Seeking to reinvent itself as more than an auto show after 111 years in the business, the Los Angeles Auto Show is diversifying beyond its lifeblood: cars. But even as it rebadges its press preview as the tech-friendly “AutoMobility LA” and hosts an annual hackathon, the event remains a platform for automakers to showcase their latest and greatest models.
This year’s crop is more luxurious, capable, and electric than ever. Here are the five of the most exciting reveals from the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the public on Friday.
Bentley Continental GT Convertible
Bentley launched the third-generation of its bestselling Continental GT, a $200,000 luxury coupe, earlier this year. Now it’s unveiling a convertible version with the same performance and refinement. Like the coupe, the droptop runs on a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 that boasts 626 horsepower and a maximum speed of 207 mph. The cloth top slows the car just a fraction of a second, propelling it from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, compared with 3.6 seconds for the coupe. The electronic roof opens in 19 seconds when the car is traveling under 30 mph and is available in a tweed finish for the first time.
Porsche enthusiasts can rejoice in a new generation of the iconic 911 sports car. The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S and 4S arrive on the automaker’s 992-generation platform, providing greater power and speed. For its eighth iteration, the sports car’s S models deliver 443 horsepower and can shoot from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds (the 4S is a tad faster, requiring only 3.4 seconds). The optional Sport Chrono package shaves a few tenths of a second from performance time. Inside, the new 911 gets an updated interior and Porsche Wet Mode to help navigate water-slicked roads, among several other new features.
Mercedes revealed its new AMG GT sports car and a limited edition, track-ready offshoot, the AMG GT R Pro. The flagship coupe from the automaker’s high-performance sub-brand gets updated exterior styling, an AMG Performance steering wheel, and an AMG Dynamics control system designed to keep the car more agile. The GT R Pro sports lightweight construction and wheels, an enhanced suspension, and aerodynamic fine-tuning for more downforce.
Jeep returns to the fast-growing pickup segment with the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, a truck based on the brand’s Wrangler off-road SUV. The four-door pickup will come standard with a soft top and offer the same capabilities as the Wrangler, including a four-wheel drive system, front- and rear-axle lockers, and a limited-slip differential. It can tow up to 7,650 pounds, more than any of its rivals.
Rivian R1T and Rivian R1S
Rivian, a Michigan-based startup making battery-powered adventure vehicles to take off road, will debut its first models. Both the R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV are engineered to travel between 200 and 400 miles – or more – on a fully charged battery. The company says the five-passenger truck can travel from 0 to 60 miles in less than three seconds and that the three-row SUV can seat seven passengers. Both feature up to 14 inches of ground clearance and can wade in three feet of water. Rivian plans to build the vehicles at a former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Ill. and begin deliveries in 2020.