But, as always, the increasingly important LA show brought a number of key debuts, from the new Mazda CX-3, sure to be a top-seller in the light SUV market, to the Audi Prologue, widely believed to be our first look at a new ‘A9’ flagship coupe.
Those two and many more caught the attention of media and showgoers in LA this month. Below, you’ll find five of our faves, in no particular order - and a few special mentions.
It might look like just another luxurious big S-Class, but when Mercedes says it has made its big limo even bigger and even more luxurious, you take notice.
Will it be enough to steal sales from those two legendary brands? For features and technology, it’s easily a match for both.
For style… well, it’ll be ‘just another S-Class’ to some, but to others, it’s a refreshingly sleek and modern look that could be just the ticket.
Mazda CX-3 Compact SUV
Watch for TMR’s early-drive review next month, ahead of an Australian market launch set for 2015.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
And again, because it’s a Shelby, it’s also bursting at the seams with a bucketload more power.
In fact, Ford says the GT350’s 5.2 litre V8 is the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine ever to come out of a ‘standard’ Ford production plant.
The real question is… when the new Mustang hits Australia next year, will the GT350 join it? No surprise that Ford’s not saying, but boy can we hope.
Audi Prologue Coupe Concept
It’s a mighty fine evolution, though, and new Audi design boss Marc Lichte is the man we can thank for it.
Expect this look to appear on more Audi models in the future, and possibly also on a new A9 coupe that would take the fight right up to Merc’s S-Class Coupe.
Last but not least is the last model to the new-generation battle for midsized luxury performance supremacy: Cadillac’s ATS-V sedan and coupe.
With more of the same sharp lines that dominate the Cadillac range, the ATS-V has sprouted a big bonnet bulge and neatly pumped guards for a mean new look.
More than that, it’s also packing a 340kW twin-turbo 3.0 litre V6 that should help it steal a few sales (in the US at least; we won’t see it here) from BMW’s 317kW M3 and M4 models.
Still, if power figures are the main draw, Mercedes-AMG’s new 350kW C 63 will have that neatly locked down.
Other faves at this year’s LA Auto Show included the big new Lexus LF-C2 concept, Chevrolet’s Colorado ZR2, the nicely updated 2015 Mazda6, Jaguar’s new manual and all-wheel-drive F-Type and, for this writer at least, MINI’s Citysurfer scooter.
What floated your boat? Tell us in the comments below, and stay tuned for our coverage of January’s Detroit Auto Show.
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