- Hit: 2023 Toyota Prius
- Miss: 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar
- Hit: 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar
- Miss: Ford
- Miss: 2024 Subaru Impreza
As Driving.ca likes to do after combing the floor of any auto show, the team will pick hits and misses. This time, it’s no different. There were a bunch of noted high and lows at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which happened to be a rather quiet show this year.
Hit: 2023 Toyota Prius
2023 Toyota Prius. CREDIT: Andrew McCredie
Graeme Fletcher: While I love the Genesis X Convertible concept, I picked the Toyota Prius.
In the past, mentioning the Prius made many nod off such was the prosaic look and dismal performance. That all stops here and now with the 2023 model. It is offered as a regular hybrid and as a plug-in hybrid — the Prime. Not only does the new look have curb-appeal, it finally has the wherewithal to back up this newfound swagger. No, it wil not blow your socks off, but it is enough to be more than entertaining without trashing the fuel economy. The regular hybrid gets 196 horsepower, all-wheel-drive and a run to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds rather than the 10 needed by the previous model. The Prime earns 220 hp and a larger 13.6-kW/h battery. This is important, as the electric-only range rises by 50 per cent. As a result, the overall economy will stay the same as the outgoing model in spite of the considerable performance hike — it takes a respectable 6.7 seconds to romp to 100 km/h. It promises to upset the plug-in cart in the same way as the RAV4 Prime disrupted the hybrid crossover market.
David Booth: Toyota’s Prius was definitely the hit of the show. A huge horsepower increase for the base hybrid version accompanied by a 50 per cent increase in electric-only range for the Prime version. Throw in that it’s now quite cute — as opposed to just plain odd — and Toyota should sell a boatload of these things.
Miss: 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar
2023 Porsche 911 Dakar
GF: I swim upstream here, as I picked the Porsche 911 Dakar as my miss of the show. What would possess anyone to take a world-class sports car and hog-tie its handling by jacking up the ride height and installing silly knobby tires? It’s not as though Porsche needs another quasi-off-roader, but here it is, blue and white livery with the Roughroads logo and all — including the original’s Rothmans is an obvious no-no. I get Porsche designed this thing to celebrate the 911’s victory at the 1984 Paris/Dakar rally and the fact it was the first 911 to earn all-wheel-drive, but when the car that bears the famed rally’s name is not being entered into the race, at least that’s what Porsche is saying, speaks volumes. I am left wondering if it is less than capable of repeating the original stellar winning show. Of course, the fact the base price plus the cost of the Rallye package takes the asking price to some $280,000 plus the government’s chunk is the knee to the nether region.
Hit: 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar
The 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar with the optional Rallye Design Package that pays homage to the Paris-to-Dakar winning 953 in 1984. Photo by Andrew McCredie
Andrew McCredie: My hit of the show is the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar. Not only are the GTS engine and transmission of this limited edition model among the best the German automaker has to offer, but the numerous off-road modifications add a uniqueness not found in any two-seat production car. I also love the nod to Porsche’s Paris-to Dakar winning heritage, not just in the name of this model but also in the optional Rallye Edition Package, which adds an exterior colour scheme and sticker array recalling the four-wheel drive 1984 Carrera 953 that claimed outright victory in the gruelling endurance race.
AM: Not a specific vehicle, but a manufacturer. I was disappointed to see no new electric vehicles — not even an EV concept — at the Ford display. Granted, the two EVs there, the Mustang Mach-e and F-150 Lightning, are top notch, but it seems like the momentum created by those two vehicles over the past couple of years has slowed with no new EVs on the horizon. At least that we know of, anyway. In contrast, its Detroit counterparts General Motors had five Chevrolet EVs at their display: the Bolt and Bolt EUV, and three coming very soon models: the Blazer, the Silverado and the Equinox.
Miss: 2024 Subaru Impreza
2024 Subaru Impreza at the 2022 L.A. Auto Show Photo by Claytn Seams
DB: I almost have to apologize for my “miss” since there were so few cars there that there wasn’t one huge debacle that reared an ugly head. That said, it is a sad reflection of the times that the once proud Impreza is now nothing more than a lowered Crosstrek. We used to build crossovers out of passenger cars. Now, we do the opposite. Like I said — sad.
So there you have it, the best and worst of a worryingly quiet show. Will there be a 2023 edition? The hope is yes, but the paucity of reveals would seem to leave the future cloudy to say the least.
Keyword: 2022 LA Auto Show: Hits and misses