March 30, 2016

Automakers Get Real In New York

Automakers Get Real In New York

Automakers get real in New York.  There were a few glitzy concepts, but the big deal is all of the factory fresh production models shining under the lights.  From a gull-winged SUV to 640 horsepower Camaro and Nissan supercar, here are the highlights from the New York International Auto Show:

Lincoln Navigator Concept

Inspired by yachts, and maybe the Mercedes Gullwing, Navigator Concept mashes Range Rover with Continental for a next-generation luxury SUV.  The cabin features middle row lounge chairs, Revel audio, light blue leather, and a built-in wardrobe.  Head restraint monitors with Wi-Fi allow music sharing.  The 400 horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 gets it moving.

Genesis Hybrid Sport Sedan Concept

Hyundai's recently-separated Genesis brand issues a contemporary sport sedan with sleek aggressive body over 21-inch wheels and a fully leather-wrapped interior boasting floating screens.  3D gesture controls let operators throw content from one screen to the next.  The hybrid powertrain taps a 2.0-liter four-cylinder enngine and 8-speed transmission.  Genesis promises an exciting future.

2017 Buick Encore

Buick's little crossover gains a sportier face with elegant wing grille, angled LED headlamps, and LED taillamps.  Inside, the elegant wing-style dashboard cribs the new LaCrosse.  A new 8-inch touchscreen accesses 4G LET Wi-Fi and compatibility with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.  All this makes a great little crossover even better.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Heaven and Hades comspire for the ZL1, available as a coupe and convertible.  Between fenders is a supercharged 640 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 connected to a rev-matching six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission.  Magnetic Ride Control, dual-mode exhaust, and Drive Mode Selector go with bulging body mods to deliver what it promises.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

Hot on the trail of the new GLC crossover is a sexier coupe version that's 3.2-linches longer, 1.6-inches lower, and sports a shapely rump.  Designers amped the exterior with diamond radiator grille, LED headlamps, spoiler lip, and up to 21-inch wheels.  Chooose the GLC300 with 241 horsepower turbo-four and off-road suspension or GLC43 AMG and enjoy a 362 horsepower Biturbo V6.  A 9-speed automatic transmission, air suspension, and full sutie of crash avoidance systems are available.  Sales begin early 2017.

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF

I adore the Miata's elegant manual cloth top, but see this:  A hard top for touring, but with the flip of a switch, converts into an open roof targa.  Fastback styling gets pulses quickening -- as does a choice of SKYACTIV 1.5- or 2.0-liter gasoline engines.  The RF is sure to please MX-5 enthusiasts while enticing a new fan base.  Beautiful.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

The best-selling hybrid plugs in to deliver efficient performance.  Prius Prime is estimated to achieve 120-MPGe -- the highest rating of any plug-in hybrid.  One 11.3-gallon tank plus a full charge takes the car 600 miles.  Flashier styling and interior with 11.6-inch center screen, head-up display, and wireless phone charging take it higher.

2017 VW Golf Alltrak

Meet the German Outback.  Volkswagen takes the Golf SportWagen, jacks it up, slides 4MOTION all-wheel-drive under it, and adds an off-road mode with hill descent control.  Body cladding gives it a rugged look.  The wagon channels a 170 horsepower 1.8-liter turbo-four.  Adaptive cruise, forward collision warning, and auto braking enhance safety.

2017 Subaru Impreza

Check the production-ready Impreza that comes from Subaru's expanded Lafayette, Indiana plant.  Riding on a new global platform, the body is more dynamic and chiseled while the powertrain includes a 152 horsepower 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission.  All-wheel-drive remains standard.  Apple CarPlay, android Auto, and Harman/Kardon audio join a refined interior harboring Subaru's EyeSight crash mitigation and adaptive cruise system.  Sales begin later this year.

2017 Nissan GT-R

Nissan's supercar receives its first major updates since 2007.  Start with an additional 20 horsepower (565 total), available hand-selected Nappa leather interior, refined seat design, and 8-inch touch panel with app suite.  Nissan's corporate V-motion grille and hood with pronounced character lines gives the car visual stimulation.  Sales begin this summer.

Storm Forward!

Contact Casty at; follow him on YouTube and Twitter:  @AutoCasey.

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