LOS ANGELES — This year’s LA Auto Show might not have been rife with outrageous concept cars, but it was nonetheless significant. Despite that, luxury sport sedans shined bright underneath the glaring lights of the carmakers’ show stands.
Although the breed’s numbers appeared to have been dwindling in the last few years, at least judging from the LA Auto Show, they’re making a comeback.
That said, none is exactly the same. While one might embrace efficiency while another exemplifies wild excess. Accordingly, we thought we’d take a moment to look at the five most impressive luxury sport sedans to make their debut this year in LA.
In no particular order, here they are.
Lincoln is looking to remake itself from the outside in. And the refreshed MKZ exemplifies that effort.
It’s the first Lincoln to be blessed with the brand’s new front fascia, which was first shown on the Continental concept earlier this year in New York. Behind that Jaguar-y grille lies something perhaps even more exciting than the exterior: a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that puts out a truly shocking 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.
Thankfully, Lincoln designers have blessed the reshaped sport sedan with the mechanicals capable of putting that sort of power to the pavement. Lincoln engineers fitted the new MKZ with a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system borrowed from the forthcoming Ford Focus RS. Essentially, the system uses electronics to allow the car to handle much better than it might otherwise. What that all means is that unlike any other Lincoln before, this one can truly be considered a sports sedan.
While Buick’s hometown competitor, Lincoln, went for acceleration and handling, Buick took another route with its 305-horsepower sedan and infused its new car — the all-new 2017 LaCrosse — with technology and further interior refinement.
The LaCrosse spec sheet is now a veritable word cloud of safety systems, including a Head-up Display (HUD), Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert systems. Intriguingly, it also includes some tech not offered by many other carmakers.
Buick has added something called “Teen Driver Technology” to the LaCrosse that “encourages safe driving habits for new drivers by muting the audio or any device paired with the vehicle when front-seat occupants aren’t wearing their safety belts.” It also can give parents a report card on the teen’s driving after they get back home.
And perhaps my favorite addition to the LaCrosse is new smartphone wireless charging. The phone storage slot in the center console will inductively charge smartphones without plug-ins or cables. That is, if your phone has that capability, which most do not yet.
Regardless, the LaCrosse shows that the Buick brand isn’t just for grandmas anymore. Instead, it’s putting its tech foot forward, joining ranks — and sometimes outpacing — even some of the German carmakers.