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Futuristic EV concepts, exciting sports cars and reborn legends starred in California

Two years on from our last trip to the Golden Coast, we're back in Los Angeles to take in one of the biggest motor shows in the US.

Traditionally, thumping combustion motors have reigned supreme at events such as this, even in clean-thinking California, but perhaps inevitably, EVs were particularly well represented this year. We run through the LA show cars we're most excited about driving in the years to come.

Fisker Ocean - Rachel Burgess

Firstly, I’m really glad that Fisker made it this far with the Ocean. After a lot of corporate and technical ups and downs, we wondered. But secondly, isn’t it great to have a new(ish) EV disruptor in town, one that isn’t Tesla and isn’t one of the established players? Plus, it recently committed to a new UK special vehicles division headed by ex-Aston Martin engineer David King, which sounds very exciting from where we’re sitting.

Ford F-100 Eluminator - Piers Ward

Any sort of pick-up gets my vote. But one that combines the appeal of harking back to my childhood TV days with easing any eco concerns gets a double thumbs-up. Especially when it has 480bhp and 643lb ft. But all of this is dwarfed by the potential commercial applications of the 'crate' motor, the first electric performance part that Ford has released. A Caterham with this dropped in it? Now you're talking. 

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Hyundai Concept Seven - Jack Warrick

The design of the Seven concept might be an acquired taste, but I’m always drawn in by flashy lights and anything described as ‘lounge-like.’ Hyundai’s Seven has me hooked as a result. I’m a fan of the parametric pixel design and the model’s interior versatility. The seats can be turned rearwards and its ambient lighting set-up looks like it would be an incredibly relaxing place to be. I also enjoy the idea that the Seven’s inbuilt fridge will keep me refreshed while aiming for that 300-mile range target.

Kia Concept EV9 - Mark Tisshaw

Karim Habib has been at Kia for just two years, and he's already made a huge impact to the design direction of a brand that was hardly going through a malaise. The EV6 is as interesting and exciting visually as any new car in 2021 and, judging by this concept that previews it, the EV9 will take that to yet another level.

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Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS - Jack Harrison 

The Cayman has deserved an RS variant for years and the long-awaited result really doesn’t disappoint: its purposeful looks are backed up by blisteringly quick performance. If a 493bhp, naturally aspirated flat six that revs to 9000rpm in what is arguably Porsche’s sweetest chassis doesn’t sound like heaven, then I don’t know what does. 

Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo GTS - Felix Page

My favourite thing about the new GTS estate version of Porsche's EV is that its full name is the Taycan Sport Turismo Gran Turismo Sport – and my second favourite is that it'll get to 62mph from rest faster than you can say that. The Cross Turismo was already a near-perfect proposition in my eyes. I just wasn't sure about the chunky 4x4-inspired bodywork, so this is bang on. The new GTS package – which, Porsche reckons, will be the "sporty sweet spot" of the line-up – only makes it more appealing. 

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Subaru WRX - Tom Morgan-Freelander

There’s just something appealing about forbidden fruit, isn’t there? Subaru might be SUV-centric on this side of the pond, but its rallying pedigree lives on (albeit in name only) in North America. The latest WRX sits on an all-new platform but retains the trademark 2.4-litre boxer engine, manual gearbox and the all-important bonnet scoop. I’ll take mine in WR Blue Pearl colours, please…

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scrap 18 November 2021

All the reviews praise the sweet ride and handling balance of the cross turismo, so will this version drive as nicely?