Car Shows

NYIAS 2015: Day 1

Even though it feels like most of Day 1’s activity had been spoiled by leaks, pre-show reveals, and online debuts, we’ve finally seen everything that opening day of the 2015 New York International Auto Show had to offer. Here’s the scoop on 9 of the best new vehicles at the show.

Cadillac CT6

Cadillac CT6 1

Cadillac has a flagship again. Gaze upon the magnificence that is the CT6. It may look a bit like the lesser CTS, but this new sedan is longer, wider, and lower. The proportions are perfect compared to the slightly battleship-styled CTS. Developed as a rear-wheel-drive platform, the CT6 offers three engine choices and optional AWD. An all-new twin-turbo V6 making 400hp and 400lb-ft torque should give this flagship some serious performance credentials. Heavy use (pun intended) of aluminum keep the weight down. On paper, the CT6 reads more like a 5 Series or E-Class competitor. In person, Cadillac’s new flagship will be the face of the company’s efforts to separate itself from GM’s shadow.

Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS 1

It’s happening! The Focus RS is indeed coming to the United States. Making it’s debut here in New York, this all-wheel-drive hot hatch is simply stunning. We couldn’t take our eyes off the multiples creases, gaping air intakes, and downforce-inducing enhancements. Staged in close proximity to a Focus ST, you realize how far off the reservation this car is . Nothing about it is reserved, and that’s what great about it. While all the final details aren’t released, we can’t wait to try one. Expect this car to be in dealerships in about a year.

Scion iM

Scion iM 1

Here’s to another interesting model name by Scion. The iM is all about fun and versatility, according the Vice President of the Scion division. It’s a sporty little hatchback with some familiarities to the FR-S like the hexagon lower grille and side bezels with honeycomb mesh pattern. Or does it look remarkably similar to the old Toyota Matrix? For just under 20k, it comes equipped with the necessities—7” Pioneer display audio, rear-view camera, 4.2” color multi-information display, and power folding side mirrors. Offered in either a six-speed manual or seven-step CVT connected to the Corolla S engine, it delivers up to 37 MPG highway.

Mercedes GLE63 AMG

Mercedes GLE63 AMG 1

Mercedes’ mid-cycle refresh of the ML has been redubbed the GLE. Don’t mistake it for the all-new GLE Coupe however. Technically, this GLE “sedan” is the previous generation ML Class. Sporting a redesigned exterior and extensive re-haul inside, the GLE offers many different powertrains. The one that grabs our attention most is obviously the GLE 63 AMG S, which sports the hand built twin-turbocharged V8 that we know and love from the S63 that we tested last year. Look for the entire GLE lineup to be in showrooms later this year.

Porsche Boxster Spyder

Porsche Boxster Spyder 1

Porsche has unveiled the new 981 generation Boxster Spyder. Essentially a Cayman GT4 for the road, it is lighter, faster, and more connected than any other Boxster. Using front brakes from a 911 Carrera S and a front bumper from the Cayman GT4, the Boxster Spyder looks the part of it’s range topping demeanor. Inside, optional carbon fiber bucket seats, straight out of a 918, are part of the options list. Also, air conditioning, and a radio are $0 options to keep weight at a minimum if so desired. Power comes from the familiar 3.8L V6, but it is upped to 375 horsepower, and a six speed manual is the only transmission choice. With a  base price of $82,100, it is the most expensive and most exclusive Boxster that you can buy. Oh, and you still have to get out and manually retract the roof – but it isn’t quite the complex tent-post operation of the previous generation.

McLaren 570S

McLaren 570S 2

McLaren’s latest car is the first in its Sport Series tier of automobiles. Splitting its models into three categories, Sport, Super, and Ultimate, McLaren now has at least one car for each. The range-topping P1 is a hypercar with few rivals. In the Super Series, the 650S and limited-production 675LT rival the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. This new 570S – its name coming from the 570hp and 600lb-ft torque V8 – is based on the 650S chassis but aims to compete with the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo S and Nissan GTR. This is a car that looks much better in person than it does in photos. If there’s one thing we support, its the proliferation of “budget” high-performance vehicles. Estimated to start around $185,000, it will definitely be an exclusive offering. If it sounds too exclusive for you, fret not. Expect the Sport Series to get yet another variant sometime in the next few years.

Subaru STI Performance Concept

Subaru STI Concept 2

STi is Subaru’s performance brand much like M to BMW and AMG to Mercedes. However, many people aren’t as aware that it exists, and Subaru wanted to change that. In doing so, they accented, and built a very interesting concept dubbed the STi Performance Concept. It is based on the BRZ and utilizes the rally race engine from the WRX STi sedan. Accenting multiple performance parts, such as spoilers and suspension components, Subaru is looking to make STi a global brand and have a larger market here in the United States.

Infiniti QX50

Infiniti QX50 1

What’s new for Infiniti’s pioneering crossover? A roomier interior, longer wheelbase, updated styling, and a few extras are in store for the 2016 Infiniti QX50. They’ve added an additional 3.2 inches to the wheelbase and updated exterior color choices with the new Hagane Blue. The interior is driver focused featuring high-contrast gauges and signature double wave instrument panel. From a performance angle, it should be a fun crossover to drive since all QX50s will be equipped with 3.7-liter V6 rated at 325 hp and 267lb-ft of torque. That is complemented by a 7-speed automatic transmission with DS mode and Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Control.

Lincoln Continental Concept

Lincoln Continental Concept 2

Long live flagships, apparently. First there was Buick making a statement with their full-size sedan in Detroit. Here in NY, Cadillac has already planted its flag. This time it is Lincoln’s turn with the Continental Concept. Its claim is to be elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene. I find that assessment to be right on par. It has graceful lines with plenty of features to attract consumers to the brand. On the exterior, it features full width tail lamps with light-through-chrome technology as well as E-latch door handles that fold discreetly in the clean vehicle beltline. Oh, and how can we forget to mention the patented 30-way Lincoln designed seats that are meant to better fit passengers’ sizes and shapes. It’s fair to say Lincoln generated the most buzz by surprising everyone with Bentley-inspired design and perhaps the most iconic Lincoln nameplate. Will they build it? This concept looks remarkably production-ready in the key areas. Let’s hope this is Lincoln’s first step to being less reliant on Ford.

-Danielle Assenheimer, Christopher Little, Scott Villeneuve

2 replies »

  1. Very surprising that it took Subaru this long to make a sti concept of the BRZ since most complaints of the car is lack of power. Hopefully they put it on the market!

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