Auto show season is kicking into gear again and all eyes will turn to Los Angeles next week. Among the big debuts scheduled for the 2023 LA Auto Show next week, Lucid confirmed it will launch its first SUV, dubbed Gravity, while Subaru is teasing “an all-new, fully redesigned vehicle.” Toyota is revealing the Crown SUV and there’ll be debuts from Hyundai, Acura, Kia and more.
There’s always a lot of glitter when the LA Auto Show opens its doors, and we’re expecting to see at least a few celebrities on hand to help introduce some of the new models rolling out at the Los Angeles Convention Center. “Iron Man” Robert Downey Jr. will display six of his modified, eco-friendly cars. And Kevin Hart will have 10 cars from his personal “Kollection” on the show floor.
As we’ve been seeing around the world, this year’s event will be downsized at least compared to some years past, when dozens of new models made their global debuts. The media preview will run just one day, rather than the two-day norm. That said, there’ll be plenty of reasons why Headlight.News will be on hand in L.A. next week.
Toyota will kick off the week ahead of the actual show, using an off-site event for a critical unveiling. On the show floor, Lucid will launch its first SUV and Subaru will have a major global debut of its own. Other brands making news will be Hyundai, Acura and Kia, and we may yet discover a few more surprises. Here’s a preview of what we expect to see during the LA Auto Show media preview on Nov. 16:
Acura and Honda
With its own news conference late in the day, the luxury arm of Honda Motor Co. will put the focus on sound at its booth. That means a new, high-end Bang & Olufson sound system. That’s big news for audiophiles, at least, and marks Acura’s shift away from a long-standing tie-up with ELS audio technology.
Both Acura and Honda will finally show off to the public their first long-range battery-electric vehicles, the ZDX and Prologue, respectively.
Meanwhile, there are rumors that the company may have some other surprises in store. But we’ve gotten no response from anyone inside either Acura or Honda PR.
The South Korean carmaker revealed its Kona Jayde Concept at the SEMA Show earlier this month. Now, it’s pulling the wraps off the U.S. version of the all-new Santa Fe, after first revealing the Korean version last spring.
This is no light “refresh. The crossover boasts a distinctly different design language, starting with the upright face, pixelated grille, broad lightbar and H-shaped headlamps. A variety of different gas and electrified drivetrains will be offered. The American version of the Santa Fe will reach showrooms during the second quarter of next year and, despite that late arrival it will be badged a 2024 model year.
Also going to show off the high-performance version of its first long-range EV, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N. While it shares the same underpinnings as the Kia EV6 GT, Hyundai has taken a number of steps to set its beast apart. The upgraded version of the Ioniq 5 is expected to be quite a beast, making a peak 641 horsepower in “N Grin Boost” mode.
What we know is that Kia will host a U.S., rather than global debut at this year’s LA Auto Show.
The automaker is being very tight lipped about what’s in store, but various hints and some investigation have given us a sense of what’s very likely making its North American debut at the show. We’re pretty certain some of the EVs that the automaker revealed in a Seoul event last month will wind up in Los Angeles.
That October event was focused on introducing models that play to the automaker’s goal of “having EVs for everyone.” At the bottom of the list was the EV3, a small SUV that could replace the all-electric version of the current Kia Niro. Also expected to appear is the EV4, a small electric fastback sedan, and the EV5, basically a two-row version of the EV9 just now coming to the U.S. market. However, Kia previoulsy said it doesn’t plan to bring the EV5 to the U.S. market.
The automaker may also show us some updates to its gas-powered lineup, and based on its product cadence, the Sorento is one of the most likely possibilities to appear.
So far, gravity hasn’t been kind to Lucid. The EV startup’s initial model, the Lucid Air, has received solid reviews but sales have lagged well below expectations leading it to offer some fairly hefty incentives.
Considering current market trends, Lucid expects to gain lots more traction when it rolls out its first all-electric SUV, the Gravity, which makes its debut at the LA Auto Show at 9:05 a.m.Pacific Standard Time on Thursday, Nov. 16.
Gravity will share the same underlying battery pack and motor drive technology as the Air sedan and that should translate into lightning-fast acceleration as well as extended driving range. Depending upon the version, the Air sedan can deliver more than 500 miles per charge. The numbers likely will drop a bit with the heavier, less aerodynamic Gravity SUV, however.
We’ve gotten used to having manufacturers provide us plenty of background material ahead of their auto show previews. It makes it easy to prepare our stories ahead of time. But, to be honest, it also makes for a bit of an anti-climax when it comes time for their new model to roll out.
In Subaru’s case, it’s doing a good job of keeping the covers on until the last minute. It’s so far only told us in a news release that “an all-new fully redesigned vehicle will make its global debut” at 9:40 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Thursday, Nov. 16.
That hasn’t stopped us from doing our own bit of research and we’ve got a good sense of what’s to come to the LA Auto Show: a complete makeover of the Subaru Forester crossover. (Take a look at the step up in the lower body cladding in this teaser image, a familiar Forester detail.) Among other things, we expect to hear about both the conventional line as well as a more rugged new Forester Wilderness off-road edition.
Toyota set out to redefine what a sedan is supposed to look like when it introduced the new Crown two years ago. And, as with Corolla, the Japanese giant is set to offer additional variants wearing the Crown badge.
The second model in that sub-brand is set to make its debut on Nov. 14 and, as you might expect considering where the global market has gone, it will be a crossover-utility vehicle. Exactly what Toyota will call the new model we’ll have to wait to confirm but teaser images help show that it will be based on the Crown SUV Toyota has just put on sale in Japan.
Expect it also to be offered in hybrid form, and likely share the two options now available for the Crown sedan, a 236-hp gas-electric package, and the beefier Hybrid Max making 340 ponies. There’s also a possibility the U.S. version may get a Prime plug-in hybrid option.