New electric vehicles, several new small SUVs, a redesigned compact car, a plug-in version of Toyota’s top-selling vehicle and a futuristic electric station wagon concept car from Volkswagen are among the new models on display this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Toyota is displaying a rechargeable hybrid version of the RAV4 — the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. that’s not a pickup truck — while Ford is rolling out an all-new electric SUV that carries the Mustang performance car brand name. There also is a redesigned compact Sentra from Nissan.
The show opens to the public on Friday. Here are some of the highlights:
Nissan is hoping a sleek redesign of the Sentra compact sedan will pull in more buyers in a struggling segment of the U.S. market.
The 2020 Sentra, which goes on sale in late January, loses the old version’s upright econobox look. It’s built on new underpinnings that lower it two inches and make it two inches wider than the outgoing model. It’s got a coupe look that mimics the design of newer Nissan models like the Altima and Maxima. The new version gets a new 149 horsepower, 2-liter four-cylinder engine that’s 20% more powerful than the current model. Even though it’s an entry-level car, it comes standard with six safety systems including automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Price and gas mileage were not announced.
Volkswagen I.D. Space
Volkswagen is giving us a glimpse into the car of the future with a low-slung electric station wagon called the ID. Space Vizzion Concept.
The German automaker, which has focused on electric vehicles after its diesel emissions-cheating scandal, says the wagon will be able to go 300 miles on a single battery charge. It has a rear-mounted 275-horsepower motor, but a second motor could be installed for all-wheel-drive, giving the car 355 horsepower. The all-wheel-drive version will be able to go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds, Volkswagen says. To limit wind drag, the car has touch surfaces on the doors in place of conventional door handles. An augmented reality 15.6-inch touch screen that appears to float in the air has all entertainment, climate control and online information. VW says the car is a preview of a production vehicle for North America and Europe, but it didn’t say when the wagon will go on sale.