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What's hot at Los Angeles motor show
By Liz Dobson in Los Angeles • 17/11/2016
From Maybach convertibles to Alfa Romeo's first SUV on show in Hollywood
It’s the last international motor show of the year and manufacturers have left the best to last. We wander around the halls of the Los Angeles motor show to pick what’s hot – in no particular order.
The Italian manufacturer started the show with the reveal of its Stelvio premium SUV. It’s built on an all-new platform and the company says it’s supposed to reveal the ‘mechanics of emotion’. Congratulations to Alfa for producing a stunning premium crossover, that’s expected to be launched in New Zealand by the end of next year, or early 2018.
Star Wars fans not only had the chance to check out a ‘life’ size TIE Fighter on display at Nissan’s stand (and quite a few journos were desperate to try to get into its cockpit), but instead of models revealing cars, there were Storm Troopers. Nissan revealed its Rogue SUV (known in NZ as the X-Trail), and thanks to the next Star Wars movie called Rogue One, the car brand has a nifty brand collaboration. It used the LA show to reveal a limited edition Star Wars Rogue SUV, with only 5400 produced. The Rogue SUV was badged up with Star Wars logos and each of the limited edition vehicles comes with a Death Trooper helmet.
Mercedes-Benz used LA to reveal two new convertibles – both stunning but both very different. First was the Mercedes-AMG GT S two-seater convertible (which AMG boss Tobias Moers revealed to Driven at the Geneva motor show that it would go into production). Based on the GT S coupe, this convertible will be a must-have for any Hollywood star worth their fame to drive along Sunset Blvd. But the star of the stage was the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class convertible with enough bling and luxury features to make a rap star happy.
The British brand is claiming it has produced the world’s first premium electric SUV with the reveal of the i-Pace concept. But Jaguar says it won’t be only a concept but will go into production by 2018. The brand says it will “turn petrol heads into electric heads” with the premium SUV. Nice try but I think it will take more than an EV version of the great F-Pace to do that. Maybe the brand should turn its focus on an EV F-Type.
The large, luxury SUV has its global press launch in February next year, but the brand used the show to reveal the seven-seater. Gone is the square shaped and instead it looks like a grown-up version of the Discovery Sport. A great feature will be the ability to move the passenger seats via a SmartPhone app.
We’re getting this large SUV in New Zealand as part of Holden’s expansion using GM and Opel products. It’s a good looking vehicle that is sure to sway Kiwi buyers.
The Japanese brand combined its press conference with not only a chance to reveal its second generation CX-5 sports crossover but also showed its new racing car set to hit the track at the Daytona 24 hour race in January. The Mazda RT24-P race car will compete in the new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) category, the top class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.