LA auto show 2019: review and A-Z

Published: 22 November 2019

► Los Angeles Auto Show preview guide
► Adam Binnie’s guide to the 2019 show
► A-Z guide, quick links to full stories

In his record Buzzin‘, Mann describes Los Angeles as ‘forever sunny’ – not so for the 2019 LA Auto Show, which played host to SoCal’s first rain in six months. Undeniably a much-needed downpour, but a distinctly European backdrop to what is usually an all-American event.

That weather, plus an influx of continental manufacturers lining up electric crossovers and SUVs next to domestic V8 coupes, made the 2019 LA Auto Show a pretty confusing mid-Atlantic tale of two halves. Like a cheeseburger topped with brie.

The US is clearly at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to cars, particularly in the Republic of California. On the one hand there’s still a massive market for big-block pick-up trucks and drag strip monsters, but equally there’s a sense this is a country that knows its love of the thirsty V8 can’t go on forever in the face of melting ice-caps.

Look no further than the Ford stand for evidence. Its Mustang brand now adorning everything from the 700bhp, 5.2-litre Shelby GT500, to the new Mach-e electric SUV (below). An electric SUV with a pony badge! Traditionalists are understandably outraged – but as Ford says, there’s a huge amount of value in the word Mustang, and what better two car Blue Oval garage than those two?

Ford Mustang Mach-E at the LA motor show debut, November 2019

Nissan was clearly on the same ticket, with virtuous displays projecting its sustainable intelligent mobility future barely ten feet away from a dune-smashing challenge truck, and even sensible Lexus nestled a V8 powered LC Convertible amidst its more day-to-day line up of hybrids. It did look glorious though – an already handsome car made about thousand percent more desirable by a lack of roof blocking out the eight-cylinder symphony.

Thankfully you can rely on the Dodge stand for a bit of respite from the confusion. Its Challenger Hellcat Redeye features the most powerful V8 in the word – a 6.2 litre lump with 797hp and enough of an air demand that both headlights now feature big bore air intakes. One dimensional American brilliance.

Similarly German muscle-car maker Mercedes-AMG was displaying a collection of eight-pot 63-suffix trucks and coupes like the GT, CLS and GLS, plus the debut of the Mercedes-Benz GLE – itself not exactly an eco-special, being an enormous luxury SUV stuffed with wood and leather.

On the other hand was Bollinger with its all-electric truck that looks like, but absolutely must not be referred to as a Defender. No high-emission diesel engine here, just a 120kW battery and two motors to make all-wheel drive, and a tunnel of practical storage space in the void left behind. Porsche’s latest Taycan iteration, the 4S, was equally prominent and represents the realistic entry point to its all-electric range.

Subaru played an unlikely source of motor show weirdness with its enhanced olfactory forest stand, complete with regularly erupting old geyser (as if car shows aren’t already full of those) in order to best show off its roofrack equipped Outbacks topped with kayaks and mountain bikes.

Audi E-tron Sportback at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show

Back to the multi-cylinder petrol engine/battery pack dichotomy though and curiously nobody did it better than the Euros – have a look at the fabulous new V8 powered Audi RS6 next to the E-tron Sportback (above) for a prime example. We’ve driven the former but can’t tell you about it yet, while the latter is essentially a stiffer version of the e-tron SUV with some seriously trick headlights.

BMW and MINI were happy to feed some fresh metal into what is rapidly becoming a bit of a stretched metaphor – take the Countryman PHEV at one end and JCW GP at the other for a starter, the latest version of its most extreme hot hatch adorned with outrageous wheel arches that stick out so far from the rest of the bodywork they look like they’re peeling off. Here’s some advice, don’t accept a lift someone in one of those unless you’re got strong core muscles.

Munich however arrived with the bookends of the 2 Series range – the sober and slightly wonkily style four-door GT a couple of plots down from the frankly hardcore pornography of the M2 CS, its gold-rinse alloy wheels pushed outrageously far out of its wide arches and a chequered flag carbonfibre roof that really shouldn’t work but just does.

And that was that – the LA show taking up about as much room as the Geneva Motorshow and this year feeling more like a Euro event than an American one. There were still some stateside hints of course, the WiFi actually worked and the press room had an oxygen bar for journalists left breathless by the frankly baffling combination of big power muscle cars and zero-tailpipe emission EVs.

The world’s clearly heading towards a more electrified future but we’re not there yet – just how many more auto shows with diversity like this one we’ll attend is unclear.

Every new car revealed at the 2018 LA auto show: an A-Z preview guide

LA Auto Show 2019: the key cars, preview guide and now our review too

The LA Auto Show is held every autumn at the downtown LA Convention Center and this is the West Coast’s big show, drawing loads of attention from car makers around the world. CAR magazine reported live from the show floor in 2019 and you can check out all the key cars in our listings below. This handy A-Z preview guide rounds up all the key new cars at the LA motor show 2019 – and more than 65 debuts of some description were promised by the organisers. Be sure to click any links below to see the full stories of the new car debuts. Stay tuned for more updates – this page will be refreshed regularly with more new info as and when we get it in the next few days.

Last year’s LA Auto Show: a 2018 video review by CAR magazine

DBX  World debut for Aston’s first-ever SUV, the 543bhp DBX five-seater 

E-Tron Sportback  Slicker-backed, X6-style electric SUV due at show 
Maximum Q8 with RS brawn makes a splash in Los Angeles 

2-series Gran Coupe (below)  
Largest 2-series swells family tree further  

BMW 2-series Gran Coupe at 2019 LA Auto Show

B1 and B2  
All-electric SUVs made in Michigan are coming to Los Angeles

Mustang Mach-E  
All-electric crossover to fight i-Pace lands in Los Angeles – with Mustang overtones

LC Convertible (below)  
Slinky LC coupe chops its top at the 2019 LA motor show. Looks ace! 

Lexus LC Convertible: another 2019 LA motor show debutant

Maybach GLS  
Watch out Bentayga, Range Rover and Cullinan: Merc’s getting in on the act 

300bhp hot hatch gets LA 2019 show debut. Cost? £34,995 

Taycan 4S  
Additional model joins Taycan line-up, with cheaper prices, smaller battery 

Tesla Cybertruck: new electric pick-up was unveiled in Los Angeles, but not at the LA auto show in November 2019

Cybertruck electric pick-up (above)  Not strictly at show, but unveiled in LA at the same time

RAV4 plug-in hybrid  
You’ve seen the hybrid RAV4, now we get the PHEV version 

ID Space Vizzion  
A zero-emissions electric estate car is coming to the LA show

Practical information about the Los Angeles motor show 2019

Where is the LA auto show held?  Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015, USA
When is the LA motor show?  22 November – 1 December 2019 (public days)
Opening times and hours: Doors open at 9am most days, close between 9pm-11pm (exact timetable here)
How much are Los Angeles motor show 2019 tickets?  Adult tickets from $12 if bought online, from $15 on the door (children 6-12 are $6, under 6 are free)
LA auto show official website:

By Adam Binnie

Bauer Automotive's commercial content editor; likes bikes and burgers, often over-tyred