In Review

LA Auto Show 2019 review: VW ID Space Vizzion, Ford Mustang Mach-E and more

Carmakers have started unveiling their latest offerings. Here are all the big announcements so far

The Los Angeles Auto Show has now opened its doors to the public, as one of the last major motoring expos of the year gets underway. 

The US event, which runs until 2 December, has already seen a number of key announcements over the past two days, with manufacturers unveiling their new models and concepts to the critics before the event opened to the public. 

Now that most of the new product launches and concept previews are over, here are some of the best cars on show in LA:

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Audi E-tron Sportback 

The latest hot trend in the booming SUV market is coupe-esque utility vehicles for car buyers who want both sporty looks and a high driving position.

Audi is looking to get in on the craze with its new E-tron electric SUV, which makes its debut in production form in LA. The EV is the same length, height and weight as the standard E-tron, though its rakish roofline improves aerodynamic efficiency to eke out an extra 6.2 miles of range from its 95kWh battery, says Autocar

We’ll have to wait a little longer for Audi to confirm UK pricing, but the SUV costs €83,150 (£71,300) in Germany, the motoring magazine says. The first batch of E-tron Sportbacks should reach customers next spring.

Bollinger B1 and B2

What do you get if you cross a Hummer with a Tesla? Quite possibly, the B1 and B2 from US electric car start-up Bollinger. 

As is evident from its tall ride height and boxy proportions, the B1 SUV and B2 pickup are designed to be go-anywhere off-roaders. In fact, Auto Express says the B1’s “near” 50:50 weight distribution, plus its approach and departure angles of 52 and 43 degrees respectively, could make it a more capable off-roader than the Land Rover Defender

Both models come with configurable body shells as well, the magazine says, so buyers can remove the glass, doors and rear seats to either save weight or easily replace broken parts.

The B1 and B2 will arrive 2021, with prices due to be announced later this year.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

BMW has already revealed its 2 Series Gran Coupe online, but the four-door model had not made its public debut until the American car show. 

Set to rival the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA, the new model introduces the four-door Gran Coupe form to the typically two-door range and previews the design of the next-generation version of the standard 2 Series. 

The 2 Series Gran Coupe gets a range of three and four-cylinder motors, with range-topping M235i models packing a turbocharged petrol engine developing 302bhp, Evo reports.

BMW has started taking orders for its new model, with deliveries due to get under way in March. 

BMW M2 CS

BMW is bidding farewell to the outgoing 2 Series coupe in style by launching a hardcore, track-honed M2 CS.

Along with an array of visual tweaks over the standard M2, including a carbon fibre-reinforced bonnet and a diffuser, the CS swaps out the base car’s six-cylinder engine for the same twin-turbo inline six motor from the M3 and M4. It matches its bigger siblings on power, with a total output of 444bhp, and sprint from 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds.  

Prices start at £75,320, making it some £24,000 more expensive than the previous range-topping 2 Series - the M2 Competition. Only 2,200 examples will be made, with deliveries due to get underway next April, says Autocar.

BMW M8 Gran Coupe

For those who fancy a little more legroom in their M8, BMW has a solution. A four-door M8 Gran Coupe has made its debut in the US, a month after its official online launch. 

The Gran Coupe mixes the regular M8’s sleek styling with the accessibility of a four-door saloon. BMW has stretched the car’s wheelbase by 200mm to accommodate an extra set of doors and open up more legroom for passengers in the back. 

Performance remains identical to the standard M8, too. In front of the cabin sits a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, delivering 616bhp and 553lb-ft of torque in Competition form, says Evo, which is the only version of the M8 Gran Coupe that will launch in the UK.

Ford Mustang-inspired ‘Mach-E’ electric SUV

Arguably the most anticipated reveal going into the LA show is the public debut of Ford’s Mustang Mach-E electric car.

The Mach-E, a nod to the Mach-1 name given to performance-focused cars in the late 1960s and early 1970s, takes the form of electric SUV that takes a few styling cues from its muscle car siblings and mixes it with the practicality of a five-door vehicle.

Buyers will be able to choose between two battery options when the Mach-E hits the showrooms in 2021. The lineup comprises of 75kWh and 99kWh battery options, delivering 260 miles and 335 miles of range respectively, says Autocar.

Mercedes-Maybach GLS600

Most car fans will be familiar with Mercedes’ AMG performance cars, but the firm’s Maybach-badged models are somewhat of a rarity. As the German carmaker’s luxury arm, Maybach takes standard Mercedes-Benz models and gives them a luxury makeover - which also ups the cars’ prices to Bentley and Rolls-Royce levels.

At the US expo, the manufacturer revealed its long-awaited Maybach GLS600 - luxury version of the company’s GLS flagship SUV. The Maybach model gets “a very healthy offering of chrome” to distinguish it from the regular model, along with the brand’s signature grille and optional 23in wheels, says Evo.

While the regular model can seat up to seven occupants, there’s only enough room for four in the Maybach version, the magazine says. That’s because the middle bench has been replace by two recline seatings, while the two extra seats in the boot have been axed to free up more legroom. 

Auto Express expects prices to start at £180,000 when sales open in “the second half of 2020.”

Mini Cooper JCW GP 

Mini first released a concept version of its performance-focused Cooper JCW GP at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Fast forward to today and the company has finally revealed the car in full.  

The JCW GP is the fastest front-wheel drive car ever built by the BMW-owned carmaker, with its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine delivering 302bhp for a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds, says CarBuyer. While sending lots of power through the front wheels can make the car difficult to handle, Mini has installed a limited slip differential to improve traction for more precise cornering. 

It looks suitably sporty, too. The JCW GP gets an “extreme” bodykit that’s made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, and is completed with a large front splitter and a wing above the boot lid, the reviews site adds. 

Only 3,000 will be made, 575 of which are destined for UK showrooms. Each car will carry a price tag of £33,895 and deliveries are due to begin in March.

Porsche Taycan 4S

Porsche’s first electric car is about to get significantly cheaper now that the new entry-level 4S version of the Taycan has made its public debut in LA.

The 4S drops the Taycan’s entry cost from £115,858, the price of the launch-spec Turbo, to £83,367 when the government’s £3,500 plug-in vehicle grant is taken into account.

As you’d expect with a cheaper model, the 4S does omit some features that come as standard on the Turbo. For example, the battery size shrinks from 93.4kWh to 79.2kWh, delivering 252 miles on a single charge, says Auto Express. However, the larger battery, offering 287 miles, can be specced for an additional fee.  

There are also a few visual changes, including smaller 19in wheels and revised bodywork.

Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion 

Another motor show, another new electric car concept from Volkswagen. That, however, is no mean feat.

The company will unveil its ID. Space Vizzion, which blends the electric powertrains of its new EV range with the practicality of a family estate. As reported by Motor1, the concept is based on VW’s new MEB electric car platform, housing an 82kWh battery pack that’s capable of delivering 367 miles of range on a single charge.

It may look futuristic, but there’s a good chance the Space Vizzion will make production in a mostly unaltered state. VW’s original ID concept is now available as the ID.3 electric hatchback, while its ID Crozz SUV is due to arrive next year as the ID.4 utility vehicle.

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