2017 “AutoMobility” & Los Angeles International Auto Show

Odometer (Legend):  556,770

Trip Distance:  379 Miles

Greetings!  I’m jotting down a few words here from the Media Center at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  LACC is now pretty familiar turf for me, as I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of times.  Here are write-ups from my prior LA Auto Show visits:

I had to miss 2016 due to work engagements, but I still made it to some of the social eventsRedline Reviews‘ Editor-in-Chief Sofyan Bey was kind enough to extend an invitation to me so I could be a part of the festivities this year.

After two full days about about 10 miles walked between the South Hall and the West Hall to see all the latest and greatest, I can tell you there is a lot of change brewing in the automotive industry as a whole.  Personal mobility is taking on a whole new dynamic, as technology speedily moves toward an increased focus on autonomy.  As cars become faster, safer, and more efficient, similar strides are being made in self-driving technology.  It’s no mystery, though, that I’m a driver.  Is “automobility” something I should dread or embrace?

My trek to LA started on Tuesday afternoon from Phoenix in the Legend coupe.  It’s a tried and true road warrior, and certainly a more comfortable cruiser than the 1992 Integra I drove to Utah last weekend for Thanksgiving.  The closer I got to the epicenter of the 13-million-resident LA metro area, the more congested my beautiful open roads became.  I was delayed about 35 minutes on I-10 nearing Riverside thanks to a combination of accident + commuter traffic.  Gotta love it.  In all, the 379-mile one-way trip took me close to 7 hours.

Wednesday was a jam-packed day of press conferences, kicking off with a BMW presentation around 8:30 and a stampede of journalists migrating from one booth to the next throughout the day.  Some of the big news this year?  Oh just a few highlights that stuck out to me:  Lexus coming out with a 3-row RX SUV.  BMW launching a convertible i8 and new M5.  Mercedes has a new CLS.  Mazda’s next-generation 6 sedan is out.  Subaru has launched its biggest SUV yet, a 3-rower called the Ascent.  Nissan’s “Kicks” replaces the Juke, and Hyundai has its own new cute-ute called the Kona.

600 horsepower, all-wheel-drive BMW?  Hotness.  Not to mention that color.

Jeep’s Wrangler comes back again looking about the same but with a completely new chassis and lots more tech.  Kia debuts its new Sorento, Infiniti shows the QX50, and Lincoln ditches its alphanumeric naming conventions for traditional names like its new Nautilus (replacing the MKX).  That’s a step in the right direction, don’t you all agree?  It was a slow-ish show for Honda & Acura, with no formal press conferences but still plenty to look at inside the respective booths.  I can’t begin to squeeze two full days of automotive news into a few paragraphs here, but check out Redline’s YouTube playlist on the auto show for a glimpse at some of the sights and sounds we enjoyed.

The vehicles on display at LAAS are only part of the appeal of the event.  It attracts some of the world’s renowned auto journalists.  Our team ended up seated in the Media Center right behind most of the Jalopnik staff, including Andrew Collins who I can thank for this awesome piece he put together about a year ago.

The after-hours activities this year were just as entertaining, with a Hyundai-sponsored party the first evening at Novo night club, and a social event in West Hollywood the following night at Doheny Room where I connected with a few fellow journalists.  All too soon, it was time to again part ways with those colleagues.  The Redline team flew out Friday morning and I made my way (90 minutes to drive 38 miles – thanks again, LA!) toward Anaheim for a car show to be held Saturday morning.  More on that to come in a future post!

Acura booth with the redesigned 2018 RLX on display

Don’t mind if I do hang out here!

I admired some of Honda’s hardware while in the booth.  These dozen or more awards are just from this year’s LA Auto Show alone!  There are boxes and boxes of things like this sitting at the corporate office in Torrance.

Fellow car geeks Brian and Chris

Some of you may recognize this ‘other’ Brian – none other than the famous Brian Cooley from CNET.

Quick shot with the Redline team (Sofyan, Peace, Rob) and Honda’s Davis Adams.

Street parking the coupe in West Hollywood!

This might just be the best motel parking space I’ve ever had.  Huge.

Bonus:  A few pics from last weekend’s Thanksgiving trip to Utah

Brother’s redoing his living room and said I could park in it.  Why not?

My nephew Locke

Cruising around some of my old stomping grounds

HUGE shout-out to blog reader Eric who had this custom embroidered Polo shirt made up for me, with the date of my 555 milestone from back in October!  Thanks, Eric!

Over and out!




13 Responses to “2017 “AutoMobility” & Los Angeles International Auto Show”

  1. Wow… the changes they are a comin’ aren’t they!?

    Automobility seems to be the industry’s knee jerk reaction to a future where car sales will decline and ride sharing increase.

    I’m not so sure if the tea leaves will end up forecasting such a distopian future or not but one thing is for sure. Hang onto your analog cars with manual trannies because these will definitely be in short supply…

    Intesting contrast of events for you though. One where the future of cars is going to be vastly different and another deeply rooted in our craving for the past. Talk about diametrically opposite venues…

    • Exactly. I’m going to be touching on that contrast shortly in a blog post this morning: It warmed my heart to be at an event yesterday where there was so much of a greater focus on “driving” than in “being driven.” More to come on that.

  2. Jake Thiewes Says:

    I’m waiting for the day that a pickup truck has all the autonomous features and can tow my rig home from the track while I eat a burrito, or sleep. 😛

    Auto show looks great! Curious how that AWD M5 will be to drive, a rocket ship I’m sure. New Wrangler is a nice update. No love for me on the Kicks or Kona… Subaru will sell every Ascent they can produce even if people like us have no real interest in ’em.

    Love the motel and living room shots – primo parking for sure!

  3. I had a chuckle at the Integra parked in the middle of the living room. Long term goals, haha! I’m all for car manufacturers making cars safer to drive, but I don’t want to lose the joy that operating a car brings – or the smile that it puts on your face as you’re peddling a back road. Maybe “us” enthusiasts will all end up driving classic cars in the future!

  4. Cool post, Tyson. I know there were not many Honda products there, but which vehicle you saw most impressed you?

    Glad to see the Legend coupe getting out and about. How is it holding up? And as a northeasterner, I was impressed by your parallel parking job, too!

    • So I have to confess, I didn’t parallel park that way — the vehicle behind me wasn’t there when I pulled in, so it was easy! This week was my first chance to sit inside a Civic Type-R, and though I dislike the styling of the car, it really had a nice look and feel from the driver’s seat! Legend coupe did great on this trip.

  5. Glad you liked the shirt!

    I agree the 3row Subaru will fly off the showroom floors. . .

  6. You met Brian??!!! He’s definitely one of my favorite auto reviewers (apart from Redline, of course). Looks like lots of fun and great connections. Maybe someday you’ll be able to give that M5 a spin!

    • Brian was great! I had to ask him about his cat, “The Bear,” who historically has been featured in a few of his videos. Unfortunately, I learned that the kitty passed away about a year ago. Bummer! It was nice of Brian to chat for a few minutes.

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