The 2022 LA Auto Show is in the rearview mirror, leaving us with one final task: to share an overview of the weird and wonderful, clunky and mind-blowing car discoveries and new announcements that have been made at the show this year.
The dealership didn’t quite capture the energy of those heady pre-COVID days, though it did much livelier than last year.
Electric vehicles and the often accompanying greenwash have taken center stage, with hydrogen fuel cell technology making a few cameo appearances at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show. There have even been a few startups that have introduced electric restomods, 3D printing technology and tricycle design.
Let’s delve into the good, the bad, the ugly and the amazing moments of the 2022 LA Auto Show.
Toyota Prius is changing
Rumor has it that there was an internal debate at Toyota headquarters about the future of the Prius: leave it unchanged and let it keep its stock car status, or invest in the car and remake it?
The company took the latter approach, and the end result surprised many people attending the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Result? Toyota Prius is attractive, even elegant. brand new toyota prius features a sportier drivetrain and a more curvaceous, low-slung silhouette to broaden its appeal to sports car buyers who would not have thought of a Prius in the past. That said, the hybrid won’t get much greener: Toyota said the new model could get 57 mpg, just like the outgoing Prius.
The lower, longer, wider Prius Prime, a nameplate hybrid version, also debuted at the show. The electric range of this PHEV has increased from 25 miles to 37 miles, a 50% increase.
Toyota also introduced new concept under the icon “beyond zero”.
Porsche 911 will get a rally mode
Porsche wanted to pay tribute to the Porsche 953, a heavily modified 911 Carrera that won the prize at the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally. So, he took the Carrera 4 GTS coupe and turned it into an all-wheel-drive sports monster capable of traversing sand dunes, gravel and rocky passes. Porsche 911 Dakar comes with sports suspension – only the 911 has it – tuned chassis package, rear wheel steering and a 473 hp twin-turbo flat-six engine that is transmitted to all four wheels via an 8-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission.
There are two new modes: Rally mode for gravel roads, muddy trails and wet grass, and off-road mode for sand dunes and rocky conditions. The automaker has removed the rear seats, added lightweight components such as a carbon fiber hood and lighter glass, a red toe hook and special double-carcass tires specially developed with Pirelli to prevent punctures.
Porsche said it is producing 2,500 911 Dakars, starting at $220,000.
US Vinfast Strategy: SUVs
Vinfast really wants to enter the US market. And his answer is SUV of any size.
The company has unveiled four electric vehicles ranging in size from small five-seat crossovers to large seven-seat SUVs. VinFast expects to bring two SUVs, the VF6 and VF7, to market by early 2023.
Vinfast unveiled several vehicles at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. But they had a clear sense of the prototype. The cars seemed fuller this year. The company even showed the interior and gave a ride.
Vinfast still has a long way to go, but it’s getting closer. And his next vehicle might even be a sports car.
Hydrogen fuel cells appear
Hyperion showed off its vision of a space station-inspired hydrogen refueling and mobile station capable of storing 200kg of propellant. The mobile station, which is estimated to cost $900,000, can be delivered to different locations depending on the need. The station is also equipped with solar panels to power station accessories such as lighting.
For this to be the green hydrogen that Hyperion stands for, the system must be located near renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power. Fuel could be produced locally and then shipped to stations.
The so-called “XF-1 Hyper:Fuel” mobile hydrogen station can also reduce the burden on utility networks by providing mobile emergency backup power through its advanced hydrogen-electric storage systems.
Hyundai concept not inspired by DeLorean
A hybrid hydrogen fuel cell concept vehicle called Hyundai N Vision 74 got the number “hey, that looks like a DeLorean!” But Sang Yup Lee of Hyundai’s Center for Global Design and the automaker’s executive vice president quickly made adjustments.
The N Vision 74 pays homage to the 1974 Hyundai Pony Coupe concept designed by legendary car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, who also designed the DeLorean. (The DeLorean debuted in 1981 after the Pony Coupe.)
“Don’t say they’re similar because we did it first,” Li said.
Hyundai is calling the N Vision 74 a “mobile lab” – a sort of test bed for future products, including what role electrification could play.
Muscle car, keep vroom
Startup Charge Cars showed off its 67, a carbon fiber-covered electric car inspired by the 1967 Mustang – just don’t expect it to growl like a V8.
“This car, when it’s on the road, gives you free honest EV noise,” said chief creative officer Mark Roberts, who was hired from McLaren in 2020. “I hate this whole thing with fake spaceships or symphony orchestras and things like that,” the executive director said.
During a presentation at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show, he added: “You might think for 10 seconds, ‘Hey, it’s okay.’ Then you turn it off.”
Ford apparently sees things differently! The Detroit automaker built additional man-made engine noise into their Mustang Mach-E, and many other firms have turned to more unusual sound effects, even melodiesto accompany quieter electric vehicles.
Fiat’s strategy for the all-electric 500e is experimental.
The all-electric Fiat 500e was launched in Europe in 2020 and has been selling like hot cakes in the region ever since. The miniature car — new with a dedicated platform for electric vehicles — proved to be a huge success for Stellantis. Whether this will be accepted by US buyers remains to be seen.
Fiat CEO Olivier François accepted hey let’s experimental tone in an interview after his presentation on stage about the upcoming Fiat 500e, which will arrive in North America in early 2024.
Stellantis plans to “explore alternative business models” such as subscription and car sharing when it launches the Fiat 500e in the US. François did not rule out that the US launch of the 500e would be limited entirely to subscriptions. come early 2024saying, “Maybe you’ll never be worth the price. Maybe it will just be user experience. Maybe it will be a combination of both.”
The CEO added cryptically, “This is definitely going to be a healthy dose of digital technology. We all need to reinvent the business model together.”
Here are a few more about Fiat 500e intended for the USA.
Recycled gold dust, marine debris seats
While promoting the return of the 500e in the US, Fiat showcased three unique vehicles created in collaboration with Bvlgari, Kartell and Armani. For the exterior of Bvlgari’s 500 in particular, the brand has “literally turned recycled gold from jewelry into metallic paint,” said Fiat CEO Olivier François. He added: “Nothing is too valuable to be reused.” The car also featured seats made from recycled marine plastics.
Fiat one-offs are up for auction, and when the all-electric 500e arrives in the US in early 2024, it won’t be studded with real gold. But according to François, the North American 500e’s seats will “actually be made from recycled plastic taken from the oceans.” The chief executive declined to provide details, including what percentage of the seats will be made from virgin plastic.
Some more covers: