Jeep had unveiled its all-new Wrangler prior to Los Angeles, but the car was still one of the undeniable stars of the show — available in two-door and four-door body styles and a total of seven different trim combinations, the 2018 Wrangler offers a choice of 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine or the familiar 3.6-litre V6, and according to the manufacturer, over 75 available safety features.

Purists will appreciate the classic looks yet with necessary refinements made in the interior, and a suspension better tuned to road use without sacrificing the Wrangler’s famous off-road capability. It can ford over 750mm of water, with class-leading ground clearance and approach, breakover and departure angles, plus removable panels and a foldable windscreen.

See you on the red dunes of Al Faya…  



At the Lexus stand in Los Angeles, the big news was the addition of a third seating row to the RX so it now offers five-, six- and seven-seater options, and the removal of a third seating row in the LX so it now offers a five-seater option…

When it comes to the RX crossover, Lexus obviously wanted to appeal to more practically-minded buyers and stretched it out by an additional 110mm to fit a third row of seats.

As for the LX, the idea for 2018 was to offer the option of a five-seater, which deletes the third-row seating in favour of extra cargo room, or in fact, 15 per cent more luggage space. The two-row LX will also come with a roof rack as standard, offering 1,430 litres of storage room as opposed to the three-row’s 1,265 litres.



Subaru ruled LA with its world debut of the Ascent three-row SUV, the largest Subaru ever. Built on the same latest global architecture as the new Impreza, the Ascent comes with a choice of seven or eight seats and an all-new turbocharged 260 horsepower boxer engine driving all four wheels through an updated Subaru continuously variable transmission.

The company’s gone all-out with family friendly design details, including 19 cup holders…On a long 2,890mm wheelbase, the Ascent boasts 4,346 litres of passenger volume, plenty of cargo room, and rear doors that open out by 75 degrees to ease access to the third row. Sitting on standard 18in wheels, the Subaru Ascent should manage fine off-road with 220mm of ground clearance.


Range Rover

At the Dubai motor show last month, Range Rover showed off the fastest car the company’s ever made, the new Range Rover SVR which now delivers 575 horsepower thanks to a supercharged 5.0-litre V8.

So as not to show up in Los Angeles empty handed, the British SUV specialists prepared the world premiere of the most luxurious car they’ve ever made, the new Range Rover SVAutobiography available in long-wheelbase form, with exclusive touches including a Swiss-made high-end Zenith clock in the rear centre console, and a new exclusive 22in wheel design.

From about Dh800,000, this won’t be cheap, but it still undercuts the Bentley Bentayga by a couple hundred grand…



Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti entered the cutthroat Audi Q5/BMW X3/Merc GLC segment with its newly launched QX50 that’s finally coming around to replace the ageing old model that began life as the Infiniti EX way back in 2007.

This all-new model fits in neatly into Infiniti’s line-up with family styling and some QX80-inspired details particularly with the imposing front end and that large grille and narrow headlights.

Infiniti says this is also the world’s first production-ready car with a variable-compression engine, this being the brand’s new 2.0-litre turbo unit that promises six-cylinder power without the economy drawbacks.

The other big draw in the QX50 is Infiniti’s ProPilot technology which is their way of saying “it comes with lots and lots of driver assist kit”.



Japanese Giant Toyota didn’t have anything interesting to show off in Los Angeles, so they slapped together an enticing concept off-roader they have no intention of putting into production.

The tease came in the shape of the Future Toyota Adventure Concept, or the Toyota FT-AC, which is designed for outdoor adventuring types and comes with some make-believe specifications, such as a variable terrain-response system with four-wheel locking functionality, and a hybrid powertrain. Yes, it’s just a design study…

One of the coolest features of the rugged SUV are fog lights that are removable and can be attached to, say, a mountain bike, as well as some removable cameras normally mounted to the side mirrors to record your trail runs.



Amongst all the SUVs, Mercedes appealed to the Hollywood crowd with a coupe-saloon full of S-Class glitz even if it’s really a curvier E-Class. The third-generation 2018 CLS now heads into a crowded coupé-saloon segment even though Mercedes founded the marketing niche back in 2003 as a bit of a pioneer there… Before Affalterbach’s mad AMG iterations come with upwards of five hundred horsepower, Mercedes will launch the 2018 early next year with an all-wheel drive S 450 heading the line-up to begin with, featuring the company’s all-new straight-six cylinder engine, 3.0-litre, turbocharged, and delivering 362bhp at 5,500rpm. In the S-Class the same lump’s also available in a 435bhp state of tune, so there’s a hint too…