The 5 best luxury sport sedans from the LA Auto Show

The 5 best luxury sport sedans from the LA Auto Show
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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.


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Lincoln MKZ
New 2017 Lincoln MKZ
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.
Matthew McConaughey, eat your heart out.

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Buick LaCrosse

Buick LaCrosse
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.

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Audi S8 Plus

Audi S8 Plus
Image: Audi
Audi fancies itself a tech company, more than an automaker. With the S8 Plus, though, it's more of a raw-power producer than anything else.
The S8 Plus' twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine now makes 605 horsepower. Despite its limo-like stature, this allows the S8 Plus to do a 0 to 60 mph sprint in 3.7 seconds — as fast as new the Corvette Stingray. Unlike the 'Vette, however, the S8 Plus offers four seats, all-wheel drive and an interior that would make Beyoncé blush.

Also see: Mercedes debuts the swanky new SL at the 2015 LA Auto Show

Cadillac CT6 Plug-in Hybrid

Cadillac CT6
Image: Cadillac
Swinging the other direction completely, we have the Cadillac CT6 Plug-in Hybrid. Like the others on this list, the Caddy values sportiness and luxury. It just also aims to save the polar bears, let's say. With a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, two electric motors and rear-wheel drive, the CT6 Plug-in represents the eco-friendly sports sedan. And it seems it's achieved it, too.
The CT6 Plug-in boasts 335 horsepower and an efficiency rating of 65 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge). Granted, that's not great compared to many plug-in hybrids, which often boast upwards of 100 mpge. Still, though, for a car that retains the fun-to-drive spirit of the brand, it's nothing to shake a stick at.

Also see: Nissan debuts the all-new 2016 Sentra at the LA Auto Show

Alfa Romeo Giulia

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia
Image: Alfa Romeo
Rounding out the list is the most radical of them all: the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (no, I can't pronounce that either). It's the second Alfa, following the 4C sports car, to return to American shores since the brand left in the mid-1990s. For my money, though, it better represents the brand values than the 4C.
That's because this four-door road-going dynamo is both usable and insanely powerful. Underneath its round-y, Italian hood lies a 2.9-liter bi-turbo V6 engine that produces 505 horsepower. That makes the Giulia capable of doing 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds — 0.1 seconds slower than the much larger Audi. That immense acceleration is matched by a stylish interior accented by big screens — both in the instrument cluster and also the center dash.

While the rest of these sports sedans are for those who enjoy the finer things without shouting about it, the Alfa is quite the opposite. With the touch of the throttle, which emits a loud gurgling sound from the exhaust, the Alfa says "I could have bought a BMW, but I'm a madman."
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