By on December 3, 2018

The Los Angeles Auto Show — a title your author will always use in reference to the annual soiree, despite the show’s repeated attempts to rebrand it as “AutoMobility LA” — is over for another year. Shrimp consumed, after parties attended, the works of it.

As befits California, there were no shortage of stunners. On the other hand, as befitting its near-Thanksgiving time slot, there were also a few turkeys.

What was your winner? Betcha can’t guess mine.

What’s that? A Lincoln crossover based on a rear-drive platform whose powertrain is reportedly capable of 600 lb-ft of torque? Have mercy. I’ve yet to see the Aviator in person and will reserve my final judgement until that day; however, it is leagues ahead of its krill-hungry forebear.

Further reasons the Aviator is my pick as L.A. champion are clear, including the continuation of a sensible naming scheme that has NO ALPHANUMERICS whatsoever. You listening, Cadillac? Thank the pharaohs that Johan de Nysschen and his moronic brand of nameplate mischief never infected Lincoln. It certainly took its toll at Infiniti and Caddy.

Here’s some more food for thought about the Aviator — a helping that includes its powertrain. At 450 hp and 600 units of twist, you author firmly believe that it offers a glimpse into what’ll be under the hood of Ford’s upcoming F-150 Hybrid.

Think I’m off the mark? Look again. An increasing number of machines are marketing their hybrid option as the sporty choice. It would make more than a lick of sense if Ford, in a bid to get traditional truck buyer to embrace electrification, to endow the thing with near-Super Duty levels of grunt. Bookmark this post and check back in 2020.

On the losing side of the ledger is Volvo. Look, I get their schtick about “Not a Car” and pushing their mobility stuff. But this show turned out to be a cracker in terms of product: Gladiator, new 911, sedan and hatch Mazda 3, and Rivian R1T to name a few. Volvo picked the one show that actually had superb product to which not to bring any, y’know, product.

Bold call, didn’t pay off.

What was your winner from last week’s AutoMobility L.A. Auto Show?

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28 Comments on “QOTD: Your L.A. Winner?...”


  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I really don’t know much about the L.A auto show…but for me the winner last week was the Jeep Gladiator, or whatever the final name will be for the Jeep pickup. Honestly, I have no clue what took them so long to bring this out. It will sell like crazy, most likely did not cost billions to develop and will add some very healthy profits to FCA.

    I think this mobility business is quickly turning into nonsense. Yes, it is a piece of the puzzle. Companies like Volvo who are already niche players who it seems are the verge of extinction just about every year should keep in mind that they still need to sell SUV’s to fund their mobility business.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Aviator/Gladiator, tie

  • avatar

    Um, let’s see: MKC, MKX, MKT, MKS, MKZ. I’d say Lincoln WAS badly infected with Alphanumericitis, but it appears the patient survived and is now in a slow recover mode.

    • 0 avatar
      darex

      Matthew McConaughey needs an autonomous driving car, by the looks of it, you know, to be more relaxed.

    • 0 avatar
      ttiguy

      I really don’t understand what people’s obsession with this topic is on this site. If the car is good enough the name doesn’t matter.

      As an example: while discussing cars with a friend who lives on the east coast and works in IT (aka he doesn’t know a thing about cars) I mentioned the current Chevy Malibu is a good sedan, he responded that the name “Malibu” is dumb and Chevy should use numbers to indicate its place in their lineup. Alas he wound up buying a Mazda 6. Point is for many non-car types, using actual names are counter productive. Especially for younger buyers who are used to tech items that are ordered in this way.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Hmm, don’t see a number in any of those model “names”.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Switching from the MKS to the Continental really “saved” Lincoln’s flagship sedan.

      Too much is made of alpha-numeric naming schemes (the final product is much more key to success/failure).

      And besides, Cadillac already was using alpha-numerics (well, w/o the numerics) w/ the CTS, STS, XTS and SRX before JdN joined Cadillac and pretty sure that the plan to switch to the CT# and XT# nomenclature also predated JdN.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I think the Rivian R1T was the vehicle which grabbed most of my attention. True, I wont be buying, but it captures the most imagination, points to the future, interesting design, etc.

