Press Day 3
With the LA Auto Show now open to the public, it’s time to go over what else was shown this years event.
Merciel proved yet again that normal cars needn’t be dull. The facelifted Verona is a seriously smart looking package, especially in the Touring model on display. The real focus, however, was very much on the motorsport side of things; the 2018 Vixen Rally Concept is absolutley phenomenal. It shouts pure fury mixed with technological class, and it’s a welcome return to rallying for French rally masters. The 2018 Corsaire GTE has had a similar makeover, and is now being offered as a near $300k homolagation special. Sign me the f*ck up, driving one on the Yorkshire dales was livid enough. And in the meantime saving up for it, you can watch it (and many of the other upcoming GTE cars) in the WEC next year.
Montes released an interesting car, some sort of Resto-mod called the D25. It’s quite the pretty machine, and the low revving 2.5l V8 will certainly give it that 50s feel. At $207k though, it’s quite an ask. One would have thought that a bit more power would have been far better, and especially no carburetors. Something a little more Eagle Speedster.
Conan’s display continued with the very pretty S56. The British mid-size sedan is still overdoing it with the chrome, though the German styling hints certainly give it prestige, and the availability of i6s really is a nice touch. The S66, which certainly has a case of the copy-and-paste styling, but then again, it comes with a V12, and the other engines are named after places in the UK. Proper British goodness!
AL made a second announcement, revealing the Oriens RGXLEC…I hope I’m typing that correctly. The styling is slightly better, though the quad-grille stack at the front looks frankly ridiculous. AL, you do not need that many vents on your car!
Wassermicht unveiled the positively dull C30R. It’s a very clean cut design, but it really doesn’t speak volumes, particular as a performance trim of the mid-size sedan. The promise of 500hp will certainly tempt some in this now very competitive market, but the looks aren’t going to take anyones fancy. Plus, $63000. That’s seriously expensive for such a car.
“American Sportscar”. I still don’t know if that’s even a phrase that makes sense, but it’s a 500hp, 200+mph $50k coupe called the Maine Guayota. Screw how well or how awfully it handles, that’s a lot of performance for your buck. The back certainly looks good, though the front is a bit finnicky. It has that American semi-bling feel that we just don’t quite get over in the UK. However, should it come over to the UK, it could be a real proper bargain. How they’re able to sell it for $50k is quite something though, and I worry it might be covering up some cost cuttings.
IMP’s 260 R-Concept was shown, with very little information. The stark, if unfinished looking concept that certainly says ‘performance’, with that tinge of German efficiency you’d expect. But, my word! The German’s have painted the car purple! Is this what they called excitement?
Oh Zavir, how I love thee. Taking cues from the new Luna Spyder, the Nova Volante it’s a really good looking car. Its sleekness really sells it, plus the details of the Z Sportivo model - a 533hp sports car - really is incredible. At $66k, that’s a seriously well priced car with those kinds of performance specs. Plus, you just know how much of a classic this is going to be in years to come.
Peace out to you too Miller. After a little debacle on Friday, the company closed up shop, and all that can be found on their website is now just a man flipping the bird. Real classy.
So ErinSport launched their new racecar. In other news…
Shromet’s Dragon has had a minor facelift, and is now even more graceful than before. The wing is a little less overt now, which is nice, and there’s no doubt about how sweet this thing looks in the front 3/4 view they had on their display. You can read my review of it here.
Zenshi closed up the day with the track-focused Shinden concept. It certainly has fury woven into its styling, and I’m sure Hot Wheels had some say on the rear end. The real matter of interest here is the performance, which should be the focus; it is track car. The short of it: 542hp from a 2.0l i4. The wars that have been raging in the the light-weight sports car market over how far the i4 can be pushed may as well end there, that is an incredible amount of power. No doubt that that engine would cost more than most cars to make alone and be about as reliable as recalled Saminda, but heck I’d love to drive this.
And with that, the show draws to a close, and another year of automotive development ends. Over to the organisers now to host the end-of-show polls, I’m heading out for one last night in LA. Adios!
- Gavin Anderson