Coming soon: Auto show season kicks off with wild sports cars and so many crossovers
Auto show season ushers in the future by debuting everything from high-horsepowered supercars (and a wagon) to so, so many crossovers. The Los Angeles show heads the major auto show cycle in the first week of December, followed by the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January — the tent pole of global auto shows — then the largest consumer auto show in Chicago in February, concluding with the New York Auto Show in April. Here are the hits from Los Angeles and what we can expect in regional shows and dealer lots in 2018.
2018 Jeep Wrangler
Redesigned for the first time in a decade, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler comes with three more fuel-efficient engines, including a mild hybrid and diesel, as well as sweeping modernization of connected and safety technology. The design changes to the two-door Rubicon and four-door Sahara are subtle but significant, shedding 200 pounds and getting a little longer. The seven-slotted grille flanked by circular headlights remains, like always. However, the grille is slightly raked for improved aerodynamics, the roof corners are rounded and there is an integrated rear spoiler. New tech, lighting, over 75 available advanced safety features and more power complete the redesign of the American icon. Pricing expected to be announced near spring delivery.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible
The Corvette is America’s supercar, and the 755-horsepower 2019 ZR1 is the sickest two-seat supercar made in America.Yet the ZR1 hasn’t been offered as a convertible since its debut in 1970, until now.
The drop top on the most powerful production Corvette ever made adds about 60 pounds, but it’s expected to perform close to the hardtop’s estimated 60 mph time in under three seconds, as well as a top speed of over 210 mph. Keep the wigs off. It’s powered by Chevy’s tweaked LT5 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine and comes with a standard seven-speed manual or new eight-speed automatic. There is a front underwing and a second rear wing, either as a standrad low wing or an available two-way adjustable giant wing as part of the performance package, which should have an additional modifier, like super epic crazy wicked performance package. At $123,995, the convertible costs $4,000 more than the coupe.
2019 BMW i8 Roadster
BMW takes the top off its plug-in hybrid sports coupe with the scissor doors. It only has an 18-mile range but the combined 369-horsepower powertrain can hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The soft top folds down in 16 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.
2019 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
Don’t let the name fool you: this is a high-powered 680-horsepower station wagon that hits 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 192 mph. The twin-turbo V-8 engine is supplemented by a 136-horsepower motor, with all the luxury conveniences expected from the Panamera full-size sedan, which was redesigned last year. This anti-family truckster starts at $188,400 and is due next spring.
2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS
The four-door sport coupe gets its first redesign since 2011 with a new in-line six-cylinder engine and mild hybrid system combining for 362 horsepower in the gas variant. It’s sleeker than the outgoing model, with a sloping rear roofline that is more sports car than sedan, despite being able to seat five people.
As the class of 2018 rounds into form and auto show season kicks off with 2019 models, it's time to bid farewell to vehicles that didn't make the cut. Compacts and sedans continue to be put out to automotive pasture and that doesn't seem likely to change, with GM considering the end of the Chevy Volt, Chevy Impala, Chevy Sonic, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6 and Cadillac XTS by 2020.
It's not only compacts and sedans being discontinued for 2018. Sick performance vehicles like the Dodge Viper and Infiniti QX70 are being squeezed out by newer, better, brighter more.
Instead of listing them in alphabetical order, we're highlighting the vehicles we will miss the least first, which are nearly all of them, with those that we'll miss the most last.(Robert Duffer)
2019 Subaru Ascent
Subaru wagged the tail of the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show with the launch of the 2019 Subaru Ascent three-row SUV, presented by a family of frolicking golden retrievers. The largest Subaru ever, Ascent comes standard with all-wheel drive, three rows and an all-new 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine mated to a continuously variable transmission making 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, good enough to tow 5,000 pounds.
2019 Infiniti QX50
The midsize crossover debuts Infiniti’s new platform and evolutionary variable compression ratio engine dubbed the VC Turbo. The 2-liter turbo four-cylinder adjusts the piston stroke based on throttle input to maximize efficiency, helping it to achieve 35 percent better fuel economy than the outgoing V-6 engine. It has diesel-like specs, churning out 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque for a combined fuel economy of 26 mpg in all-wheel drive.
2019 Lincoln Nautilus
Lincoln has ditched its opaque alpha-naming scheme and returned to model names with the midcycle refresh of the midsize crossover formerly known as MKX. The big news other than the name is semiautonomous tech that enables stop-and-go nondriving, as well as an evolution on pre-collision braking Lincoln calls evasive steer assist: If the system cannot brake in time to avoid collision, it will steer around the impending vehicle.
Important vehicles are getting revamps for the 2018 model year, including the Toyota Camry, which has been the best-selling car in the U.S. for 15 years. Two of the Camry's archrivals, the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata, are also new for 2018. The Ram pickup — a consistent best-seller — will also...
Important vehicles are getting revamps for the 2018 model year, including the Toyota Camry, which has been the best-selling car in the U.S. for 15 years. Two of the Camry's archrivals, the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata, are also new for 2018. The Ram pickup — a consistent best-seller — will also...(Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher and Robert Duffer)
2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Remember the Eclipse affordable sports coupe? This isn’t it. The compact crossover proves Mitsubishi is still committed to the U.S. as its product line has expanded to three models. It comes with an available 152-horsepower turbo four-cylinder engine, but is more of a tech showcase inside than other Mitsu models.
2018 Nissan Kicks
The entry-level crossover rides the wave of success from Nissan’s best-selling Rogue and Rogue Sport crossovers. The tall hatch uses the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine from the Versa subcompact but with a tad more power. Kicks is punting on premiums associated with crossovers, with a value-based starting price under $19,000 and an estimated combined fuel economy of 33 mpg.
2018 Hyundai Kona