My Car Quest

July 20, 2024

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

Lots of SUVs and, oh, the wagon is back, sort of.

by Wallace Wyss –

Photography by Richard Bartholomew and Wallace Wyss –

SUVs, which some automakers are calling “crossovers” were the big news at the Los Angeles Auto Show preview.

I went hoping to see the electric top Jeep but not only wasn’t it there, someone told me it is not a traditional convertible top but merely an electrified soft top that closes over the fixed in place window frames.

Fiat 124 Spider

Fiat 124 Spider – photo by Richard Bartholomew

I was hoping for a convertible like the one that Range Rover offers, a full convertible drop top.

One thing interesting is that the Jeep Wrangler will have a four cylinder turbo, and for the first time, also a diesel offering.

Infiniti’s popular midsize crossover is being replaced with an all-new model that features the first variable compression engine ever available in a production car.

Mercedes AMG

Mercedes AMG – photo by Richard Bartholomew

That engine is something like a diesel but uses regular gasoline. The 268 hp turbocharged four-cylinder automatically adjusts its compression ratio to optimize power output and fuel efficiency as required. And in a move toward autonomous driving it has a system which they say keeps the vehicle in the center of its lane.

Subaru, a stalwart among four wheel drive fans, entered the popular three-row SUV segment one they were once in with the Tribeca which was dropped in 2014. The all-new Subie is expected to come in 7-passenger and 8-passenger versions.

Electric BMW

Electric BMW – photo by Richard Bartholomew

There was a new Porsche called the 718, basically a modified existing model, named after a race car of many decades ago. And the 911 had still another variation of the Carrera, one with lots of carbon fiber used here and there. Porsche bragged about their Panamera sales, which really showed they made the right move going for an SUV though they probably would call it a crossover.

The one thing I enjoyed the most was comparing Buick’s new wagon with the Jaguar wagon. Both were shown in white and had a remarkably similar side preview. The Buick, available with a four cylinder as low as $30,000 looks a lot like the Jag, which begins at $70,000. Though I am sure the Jaguar is a much better performer for the enthusiast. Still, if you need to haul several kids or lots of cargo, and don’t like tall SUVs, I think the return of the wagon harkens the fact the auto industry realized that they threw away a design that has a market.

Aston Martins

Aston Martins – photo by Richard Bartholomew

Shocking to me were the prices of cars I previously thought were bargains. A Shelby Mustang had a pricetag of over $60,000. And the Corvettes were starting at over $50,000 with one model over $100,000.

I’ll admit that the Corvette is accomplishing quite a lot compared to the old ones (one year decades ago it had less than 200 hp.!) but it’s sad that America’s only sports car has to start out at so high a price. The most overpriced car, I thought, was a Jaguar sedan, supposedly honed to perfection on the racetrack but still a four door sedan, that was over $200,000 and a limited edition to boot.

The show lacked a display by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley and Rolls which is odd because they sell the majority of their cars in California. I think they owe it to the consumers to have a display there to welcome their good customers and talk up the new models but no, they have found other methods to reach monied customers and perhaps think the LA show appeals to too poor a customer base for them to bother with.

LA Auto Show

Photo by Wallace Wyss

In the display area between the two big halls was a Galpin Ford show of custom cars, some of which were ridiculous, throwbacks to the Fifties at best. This is the same area Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls, etc. were in only a few years ago.

In the basement there were mainly displays by wheelmakers and sellers of equipment for jacked up trucks.

The best thing about the show was the huge visual presentations, on screens as wide as 100 ft. I don’t know if during the regular show, these presentations are re-played but they demonstrated to reporters the cars out in exciting environments.

One sign of the time was that the Tesla booth was quite crowded even though they didn’t use this opportunity to have a new model, the roadster, talked about for 2020.

The Tesla booth had the Gullwing SUV and the larger car, and the Model 3 which has over 300,000 orders but which is being slowed in production by welding problems. I think Tesla having a booth showed Rolls, Bentley, Lamborghini and Ferrari the error of their ways–by not being there, there was no way for the present owners to be “stroked” by the company and lined up for the next new product.

The Detroit News reporter got some wisecracks from BMW officials who said, unlike Tesla, they can deliver their electric sports car (theirs is a hybrid) right now. The News characterized BMW as a company capable of moving into Tesla territory that has the production capability and respect for its engineering.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is currently engaged in doing commissioned oil portraits of exotic cars. For information on pricing and sizes contact him by email at

LA Auto Show

Photo by Richard Bartholomew





More photos are in the two slide shows below.


Photos by Richard Bartholomew

Photos by Wallace Wyss

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show
Article Name
2017 Los Angeles Auto Show
New cars, trucks and SUVs were on display at the recent LA Auto Show.


  1. Rob Krantz says

    Great photos and article. The L.A. show definitely has it over the San Francisco Auto Show, which I go to every year. The L.A. show looks to have had a greater variety of cars, including concepts on display over San Francisco, which is a shadow of what that show was many years ago. One note re. Porsche….their SUV is the Cayenne not Panamera, which is their four door car.

Speak Your Mind