We've just finished cleaning out our notepads from this year's Los Angeles Auto Show and collected all the remaining notes we took during our two-day march on the show floor. As a kind of photo gallery, we've combined all the information we could decipher with some of our favorite photos. Here are a few of the things we saw and found out.
At the Chevy pre-LA Show press conference, there were two Sparks, one Volt, and a wicked ZL1 Camaro convertable, but not a pickup to be seen--unless you count this 100th Anniversary decoration in the corner. It wasn't even edible. Still, there's plenty to love about a well-restored early half-ton pickup, even if it's only two feet long.
We poked around a little bit, asking anyone who would listen to us about the long-invisible Toyota A-BAT. We know Bob Carter, Group VP and General Manager of Toyota Division, is on record saying it's dead, but that could mean it's been decided that only Toyota shouldn't make a go of it. That doesn't mean it couldn't come back as some kind of Prius pickup or possibly a Scion (note: the head of Scion, Jack Hollis, has expressed interest in a "pickup-truck-like" vehicle as part of his growth strategy). Still, no one would confirm or deny when or if we'll ever see a newer version of the compact silver bullet.
This was a cool display in the Ford Truck area. The top left tailgate is from a 1948 F-1, called the first half-ton pickup truck by some. The tailgate beneath it is from a 1953 F-100. The top right 'gate is from a 1965 F-100 four-door crew cab, the first F-Series crew that Ford ever made. And the last (lower right) tailgate is from a 2012 F-150 painted Golden Bronze Metallic. Can you guess which model F-150 it came from? (hint, the paint color should get you close.)
Most of our attention is first and foremost focused on pickup trucks at a big show like this, but we saw this in the underground parking garage and had to shoot a photo. This is a late 90s K5 Blazer that has the 6.5L Detroit Diesel--one of our all-time favorites.
We got a product planning higher-up to, once again, shout from the rooftops that the Honda Ridgeline is not going away. In fact, he said, they are in the middle of figuring out what the next Ridgeline will be. It could go more truck-ish, or head toward more SUV-like, or should it get even more car-like? Regardless of what (most likely, very conservative) strategy they do choose, the fact they haven't finalized plans yet means they're still, at least, two years out before we see something, and likely won't be too extreme.
Land Rover designers have been showing off a Defender 90 replacement concept lately (the D-90 is a hardcore 4x4 still being produced for sale around the world, but didn't come here in any volumes because it can't fully accept the needed airbag technology), with the latest version called the DC100 shown at L.A. If this does get done, we'd expect to see some of the same types of styling cues on the pickup truck models that Land Rover sells globally as a Defender 130. To date, Land Rover has made no announcements regarding importing a new Defender or re-entering the truck market with a new pickup truck.
If you're a regular visitor or searcher of YouTube, you've probably seen the Team Hot Wheels videos of their crazy, death-defying stunts. Hot Wheels had a display at the show where they showed the truck Tanner Foust used for his "Team Yellow" stunt jumps and drives. If you've never seen one of these ProTruck-style trucks up close, you need to check out all the amazing technology they pack into such a tight space.
The basement of the LA Auto Show is always a fun place to explore because that's where they put the west coast custom car shops and the vehicles they like to sell to the music and movie celebrities who love to shop for one-of-a-kind cars and trucks. There were some very cool customs on display.
You don't see too many H1s anymore, especially with 26-inch rims that look too small for the vehicle. The fact that the tires are 40 inches tall may have something to do with the proportions being a little off. And, yes, this is a horrible photo but we blame the lighting.
This AEV Brute was setup with all sorts of expedition gear, specifically designed for a K9 patrol unti. The bed was caged in with all sorts of side-mounted storage units and tool attachments. This extreme 4x4 would be perfect for a mountain search and rescue team.