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A touch of Star Wars, swarm of SUVs at LA auto show

Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 10:12

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From Nissan's Star Wars model, to a sexy Alfa Romeo sedan, lots of fast cars and a flock of SUVs: fun and fantasy collide at the Los Angeles auto show opening Friday.

[LOS ANGELES] From Nissan's Star Wars model, to a sexy Alfa Romeo sedan, lots of fast cars and a flock of SUVs: fun and fantasy collide at the Los Angeles auto show opening Friday.

The new Giulia was presented by Alfa Romeo boss Reid Bigland as "the quickest, technologically advanced four-door sedan in the world."

Mr Bigland told a crowd during the press preview at AutoMobility LA the Giulia was sort of "the opposite of an autonomous car," at an event where futuristic self-driving vehicles are the center of attention.

It's a sexy, sporty entry-level luxury car that does not skimp on engine power - a 280-horsepower, 2.0-litre turbo four is standard as is an eight-speed automatic transmission.

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Alfa Romeo, a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brand, unveiled the "Stelvio," its first foray into SUVdom.

Made in Cassino, Italy, it features a large portion of carbon fiber and aluminum to reduce its weight and increase its speed.

The "quadrifoglio GT" model will be "the fastest SUV ever seen," Bigland says of the company's late entry into the still-booming market sector.

It's a limited edition and this toy is a big one - an all-wheel drive of which there are just 5,400 units worldwide.

It's also a first: the Star Wars brand has never been on a (life-sized) car, Nissan said.

The idea was born of a partnership between the Japanese manufacturer and Lucasfilm, the production company soon to be releasing the next film in the epic space opera, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

These 4x4s come specially equipped with a full-sized replica Death Trooper helmet.

Among the many all-wheel-drives on display at the show, Ford presented a mini-SUV, the EcoSport, which will be produced in India and imported into the United States.

Despite US President-elect Donald Trump's threats of import taxes during his presidential campaign, Ford chief Mark Fields recalled on Tuesday that the number-two US automaker was a global manufacturer that produces and sells to all corners of the world. He still plans to relocate production of his small cars to Mexico.

Mini, the subsidiary of BMW specialising in tiny cars, introduced its biggest model to date.

Porsche is showing a hybrid version of its Panamera, the 4th Hybrid Executive.

But you'll really need those sunglasses for its rival Mercedes's new Maybach S 650 Class Cabriolet. Its headlights are decked out in Swarovski crystals and comes with a personalised luggage set.

Only 300 units will be sold worldwide - so act now if you are dating a Kardashian.

Mercedes also unveiled, in a world premiere, a new race car, the Mercedes AMG GT C Roadster with brushed metal bodywork.

As for Jaguar, it finally launches in the all-electric vehicles category with the I-PACE Concept.

AFP

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