On sale: Winter 2018
Price: est from £33,000
COULD this be the car that sees Nissan’s Infiniti break through into the mass consciousness of the British premium car buyer?
With the current boom in crossovers and alongside the new Volvo XC40 you would have to say so.
This new QX50 is set to be the baby crossover of Infiniti’s range and it certainly has the looks to stand out in what is likely to be a rather competitive area of the market.
However under the bonnet is just one choice of engine: Infiniti’s new 2.0-litre turbo-petrol with 268bhp delivered through an automatic-only gearbox to give a 0 to 60mph time of just 6.3 seconds.
But Infiniti claims its new engine technology means this can give performance as well as the grunt and economy of a turbo-diesel.
If it does it will be an impressive prospect.
Nat Barnes has chosen some of the best cars unveiled at the Los Angeles 2017 Motor Show
Mazda 6 remains a powerful proposition
On sale: September 2018
Price: est from £21,000
BLINK and you will miss the changes to Mazda’s new 6 repmobile.
As facelifts go this is a pretty mild one but the changes are more than just skin deep.
While the exterior tweaks might be subtle, under the skin they are quite extensive with a considerably greater premium feel than before to bring it closer in line with the latest CX5 off-roader.
The interior has a noticeable step-up in materials used and the overall feel – as well as being equipped with the latest driving safety tech.
Sales of traditional family saloons might be suffering but the Mazda 6 remains a powerful proposition.
On sale: March 2018
Price: est from £49,995
MERCEDES‘ CLS four-door coupé has been the choice for those after a four-door saloon with more style than most – and it is no different here.
Borrowing a few styling cues from the AMG GT saloon concept this third-generation of CLS is stunning both inside and out.
There will not be a Shooting Brake estate version as before but it will get four-wheel drive for the first time and that will feature on all versions when it arrives.
Initially there will be a pair of turbo-diesels and a 367bhp 3.0-litre petrol with a mild-hybrid system but do not be surprised to see an AMG version and hybrid models in 2018.
The new i8 Roadster is set to be one of the best cars of 2018
BMW i8 ROADSTER
On sale: July 2018
Price: est from £115,000
THREE years on from the introduction of BMW’s i8 petrol-electric hybrid supercar and there is still nothing else on the road like it, either in looks or ethos.
This new drop-top Roadster version looks set to cement that position too, with a number of updates to make this – and an updated Coupé – as desirable as ever.
Underneath the bonnet is the same 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that has been boosted, while the batteries have also been uprated to 34Ah giving it a combined 374bhp.
Thanks to that and its low 1.6-ton weight, it boasts a 0 to 60mph time of 4.6 seconds and a 155mph top speed, with just 46g/km emissions.
We loved the i8 when it first arrived in 2014 and the lack of any similarly-powered hybrid competition even now underlines how daring it was then and still is today.
If this new i8 Roadster is not one of our best cars of 2018 by this time next year we will eat our Fedoras.
Porsche has developed a real enthusiast’s niche with its GTS models
PORSCHE 718 GTS Boxster/Cayman
On sale: now
Price: from £59,866
PORSCHE has developed a real enthusiast’s niche with its GTS models, particularly with the 911, so it is little surprise to see the German firm repeating the formula with its latest Boxster and Cayman GTS cars.
Lowered suspension, black 20in alloy wheels and black trim throughout ensure the GTS looks the part too.
Inside are sports seats with the steering wheel, centre console and armrest all trimmed in gorgeous suede-effect Alcantara.
Both feature an uprated 2.5-litre turbo-petrol engine boasting 365bhp, with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and a twin-clutch semi-automatic as an option.
Each also gets Porsche’s dynamic suspension and driving packages, helping it to be the ultimate driver’s car in the Boxster/Cayman range.
RANGE ROVER SV AUTOBIOGRAPHY
On sale: now
Price: from £167,850
LAND ROVER continues to push the Range Rover ever further upmarket with the arrival of this flagship SV Autobiography.
Although it may look like a normal Range Rover, this model has been fettled and hand-finished by Land Rover’s special vehicle operations department, giving it an even more luxurious feel than before.
Based on the long-wheelbase version, inside there are airline-style reclining seats, auto-closing rear doors and a reworked cabin that brings even more luxury to the Range Rover.
Engine choices are the latest plug-in petrol-electric hybrid or the supercharged 5.0-litre petrol.
As Land Rover expands the reach of the Range Rover line-up still further, so it continues to hold its ground against the Bentley Bentayga and other forthcoming large luxury 4x4s.
Jeep Wrangler is North America’s favourite 4×4
On sale: July 2018
Price: est from £36,000
NO YOU are not hallucinating, this really is the new Jeep Wrangler.
At first glance it may not seem like much has changed with North America’s favourite 4×4 – but it has.
Along with softer edges to the exterior, inside matters have vastly improved with better materials and build quality plus Jeep promises better on-road dynamics too.
Engine choices will be between a turbo-charged 2.0-litre or a 3.6-litre V6, with a diesel coming in 2019 and a plug-in hybrid due in 2020.
But don’t think that with these changes the Wrangler has gone soft.
It will still boast excellent off-road ability as well as featuring Wrangler traditions such as a windscreen that can fold flat.
Lexus RX450 now comes with seven seats
LEXUS RXL 450H
On sale: spring 2018
Price: est from £51,000
FOR all of the RX450’s talents it always lacked that extra seven-seater family practicality offered by the likes of Land Rover’s Discovery, the BMW X5 or Volvo XC90… until now that is.
This is a 4in-longer version of the Lexus off-roader that boasts an extra row of seats.
Sitting slightly higher than the middle row, the additional pair aren’t really suitable for adults for any length of time but the extra practicality they offer should extend the RX’s appeal considerably.