The Fastest Corvette Ever Will Roar Into the Los Angeles Auto Show
Last week Aston Martin introduced photos of the $149,995 2018 Vantage, a four-liter AMG twin-turbo V8 coupe that gets 503-horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque.
Its bold, bare grill is the face of a new Aston Martin, one pointed toward younger buyers, those who want flashy colors (the Vantage in the debut photos came in a radioactive green) and more-aggressive angles along its two-door body.
Aston Martin typically doesn’t introduce cars at the Los Angeles Auto Show each November—but it will show the new Vantage on its stand Nov. 29 through Dec. 10 for the annual event.
In a time when major supercar makers—Lamborghini, Ferrari, Pagani, and McLaren, not to mention Bentley and Rolls-Royce—skip most auto shows altogether (their high-net-worth customers tend not to frequent auto shows to make actual purchasing decisions), the Vantage will be a rare bid to get mass attention for a car with elite-level performance and craftsmanship .
The Super Stars
But Aston won’t be alone.
More than 60 global and North American debuts will happen during the show in L.A. this week, with many focused on—you guessed it—electrification and high-end SUVs. We’ll get to the latter in a moment.
It’s worth noting that, in Aston’s elite tier, Mercedes-Benz will bring its $2.5 million Project One supercar to the U.S. for the first time, and Corvette will introduce its fastest model to date, the new 2019 ZR1. The car has a supercharged, 755-horsepower V8 engine and a chevron-patterned carbon-fiber hood for extra lightweight performance, plus improved interior accents such as Alcantara trim throughout and heated seats. According to Chevrolet, it will reach 210 mph.
BMW will also show an 8 Series Concept, a cutting-edge performance car that will mark the return of its highest-end line and will hint at the look of the aggressive BMW 8 Series Coupe scheduled for launch in 2018. The dramatic-looking coupe has BMW’s kidney grille—oversize and made more angular—plus a long sloping roofline and wide, sporty stance that is lower and more aggressive in appearance than other recent BMW two-doors so far.
Porsche’s big introduction in Los Angeles this week will be the hybrid and hatchback version of its bestselling sedan, the Panamera Hybrid Sport Turismo. Fans have already seen the six-figure hatch since photos surfaced earlier this fall, but L.A. represents the first time it’ll be on view in real life.
That 460-plus horsepower car will be at the forefront of a wave of much-improved luxury sedans on view this year. Mercedes will provide the world debut of its compact CLS sedan, while Audi will show its all-new, fourth-generation A8 sedan, and BMW will offer a hard-core (more powerful, stiffer, specially badged) version of its famous M3 line, called the M3 CS.
From across the pond in England, Jaguar will bring the high-performance XJR575 long-wheelbase sedan for a U.S. debut as well. With more than 570 horsepower, that will be Jaguar’s most powerful production sedan ever.
Jaguar will also bring an important new SUV to the U.S. show, the XF Sportbrake, a stunningly good-looking and practical $70,000-plus sport wagon. There will also be the new E Pace, Jaguar’s first compact SUV.
BMW will show the X7 Concept, its biggest new SUV with a futuristic, augmented kidney grille and boxy styling on massive wheel rims. This one, unlike some concepts, will certainly find its way into production. Lexus will bring a new RX—the car that makes up its top-selling line—with seven seats available. This one is called the 2018 RX 350L.
Land Rover will show several new editions from its Special Vehicle Operations factory, including the 2018 Range Rover SVAutobiography and the 2018 Range Rover Sport SVR and plug-in hybrid. It’ll also bring a Range Rover P400e and a Range Rover Sport P400e—those are two big plug-in hybrid electrified SUVs that Land Rover will sell to stay up with the Joneses, as it were, when it comes to alternatively fueled luxury SUVs.
From Motown, Lincoln will follow the SUV trend as well with a new Black Label Navigator on show; Cadillac will show updated Escalade ESV and XT5 Premium crossover models; and Buick will show the excellent Enclave Avenir, the newest of its higher-end line. They all hope to capitalize on the apparently insatiable appetite for luxury SUVs that American consumers continue to present.
Infiniti will show a brand-new QX50 SUV model range. Maserati will show additional upgrades for its Levante SUV. Unfortunately for lovers of Italian automobiles, Lamborghini will not be bringing the much-anticipated Urus to U.S. shores. It’s doing the formal debut in Italy in early December.
Still, between the Vantage and that fast new Corvette on display, you may not even miss it.