Sports car showcase at Los Angeles Auto Show 2017

la auto show sign

Visitors looking for go-fast vehicles at this year’s LA Auto Show did not leave disappointed. Photos by Benjamin Yong/Porsche Canada.

Taking place in the Golden State where some of the best driving roads anywhere are found, this might be why so many new sports cars make their first appearances at the Los Angeles Auto Show (LAAS). Porsche is one manufacturer in particular that loves to drop a few high horsepower surprises at the event — which just wrapped up the second week of December — as we discuss below.


Porsche 911 Carrera T

Nope, the T doesn’t stand for turbo, as you might think. Try Touring, as in a lightweight 911 perfect for long-distance driving, say, down the Pacific Coast Highway. Porsche has been on a nostalgic kick lately, first with the 718 series and now the 911 T echoing a special model from 1968. It’s based on the standard Carrera but boasts a 20-millimetre-lower ride height, shorter shift lever, rear axle steering system, slightly revised body aero and different colour options.

The weight loss program consists of thinner door and rear window glass, less sound deadening, deleted back seats as well removal of the Porsche Communication Management (the last two may be reinstalled if requested for no extra charge). Altogether, the modifications help the car shed approximately 20 kilograms. Propulsion is provided via a twin-turbo flat six pumping out 370 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque.

porsche panamera turbo s e-hybrid sport turismo

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo

Called “the most versatile sports car in the Porsche line-up,” or also known as the vehicle with the longest name, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo produces a vast net 680 horses by combining a boosted 4.0-litre V8 engine and a 100-kilowatt electric motor. The sedan has a fuel-free range of approximately 50 kilometres, a top speed of 310 km/h and an average fuel consumption of just 3.0 L/100 km.

bmw i8 roadster

BMW i8 Roadster

As if the i8 wasn’t already cool enough, BMW premiered a roof-less version in the Roadster. Only 60 kilograms heavier than the Coupe thanks to smart engineering like a carbon-fibre-reinforced-plastic windshield frame. The soft-top can be raised or lowered while the car is traveling up to 50 km/h and can completely open or close in 15 seconds. Internals have been upgraded so pure electric driving range is upped to 53 kilometres.

Three big redesigns unveiled at North American International Auto Show 2017

North American International Auto Show 2017 sign
The 2017 North American International Auto Show, held in downtown Detroit’s Cobo Center, runs from Jan. 8 to 22. Photos by Benjamin Yong.

This year at the Motor City’s premier automotive event, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), aside from the usual assortment of concepts and future tech teasers, the big news was focused around the next generation of a group of well-established models from Honda, Toyota and Lexus. Let’s take a look.

2018 Honda Odyssey front

2018 Honda Odyssey

Making its world debut in Detroit, Honda’s best-selling minivan gets a complete redesign. Besides its obviously sleeker profile and addition of the “flying wing” front grille also found on siblings like the Civic and Ridgeline, there are a ton of new features. The Magic Slide second row seats can be configured in countless a ways to allow for different seating positions, easy access to the third row and increased storage capacity.

2018 Honda Odyssey cargo

Drivers no longer have to wonder what’s going on behind them — utilizing a camera, CabinWatch shows rear passenger activity on the eight-inch Display Audio screen, and CabinTalk allows two-way communication via the on-board speaker system and rear entertainment system headphones. And parents of messy children and/or pets can breathe easy, because the HondaVac built-in vacuum returns for 2018.

2018 toyota camry front

2018 Toyota Camry

Including the latest version that was just revealed in Detroit, there have now been eight generations of the Toyota Camry. And it shows no signs of slowing down. Based upon the Toyota New Global Architecture platform, the family sedan — offered in gasoline or hybrid form — takes on a, dare I say, sporty appearance, expressed through a two-piece grille, stylized front and rear bumpers and lower hood and roofline.

2018 Toyota Camry XSE

At the top of the five-grade lineup are the SE and XSE, both wearing even more aggressive front and rear fascias, larger wheels, lip spoilers and black accents. Inside, all Camrys are available with “futuristic” equipment such as three interlinked displays consisting of a 10-inch HUD, seven-inch multi-information instrument cluster display and an eight-inch screen responsible for audio, navigation and climate control readouts.

2018 lexus ls 500

2018 Lexus LS 500

When the Japanese luxury nameplate launched in North America nearly 28 years ago, everything was riding on one vehicle: the LS 400. It set all kinds of benchmarks in terms of comfort, value, quality, etc., and Lexus is hoping to do it all again with the 2018 LS 500. Like the original, this flagship is rear-wheel drive and embodies the latest signature Lexus design language.

2018 lexus ls 500 side

Resting under the hood is a powerplant developed using the company’s ties with F1 racing. Perfectly balancing performance and efficiency, a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 produces 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, tuned to deliver quick acceleration and a throaty yet refined exhaust note. As a first for a premium passenger car, the engine is mated to an advanced electronically controlled 10-speed automatic transmission capable of anticipating driver input.