Are you the sort of person that asks for three espresso shots in your Americano in the morning? Or maybe you’re the person that says “5 stars” to the waiter regardless of what type of restaurant you go to? If this sounds like you, then Mercedes brought just the car you need at the 2018 LA Auto Show.

The new AMG GT R Pro was given 112 more horsepowers and 51 more torques over the base AMG GT. That results in a 198mph top speed and a 0 to 60 time of 3.5 seconds. For those of you playing at home, by the time you read the word “time”, the AMG GT R PRO was already past 100 kilometers an hour. Mercedes is quick to mention that this car isn’t just impressive in a straight line. It clocked a 7:04 on the Nurburgring while it was still under camo wraps. That is a seriously quick time. The 2020 AMG GT R PRO goes on sale early next year.

Not to be outdone by their German rivals, Porsche unleashed its 911 GT2 RS Clubsport at the LA Auto Show. Normally, cars need particular introductions to gain the interest of you, the reader. For this Porsche, however, accolades will suffice; 700 horsepower. 1,390 kilograms (3,064 lbs.). 7-speed PDK gearbox with short paddle throws. 115 liters FT3 safety fuel cell. Recaro racing bucket seat. Cosworth color display. Air conditioning. What more does one need in a bespoke track car? If there are any limitations, it is that this GT2 is a track-only vehicle, but if you can afford the $478,000 price tag, chances are you can find a daily driver to fit your budget. Should you place an order for one of the 200 that Porsche will build, you should start looking outside your window for delivery around May of next year.

America is an enormous market for BMW, and they were out in full force at the LA Auto Show with new models. One of them was the brand new 2019 BMW X5. The 4th generation model, the new X5 gets two engine choices like its big brother, the X7. The xDr40i will come with 335 horses and 330 torques, while the xDr50i will come with 456 horses and 479 torques. That’s a decent increase over the last generation’s powertrains, but the main differences are in appearances.

The X5 sports BMW’s newest design language and is one of its newest models to come with the flared nostrils that are so striking on modern beemers. The inside has been upgraded too, with a fancy new BMW Live Cockpit Professional OS for the infotainment system, and a what BMW refers to as a “tablet-like touch interface”, that will satisfy your techy side once your vehicle is parked. More fancy gear is at hand, but a really interesting bit is the 3D View of the Parking Assistant Plus, a 360-degree image of the X5 and everything around it while you try and fit into every inch of that parking space.

Of course, not all new cars at the LA Auto Show were German. Some, like the KIA Soul Crossover, was in fact very Korean. KIA unveiled its third generation of the lovable boxy crossover with updates galore. Firstly, it’s looks. Regardless of what you think of the Soul’s styling, you cannot call it boring; angular shapes and bulging wheel arches make this car one of the more distinguishable on the road. In terms of kit, you will be looking at six separate trim levels, from LX all the way to the “EX Designer Collection” which will have a touchscreen infotainment display, available wireless charging for your phone, an 8-inch heads-up display, and even an available 640-watt Harman Kardon audio system.

Being a KIA, you can expect the usual safety features crammed in this already tight package: collision avoidance, lane keeping, and lane changing assists, driver attention warning, blind spot and rear cross collision warning, and smart cruise control. In terms of power, the new Soul will get 147 horsepower mated to either a manual or a stick.

“The Soul has been a massive success since its introduction to the U.S. market, blowing its (now defunct) rivals out of the water and establishing itself as an automotive icon with its fun-loving character and eccentric style” said Orth Hedrick, executive director of Car Planning and Telematics for KIA. Surely, they are banking on similar success this time around as well. The 2020 KIA Soul goes on sale in the first half of next year.


Alessandro Regio is a freelance automotive reporter. He drives a Mk5 Golf (sure, fine, Rabbit) which he believes is better than your GTR, though he has absolutely no factual evidence to back up said claim. Past cars include a 2004 BMW Diesel 3-Series which he hooned in the Tuscan hills and an Alfa MiTo JTD SBK version which was as exciting as its name was ridiculous. All car-scenes are good to him, but he has a soft-spot for euro-wagons, street-going rally cars, and red Alfa's.