For many of us, the back-end of the year can be the busiest time, with so much to do but so little time in which to do it ahead of Christmas. However, peer over to the automotive sector and you’ll notice things are notably calmer.
Once the dust has settled from the Paris/Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the car world pretty much coasts into the New Year, meaning at least the last two months of the year are little more than dead air.
There is one highlight to break up the mediocrity of munching mince pies and secret Santas in the offices of automotive brands the world over: the LA Auto Show.
Sure, Geneva and Paris/Frankfurt usually break the big news but the bi-annual Los Angeles event predicts what our Stateside cousins will be going la-la for over the forthcoming year.
Many of the cars at the LA show never reach UK roads but here are five cars that will…
BMW i8 Roadster
A convertible version of the i8 hybrid supercar has been on the cards pretty much since it was first revealed in 2013 and although we finally saw a concept of the drop-top i8 near the start of 2016, it looks like LA will be the place to see the production-ready version, alongside the facelifted i8 coupe.
It will be a soft-top and all the gubbins that goes into fitting it with a retractable roof will make the car around a tenth heavier than the regular i8. However, BMW will compensate for that by ramping up power by 10 per cent to 420bhp, which is only a smidge less than the M3.
The interior will be fitted with the latest iDrive infotainment and navigation system and you can count on the i8’s near-iconic dihedral doors too.
Expect it to command an asking price of around £110,000 when it eventually arrives.
Range Rover and Range Rover Sport facelift
The current Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are class-leaders in the luxury SUV segment. However, they’re five years old now, so here comes the inevitable mid-life refresh.
Notable updates will be the new dual-screen infotainment system, which was first used in the Velar, while a new plug-in hybrid option will join the powertrain range. You can find out more on that here.
Prices for the facelifted Range Rover will start from £79,595, which is way more than the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
Also five years old is the Mazda 6. The D-segment cruiser revitalised the Mazda range when it first emerged in 2012, introducing a fresh design language and super-efficient engines.
Key rivals such as the Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb have got their acts together since then, so Mazda has to up its game again.
Details on the updated 6 are scarce so far, but we do know the design of the front-end has been tweaked while a new 2.5-litre petrol engine has been added to the range.
Nissan’s luxury-focused offshoot hasn’t enjoyed much success with its SUVs so far, so it’ll aim to remedy that with this: the QX50, which will lock horns with the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC.
It’ll only be available with a 270bhp-ish V6 petrol under the bonnet when it reaches the UK, which is a risky move, but Infiniti says it’ll offer the same fuel economy as a diesel, and be around 27 per cent more efficient than other petrols.
When people say ‘a Jeep’, what they usually mean is a generic SUV; it’s like the Hoover/vacuum cleaner thing. But the Wrangler is the car that was there long before the world went doolally over SUVs.
Much like the similarly blocky Land Rover Defender, the Wrangler hasn’t changed much over the years due to its devoted fanbase that love it for what it is.
However, something has to be done about the current Wrangler’s one-star crash test safety rating, so many of the changes will be beneath the surface, and aside from updated safety systems, the car will also be more fuel-efficient.
The LA Auto Show is open for the first ten days of December.
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