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Los Angeles Auto Show 2016 Briefing


The 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show arrives next week, with new models being revealed between 14–17 November. There are several important cars being revealed at LA – in particular, the new Mazda CX-5 – but as usual, there will be a couple of surprises in store.

Here’s a preview of everything you need to know about this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Motor shows still happen?

Although we don’t have motor shows in Australia anymore, large shows remain a key focus of the car industry internationally. They are a convenient way for car media to see a bunch of exciting new car releases in one place.

Why is the Los Angeles Auto Show special?

The LA show, held annually every November, is one of the key medium-sized auto shows. The Show has a focus on tech and digital mobility, so we’ll be seeing some cool new autonomous driving technologies and advanced vehicles launching.

Which new cars are launching at the LA Auto Show?

On to the briefing!

2017 Audi A5 cabriolet and Audi S5 cabriolet

2017 Audi S5 cabriolet with roof open – Chasing Cars

The drop-top versions of the Audi A5 and Audi S5 will join their coupe counterparts in Los Angeles. Like the rest of the A5 range, the cabriolet is based on the Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evolution platform, which has allowed a weight saving of about 40 kilograms over the outgoing car.

The A5 cabriolet range will feature a number of engines – including a 185kW 2.0-litre TFSI patrol, a 140kW 2.0-litre TDI diesel, a 160kW 3.0-litre TDI V6 diesel. The S5 cabriolet will feature the 260kW twin-turbocharged V6 petrol which can dispatch the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.1 seconds.

2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio - Chasing Cars

Alfa Romeo’s first SUV, the Stelvio, has never been seen without camouflage and it will be unveiled at the Los Angeles show. With styling largely based on the Giulia sedan, it’s likely the Stelvio will have a rakish, coupe-style roofline and the Giulia’s aggressive front end. The interior is largely shared with the Giulia.

A number of diesel models will be available, and a Stelvio Quadrifoglio will be offered with a twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 petrol.

2017 Holden Equinox

2017 Chevrolet Equinox in motion – Chasing Cars

Holden has confirmed that the new Chevrolet Equinox will be imported in 2017 to replace the Holden Captiva. The Equinox will be unveiled at Los Angeles badged as a Chevrolet. The Equinox isn’t a new name for the American brand, but this model is all-new, moving to a new platform that drops 180kg over the outgoing model.

In Australia, the Holden Equinox will be available with at least three engines: a 127kW 1.5-litre turbo petrol; a 188kW two-litre turbo petrol, or a 101kW, 320Nm 1.6-litre turbo diesel.

2017 Honda Civic Si

2017 Honda Civic Si preview – Chasing Cars

Though a Honda Civic coupe hasn’t been offered in Australia for many years, Americans love them – in the US, sporty two-door Civics are badged as the Civic Si. A new version, based on the brand-new Honda Civic, will be shown at Los Angeles.

Details remain scarce on which engine Honda will use for the car. Word is, it’ll either be a more powerful tune of the 1.5-litre turbo petrol that we are now familiar with here, or a less potent version of the Civic Type R’s 228kW two-litre turbo.

Rendering by Wildspeed.

2017 Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V in red – Chasing Cars

The already-unveiled, brand-new Honda CR-V will be shown in the flesh at the Los Angeles show. Taking the CR-V into more modern and upscale territory, the fifth-generation model also gets larger, with a number of aesthetic differences over the outgoing car.

The current model’s 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre aspirated petrols are being replaced by a 140kW version of the new Civic’s 1.5-litre turbo petrol.

2017 Jeep Compass

2017 Jeep Compass in blue – Chasing Cars

Designed to reboot Jeep’s performance in the small SUV class, an all-new Compass model will be unveiled at Los Angeles. Featuring a more handsome aesthetic that still hits a number of traditional Jeep cues, if it’s priced right, the Compass should have a good shot on arrival in Australia.

Powering the Compass will be a choice of a two-litre aspirated Tigershark petrol making about 122kW, or a 125kW two-litre Multijet turbodiesel from FCA’s European arm.

2017 Mazda CX-5

2017 Mazda CX-5 silhouette – Chasing Cars

For the Australian market, the most important debut at Los Angeles will be the 2017 Mazda CX-5 – an absolutely critical car for the Japanese manufacturer. The CX-5 will debut a new interpretation of the brand’s KODO design language, taking the aesthetics to more upscale territory. All we’ve seen so far is a silhouette, which certainly gives a dynamic impression.

We’ve got our fingers crossed that the CX-5 inherits a version of the new CX-9’s 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol. If it doesn’t, it will probably carry on with the current car’s selection of 2.0- and 2.5-litre aspirated petrols and the 2.2-litre turbodiesel.

2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 S

2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 S racetrack – Chasing Cars

The ‘warm’ Mercedes-AMG E43 didn’t hold the E-Class crown for long. The much more menacing E63 AMG S will debut at Los Angeles, destined for Australia next year. With aggressive styling, particularly at the front end, the new E63 will be all-wheel-drive only – but Mercedes assure us drifts will still be very possible.

Moving on from the old 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8, the E63 S adopts AMG’s four-litre biturbo ‘hot V’ V8 engine making an enormous 450kW and 850Nm, offering 0-100km/h sprints in 3.3 seconds.

2017 MINI Countryman

2017 MINI Countryman in the country – Chasing Cars

The second-generation MINI Countryman will appear at Los Angeles. Over the outgoing car, the new Countryman appears larger, more muscular and mature, adopting front-end cues from recent iterations of smaller MINI models. Like the current car, it will be available with either front-wheel-drive or ALL4 all-wheel-drive.

The standard Cooper Countryman will receive a 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder. The Cooper S Countryman gets a 141kW two-litre turbo four. On the diesel end, the Cooper D Countryman has a 110kW four and a 140kW version in the Cooper SD Countryman.

2017 Nissan X-Trail

2017 Nissan X-Trail – Chasing Cars

As it approaches its third birthday, the Nissan X-Trail is coming in for a facelift. The curtain has already been raised – and Nissan have done a great job making the X-Trail quite a bit more handsome. The car is known as the Rogue in the US, and the facelift timing is aligned to Nissan USA’s introduction of a Rogue Hybrid model.

It’s very unlikely that Nissan Australia will bid for the hybrid, so the X-Trail will continue here with a 126kW 2.5-litre aspirated petrol.

2017 Volkswagen Atlas

2017 Volkswagen Atlas in the city – Chasing Cars

The full-size Volkswagen SUV designed for America, the Atlas, will be shown at the Los Angeles show. It’s likely the Atlas will not come to Australia, due to the cost of building it in right-hand-drive for a small market like ours, but the Atlas reveals plenty about Volkswagen’s direction. There’s a need for larger SUVs with more appeal, and VW are actively examining a number of options for the Australian market.

In the US, the Atlas will be available with the 177kW version of Volkswagen’s two-litre TSI engine. An old VW donk – the 208kW 3.6-litre V6 – will also be available, for buyers seeking all-wheel-drive.

2017 Volkswagen Golf Mk 7.5

2017 Volkswagen Golf R Line – Chasing Cars

This mid-life revision of the Mk 7 Golf is designed to solidify Volkswagen’s position at the top of the hatchback class in Australia. Subtle changes to the exterior disguise more significant engine updates. Inside, there’s impressive new technology, including digital driver gauges and a larger touchscreen.

The 92kW 1.4-litre turbo is swapped out for a new 110kW 1.5-litre TSI. There are also power boosts for the GTI and GTI Performance models, plus a new GTE hybrid plug-in that is a maybe for Australia.

Header image of the LA skyline, shot from the Griffith Observatory. Credit to Trevor Benedict.

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