LA Show Highlights: Cool Roadsters From Europe

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I think Los Angeles is the best place for car manufacture to introduce new roadsters and convertibles. Because the sun always shines bright in this place. And at 2015 LA Auto Show carmakers such as, Fiat, Mercedes, and Land Rover introduced its latest open-top cars.

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The Italian automaker, Fiat finally revealed the long-awaited 124 Spider at the annual show. Like what I was expected before, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider has the same dimension with its sibling, Mazda MX-5 Miata. But Fiat’s designers have done a good job for the exterior design. It comes up with a completely different design.

At the front, we can see ovoid headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and a hexagonal grille. There are sculpted lines above the hood to add details on the design. And at the rear, Fiat put rectangular LED taillights that surrounds turn signal. Meanwhile, reverse light is placed between rear-fog lights. Unfortunately, the interior is completely same to MX-5.

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Under the hood, 124 Spider is powered by Abarth 500 engine which has 1.4 liter turbocharged producing 160 hp and 241 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to 6-speed manual transmission or 6-speed automatic transmission. And for European consumers, Fiat will offer the same engine but it has slower power, 138 hp and 240 Nm of torque. But I expect that the carmaker will offer more power engine in the future, including Abarth model.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider will go on sale in summer 2016 for US and Europe market.

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Mercedes-Benz introduced the updated SL at this year’s LA Auto Show. Now, 2017 Mercedes SL appears more like other current carmaker models. Up front, the SL has redesigned LED headlights that is accompanied by AMG GT-inspired LED Daytime Running Lights. The carmaker prefer to keep wings on the grille and added chrome accent for regular model. In addition, Mercedes’ designers redesigned the hood and front bumper. And at the rear, we can see redesigned LED taillights with new graphic.

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Inside, the automaker just put a new flat-bottomed steering wheel. And the rest of it is same. But Mercedes offers select-able ambient lighting and a range of colored leather and trim finishes, including the new Saddle Brown in combination with Nappa leather and Exclusive Nappa leather. There is also Smartphone Integration, with Apple CarPlay, and a Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system, both coming at an extra cost.

Updated Mercedes SL comes up with SL400 which has 3.0 liter V6 producing 367 hp and 500 Nm of torque, and SL500 that has V8 4.7 liter producing 455 hp and 700 Nm of torque. Both variants are featured with 9-speed automatic transmission. For AMG fans, Mercedes offers SL63 AMG that comes with V8 5.5 liter delivers 585 hp and 900 Nm of torque. And the last is SL65 AMG V12 6.0 liter, 630 hp, and 1,000 Nm of torque. For AMG models, the automaker mates to 7-speed automatic transmission.

2017 Mercedes SL is planned to be released in April 2016.

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So, you’re dreaming to own an SUV-convertible, but Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is too awkward. And Land Rover has the right choice for you. At 2015 LA Auto Show, the British car company officially introduced 2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible. According to the company, this is “World’s first luxury compact SUV convertible”.

The SUV convertible has a fabric roof that can be stowed in 18 seconds, and can be open in 21 seconds. The driver can open or close the roof while driving up to 50 km/h. Land Rover claims that when roof is closed, the sound insulation is exactly the same with 5-door Evoque, and the cargo area stands at 250 liter which means that is much lesser than hard-top model (420 liter).

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An interesting feature that is immersed to Evoque Convertible is InControl Touch Pro. This is the next-generation infotainment system from Jaguar-Land Rover. And Evoque Convertible is the first car that implement it.

For the engine, Land Rover offers 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder producing 237 hp. Moreover, the diesel engine is 2.0 liter TD4 Ignesium producing 178 hp. Those engines are mated to 9-speed automatic transmission.

2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible will go on sale in Spring 2016.

Text: Andhika Pradityo

Photos: Fiat, Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz

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