If the 2019 L.A. Auto Show had a thesis, it would be that electric cars can be all things to all people. From tire-smoking sports cars, to off-road trucks, and one very rapid SUV that goes by the name Mustang Mach-E, this year’s show was all about variety, excitement, and choice.
- The Mustang Mach-E was perhaps the biggest star. The electric crossover sprints from 0-60 mph in about 3.5 seconds and has a range of more than 300 miles.
- Audi introduced the e-tron Sportback, a more streamlined take on its luxurious electric SUV.
- Lexus went wild with the futuristic LF-30 Concept, a hint at what an electric luxury vehicle will look like 10-20 years down the road.
- Mercedes-Benz had a nostalgic electric open-wheeler on its stand, while Bollinger Motors and Mini proved electric vehicles are equally at home venturing off-road, or squeezing into city traffic.
To put things into sharper focus, we’ve picked these six, the best electric cars from the show. Some are perfect for impressing impatient in-laws, others will make you a rock star at a racetrack, and one comes with its own personal drone.
Best for outrunning Chevrolet Camaros – or even Porsche Taycans
The Ford Mustang Mach-E goes on sale next year, with acceleration to match the best muscle cars. (Photo: Nick Kurczewski)
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is the beginning of something totally new in the world of muscle cars. Love it or hate it, the Mach-E is unapologetic and could make the Mustang appeal to a completely new generation of car fans. Online reservations can be made now, and the first variants of the Mustang Mach-E start arriving by mid-2020. The standard model has the equivalent of 255 horsepower, a driving range of 210-230 miles, and will be available with rear- or all-wheel drive. In the range-topping GT model, which arrives in late-2021, the Mach-E will have more than 300 miles of range, the equivalent of 459 horsepower and, according to Ford, performance to match the $150,000 Porsche Taycan Turbo electric sedan. The first variants of the Mach-E will be priced from about $50,000 to $60,000, while the entry-level Select trim will lower the entry fee to around $44,000 in 2021.
Best for making a bold entrance 20 years from now
The Lexus LF-30 Concept has huge upward-swinging doors that reveal the car’s forward-thinking cabin. (Photo: Nick Kurczewski)
The Lexus LF-30 Concept is possibly the first show car that offers you a helping hand with shopping bags and luggage. That’s because this sharply-angled coupe comes with its own personal drone, a convenient flying butler that could carry a bulky bag from the trunk and into your home. Does it sound a little crazy and far fetched? Of course – and that’s the point! The LF-30 has all-wheel drive thanks to four electric motors, each one mounted within a wheel hub. It also packs self-driving capability, and windows that can project anything from navigation commands to your favorite movies.
Best for impressing grumpy in-laws
The Audi e-tron Sportback is based on the e-tron SUV, which is currently on sale with a starting price of approximately $75,000. (Photo: Nick Kurczewski)
The Audi e-tron Sportback doesn’t come with an integrated flying drone, or have a name that conjures up images of tire-melting muscle machines. But this all-wheel drive Audi is a handsome, practical, and potentially more useful electric-powered luxury SUV. Compared to the standard e-tron SUV, the more aerodynamic Sportback should see a boost in driving range. The current model manages only 204-miles per charge, though the Sportback could bump this figure closer to 220 miles. One trade-off is a slight loss in total cargo space. Set to arrive in the U.S. next summer, the Audi e-tron Sportback is expected to start around $78,000.
Best for parallel parking
The Mini Cooper SE could be the perfect electric car for city dwellers on a budget. (Photo: Nick Kurczewski)
The Mini Cooper SE looks to combine the handling excitement of a traditional Mini, along with torque-rich power provided by an electric drivetrain. This front-wheel-drive EV has 181 horsepower and is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in just under 7 seconds. Thanks to its small dimensions, the Cooper SE should be perfect for squeezing into tight parking spots. With a starting price hovering around $30,000, this electric Mini is something of a bargain, too. When factoring in potential federal and state tax incentives, Mini estimates the price could drop to below $20,000 for some. One caveat is that driving range is expected to be only about 125 miles.
Best for venturing where no other EV would dare
The Bollinger B1 and B2 trucks are targeting off-road enthusiasts who don’t mind spending $125,000 on their next adventure mobile. (Photo: Nick Kurczewski)
Bollinger Motors elbowed its way into the show with two outrageous-looking electric trucks, the B1 sport-utility and B2 pickup. Powered by a pair of electric motors that deliver a total of 614 horsepower, the B1 and B2 accelerate from zero to 60 mph in only 4.5 seconds, according to Bollinger. Top speed for these brick-shaped brutes is limited to 100 mph. Despite each truck weighing about 5,000 pounds, driving range is expected to be around 200 miles per charge. Bollinger Motors says that’s equivalent to roughly 10 hours of serious off-road driving. These trucks are definitely intended to venture places where paved roads end. Fitted with portal axles and inboard brakes, all-terrain tires, plus a stripped out interior, the Bollinger duo are meant for an outdoorsy life. With a starting price of $125,000 for either the B1 or B2, order books are open and sales will be limited to 1,000 units when they arrive in mid-to-late 2021.
Best for getting back to basics
The Mercedes-Benz Vision Simplex Concept takes electric retro design to new heights. (Photo: Nick Kurczewski)
At a glance, you might think this Mercedes-Benz is more than a hundred years old. When seen up close, however, this crazy concept looks like something you might be driving in the year 2119! In theory, the tires revolve around fixed center hubs, each one fitted with its own electric motor. We say “in theory” because, well, Mercedes didn’t exactly intend for this car to be anything close to reality. It’s a one-of-a-kind electric dream machine, with zero weather protection for the two-passenger bench seat.
WHY THIS MATTERS
If you think EVs are still a niche product, think again. Electric cars are increasingly coming in all shapes, sizes, and prices.