Check out coverage of the LA Auto Show 2022 for the latest automotive reveals including exciting electric vehicles and a touch of gas-powered fun.
Now in its 115th year, the LA Auto Show 2022 is the sunny SoCal event that follows the other big annual automaker gatherings in New York and Detroit. The Los Angeles event has historically had more of a focus on hybrid and electric-vehicle technology, a theme that was turned way up for 2022.
Of course, there were still plenty of gas-powered beasties on display like Dodge’s “Last Call” Charger King Daytona, a car that truly embodies Mopars. So, let’s have a look at some of the most interesting news to come out of the LA Auto Show 2022.
It’s fair to say Fiat has had a checkered history with selling cars in the US. The on-again, off-again relationship is most obvious with their legendary 500 mini-car. Last sold here four years ago, it left our shores in favor of the 500X sort-of-SUV as the automakers’ sole offering.
The script has been flipped with the brand-new 500e coming back as the only Fiat for sale, and the 500X going bye-bye. At the LA Auto Show 2022, it was dressed up with wild Armani and Bulgari duds as a preview to the limited availability nature of the incoming production 500e. Already for sale in Europe, the North American version is expected to have a 150-mile range, be targeted at city dwellers, and function as a test bed for Stellantis’ grand EV plans.
Sounding like the latest Vin Diesel/Fast and the Furious spinoff, the subcompact VF6 and compact VF7 fully-electric SUVs are in fact the latest reveals from Vietnamese automaker VinFast. With production set to begin in late 2023 for North American delivery, these distinctive new crossover EVs look nearly ready to go.
The VF6 and VF7 feature striking V-shaped front lighting to go along with the modern design penned by Pininfarina and Torino Design. Base models are expected to make 201 horsepower with higher-end models rated for 349 horses and AWD running gear. Range has not been established for either of these EVs. An interesting aspect of VinFast is their plan to lease battery packs for a monthly fee in exchange for a lifetime warranty and free replacement batteries.
On the gas-powered side of the industry is the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar, a tribute to the automakers’ 1984 Paris-Dakar rally win and smart business move in light of the current “Safari 911” trend. With a 473-horse twin-turbo flat-6 out back, standard two-inch taller ride height with an extra 1.2 inches in reserve, AWD running gear, underbody skid plates, and Pirelli all-terrain rubber, this 911 is more than just a fun concept.
Porsche will be making 2,500 of them for the expected eye-watering base price of $223,000. Highlights include a roof rack that will handle a tent and flood lights, an optional Rothman’s livery package with killer white rims, and the ability to hit 105 mph while the suspension is fully raised to 3.2 inches.
Toyota put on the automotive version of the Ugly Duckling story with its all-new 2023 Prius reveal at the LA Auto Show 2022. An unabashed automotive dork from day one, the new Prius is drop-dead gorgeous with a pointed nose, tight waist, and planted rear haunches that sit on a platform two inches lower and one inch wider than the outgoing model.
Power on base models of the Prius is way up, from 121 horsepower to 194, and the plug-in Prime version is now rated for a relatively shocking 220 hp. Other news includes available solar panels, a hands-free diving mode, better fuel economy, longer all-electric range, and a whole lot more.
Charge Cars, a British “technology company that creates brand-new electric cars” has brought Eleanor into the electrified age. Starting with a new 1967 Mustang steel body shell licensed from Ford, Charge goes on a bespoke bonanza resulting in a ride that is ready for a Gone in Four Seconds reboot. Carbon fiber body panels and a structural battery pack, rated for 536 hp and 1,120 lb-ft of torque, with 200 miles of range help turn this favorite classic into a new-age wonder.
The Charge ‘67 is slated to pack modern features like LED lighting, Adaptive Cruise Control, high-end audio, a huge infotainment touchscreen, and more. It will start in the neighborhood of 350,000 British pounds and Charge is only currently planning to build 499 units. But if this is what the electric-car future looks like, it will be a bright one indeed.
Pulling hard on the 1980s nostalgic heartstrings is the spectacular Hyundai N Vision 74, a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid concept car from Hyundai. Though there are no production plans at the moment, the Korean automaker has a fully functional prototype for use as a “rolling lab.” It sports the 85 kW fuel-cell stack out of their existing Nexo crossover along with a 62.4 kWh battery pack that is rated for 670 hp and a 370-mile driving range.
The unmistakable DeLorean vibe comes with an interesting back story, and thread to the actual DMC-12. Giorgetto Giugiaro was commissioned to design a coupe version of Hyundai’s 1974 Pony, the vehicle from which the N Vision 74 draws it name. Though that concept never came to fruition, Mr. Giugiaro used the blueprints as a starting point for his later DeLorean design.