Top 10 Cars of the 2014 L.A. Auto Show

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

In case you haven’t heard there was an auto show in Los Angeles recently and it was a pretty big deal. Manufacturers from around the world descended on Lalaland to show off their latest products.

SEE ALSO: Complete 2014 LA Auto Show Coverage

Sorting wheat from chaff and gold nuggets from dirt, here’s a list of our Top 10 favorite reveals from the event.

We start at the Lexus display. Thanks to its shimmering gold paint job and audacious styling the firm’s LF-C2 concept is IMPOSSIBLE to ignore. This roadster showcases where the company’s design direction is headed.

SEE ALSO: Lexus LF-C2 Video, First Look

Inside it’s elegantly trimmed with white leather though a strip of body-color trim cascades down from the rear deck to liven things up.

But not everything revealed in L.A. is so bold. The Mercedes-Benz Maybach S600 is a V12-powered ultra-luxury sedan with more rear leg room than a park bench. This beast’s aft-accommodations are perhaps the most comfortable found in any car. Creamy cow hides, cutting-edge electronics and thoughtful touches abound.

We’d hate to disappoint our own Steve Elmer, the truck MAN so we made certain to include a pickup on this list. Trust us, you don’t want to see him when he’s cross … Anyway, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is a concept that looks just about production ready.

SEE ALSO: Chevy Colorado ZR2 Video, First Look

It’s designed for hard-core off-roading and is kitted out with extra suspension travel, more aggressive approach and departure angles as well as super-knobby tires. Power is provided by 2.8-liter diesel engine.

Next up we’ve got the Volkswagen GTI Roadster. The Colorado may look ready for action but this car will never arrive at dealers. With supercar styling, a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and bright red paint this car lit up the VW booth. With “more than” 500 hp on tap and a claimed curb weight of around 3,100 pounds it should be able to hit 60 miles an hour in a scant 3.5 seconds.

But enough outlandish concept cars, how about a legitimate production model? Landing in our No. 6 slot is the brand-new CX-3, a subcompact crossover that’s based off the Mazda2. Its upscale styling, advanced safety features and nicely trimmed interior belie its city-friendly dimensions.

SEE ALSO: Mazda CX-3 Video, First Look

Power is provided by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine; all-wheel drive is also available.

Now, there could be some intense rivalry going on here because Honda ain’t going to let Mazda drive away with all of the subcompact crossover-segment. Their new HR-V looks like a perfect foil to the CX-3.

SEE ALSO: Honda HR-V Video, First Look

Based off the popular Fit this vehicle boasts several innovative features but probably the best is its second-row “Magic Seat,” which tumbles and folds like a teenage Romanian gymnast, maximizing interior space.

Is this what future Audis will look like? Well, your guess is as good as mine but the company’s Prologue concept likely hints at where this German luxury brand is headed.

SEE ALSO: Audi Prologue Concept Video, First Look

It’s also probable this car is blazing the way for a large coupe model, the oft-rumored A9. As it stands the Prologue concept is slightly smaller than today’s A8 sedan, though not by much.

This WILD looking machine is the Chevy Chaparral Vision GT concept car, though it sounds more like something from Star Wars than Detroit. It features a lithium-ion battery pack and 671-kW laser for propulsion … yes, a FRICKEN’ LASER BEAM. Supposedly it can accelerate from zero to 60 miles an hour in just 1.5 seconds. We’ll believe that as soon as we can buy a lightsaber.

But not all of GM’s divisions have their heads in the clouds. Cadillac released a legitimate performance model in the form of its ATS-V. Offered in both coupe and sedan formats, this luxury car will bring the heat to BMW’s M3 and M4.

SEE ALSO: Cadillac ATS-V Video, First Look

It’s powered by a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 engine that delivers an astonishing 450 hp.

Finally we come to the vaunted Ford Mustang, an American performance legend for the past five decades. The Blue Oval’s new GT 350 model is essentially a racecar you can drive on the street. It’s powered by a fire-breathing 5.2-liter V8 that should put out more than 500 horses. With a flat-plane crankshaft, something usually found in exotic supercars, this engine should rev explosively.

SEE ALSO: Mustang GT350 Video, First Look

Well, that wraps up this Top 10 list AND our coverage of the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. If you haven’t seen the rest of our posts from this significant global event head on over to our coverage page. DO IT, do it for us … please?

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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2 of 4 comments
  • Coles Notes Coles Notes on Nov 21, 2014

    Craig Cole is pretty damn funny!

  • Jerry Baustian Jerry Baustian on Nov 26, 2014

    The "Chevy Chaparral Vision GT Concept" -- what exactly makes it a Chevy? Does it contain even one part from a current or future Chevy product? Or did Chevy pay someone to build it?