2018 Los Angeles motor show preview
A tastefully modded Ford EcoSport on display at the 2017 LA motor show.

2018 Los Angeles motor show preview

24th Nov 2018 7:00 am

As the LA Auto Show is the last major show of the year, many new cars are slated to be revealed.


The 2018 edition of the LA motor show is scheduled to start on November 30. Due to its status as the last major motor show of the year, the show tends to see a host of debuts and reveals as manufacturers like to end the year on a high. Let’s have a look at all the cars and SUVs expected at this year’s show. 

Audi R8 facelift

Audi’s rear-mid engined supercar has received a facelift and will have its motor show debut at LA. The car has received a host of subtle stylistic tweaks as well as a minor power bump. The facelift should help it better compete with its newer competition such as McLaren’s 570s.

Audi E-tron GT

The E-tron GT is expected to be revealed in concept form as the car is slated to launch only in 2020. The car will be taking on the likes of the Tesla Model S P100D and the Porsche Taycan in the electric sports sedan segment. The E-tron is expected to share its 457km range with the larger E-tron SUV and is also expected to better the SUV’s 0-100kmph time of 5.5 seconds significantly.

Bentley Continental GT Convertible

The Bentley Continental GT received a complete overhaul earlier this year. The model that replaced the previous generation Continental GT now shares its underpinnings with the new Porsche Panamera; the previous model had the same platform as VW’s Phaeton. The convertible variant of the Continental GT is slated to be showcased at the LA show exclusively with a W12 engine under the hood. However, a V8 variant is expected later.


BMW is all set for the public debut of its flagship SUV at the LA motor show, the all-new X7. The new SUV is the largest car in BMW’s lineup and will directly take on the Land Rover Discovery and the Mercedes GLS. This model is directed towards the chauffeur driven markets like China and Middle East and is also expected to come to India by the end of next year.

BMW M340i

While BMW had unveiled the all-new 3-series at the Paris motor show earlier, the brand will bring a range-topping (at least until the next-gen M3 arrives) M340i to LA. It’ll be powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six engine producing 382hp. This will be accompanied by an M-tuned chassis and the xDrive four-wheel drive layout. The car will be aimed more towards everyday use than the sportier M3.

BMW 8-series Convertible

The new 8-series Convertible will be BMW’s two-door, four-seater, drop-top aimed to fill the gap left by the now axed 6-series model. The 8-series will be available with a six-cylinder diesel engine as well as a 528hp petrol V8 engine.

BMW iNext

BMW is adding an SUV to their electric car lineup, which currently includes the i3 electric hatchback and the i8 electric sports car. The iNext will have a 0-100kph time of roughly four seconds and a competitive range of 611km.     

Ford Edge ST

The Ford Edge is going to be the first SUV to receive Ford’s sporty ST treatment and will only be sold in the US. The car is expected to utilise a 2.7-litre V6 engine that is claimed to produce 335hp of power. The Edge ST will also receive a host of styling updates in line with existing ST models.

Hyundai Palisade

Hyundai is all set to launch a new three-row SUV at the LA motor show. The new car is expected to launch in 2020 and will be larger and more luxurious than the existing Santa Fe. Although details are scare, the car is expected to share its underpinnings with Kia’s upcoming Telluride luxury SUV.

Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Wrangler-based pickup truck is set to make its debut at the LA motor show. The pickup truck marks the first time Jeep has made a model to rival Ford’s market-leading ‘F’ series of trucks. In all probability the new truck will be a US-only model, it marks the start of Jeep’s diversification into different markets.

Kia Soul

Kia is going to be launching an all-electric version of its Soul crossover. Though the company has been tight-lipped about the reveal, the new car is expected to carry similar styling to the outgoing model. The new car is expected to share its powertrain with the existing e-Niro EV, with a 39kWh battery.

Mazda 3

Mazda is set to bring its all-new 3 hatchback to LA. The Japanese carmaker has released a teaser image showing of a portion of the car, which looks similar to the 2017 Kai hatchback concept (above). The Mazda 3 does have some design cues from Mazda’s Skyactiv-X family, meaning the 3’s styling will be reminiscent of the XC3 crossover.

Mercedes-Benz GLS

The third-generation Mercedes GLS is likely to be showcased at the LA motor show. The new GLS will share parts with the flagship S-class sedan, just like its predecessors. Plug-in and mild-hybrid powertrains will ensure the survival of the new GLS in markets with tight emission norms. A 4.0-litre V8 is also expected to be employed in the AMG GLS 63 to rival the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the Range Rover Sports SVR.

Nissan Maxima facelift

The US-only Maxima, Nissan’s four-door sedan, is expected to receive its mid-life facelift. The refreshed model will receive a restyled front-end and new rear lights, but it’s expected to retain the 300hp, 3.5-litre V6 engine.

Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche will have the new Panamera GTS on stage at the show. It is powered by a turbocharged, 4.0 litre V8 producing 454hp and is capable of a 291kph top speed. The model features a rear-biased four-wheel-drive system.

Porsche 911

Porsche will also be bringing the eighth-generation 911 sports-car to the LA motor show. The new-gen model (992) will receive more muscular styling inspired by the 997 era of cars, as well as the Mission E concept car. The new 911’s will be turbocharged and the range-topping car will be the 603hp Turbo S E-hybrid, which will be capable of nearly 320kmph.

Toyota Prius

Toyota is ready to unveil the 2019 Prius at the LA motor show, with an early preview hinting at a potential four-wheel-drive system. The four-wheel-drive system is not on offer in international markets though it has been on sale in Japan as the E-four 4WD since 2015.

Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition

VW is sending off its most iconic car with a final edition model. The Final edition SE and SEL variants will feature exclusive equipment upgrades, unique colours, and new interior options. 

Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo

While the VW ID Buzz Cargo has not been confirmed to be in attendance at the LA motor show, it is likely to be showcased. The Buzz Cargo is the newest member of VW’s ID family and is underpinned by VW’s electric MEB platform. Its expected range is around 547km on a single charge. The electric motors produce 198hp of power that is sent to all-four wheels. The van will also have a maximum load capacity of 800kg.         


While Volvo has confirmed that it will be attending this year’s LA motor show, their stands will not feature any cars. The Swedish brand has instead opted to use the show to explore how the concept of cars will change in the future. In place of a selection of its newest vehicles, the focal point of Volvo's stand at the LA Convention Centre will be a sign reading ‘This is not a car’. 

Volvo’s stand will feature a series of interactive displays focusing on services it is developing for the future, including connectivity, autonomous driving and in-car delivery services. It will also highlight its planned car-sharing scheme and Care by Volvo service, a subscription offering what the brand believes could account for half of its 'sales' in the future.

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