The New York International Auto Show generally represents the end of the car-show season so most of the cars have been revealed at Geneva and Detroit. In spite of this there was still plenty to get excited about and many great cars to admire.
The first thing I noticed about the show was the sheer number of SUV’s and crossovers being offered. The larger ones included the new Volvo XC90, the Hyundai Tucson, Lexus RX, Mitsubishi Outlander and the Land Rover Discovery Sport. In my opinion the XC90 looked the best and had a great interior. One of the most popular searches on the CarsIreland.ie website is the Nissan Qashqai and it looks like even more carmakers have seen the success of the market and want a piece for themselves. Jeep presented the funky new Renegade, Fiat showed off the cute 500X, Honda displayed the new H-RV and Toyota had an all-new RAV 4 Hybrid. The new Mazda CX-3 stood out above the rest, it looks very handsome in the metal with great flowing lines and a great interior.
It was very interesting to see how popular the premium European brands were, the Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar stands were packed from the get go. You had to stand in a queue of seven or eight people just to get an opportunity to sit in the driver seat. By contrast the American stands were quiet. It may well just be the novelty of these cars drawing the people over, but it still proves they must be doing something right. All four brands were showcasing some of their new cars. Jaguar had the gorgeous XF and XE, Mercedes showed off the striking and award winning AMG GT, BMW had no debuts but most models were represented with the M3 proving most popular. Audi brought along the stunning new R8 and TT. It was funny to overhear a few conversations at the Audi display, with many people struggling to spot the difference between the A3 Saloon, the A4, the A6 and A8.
There are plenty of supercars and sports cars to look forward to in the coming months. Ford have the new Focus RS and GT with over 600hp, the long awaited All-New Honda NSX, Porsche released the Boxster Spyder, Lexus have the RCF the last of a dying breed with its big V8 and no turbochargers and the most affordable McLaren ever, the 570S with 562hp and available for only £143,250.
There were a couple of concepts at the show. Hyundai had a very cool looking pick up called the Santa Cruz, the Honda Civic Coupe Concept, an aggressive VW Beetle R-Line Concept and the Aston Martin Vulcan a track car with over 800hp and a price tag of just £1.5 million. Although not a new reveal, the most exciting concept has to be the Toyota FT1 Concept, this has been billed as the long awaited replacement for the Supra. It is extremely striking, hopefully it gets made and remains as close to the concept as possible.
On a more day to day note Kia revealed the new Optima, it’s an attractive car with a surprisingly high quality feel to the interior. Nissan introduced a new Maxima, its flagship model, which they are describing as a “4-door Sports Car”.
Unsurprisingly there were lots of massive American cars with equally massive engines at the show but unfortunately most of these are of little consequence to us over here in Ireland. Thankfully the new Mustang is on the way, if only we could convince Dodge to send over the Charger Hellcat, all would be good in the automotive world.