Against a backdrop of regulatory uncertainty, provoked by the unpredictability of the incoming Presidential administration, the Los Angeles Auto Show opened with an array of new vehicles unprecedented in a history that dates to 1907: 13 world premiers, 12 North American reveals—and a rich mix of vehicle types.
Will the new administration push the Environmental Protection Agency to relax its ambitious fuel economy standards? Who knows? But you can bet that many industry product planners will be only too happy to see the MPG ramp flatten out in the years ahead.
Still, what really matters to some scribes covering the show, particularly your humble narrator, is the actual hardware, wheeled devices that people can own and steer and operate as they please. Moreover, vehicles that give their operators pleasure—think fun-to-drive.
To drivers who actually enjoy driving, these are the vehicles that matter. Performance spoken here. No self-driving cars. Some highlights follow.
Before we get into that, we should add that L.A. served as the forum for some major of-the-year announcements. For example, the Motor Trend Car of the Year (Chevy Bolt); SUV of the Year (Mercedes-Benz GLC; and Truck of the Year (Ford F-Series Super Duty).
There was also a Person of the Year, but we suspect that you, like us, don’t care.
L.A. also saw the announcement of the finalists for the North American Car, Truck, and Utility vehicle of the year, the first time this prestigious award has had a presence at this show. There are three categories: Car (Chevy Bolt, Genesis G90, Volvo S90); Utility Vehicle (Chrysler Pacifica, Jaguar F-Pace, Mazda CX9); and Truck (Ford F-Series Super Duty, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Titan).
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