2015 L.A. Auto Show: Cool Vehicles

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Not surprisingly, the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show did not have much pickup truck news. However, given that California and the Southern California region are both top pickup truck markets, we saw quite a few midsize and full-size trucks in many of the automaker displays. Here are just a few of the interesting vehicle highlights from this year's show.


GMC Sierra Heavy-Duty Underbody Display

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One of our favorite displays was in the GMC booth, lifting a fully loaded GMC Sierra 2500 Denali 12 feet in the air so we could walk underneath. Thankfully, GMC identified all the important parts for our benefit. Other highlights in the GMC booth included the new 2017 Canyon Denali and Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate trim packages.


2017 Ford Super Duty F-350 King Ranch

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There's a lot of buzz about the 2017 all-aluminum-bodied Super Duty that goes on sale by the third quarter of 2016 along with the new F-150 Raptor. But this was our first look at a King Ranch version up close. Displayed with a nice Airstream — also with an aluminum outer shell — the F-350 single-rear-wheel Super Duty looks ready for adventure. We still don't have any detailed information about exactly how much lighter the new truck will be, but we do know it won't save as much weight as the 2015 F-150, mostly because the Super Duty gets a much stronger frame and axles.


2017 Ford Super Duty F-450 Damper

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During a closer inspection of the 2017 Ford Super Duty F-450 on display along with a stripped chassis exhibit of the same model, we noticed an odd piece of technology boxed at the back end of the frame, just aft of the last trailer hitch cross-member. After poking around a bit, we were told it's a frame-mounted vibration damper only required on F-450 models because that is the only model to use 19.5-inch wheels and tires.


Kia Photo Safari Sedona

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This was possibly our favorite vehicle of the show because of all the high-tech electronics and camera-mount equipment both inside and out. Sure, this is simply a converted minivan, but we love the fact that Kia tried to give it a small suspension lift for better adventure capability, and the bed cutout in back shows some real creativity and understanding of a truck mind-set. Maybe this wouldn't be a huge seller for Kia, but just think of the possibilities for factory accessory customization.


2017 Versus 2016 Super Duty Flares

Pair of Super Duty flairs

There are plenty of differences between the current-generation Super Duty and the 2017 model set to go on sale later next year (late fall), but we couldn't help notice the pronounced difference in design styling between the old and new dual rear wheel fender flares. The rounded ones above are from the current dualie, while the ones below will be on the future pickup. Although the old model was often criticized for looking funny, it did provide the least amount of visual blockage for the driver when towing.


U.S. Specialty Vehicle Rhino GX

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As the ultimate in safety and security, the U.S. Specialty Vehicle Rhino GX is a monster of an SUV. With a modified Super Duty frame and chassis (both shortened and reinforced), the custom, heavy-duty 10-lug axles are designed to hold up to the most punishing and brutal terrain. Powered by Ford's 6.8-liter 30-valve V-10 gas engine, the Stealth Black survival vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds and (depending on how many luxury options you order) weighs about 10,000 pounds. The Southern California builder offers two types of Rhinos, the larger GX (seen here) and the smaller (based off a Jeep Wrangler) Rhino XT.


Galpin 2016 Gulf F-150

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Hiding in a hall dedicated to the Galpin Auto Sports design team of Southern California, this 2016 Ford F-150 pays homage to the 50th anniversary of the Ford victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (with the Ford GT). GAS created the 2016 Gulf F-150 4x4 to turn heads on the street as well tackle any mountain terrain thrown its way. The Gulf F-150 uses long-travel coils in front and Deaver re-arched springs in back along with triple bypass shocks and six-piston calipers to bring the monster to a stop. No word yet as to whether Ford is considering this for a future trim package option, but we think it's a good idea.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams




Love the elevated labeled underbody GM HD display. That's awesome.

Ford took a lot of heat for the last gen dually "flares". It was a simple design which had big benefits from the manufacturing, repair, visibility, aerodynamic stances. BUT it looked kinda goofey. Like something off of a VW Beetle and we all know that for most looks matter far more than just about anything else and especially common sense/practicality. The new style address this and loses all those advantages in doing so.

Anyone know the tongue weight of that Airstream? That is a 1-ton truck squatting. Maybe Ford should have borrowed some leveling airbags from Ram. I guess there's always 2018, 2019...

I am happy, that my RAM 1500 has HEAVY DUTY CAPABILITY, because I can pull that aluminium trailer exactly same way.

@maximus the F350 is not squatting, looks like they have a bit to much of drop on the hitch though as the trailer is riding lower in the front.

Lots of good Ford stuff there, it must be making big Al fuming mad by now

Are those halfshafts under the 2500 Chevy?

That Super Duty is not sqauting. Looks like someone needs they're eyes checked.

Hmmmm.................................Is the LA Auto Show a Ford sponsored event????? Seems so.

Using the term squatting is an overstatement.

The weight on the back has slightly lowered the rear and lifted the front of the pickup.

Maybe once a driver and possibly a passenger are in the front the front end will settle a little.

But, with a pickup the size of the SuperDuty you would of thought a lightweight trailer like the Airstream wouldn't of had any effect.

Would have been cooler if the SD was unpainted for display

Get those eyes checked there Fellas. Its not squatting. Stevie Wonder can see that.

Big Al from Oz - why don't you google that information or are you just trvlling again?

If one looks at the 2017 Super Duty thread we do NOT see any appreciable squatting in the rear of the truck.
But hey, trvlls gotta trvll.

Would have been cooler if the SD was unpainted for display

Posted by: roadram | Nov 30, 2015 1:27:21 PM

you got that right!

Here's hoping nobody confuses the Sierra's engine oil filter with the tranny oil filter...

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