The LA Auto Show now known as Auto Mobility LA was jamb packed with new car and truck reveals and some healthy concept cars this year. Of all the concepts, some are virtually production ready others are pie in the sky. Here’s our pick for the top five.
Honda Civic Si
Called a prototype and already slated for production, the Honda Civic Si Coupe might hardly be a concept car but making its debut with custom paint and a few other non-production touches, a concept it is.
The next step up the Honda performance ladder before the Type R, the new Civic Si packs a lot of promise. Among the promises, the 2017 Civic Si sedan and coupe will be the fastest and most powerful yet. That means while its 1.5 liter turbocharged engine’s horsepower hasn’t been specified yet, it will be more than 205 horsepower of the old 2.4 liter engine.
Power to the ground is handled by a limited-slip slip-differential, an active suspension system, and active steering. The cross-drilled rotors you see through its 19-inch wheels are available too. And as it should be, all Civic Si will come only with a six-speed manual. The production Civic Si goes on sale next spring.
One of the most visually striking concepts was the all-electric Mitsubishi eX compact SUV. Styling we’re told gives us insight into the next generation of crossovers from the brand, though it also highlights an all-electric powertrain and a vast array of technological features from automated driving to connectivity.
Each axle is powered by a 94 horsepower electric motor for a total of 188. With its next generation battery Mitsubishi says it has a cruising range of 248 miles. That’s about as much technical detail we were given but suffice it to say Mitsubishi is looking beyond the current generation of Outlanders to keep the lights on down the road.
Also looking forward is Jaguar with their I-Pace electric SUV concept. Likely the most athletic and sporting design of the growing performance EV SUV class, the I-PACE production version coming in 2018 will go up against vehicles like the Tesla Model X and similar products coming from Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
Unlike those, the I-Pace looks the part of performance with a muscular stance and a more svelte silhouette. Whether or not it looks Jaguar or not might be up for debate however.
Not to be argued with is its performance credentials of 400 horsepower between its front and rear drive motors that can give it a 0-60 mph pounce at under four seconds. Range is said to be 300+ miles from its under floor battery pack. Expect all the tech from active air suspension to automated driving toys.
Volkswagen Passat GT
On the more production ready end of the spectrum, the Volkswagen Passat GT concept is a trim grade on the current Passat sedan that appears all but ready to roll out into showrooms to fill that big hole where TDI’s once lived.
Think GTI for a more mature audience with trademark red grille trim, blacked out roof and deck-lid spoiler, and smoked tail lamps. It’s lowered over a half inch which tucks its 19-inch wheels in quite nicely.
Lots of interior bits and pieces come as well, the paddle shifters for its 280 horsepower 3.6-liter VR6 and six-speed DSG transmission being of the most important. Will it make production? It very well could as it’s needed and easy to do.
Returning from the body outline on the ground that was the B9 Tribeca, Subaru is showing they intend to again build a three-row crossover with their VIZIV-7 Concept. This time however it appears they are on the right track, headed straight into the sweet spot of the class.
Blocky and aggressive in stance, the VIZIV-7 is positively huge with a length of nearly 205 inches. That vaults it past all would be competitors in class, its 117.7-inch wheelbase also the longest but for one.
Subaru says the VIZIV-7 previews the size of their upcoming full-size three-row crossover for 2018, but not necessarily styling. So save for its grille and facial features which are clearly Subaru, it’s hard to say what we’ll actually see then. And not a word was said about powertrains.