Sport-utility vehicles stole the spotlight at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.
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With consumers flocking to SUVs, automakers including Jeep, Lincoln, Lexus and Subaru rolled out new or redesigned models. Jeep took the wraps off a restyled Wrangler, while Subaru rejoined the market for three-row family haulers with the Ascent.
SUV sales continue to climb this year despite mostly flat demand across the entire industry. Sales of light trucks, including pickups, vans and SUVs, are up 4.3% through October, according to Autodata. Total sales have slipped 1.7%, led by a 10.4% decline in passenger cars.
The LA Auto Show also showcased the latest sports cars, highlighted by General Motors’ (NYSE:GM) most powerful Corvette to date.
1. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 convertible
The top-of-the-line, 755-horsepower 2019 Corvette ZR1 made its first appearance in Dubai earlier this month. In Los Angeles, Chevy introduced a convertible version, the first Corvette ZR1 drop-top in almost 50 years. The convertible will sell for $123,995 including destination charges, slightly more than the coupe’s $119,995 price tag. Chevrolet said both versions of the Corvette ZR1 will arrive in the spring.
2. Jeep Wrangler
Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) will pack more technology into the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, the first redesign of the iconic SUV in more than a decade. The new Wrangler will have push-button start, a power sliding soft top and the latest UConnect infotainment system with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CarPlay and Android Auto. In order to cut weight and improve fuel efficiency, the Wrangler’s doors will be made using aluminum rather than steel. Jeep will also offer a range of engine options, including a diesel engine. A hybrid model is coming in 2020, Jeep said. The 2018 Wrangler will hit showrooms in January. Pricing has yet to be announced.
3. BMW i8 Roadster
BMW’s plug-in hybrid supercar gets a drop-top version with the i8 Roadster. BMW also updated the i8 coupe. Both vehicles go on sale next spring. The coupe will start at $144,395, while pricing for the Roadster was not disclosed.
4. Lincoln Nautilus
The Nautilus is the successor to Lincoln’s current midsize SUV, the MKX. The name change follows the return of the Continental and a redesigned Navigator. Ford’s (NYSE:F) luxury unit said it has abandoned an alphanumeric naming system. The 2019 Nautilus features Lincoln’s new mesh grille and advanced safety features, including a system that automatically steers the vehicle around obstacles. Sales will begin in the spring.
5. Subaru Ascent
Subaru will seek to capitalize on growing demand for roomier SUVs with the Ascent, the Japanese brand’s largest SUV. The Ascent will only be available in North America when it goes on sale in the summer of 2018. It will be built in Lafayette, Indiana.
6. Mercedes CLS
The next generation of Mercedes four-door coupes will be a mild hybrid, featuring an electric motor that assists a six-cylinder engine. The new CLS packs 362 horsepower from the gasoline engine, plus another 21 horsepower from the electric motor.
7. Lexus RX L
The RX L brings a three-row crossover to the Lexus lineup. It’s a longer version of the best-selling Lexus RX, adding 4.3 inches to accommodate more passengers. Lexus will offer a V6-powered RX 350L, which is scheduled to arrive in January. A hybrid RX 450hL will go on sale in the spring. Prices will start at $48,665.
8. Infiniti QX50
Infiniti says the new QX50, a midsize five-seat SUV, will offer a higher ride height than the outgoing model. The vehicle was redesigned from top to bottom, including an updated look and a new underbody made of high-strength steel. Infiniti also introduced advanced engine technology that will allow the QX50’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine to change compression ratios. Higher ratios can improve fuel economy, while lower ratios maximize performance. Car shoppers can find the new QX50 in the first quarter of 2018.