With wildfires still raging in Southern California, leaving tragedy and destruction in their path, denizens of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas have much more serious things to think about right now than what latest car models will be hitting dealer lots in the coming months. Beyond donating money to relief organizations, there’s just not a hell of a lot most of us elsewhere in the U.S. can reasonably do to help.
But the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show is upon us once again, and the timing of that is out of our control. Still, we can at very least send some happy vibes to our West Coast compatriots as we celebrate a part of American culture that’s still alive and kicking in Cali even amid the ride-hailing-obsessed present and the autonomous future: our shared love of getting behind the wheel, hitting the open road and just … driving, man.
Related: More 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show News
L.A. is a crucial player in auto show season, occupying the unique position of being the last major show of the calendar year and the first major event of the new auto show season. It’s already shaping up to be a, frankly, strange season, with organizers of the Detroit show having announced that their influential show would move from January to June in 2020 and assume some decentralized format, while a handful of major, or at least significant, debuts have occurred at smaller regional shows ahead of the proper season — the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer in Orange County being the standout.
Jeep to Pickup the Slack
Frankly, the lineup at this year’s L.A. show (at least as of this writing) feels a little light. That’s not to say it’s lacking in things to get excited about — not by a long shot. It would be hard to rationalize shrugging at a show where a brand that simultaneously pleases the mainstream and enthusiast crowds so seamlessly as Jeep unveils an all-new pickup truck — the off-road-SUV specialists’ first since Bill Clinton’s inaugural year in the White House. We’re referring, of course, to the Gladiator … or Scrambler … or whatever Jeep actually ends up calling it by the time the cloth officially drops next week (it’s almost certainly Gladiator at this point, so have your best Russell Crowe or “Airplane” references at the ready).