    Lincoln is also pretty impressive, but I can never justify the price tag on most every Luxury crossover/SUV that hits the market. Yet their popularity is the best thing to ever happen to the automakers. Who could have envisioned a market where people are willing to pay a ridiculous premium for ground clearance and AWD that really has no basis in value received.

    Shame that Volvo did not bring new S60/V60, very much a looker though it wouldn’t really be all that new to our eyes. I saw V60 FWD momentum will start for just under $40k, there is a vehicle that I can get interested in in real life.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Gladiator, Lincoln’s return to names notwithstanding.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Gladiator by a country mile. The dressed up Explorer with the horrendous front endreally isn’t special. Another SUV in a land of dull and boring SUVs.

    Cue JohnTaurus’ incessant whining in 3…2…1…

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    Corolla Hybrid, duh.

    I think I will with the Gladiator just because I was surprised by the towing and payload capability.

    Aviator is great looking and not different from the concept which is cool.

  • avatar
    TheDutchGun

    Jeep gladiator for sure! Manual transmission and it’ll be available in all 3 trim levels. I’ll wait out the feeding frenzy for the first couple years, but definitely on my shortlist 3 or 4 years out from vehicle replacement time.

  • avatar
    mjg82

    The Aviator is my pick too, I want one bad. The Gladiator is too overdue for me to feel any hype, but I’m glad it’s here like I would anything that’ll help keep FCA afloat.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    If I find out that the Rivian makes it into production, then it’s my pick. For now, though, it’s a nice concept and nothing more.

    Otherwise, I’d have to split the honors between the Gladiator and Aviator (lots of “-tor” here).

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    The Mazda3 sedan was the highlight for me, the hatchback not so much. The addition of AWD was a pleasant surprise and of course, it is the intro vehicle for SkyactiveX. Should be interesting….

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    It looks like that Lincoln ate one of the big Infinities.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I don’t understand why Rivan is greeted with any amount of interest. Recent history is full of automotive start ups that get exactly nowhere. Rivan is one of those. Vaporware.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I don’t understand why Rivan is greeted with any amount of interest. Recent history is full of automotive start ups that get exactly nowhere. Rivan is one of those. Vaporware.

  • avatar
    maui_zaui

    Potential 400 mile range, 0 to 60 in 3 sec, and truck utility? Why wouldn’t there be interest? I do agree on the vaporware comment though, as Faraday Future (and even Tesla) has shown it’s no easy task to bring such a vehicle to market.

  • avatar

    Given the hand I think Volvo played it pretty well. The S60 and V60 are new, but the last of the lineup to get revised, so they aren’t all that new. The flagship 90s aren’t due for a redesign for a few years, and why waste the sizzle. I’m expecting the 2nd gen relaunched Ranger to hit the showroom sometime soon… only the first one hasn’t quite made it yet. So with Volvo not wanting to get too far ahead of itself and not having something to complete with some of the big names out there, playing their hand with no car was pretty smart. After all, we’re still talking about it. They’re a bit of a niche brand that’s growing right now. Getting folk to look at their lineup in curiosity as to why they didn’t bring a car is a smart move. Most consumers don’t buy based off these autoshows anyhow. It’s press, and I think Volvo is squeezing a lot for not having a car. Of course, they shouldn’t play that hand twice.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I went to the Auto Show on Saturday. I thought the best car was the Mazda 3 hatchback in a fabulous Candy Apple Red. The worst?? The very sad looking Regal X wagon at Buick. Sadly, the American sedan/wagon is over. Ford had my interest for a while with the Fusion, but their usual lack of any development in the years after its introduction, plus the choice of horrible engines (compared to the Japanese) just erased any possibility of purchase.

  • avatar
    hpycamper

    Toyota TJ Cruiser looked pretty interesting. Might be a worhty replacement for the Honda Element if it gets built.

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