December 16th, 2018 by Nicolas Zart
In part 1 of our review of the 2018 LA Auto Show, we looked at the mobility startup world and how it is proposing to meet tomorrow’s mobility needs. Let’s now look at what traditional carmakers had to offer at the 2018 LA Auto Show.
As far as the heavy-hitters, Kia is probably the modern car company that intrigues me the most. It was the only mainstream carmaker to prominently show two EVs, including the Soul EV with its 64 kWh battery pack on its main display. The Niro EV and its 64 kWh pack were on the far right side of the stand in front of the Optima PHEV and its 9.8 kWh pack. Apparently, the company doesn’t seem to shy away from showing its plugs to both the media and the public. Thank you for being consistent, Kia.
Porsche displays never shy away from bright lights, this time showing its Cayenne and Panamera plug-in hybrids (PHEV). Drenched in white displays, I had to wear my sunglasses to appreciate the contrast in design and flow of the displays and cars. The Cayenne and Panamera PHEVs sport 14 kWh battery packs. The company didn’t show the upcoming Taycan (previously called Mission E), but both PHEVs were shown prominently at the entrance.
Honda showed its Clarity line up. The company has a relatively small 25.5 kWh battery pack in the electric option, a surprisingly small battery for a 2017 vehicle, let alone a 2019 one. The PHEV has a 17 kWh pack. The Clarity models, which also included the normal hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell versions, were not center stage but they weren’t hidden either.
Nissan only showed its 40kWh LEAF. We can confirm that the new LEAF will only have a passive battery thermal management system. Needless to say, the mood wasn’t as cheerful as last year. And Mitsubishi’s display showed a nice concept as well as the Outlander PHEV, with its 12 kWh battery pack, which I reviewed here.
Jaguar showed two of its I-PACE electric SUVs, which come with 90 kWh battery packs. One was in orange and one in dark gray that seemed to catch a lot of attention. As far as Land Rover’s plug-ins, the company showed the Land Rover PHEV and Range Rover PHEV, including the Range Rover Sport version.
Volvo had no problems showing its plug-ins with its regular cars. The PHEV XC60, XC90, S90, and S60 were there and we look forward to test driving them soon. On an interesting note, the Volvo Automobility display showed no cars. It did bring the cars in for the public. It certainly got us talking and intrigued.