The Best and Most Important Cars from the LA Auto Show
As promised, lots of amazing cars are coming out of the 2017 LA Auto Show. It had lots of mainstream cars revealed, some cool cars shown, and one of the most hotly anticipated (and most drawn out) reveals of the entire year. So here’s a look at 10 of the best from the LA Auto Show this year.
2018 Jeep Wrangler
The most-watched reveal from the LA Auto Show had to be the 2018 Jeep Wrangler. It’s the vehicle with the least amount of change, but the biggest amount of hype. Details, photos, even owner’s manuals have been trickling out about the new Wrangler for years.
And this is it. Despite buyer fears, it has removable doors, a fold-down window and a removable top. Lots of removable tops, actually. The engine choices start with a mild-hybrid 2.0-liter inline four and a V6 that actually makes less torque than the four. The diesel arrives next year.
2019 Infiniti QX50
The 2019 Infiniti QX50 might have the coolest new tech of the LA Auto Show. The compact crossover wears bold new styling that replaces the funkiness of the old model, but the real story is under the hood.
A variable compression engine. An arm on the crankshaft can vary the compression ratio from a boost-friendly 8:1 to a hyper-efficient 14:1. It delivers 268 horsepower and 35 percent better fuel economy. As an added bonus, it’s smoother than a regular four and has active engine mounts to make it even smoother.
Jaguar XE SV Project 8
The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 sedan was a “production intent prototype.” Call it a beta version. It’s not quite ready for prime time, but this is just about locked in as what you’ll see in showrooms. The Project 8 just set what Jaguar calls the “fastest time ever by a sedan of production-intent specification” on the legendary Nurburgring race track.
That’s a pretty big disclaimer, but this is a seriously quick sedan. It has a 592-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V8, a massive rear wing and diffuser, ultra-cool hexagonal front bumper grilles, and fender flares hiding massive tires. The plan is to build 300 of the most powerful street-legal Jag ever.
2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS450
Mercedes-Benz is bringing back the straight-six engine in a body that’s decidedly curvy. It’s the all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS, in CLS450 trim. It’s a mild-hybrid four-door coupe that is all about style.
The CLS is E-Class based, but Mercedes does a lot to separate the two. Like more supportive sport seats and that swoopy styling. But it keeps the good parts, like the optional twin 12.3-inch dashboard displays. Also new this year thanks to the larger platform, the rear now seats three.
That inline six is a 3.0-liter unit that has twin turbos and 362 horsepower. The inline design makes it smoother than a V6 layout. It also has a 48-volt electrical mild-hybrid system that can add 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft for short periods.
2019 Range Rover SVAutobiography
Range Rover is aiming directly at Bentley for the first time with the Range Rover SVAutobiography. The ultra-luxury SUV gets 46.8-inches of rear legroom with 22-way power adjustable seats. And that’s in the back. Even the calf rests are heated. There’s a cooler that holds four 20-oz bottles, power closing rear doors and power folding tables.
It also has a special grille and exterior styling, hiding a 5.0-liter, 557 horsepower supercharged V8. The top-spec Range Rover starts at a very Bentayga-like $209,000.
2019 Lincoln Nautilus
The MK gets 86ed. Lincoln is dropping their MK naming scheme in favor of something novel: names. The MKX is now the Lincoln Nautilus, and it gets a new grille to go with the new name. It’s a small change, but it’s enough to transform the outside of the vehicle. It looks like it’s all new.
To go with the new family grille, the Nautilus gets a revised new console inside with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. It also has Lincoln’s push-button gear shift that moves to the center stack and frees up space in the console. Also new is evasive steer assist, which will steer around a vehicle in front if a collision can’t be avoided with braking alone.
Mazda blows up the Mazda6 this year. They’ve added the 2.5-liter turbo-four from the CX-9 to the midsize four-door. That’s a welcome boost of 66 horsepower bringing the total to 250. Only the base naturally aspirated four gets a manual-box option though.
The change helps transform the sedan from a handler to a sport sedan. The 6 also gets Mazda’s g-vectoring control tech that adjusts the throttle to improve corner entry and exit. Those changes should just make the best handling car in the segment even better.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible
Chevrolet slashed the 2019 Corvette ZR1 coupe. That’s right, they’re making it a convertible. Because the one thing missing from a 755-horsepower supercar that can hit 60 mph in under three seconds is wind in your hair.
Lots of wind, because the top speed is 212 mph. Bring goggles.
2020 Volkswagen ID Crozz
Volkswagen confirmed that it is bringing the ID Crozz Volkswagen electric SUV concept to production. It is part of VW’s next-generation of electric cars and will offer 302 horsepower and a 300-mile range. It should arrive at dealers in 2020. The body style hides lots of interior space. VW says it’s big enough to fit a bicycle behind the front seats.
VW also all but confirmed that it will be building the ID Buzz, the vintage VW bus-inspired EV they showed last year. That one will take a few extra years though.
2019 BMW i8 Roadster
Finally, after many delays, BMW has brought the road-ready i8 Roadster to the LA Auto Show. It cuts the top off of BMW’s hybrid 2+2 coupe. Despite the coupe launching in 2014, the i8 still looks fresh, sleek and fast.
There are some updates to go with the new roof. Like a bigger battery that allows for more range and more power from the motor. It gets 12 horsepower more to make 141. The three-cylinder engine is unchanged though, delivering 228 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. New efficiencies in the system boost range and economy too.