With our bellies still full from Thanksgiving dinner, the Los Angeles Auto Show kicked off the 2018/19 car show season on November 28th by treating the crowds of journalists and industry professionals to a number of exciting world premieres along with U.S. debuts.
This single day, ahead of the show’s public opening, was packed with back-to-back announcements from the world’s biggest manufacturers like BMW, Audi, Hyundai, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, and more. From all-new models to mid-cycle refreshes to far-out concepts, there was something captivating in every booth.
And to help you quickly digest the most important news from this annual gathering of all things automotive, we’ve curated highlights from each manufacturer that hosted a press conference at the 2018 L.A. Auto Show.
Let’s start with the most notable announcements made in the first half of the day, which came from BMW, Jeep, Porsche, Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz.
2019 BMW X7 Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV)
The 2019 BMW X7 is taking the popular SAV line-up to new heights of luxury and comfort with the brand’s largest model ever. At almost 17 feet in length, the X7 offers three rows of spacious seating, and features the biggest kidney grille ever designed for a BMW vehicle.
Produced exclusively at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant, the X7 will arrive in dealerships beginning in March of 2019 with a starting price of $73,900. Available trims include xDrive40i and xDrive50i, both of which can be configured and pre-ordered online — a perk that has never been offered before in the history of the company.
2020 Jeep Gladiator
Building on the storied heritage of trucks like the Commando, Honcho, and Comanche, Jeep wowed off-roading enthusiasts with the unveiling of the 2020 Gladiator, a midsize truck that offers Jeep’s legendary 4×4 capability and towing performance. The Gladiator fills a nearly 30 year gap with a unique interpretation of the Jeep design language, while also delivering open-air freedom and clever functionality.
Four trim configurations, including the renowned Rubicon, will be available in showrooms starting in the second quarter of 2019, with a starting price that has yet to be announced. Every Gladiator will be powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine at launch, and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 will join the lineup in 2020.
2019 Porsche 911
Seeing as how one in every three Porsche vehicles produced is sold in the United States, with the majority of them ending up in California, it was only fitting that the new 911 was debuted in Los Angeles.
The 8th generation 911 offers numerous enhancements to both its iconic design and its unrivaled performance. All models now feature a wider body, which was previously reserved for higher trim lines like the GTS and GT3, as well as flush door handles that extend when needed.
A new turbocharged flat-six engine comes standard, and now boasts 443 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque along with a top track speed of 191 mph. The all-new 911 is available for pre-order with a starting MSRP of $113,200 for the Carrera S, and U.S. delivery is expected in the summer of 2019.
2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Toyota continues to strengthen its position as a global leader in clean-air vehicles with the debut of the first-ever Corolla Hybrid. Adapting the same Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive from the new-generation Prius, the 2020 Corolla Hybrid is expected to offer over 50 MPG combined fuel economy and a lively driving experience.
The two electric motors provide a subtle power boost for the 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine, resulting in improved launch and throttle response when pulling away. It can also be operated in pure electric mode, perfect for short-distance errands or parking structures.
Look for the Corolla Hybrid to go on sale in Spring of 2019.
Limited Edition 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R PRO
Performance enthusiasts rejoice! The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R PRO is the ultimate version of the popular GT Coupe, featuring a new suspension, enhanced aerodynamics, and a monstrous 577-horsepower motor that delivers a top track speed of 198 mph.
The AMG GT R PRO is a product of Mercedes’ learnings from its GT3 and GT4 motorsport activities, and brings racetrack performance to the streets for an exhilarating overall experience. From all the carbon fiber components to the unique vehicle wrap with racing stripes, everything about the GT R PRO will make you feel as if you were an actual race car driver.
Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but stay in touch with your local AutoNation-affiliated Mercedes-Benz dealership to be the first to know.