Today DTW has a short look at some of the cars being presented at the LA Auto Show. Maybe ‘short look’ oversells it a bit. Read on to find out.
After a scroll down Car & Driver’s list of highlights I didn’t find so much to dwell on. This makes me reflect on what there could have been instead. To be honest I can’t think of anything except that I remember a time when reports of American car shows revealed interesting models that were quite unlike anything we had over in Europe.
The death of Oldsmobile, Saturn and Pontiac along with the diminution of Buick has reduced GM’s opportunities to reveal cars we’d never want and never get over here. Buick’s news involved the extension of the Avenir trim option to the Lacrosse.
I find it hard to get very excited by that. I can ruefully recall my previous anticipation of a whole new line of large Buicks with the Avenir name when it was revealed as a concept car: this is the new Opel Senator, I wrote joyfully.
The only part of the idea to survive is a badge affixed all over and inside a quite attractive but unremarkable saloon. The photo above shows an attractive but unremarkable interior. If you want to signal “top-level trim” use reddish-brown leather, it seems. It isn’t amazing.
I recently had a look at some of the high Martindale fabrics offered by Kvadrat – now that would be a really interesting prospect. There must be at least half a dozen fabric suppliers itching to provide for automotive manufacturers’ needs at barely above break-even. Who is it inside the car firms – all of them – who says no?
Ford still has Lincoln which we have never got here. The MKX name has been dropped in favour of Nautilus. This shows a) Lincoln realizes the MK-prefix has not been a success and b) that Lincoln is selling another SUV. Historians will look back from their nuclear fall-out shelters and see this time as that of the emergence of SUVs and electric cars.
Further reading made me realise the Nautilus is nothing more than restyling of the MKX rather than a new car, on sale since 2007. The second generation MKX didn’t last long under that name: it emerged only last year meaning it might hold a record for shortest-lived SUV if, perhaps the Saab 9-4X doesn’t already hold that one (in production in 2011 only).
A further look through the images shows that we may very well be reaching the zenith of the trend for bizarre and over-wrought front ends. Take a look at the slide show. All of these deep-sea creatures are bound for show-rooms in the very near future or may be there already.
Even as I write there are designers looking hard at these front-clips and working out how to save the rest of the car from them for 2020 face-lifts. It won’t be easy as the rest of the car and the front are usually very tightly interrelated. Curiously, it might be Mercedes leading the way. In comparison with those faces it’s the 2019 CLS which gets closest to normality.