The Los Angeles motor show is the final major automotive expo for 2018. And some of the biggest names in the business have saved their best for last.
As California continues to play a major role in automotive culture, the LA motor show continues to rise from what was a small US-centric show a decade ago to become one of the biggest of the year – in some ways overtaking the Detroit motor show, in the home of America’s automotive industry, for significance.
Drive will be on the ground in LA when the show opens on Wednesday November 28 (Thursday Australian time) with all the latest news direct from the floor.
Before then, here’s a preview of the cars we expect to see behind the curtains this week.
Audi e-tron GT
The German brand is keen to expand its family of electric cars beyond the e-tron quattro SUV that will arrive in Australian showrooms next year. To showcase its intent, Audi will reveal its e-tron GT concept in the metal for the first time after confirming its existence during the annual business conference earlier this year.
The sleek four-door sedan will utilise the same fundamentals as the Porsche Taycan, which promises over 440kW of power and more than 500km of driving range, and will sit as Audi’s flagship electric car.
Read more about the Audi e-tron GT here
BMW 8-Series Convertible
BMW has lifted the lid – literally and figuratively – on its newest flagship sports car, the 8-Series Convertible. The drop-top version of the stunning coupe carries the same elegance, but exposes its four occupents, and sumptuous interior, to the elements, making the sun-drenched, look-at-me character of LA the perfect environment for its debut.
Read all about the 8-Series Convertible here
BMW will also have its range-topping SUV, the seven-seat X7, on public display for the first time in LA, as well as revealing the latest variant of the new-generation 3-Series, the six-cylinder powered, all-wheel drive M340i xDrive.
Not to be outdone by the X7, Hyundai will take the covers off its full-size seven-seat SUV, which will be called Palisades – named after the wealthy seaside enclave between Santa Monica and Malibu.
The large soft roader was previewed by the Grandmaster concept earlier this, and looks set to continue the South Korean car maker’s bold new design language in a machine a size above its newest Santa Fe, which was voted as the Best Family SUV in the 2018 Drive Car of the Year awards.
Hyundai Australia has expressed interest in adding the Palisades to its local line-up, but has yet to confirm whether it will be available in right-hand drive.
One of the heroes of the LA motor show is, undoubtedly, going to be the Jeep Gladiator, the American off-road brand’s dual-cab ute based on the latest-generation Wrangler.
Jeep has attempted to keep the Gladiator under wraps until the show, but details and images were leaked a few weeks ago. You can read all about it here and stay tuned for official information during the week.
Kia will reveal its third-generation Soul tall-boy small hatch, a car that remains popular in the US. Expected to showcase even bolder styling – both inside and out – the Soul will utilise the latest front-drive platform that underpins the Cerato sedan and incoming hatch and will initially be available with a choice of either a 2.0-litre engine or a 1.6-litre turbo. A fully electric version is also planned.
One of the headline acts in LA will be the premiere of the latest-generation Mazda3, a machine that will re-set the Japanese car maker’s line-up.
Set to be revealed in both sedan and hatchback body styles, with an exterior inspired by the stunning Kai concept car that was a star of the 2017 Tokyo motor show, the new 3 will introduce an an all-new SkyActiv platform that is set to underpin the majority of the range, from the 2 city car to the CX-5 SUV.
Click here for a preview, and check back from Wednesday when full details will be revealed
Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro
In the city where everything is turned up to 11, Mercedes-AMG is set to amplify its rockin’ GT Coupe with a new, hard-core road racer variant dubbed the GT Pro.
Leaving room for an even more special Black Series version, the GT R Pro fuses even more race-inspired elements into the two-seater coupe with a wider front spoiler and likely more power from its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.
Here’s what we know about the Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro so far, but stay tuned for official information later this week.
But the most iconic sports car of all time, the Porsche 911, will steal the spotlight as the German car maker is set to reveal the next generation in LA.
While evolutionary in its design (as always), it will be larger yet lighter than the car it replaces and with reworked turbo charged engines that are more powerful yet offer greater efficiency. The fundamental underpinnings have also been designed to accomodate a plug-in hybrid powertrain, although a petrol-electric option isn’t likely to be offered for a few years as Porsche introduces its Taycan full electric car in 2020.
Click here for a sneak peek at leaked images of the Type 992 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S
Check Drive.com.au for all the latest news from the 2018 Los Angeles motor show during the week
Source : https://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/2018-los-angeles-motor-show-preview-120160