Los Angeles Auto Show 2015, with Redline Reviews
Odometer (Legend): 540,151
Odometer (ILX): 147,108
Trip Distance: 778 Miles
About a million people attend the LA Auto Show every year, making the 10-day show one of the biggest in the country. Each year, the automotive media is given a special opportunity to preview the new model debuts before the show opens to the public. And once again, I’ve collaborated with a media company called Redline Reviews to share some of the sights and sounds from this year’s displays. Prior write-ups on my trips to the LA Auto Show can be found here (2013) and here (2014).
This time around, the Redline team members – now boasting over 170,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel – set out to cover about 15 new-car reveals with short two- to three-minute segments. I was able to help them with videos on the Infiniti Q30, the Ford Escape, and the Mercedes-Benz SL — all of which are new or heavily refreshed for the 2016 or 2017 model years. Along the way, I took advantage of the opportunity to network among my friends in the automotive journalism industry and enjoy the night life the City of Angels has to offer.
Here’s the Redline team, minus Jackson, with HondaPro Jason in the middle: Rob, Tyson, Jason, Sofyan, and Andy.
I did three very short introduction videos to some new cars that were shown at this year’s LAAS.
The Q30 is Infiniti’s newest entry-level offering, borrowing architecture and underpinnings from Mercedes’ CLA model. This partnership resulted in the birth of a technologically advanced vehicle that caters to first-time luxo buyers who demand a sense of individuality. The Redline “First Look” video is here, courtesy of Redline’s YouTube channel.
Ford’s Escape fights in a very competitive sport-utility vehicle segment and trails only behind the company’s F-150 in annual sales. Still, the success of the Escape from a sales perspective still doesn’t quite match the numbers Honda is getting with competitor CR-V. So, Ford has come back from the drawing board with a more refined vehicle that pulls styling from its big brother, the Edge.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL is the latest iteration of a car that’s been around since the 1950s. I’ve had a fascination with the Mercedes SL for some time now, even owning a die-cast 1:18 scale version of the car when I was in my teens. My love for the SL was further reinforced when I recently saw a gorgeous picture of my friend Chris’ 1998 model with Sport wheels.
For 2017, the SL gets new powertrains ranging in output from a 329-horsepower V6 all the way up to a 621-horsepower V12. Redline Editor-in-Chief Sofyan calls that one “bonkers” for good reason. When sitting in the car and closing the driver’s door, I noticed that the door “sucked itself in.” Happy to say that my 21-year-old Acura Legend coupe does that! And, the feature still works!
The Mercedes video is still pending on Redline’s YouTube channel, but I’ll link it here when it goes live.
Part of the big draw for LAAS (for me, anyway) happens after the convention hall closes down each day at 5:00 p.m. The after-parties are always a good time. This year, Hyundai sponsored a social gathering at the historic Hotel Figueroa and Nissan hosted a similar event a few blocks away at a bar called Edison. I was able to make it to both and enjoyed exploring some of downtown Los Angeles. Here’s the Figueroa’s swimming pool, covered over with plexiglass so we could socialize on top of it!
On Thursday night, cars.com Detroit Bureau Editor Aaron Bragman set up a group dinner for about 22 media colleagues. It was held at the landmark 1931 “El Coyote” Mexican Restaurant on Beverly Boulevard. Mercedes and Mazda were kind enough to pick up the tab on our meals!
Below are a variety of other photos and experiences from this year’s show. Thanks for coming along!
Jason Cammisa from Motor Trend
Hot new 500+ horsepower Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio: A 6-speed sedan packing a mean punch!
Acura’s booth served up lots of caffeine.
Morning view from the 32nd floor of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, where we stayed.
With Carlos Lago from Edmunds.com
One of 3 “Back to the Future” inspired 2016 Toyota Tacomas in the world, reminiscent of the one Marty McFly drove in the classic 1985 film. Standing with Redline’s Aaron Streater and Rob Lamond in the bed of the truck.
Behind the scenes in the Media Center at the LA Convention Center with Redline.
The 2017 Acura NSX was displayed for its first time in white. Looked great!
With GM’s Shad Balch
Honda’s new 10th-generation Civic coupe had a long line of admiring media companies waiting to film it both Wednesday & Thursday
With Automobile Magazine’s Jean Jennings
Fiat 124 Spider – also known as, the “Fiata.” Fiat took Mazda’s Miata, stretched it a little, added a turbo, and called it their own.
Among other oddball sightings, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible
With Lance Nelson, also known as “Lance the Driver”
Dinner spot on Beverly Blvd at El Coyote
Group photo after dinner at El Coyote
I stopped by to see Ludacris’ 1993 Acura Legend before leaving town. It’s getting some mechanical work done at my friend’s dealership. The car debuted at SEMA in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago.
Dinner on the way home at Courtesy Diner in Blythe, CA right near Arizona state line. Get the grilled cheese!!
And the final stretch last night, heading home to Phoenix.