LA Motor Show 2017: round-up

The 2017 LA Motor Show has come to a close and we look back at the best cars from this year's exhibition

The 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show was the final big date in this year's automotive exhibition calendar. The show took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California at the beginning of December.

LA is one of the oldest motor shows still running; the event was first held back in 1907. Manufacturers from the United States and the rest of the world descend on the Convention Center every year to showcase their brand new production cars and ground-breaking concept designs. 

• Best new cars for 2018

The event represents the final big chance for manufacturers to grab the public’s attention, if they haven’t already done so at the Detroit, Tokyo, Geneva or Frankfurt motor shows. The focus is understandably on the US market, but there was plenty of new metal on display in LA this year that's relevant to UK buyers.

Below, you can find all the key cars that starred at the 2017 LA Motor Show…

LA Motor Show 2017: the key cars 

Mercedes CLS – the new 4-door coupe from Mercedes with sleek looks and a high-class cabin.BMW i8 Roadster – wraps finally come off convertible version of BMW’s hybrid supercar.Infiniti QX50 – advanced new engine tech is set to help this SUV rival the BMW X3.Jeep Wrangler – the latest in the long line of Wranglers holds true to its past but ups the technology count.

LA Motor Show manufacturers A to Z


BMW i8 Roadster - front

BMW’s long-awaited i8 Roadster was finally unveiled at the LA Motor Show, along with an updated version of its Coupe sister. The soft-top i8 costs £12,000 more than its Coupe counterpart, at £124,730, but it does feature a fully electric roof that takes 15 seconds to open or close. The i8 Roadster gains 60kg of weight due to added strengthening to the aluminium and CFRP body, although it boasts similar performance to the hard-top i8. 

The capacity of the i8’s lithium-ion battery pack has been increased from 7.1 to 11.6kWh, meaning an extra 12bhp can be extracted from the electric motor. The 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine remains untouched, with the two powertrains combining to produce 369bhp and 570Nm of torque. From a standing start it takes 4.6 seconds to reach 62mph and its top speed is 155mph. In electric-only mode, top speed is 75mph and range has been increased to 33 miles from the first edition Coupe’s 22-mile range.



Corvette ZR1 Convertible - front

Chevrolet used the LA Motor Show to unveil the Corvette ZR1 Convertible – the first soft-top ZR1 since the 1970 C3 ‘Vette. Alongside the flagship ZR1 Coupe, it shares the same 6.2-litre supercharged V8 engine producing 744bhp and 969Nm of torque. 

Like the Coupe, the soft-top ZR1 does 0-60mph in less than three seconds and top speed is 212mph. Only 27kg has been added to the kerbweight of the ZR1 Convertible, with little structural change apart from the extra space needed to contain the folding roof. It goes on sale in the United States next spring with a pre-tax price tag of $123,995 (around £92,500). A UK release is to be determined.


New Infiniti QX50 SUV - front

Nissan's luxury division, Infiniti, took the wraps off its new QX50 crossover SUV in LA, with its eyes set on the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. The company has previously teased the car in concept form, and the production QX50 has seen little change to the body; it features the same larger grille and bolder, square jaw.

A 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine powers the QX50, producing 264bhp and 380Nm of torque. It’s fitted with variable compression ratio technology, which is a world first in mass-produced cars. The technology works in such a way that the engine size fluctuates between 1,993cc and 1,970cc. It will be available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, with 4x4 models expected to take 6.3 seconds to do 0-60mph and hit a top speed of 143mph. While it won’t come to UK shores until late 2018, it goes on sale early next year in the American market.



Jeep Wrangler 2018

Jeep launched its fourth-generation Wrangler SUV at the LA Motor Show, having released the first images of its all-new off-roader during a presentation at October's SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The latest model still displays the familiar boxy shape of Wrangler 4x4s of yesteryear, with two and four-door variants part of the range. 

Inside, the new Wrangler features the Uconnect infotainment system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is offered as an entry-level engine along with the existing turbodiesel V6 and a slightly bigger V6 petrol engine. Jeep says the Wrangler has over 75 safety and security features such as blind spot monitoring and electronic roll mitigation. The fourth-generation Wrangler goes on sale in America in January with a Jeep spokesperson hinting at a possible summer 2018 UK release.

Land Rover

Range Rover SVAutobiography - front

Land Rover launched a new top-spec Range Rover at LA called the SVAutobiography LWB. Starting at £167,850, this long-wheelbase Range Rover is nearly £100,000 more expensive than the base model, but it features many trinkets to give it a ‘first class’ feel. The two rear seats are heated and can be reclined by 40 degrees. Both seats have a 10-inch touchscreen with on-board infotainment and 4G WiFi. A fridge is fitted in between the seats, with a capacity of two wine bottles or four 600ml bottles. 

