LA is the last motor show of 2018, with a lot of launches to take in.
Mazda, Porsche, Audi, Jeep and others chose the show as the venue for a number of hotly-anticipated unveilings, but there were a number of new manufacturers, like Rivian, that brought innovative, and potentially gamechanging, new vehicles along.
Regardless of which reveal attracted the most attention, we all naturally came away with our own favourite upcoming car. This, then, is a rundown of the best cars at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, as chosen by Autocar staffers.
I have a Texan-honed soft spot for American pick-ups, and I'm quite fond of proper off-roaders too - so no surprise I'm loving the new Jeep Gladiator. That retro-cool Jeep styling, proper off-road ability and pick-up versatility should make it a hit in Texas. Not sure it's quite so honed for life in Richmond-upon-Thames, but that won't stop me dreaming...
Doing something largely fresh and original with the ubiquitous hatchback bodystyle is a tough ask, but Mazda has managed it with the new 3. Some have argued that the back end is too metal-heavy, but I'm a big fan of the Alfasud-esque sloping rear, the squat, purposeful stance and low, curvy front-end. It remains to be seen how much the shape affects visibility, but first impressions are promising.
The subtle design tweaks to the 992-generation 911 make a huge difference because it’s the first 911 to look less sportscar and more supercar, especially with that huge rear wing. The arches are more flared, the detailing around the engine airtake finally looks well thought out and I’m a big fan of that detailed light bar.
Audi E-Tron GT
It’s great to see a pretty electric car, and one in which engineering and design has gelled together to create something low-slung and appealing despite the challenges of a large battery pack. Audi proudly boasts that the E-tron GT is lower than an A7 – that’s quite some feat when you consider the battery.
The most innovative new model at the show, by some margin. The R1T is truly a first: an electric pick-up. Yet most impressive is the depth of engineering within it - this is not some new start-up that is over promising and will under deliver. Time will tell, of course, but Rivian has that key thing: believability.
Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport
The all-new eighth-generation 911 looks refined, classy, and timeless. The GT2 RS Clubsport edition of the old model is none of those things.
It looks like an absolute brute, a more hardcore version of a car that could already be brutally fast, and while its track-only status makes it a lot more niche, I can't wait to see if it will extend the road car's lead at the top of the Nurburgring lap time leaderboard.
BMW M340i xDrive
The M340i xDrive is all the right things in all the right measures. 369bhp is beyond plenty, and the styling elements that mark this out as an M-Sport model are just subtle enough to make this something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. In the spirit of the original E30 325i, this should provide a thrilling enough driving experience, with all the comforts of a traditional rep-mobile.
Mercedes AMG GT R Pro
Race-derived road cars aren't always what they were, but here Mercedes has delightfully thrown common sense out of the window, the brutish GT R Pro delivering on its GT-racer-for-the-road promises, even going so far as to come with a rollcage in its most hardcore Track pack guise.
Mazda 3 sedan
A small three-box saloon sounds an unlikely star, but the booted version of the Mazda3 is elegant, better balanced than the hatch and possessed of an appealingly pert rump. It’s rare to come across a car of this rather ordinary breed that’s positively attractive.