Jaguar F-Type Coupé
This was Jaguar's show, for all the right reasons. Strip away the street party jingoism laid on thickly for the host nation, who apparently still think of the UK in terms of Will'n'Kate and flimsy tinseltown imitations of the red phone box, and there is an awful lot to admire in the new F-Type Coupé. For one thing, it's easily Jaguar's best-looking car since the original E-Type. For another, it promises to be even better on the road than the already hugely entertaining convertible model.
Range Rover LWB
Big, bold and perfectly pitched at the luxury market, the new Range Rover Autobiography Black LWB (to give it its full title) is an accomplished statement of intent. We've always known Range Rovers can lure big money buyers, but the LWB is the first time the car has gone head to head against Bentley and Rolls-Royce. It's all about the back seat; with plenty of space, plenty of toys and views unlike any other car.
Once the Macan goes on-stream in a few months time and 50,000 of the sporting compact SUV starting flying out the factory doors each year, the majority of new Porsches will no longer be sports cars - for the first time in the company's history. The Macan is that rare thing in car design; a sure thing. Put together with exquisite attention to detail, the Macan will bring thousands to the Porsche brand, especially in the US and China. We're not 100% sold on the exterior design, but the interior is up there with the very best in class, and driving dynamics promise great things.
The third all-new version of BMW's evergreen Mini gets a more coherent design than its immediate forebear, although the scale of this allegedly pint-sized car continues to creep up. The new, new Mini is pretty crisp, however, with a revised interior, bolder exterior elements and a new platform, which promises considerably better performance and economy.
Genuine futurism was pretty thin on the ground. Thank Honda for diverting at least one of its forward-thinking concepts from the concurrent Tokyo show in order to give LA a little taste of tomorrow. The FCEV Concept is the vision for a hydrogen-fuelled future, a technology the Japanese car-maker is intent on mastering. Sleek, space age and far more advanced than anything else on show.
BMW 4-Series Convertible
Although the production version of the i8, shown alongside, got far more attention, the 4-Series convertible is expected to be a big hit when it debuts next year. BMW's new strategy of giving coupé and convertible variants their own designation - 2-Series, 4-Series and 6-Series - continues, and the 4-Series convertible is a classic design, executed with grace and elegance. The X4 Concept shown alongside to preview the upcoming crossover variant is rather more ungainly.
Fiat 500 1957 Edition
For those that don't think the standard Fiat 500 is retro enough, the company showed the special 1957 Edition, characterised by classic paint colours and old-school wheel design.
The 2015 Escalade is more of everything; bigger, brasher and bolder. GM's flagship SUV theoretically goes head to head with the likes of Range Rover, but in reality the two cars are a culture apart, especially since only diehard Caddy fans would take the trouble to import the SUV into Europe. More likely to make a transatlantic impact is the ELR, essentially a luxury version of Vauxhall's Ampera with the American brand's razor-edged styling.
Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept
Mercedes' most outlandish vision was for a car that can only be driven in the virtual world. Following the cue of Citroën, whose GT by Citroën concept surfaced in 2008, first as an optional download for Gran Turismo 5 and then as an outlandish production car (which was never actually made). The AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept is more of the same, although its outlandish details are married to a shape that evokes the company's great inter-war grand prix cars.
Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA AMG
Rather more down to earth was the Concept GLA, previewing how a souped-up version of Mercedes' new jacked-up GLA model could appear. Production is a near certainty, adding yet another choice to the number of sporting crossovers.
Ford Edge Concept
Ford's Edge Concept played it relatively safe, but with a stylistic edge over the company's current line-up. Still intent on being a global player, with cars designed to suit every market, expect the production edge to retain the concept's chiselled looks and perhaps even its self-parking technology when it arrives in a year or so's time.
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