo: the even more blisteringly fast version of its already ballistic GT-R. Running with 600-horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque, no official numbers have been released for the car’s 0-60 mph times. I was simply told that it is quite fast. With updated side skirts, a more aerodynamic front bumper and rear diffuser and a new massive rear wing, I am inclined to believe the whispered rumors of a 2-second 0-60 mph time.
Also claiming some show floor space for themselves was Audi’s newest A3 family. The lineup will include the standard A3 sedan, the A3 Cabriolet, the A3 e-tron hybrid hatchback and the sporty S3 sedan. The S3 heart beats with a 2.0-liter direct-injected, single-turbo engine with a quoted 290-horsepower. For all intents and purposes, it’s a bite-sized sports sedan priced competitively around $40,000. Exciting stuff.