Must-See Electric Car Debuts and Displays

can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
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The 2019 L.A. Auto Show is going to usher in an incredible array of electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles from the likes of Ford, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Toyota, and Porsche. Small upstart companies like Bollinger Motors, with its square-shaped B1 sport-utility, are certain to make a big impression in the City of Angels, too.

Without a doubt, the biggest headline-grabbing electric will be the Ford Mustang Mach E. This all-electric SUV uses the Mustang name and applies it to a performance machine that promises muscle car levels of speed, minus any smog-spewing emissions.

Not to be outdone, Toyota is aiming at mainstream shoppers with a plug-in hybrid version of its best-selling SUV, the RAV4. Porsche will showcase the Taycan 4S sedan, BMW has a pair of plug-in hybrids, Audi adds another member to the e-tron family, and VW will offer a glimpse of its future with an electric crossover called the ID Space Vizzion.
Ford Mustang Inspired Electric Crossover SUV
Few electric cars have been as eagerly anticipated as the Ford Mustang Mach-E. It finally breaks cover in L.A. (Image: Ford)

Ford Mustang Mach-E

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is going to be the star attraction at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show. With all due respect to every other car and truck on display, the application of the revered Mustang name to a sport-utility (and an electric-powered one, no less!) is certain to create a whirlwind. Some details were leaked before the official reveal on Sunday, evening, November 17, after Ford mistakenly posted a reservation page for the car. With a price spread of $44,000 to $60,000, the Mach-E will be available in rear- or all-wheel drive format, and has a driving range between 230 and 300 miles per charge.


The Audi e-tron Sportback is a sport-tuned electric crossover that will join the e-tron SUV in Audi’s lineup. (Photo: Audi)

Audi e-tron Sportback

The Audi e-tron family tree is getting another branch, this time in the shape of a handsome crossover called the e-tron Sportback. Expect this upcoming EV to share the same dual-motor and all-wheel drive powertrain with the existing e-tron SUV. This should translate to about 200 miles of range, and a price hovering around $70,000.


BMW is adding a pair of plug-in hybrid vehicles to its range. (Photo: BMW)

BMW 330e xDrive PHEV and BMW X3 xDrive30e PHEV

The splashiest news-making items might be electric cars and trucks, but plug-in hybrid models are playing a big role at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show, too. To drive that point home – twice, in fact – BMW is bringing its 330e xDrive PHEV sedan and X3 xDrive30e PHEV sport-utility to Los Angeles. Both come with all-wheel drive powertrains that delivers a total of 252 hp. Driving range when running on electric power should fall between 20-35 miles, depending on whether you’re piloting the PHEV sedan or sport-utility.


The electric-powered trucks from Bollinger Motors will cost $125,000 apiece, with deliveries planned for mid-2021. (Photo: Bollinger)

Bollinger B1 and B2

Possibly the only few vehicles capable of stealing the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s thunder in Los Angeles are the Bollinger Motors B1 sport-utility and B2 pickup. These electric trucks are meant for serious off-road adventures, and each comes with all-terrain tires, heavy-duty suspension, removable doors and windshield, and interiors that can be hosed out after a mud-splattered day of driving. Range is estimated at 200 miles and the entry-level price for both trucks was recently set at $125,000.


Karma is ready to reveal an updated version of its Revero GT sedan. (Photo: Karma Motors)

Karma Revero GTS and Karma SC2 Concept

Karma is coming to Los Angeles with two vehicles, an updated version of the current Revero GT sport sedan, along with an updated of the dramatic SC1 Concept shown earlier this year. The Revero GTS adds more power to this shapely plug-in hybrid which, at the moment, already has approximately 535 hp courtesy of a BMW-sourced gas-electric drivetrain. The GTS could nudge output closer to 600 hp. Meanwhile, the SC2 will take a page from the outrageous SC1 Concept. Little to no technical specifications were mentioned about the SC1 during its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show back in April. We do know the concept sported massive upward-swinging doors and used biometric scanning to adjust to the mood of the driver. The SC2 won’t be any less daring.


The Mini Cooper SE combines the brand’s handling prowess and easy-to-park dimensions with an all-electric powertrain. (Photo: Mini)

Mini Cooper SE

Mini is jumping into the electric car world with the Cooper SE. This pint-sized hatchback looks outwardly similar to a standard Mini Cooper and carries a reasonable sticker price starting around $30,000. When factoring federal and state tax incentives, Mini says the price can drop below $20,000. With an estimated 0-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds, the Cooper SE will be peppy urban driving adventures. Total driving range remains a question mark, however. Estimates range from about 125-150 miles per charge, which trails rivals like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt.


Porsche is targeting well-heeled clientele with its posh and powerful Taycan range. (Photo: Porsche)

Porsche Taycan 4S

Believe it or not, with a starting price of about $103,000, the Taycan 4S is a relative bargain among high-performance electric cars. With 429 hp and 0-60 mph time estimated at 3.9 seconds, the 4S is not much slower than the Taycan Turbo, which starts around $150,000 and dashes from zero to 60 mph in 3 seconds flat. The Taycan is a technical powerhouse that’s directly targeted at range-topping versions of the Tesla Model S.


Toyota is committed to hydrogen fuel-cell technology and the 2021 Mirai sedan is the four-wheeled proof. (Photo: Nick Kurczewski)

Toyota Mirai and RAV4 PHEV

The 2021 Toyota Mirai is coming to the L.A. Auto Show on a mission to prove there’s plenty of life left in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  Gone are the bizarre angles and strange shapes seen on the previous Mirai. The new model is far more luxurious and refined, with greater driving range (about 400 miles) provided by its hydrogen-fed powertrain. Refueling is much quicker than the time needed to recharge an EV, though good luck when it comes to finding a hydrogen refueling center.  Toyota is also bringing a plug-in hybrid version of its popular RAV4 compact SUV to the show.  Expect the price to fall around $35,000, or close to the entry fee for the current RAV4 Hybrid.


The Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion is offering a sneak peek at the German automaker’s upcoming electric SUV that’s coming to the U.S. (Image: Volkswagen)

VW ID Space Vizzion

The Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion is a larger and more SUV-like take on the Vizzion Concept shown at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. In concept form, this electric SUV will likely have two electric motors, all-wheel drive, a range of 300 miles (or more), and some degree of autonomous driving capability. The Vizzion Concept looked good in sedan format, so it remains to be seen how well the idea transfers onto the larger shape of a sport-utility. A production model similar to the ID Space Vizzion will likely go on sale in the U.S. within two years.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The 2019 LA Auto Show is putting electric cars directly in the spotlight. From retro-inspired machines like the Mustang Mach-E, to mainstream models like a Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid, the variety of electrified cars and concepts on display in Los Angeles proves electrification is here to stay.


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can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
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