Preview and photos by Jonathan Yarkony

Los Angeles, California – Auto Shows are always a magical place. So many cars, polished and spinning under the spotlights, concept cars and vehicles never seen in the metal before, and of course, exotics and machines we rarely see out on public roads.

It’s a chance for manufacturers to show their latest technologies, lay out their plans for global domination and discuss the state of the industry. And as with every other show, there are winners and losers, vehicles that capture the imagination and promise to capture sales, and a few duds that just make no sense, offend everyone’s tastes and don’t seem to advance a brand’s stated goals. This is the low-down from LA.

Jaguar F-Type CoupeJaguar F-Type CoupeJaguar F-Type CoupeJaguar F-Type Coupe
2013 LA Autoshow Highlights. Click image to enlarge

Best in Show: 2014 Jaguar F-Type Coupe

It doesn’t take long to see why this Jag will be on most people’s highlights list at the LA show. Easily the sexiest production car on hand, and more adventurous than almost any of the few concepts unveiled here at LA, the F-Type Coupe adds a slinky rear glass and metal to the artistry of the F-Type Convertible. Pricing is also lower than Convertible in the US (we expect the same here), and will be powered by the same lineup of 340-hp V6, 380-hp supercharged V6 and a supercharged V8 rated at 550 hp in the F-Type R model – good for about a four-second sprint to 100 km/h. –Jonathan Yarkony

For many people, this was the star of the show. We’ve seen the Convertible. It’s great. And so nice that Jaguar managed to build such a machine after going on a half-century out of the roadster market. But this Coupe presses all the styling buttons, being a car that you look at, lust after and immediately want to get in and drive. Three cheers for designer Ian Callum. The F-Type Coupe is surely what he’s wanted Jaguar to build forever. –Paul Williams

Subaru Legacy ConceptSubaru Legacy ConceptSubaru Legacy ConceptSubaru Legacy Concept
2013 LA Autoshow Highlights. Click image to enlarge

Best Concept: Subaru Legacy Concept

Providing some consolation for the somewhat disappointing WRX, Subaru provided us with one of the few surprises of the LA show with the Legacy concept. This concept is sleek, sexy, and futuristic, with a streamlined and fanciful interior (yet fairly conventional in layout), although our friendly Subaru rep was adamant that the production Legacy would reflect the styling direction this concept introduces. We also hear that we will see the final production model as early as the Detroit show, so it won’t be long to wait.

In the weeks leading up to the LA Auto Show, the vehicle I was most excited to see was the Subaru WRX, hoping and expecting something along the lines of the Subaru WRX Concept shown in New York in April. While the final WRX is a far cry from the sexy, captivating concept, it’s not so bad once you let that comparison go, and it still has the potential to be a great driver’s machine, with Subaru being brave enough to bring a CVT to the performance table. –JY

From Subaru… a wonderful looking car. This Legacy is surely the best design ever from Subaru, a company that engineers excellent vehicles but when it comes to design… is a little challenged. The Legacy Concept, will, we’re told, be built in a form very close to what we saw at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. There is was a little bigger than the expected production model, and the mirrors and lights will surely be revised (as will the 21-inch wheels). But if they can hold on to this fine effort, Legacy will vault into mainstream contention. –PW

Porsche MacanPorsche Macan
2013 LA Autoshow Highlights. Click image to enlarge

Best Lineup Addition: 2014 Porsche Macan

Okay, it’s not as knee-weakeningly awesome as the 918 Spyder tucked away in its own glass booth, but the Macan is big news. Porsche enters the small luxury SUV field with a minimum of 258 hp in its Macan S diesel – a 3.0L V6 turbodiesel also making 428 lb-ft of torque, good to reach 100 km/h in about six seconds. The gasoline Macan S features a 340-hp twin-turbo 3.0L V6 that improves that to as low as 5.2 seconds. Then there is a Turbo. Bumping displacement up to 3.6L, but keeping the two turbos, it makes 400 hp and 405 lb-ft and Porsche suggests you should reach 100 in less than five seconds.

It looks like a baby Cayenne (meaning we won’t be calling it pretty anytime soon, but to each their own), and rides on a fully independent suspension, available in S and Diesel trims with PASM adjustable suspension, and the Turbo is available with an optional air suspension that should give it preternatural handling. Personally, I look forward to a GTS model – that’s the winner of the Cayenne lineup – but we’re certain this will help Porsche set massive new sales records. –JY

What a stroke of genius from Porsche. For those who don’t want a big Cayenne, but do want a practical Porsche, the Macan should perfectly fit the bill and the budget. Starting at around $54,000 for the base model, you’ll still get 340 horsepower from its V6 engine, a downsized Cayenne interior and you can bet, wonderful driving dynamics. They’ll sell them as fast as they can build them. –PW

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