At the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Land Rover confirmed that plug-in hybrid Range Rover models would be unveiled at the end of the year to rival the Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV. The new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are set to become PHEVs as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s plan to electrify all its new models from 2020.


Lexus RX L - front

Lexus used the LA show to showcase a new, larger version of the RX SUV. A longer body has allowed a third row of seats to be fitted, making the car a true rival to the Audi Q7 and Range Rover Sport. It'll be offered in 350L and 450L versions, and is expected to make its way over to the UK some time next year. Auto Express understands that a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder from the RX 200t will also be available on the seven-seat RX L, and that it will be coming to the UK in the second half of 2018. 


New Mazda 6 front

Mazda launched an updated and facelifted version of its flagship saloon, the 6, at the LA Motor Show after releasing official teaser images two weeks earlier. The front end has been revised with a new mesh grille replacing the existing bar design, along with slightly revised headlamps. The interior has also been updated slightly, with brown leather interior and gold-tinted suede becoming an option. A new eight-inch infotainment system has been installed, as has an optional seven-inch digital display cluster.

Radar-guided cruise control and a 360-degree camera have been fitted as standard for the revised Mazda 6, which comes with a choice of 2.5-litre naturally aspirated or turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The Mazda 6 was displayed alongside the CX-5, a half production-half racing car MX-5 ‘Halfie’, and the Vision Coupe that was first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show.



Mercedes CLS - frontMercedes CLS leaked pic front

Mercedes officially unveiled its long-anticipated next-generation CLS four-door coupe at this year’s LA event. The car had been spied a number of times during 2017 in camouflage, sporting slimmer headlights and a revised front grille. The finished product looks similar to the test mules, with swooping body panels and an updated front end.

Based on the same platform as the E-Class, the CLS shares the executive saloon’s interior with its new instrument panel and infotainment screen, as well as ambient lighting around the air vents. The third-generation CLS is launched with two diesel engines and a petrol powertrain, with an AMG version coming next year. It goes on sale on 11 December with prices expected to start at around £57,000.


Nissan Star Wars cars - header

Nissan collaborated with Lucasfilm, the owner of the Star Wars sci-fi franchise, to decorate six of its vehicles with a Star Wars theme ahead of the franchise's upcoming release, ‘The Last Jedi’.

The Altima saloon got a makeover inspired by the Special Forces TIE Fighter, with its noticeable Tie Fighter windscreen design. Three Maxima saloons also featured a Star Wars-inspired look with two of them taking cues from the Dark Side’s Kylo Ren. A third Maxima displayed a body scheme resembling Captain Phasma. Nissan’s Rogue SUV (X-Trail in Europe) got two makeovers. The first one was an outlandish design based around Poe Cameron’s X-wing, followed by a two-tone blue and white Rogue Sport inspired by the A-wing.


Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo - front

Porsche's £141,000 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo was displayed at the LA Motor Show. With a price tag almost as big as its name, the latest edition of the Panamera sports saloon benefits from hybrid technology shared with the 918 hypercar

A 136bhp electric motor works in tandem with the Panamera's 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 combustion engine. The result is a combined output of 680bhp and a maximum of 850Nm of torque being produced from just 1,400rpm. The German marque claims that the Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo can return fuel consumption of 97mpg and has a range of 31 miles in electric-only mode. Top speed is 192mph and 0-62mph takes 3.4 seconds. 


Subaru Ascent - front

Subaru launched a new seven-seat SUV at the LA show called the Ascent. Available exclusively in America, it is built on the Subaru Global Platform, which is the same mechanicals that will underpin the new Impreza. The Ascent is the largest Subaru ever built and it’s available in seven or eight-seat configurations. It features a new direct injection 2.4-litre four-cylinder boxer petrol engine producing 256bhp and 376Nm of torque. 

Subaru’s EyeSight autonomous driving technology is fitted as standard on the family SUV, which will only be offered in four-wheel drive. Sales for the Ascent are scheduled to begin in ‘early summer’ next year with no plans to introduce the SUV/people carrier in Britain.


Toyota FT-AC teaser

Toyota displayed an adventurous off-road concept called the FT-AC at this year’s LA show. The name stands for 'Future Toyota Adventure Concept', and the 4x4 features chunky 20-inch alloys wearing off-road tyres beneath massive wheelarches. The roof rack contains a raft of LED lights at the front and rear of the SUV concept, which can be remotely operated.

The FT-AC features an array of connectivity options, such as infrared cameras that can broadcast videos live. These video files can also be stored to a cloud remote server for further editing of the driver’s adventures in rugged terrain. The car is very much a concept, with little real-world relevance, apart from the powertrain. It will be petrol-powered but it could feature a hybrid powertrain if Toyota considers it for production.

Which car do you think was the star of the 2017 LA Motor Show? Let us know in the comments... 

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