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star cars of the 2017 los angeles auto show

THE LA Auto Show isn’t the biggest in the world — it’s dwarfed by Frankfurt and Detroit — but it’s where automakers most want to be seen. With Hollywood on its doorstep, the Los Angeles show is all about making a splash, so it’s where automakers show off their wackiest and most extreme models.

It’s also the gateway to the huge auto market of California, a state which, if it were a country, would have the sixth largest economy in the world. And a state that embraces all things clean and green.

Jaguar Land Rover has a growing presence on the west coast and has introduced a new high-performance XE saloon, a nearly 600bhp V8, which recently lapped the Nürburgring, according to the company, in a record 7 minutes and 21 .2 seconds (learn more here) .


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Some onlookers suggested the supercharged Jag represented the last hurray for gas-guzzling gasoline cars; Elsewhere on the Jaguar stand, the focus was on electric cars, such as the I-Pace, which will hit UK showrooms next year.

These are the other cars that caused a stir at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

BMW i8 Coupe

When Jeremy Clarkson reviewed the BMW i8 for driving, he summed it up in one word: wow. With the launch of the roadster version, Californians are likely to go further: wowsers. The i8 was by far the most popular sports car made by BMW. With the roof cut off, it’s even more of a whim. Beneath the surface, it gets a more powerful battery, bringing electric range to 34 miles, although the three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine remains the same. It will go on sale in the UK early next year, just five years after the German carmaker first showed off the concept.

Infiniti QX50

California Dream: Star Cars from the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, Featuring the Infiniti QX50

Infiniti, Nissan’s premium brand, is betting on tougher regulations ushering in an era of cleaner, more efficient engines. Its continuously variable compression ratio engine will be introduced in the new QX50, a mid-size crossover, and is said to combine petrol performance with diesel efficiency, delivering 35% better fuel economy than of the V6 it replaces.

Lexus RX-L

California Dream: 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show Flagship Cars, Featuring Lexus RX-L

Lexus has been eyeing the premium seven-seater market with envy for some time, particularly the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90. From next year, UK customers will have another choice – the RX L, with three rows of seats and the choice of a petrol engine or a petrol hybrid. Belatedly, Toyota’s luxury brand leads the fight against the Germans.

Mercedes CLS

California Dream: 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show Star Cars, Featuring Mercedes CLS

A four-door coupe? Mercedes engineers like to challenge car categories, and the CLS is one of their most successful experiments. The new version, with a sleeker profile and pillarless doors, is due in showrooms next March with an expected price of £57,000. The new CLS will once again be a rival for the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera, but more importantly, it will also spearhead the German automaker’s march towards a low-emissions future with a 48-volt electrical system that can serve as a auxiliary powertrain.

Toyota FT-AC

California Dream: 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show Flagship Cars, Featuring Toyota FT-AC Concept

FT-AC stands for Future Toyota Adventure Concept. It’s a rugged, Jeep-style off-roader aimed directly at the West Coast dude market, but could also make a splash in Padstow. With chunky roof rails and LED spotlights in the spoiler and on the roof, it’s perfect for a nighttime surf spot, and a detachable infrared camera lets you film yourself while you do it. Industry sources have suggested Toyota is eager to pick up where the Land Rover Defender left off; the British automaker has yet to confirm when it will launch a replacement for the trusty 4×4.

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