LA Auto Show 2017: Our top picks for the best of the best of the show

The LA Auto Show features hundreds of new cars and trucks — many of them on display for the first time in North America and some for the first time in the world.

Here are our nominees for the most beautiful, the most significant and the most interesting.


Porsche 911 Carrera T

Porsche 911 Carrera T
Porsche 911 Carrera T (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Porsche had unveiled the Carrera T well before the auto show, but that didn’t stop sport-car enthusiasts from going slightly gaga over this new lightweight, back-to-basics 911. Based on audience reaction, it’s almost guaranteed to be a top seller for 2018.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 (Nelson/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Tesla is using the 2017 auto show to show off its Model 3, the affordable electric four-door sedan that it hopes will further co-founder Elon Musk’s plan to put every American driver in a battery-operated vehicle. Tesla folks wouldn’t let anyone get inside their new $35,000 car, but from the outside it looked very tasty.

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (Garcia/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

FCA’s design team scores another victory, with a major Jeep Wrangler update that makes this iconic vehicle look rugged, old-fashioned and modern all at the same time. Show visitors praised its retro styling. Rock climbers will appreciate its 21st century drivetrain and transmission.

VW ID Buzz

Volkswagen ID Buzz
Volkswagen ID Buzz (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Volkswagen’s smiley-faced all-electric reinvention of the 1960s micro-bus turned heads when it was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance last summer and got visitors’ iPhones popping at the convention center last week. The only bummer? Although the all-electric VW ID sedan and ID Crozz SUV will be out in 2020, the ID Buzz won’t be available for sale until 2022.

Toyota FT-AC

Toyota FT-AC concept
Toyota FT-AC concept (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Toyota has teased us with a couple of new crossover concepts this year, and now the Japanese giant has brought its proposed FT-AC to the convention floor. It’s still technically a concept vehicle, but it looks prepped for production and seems an off-road-ready competitor for hot crossovers like the Jeep Renegade and Subaru Crosstrek.

Corvette ZR1 convertible

Corvette ZR1 convertible
Corvette ZR1 convertible (Charles Fleming / Los Angeles Times)

Chevrolet blew the socks off a nighttime crowd by unveiling the first convertible version of its ZR1 sports car since its 1970 debut. Chevy says the car’s LT5 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine will produce 766 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, giving the convertible version a top speed of more than 200 mph.

BMW i8 roadster

BMW i8 Roadster
BMW i8 Roadster (Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

Savvy auto enthusiasts knew BMW was coming to the show with a flock of electrified vehicles. But the new i8 roadster, a hybrid convertible sports car whose elegant dihedral doors highlight dramatic design language, was a bright surprise. The German automaker says the combined electric motor and turbocharged 3-cylinder gasoline engine make a combined 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, for a total driving range of up to 330 miles and a zero-to-60 mph rate of 4.2 seconds.


Mazda Vision Coupe

Mazda Vision Coupe
Mazda Vision Coupe (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Mazda is calling this a concept vehicle, but those dazzled by the elegant Vision Coupe may find themselves begging the company to take a leaf from the European exotic car makers and produce a limited production run of this sweet, sleek touring car.

Prestone classic and custom cars

Prestone classic car collection
Prestone classic car collection (Charles Fleming / Los Angeles Times)

Not every beautiful car at the auto show is new. In the basement “Garage” is a selection of some fantastic classics, many of them brought to the convention center by auto products giant Prestone. Included in this collection are vintage Mustangs, Camaros and Corvettes, as well as a custom Bentley, a perfected restored Packard, and even a couple of hot rods. On the floor above is another Prestone paddock, this one filled with exotic European Ferraris and Lamborghinis. They’re not new. They’re timeless.

The L.A. Auto Show runs Dec. 1-10 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Times coverage is at