Car Shows

5 Best/Worst of the 2015 NYIAS

Public access of the 2015 New York International Auto Show is underway and we’ve had some time to decompress. We’ll be back to our regularly-scheduled programming later this week. But first, as is tradition, we’ve compiled a list of our 5 Best and 5 Worst from the NYIAS. Remember, things get better the further down you read.

5 Worst

1. Pre-reveals

Much of the glitz and glam of an auto show comes from being among the first to see a new car in person. There’s a big unveil as hundreds of over-caffeinated journalists jostle in a scrum for photos and interviews. Except in NY, that didn’t happen and much of the magic was lost. TV commercials spoiled the CT6 and Maxima reveals and pre-show events like McLaren’s 570S sneak peek get information out faster and earlier than the show allows. Perhaps its selfish or antiquated, but there’s something nice about being surprised. Maybe that’s why the Lincoln Continental got so much coverage? With the growth of Internet streaming, it’s easier to share with a larger group of people faster than ever before. But if we go too far in that direction, will we find ourselves in a world that doesn’t need auto shows at all? That’s why pre-reveals are the worst thing about this year’s NYIAS.

2. Disappearing Infiniti

Infiniti QX50 1

Ok, so Infiniti updated the EX35 QX50 by making it slights longer and giving it more Infiniti design cues.  We learned all about it on Day 1. When we returned on Day 2, it was nowhere to be found. In its place, the Lexus NX Infiniti QX30 Concept sat center stage. It can’t have gone far, but we weren’t able locate the lost crossover. What happened?

3. Whatever is happening here

I really don't know

Is this how the Rav4 Hybrid was conceived? Is this some special version of Toyota Care? There are so many questions we were too uncomfortable to ask.

4. Mercedes vs. Audi

Mercedes vs Audi

What have we here? A couple Audi employees checking out the Mercedes AMG GT S! Nothing wrong with admiring another brand’s handiwork; the AMG GT S is a very nice bit of engineering and design. Except Mercedes booth security was very quick to ask them not to touch the car. We found that a bit off, especially after we had spent quite a while admiring the AMG GT S in very close detail…and we’re nobody special. C’mon Mercedes, have a bit of confidence in your work. Audi isn’t here to take detailed measurements of your wing mirror glass, there’s plenty of undercover 3rd-party vendor employees with calipers, rulers, and clipboards journalists to do that. You should take pride that other companies admire your work.

5. Subaru STI Concept

There have been enough false teasers from Subaru about an STI version of the BRZ that, when a large-winged BRZ was covered with a white sheet on April 1st, we scarcely believed it. So why is the STI Performance Concept the best-of-the-Worst? First, the press conference talked about more STI involvement in the US. Then, it broke that involvement into three parts; motorsports, aftermarket parts, and automobiles. That only grabbed 1/3 of our attention, as STI was born from turning street cars into rally cars – not the other way around. We were reminded of that with Subaru’s brilliant display of STIs. Then, when the cover came off, we shown a concept car with a non-street legal race car engine. So close, Subaru, so close.

5 Best

5. Subaru STI Concept

Subaru STI Concept 2

But wait, the STI Performance Concept is on the 5 Best list! “Aha!”, you say. Yes, of course it is. The mere concept-for-now hint of a turbocharged (?), AWD (?) BRZ STI is enough to make us salivate. If Subaru managed to shoehorn the 305hp flat four from the WRX STI, and if Subaru managed to give fit it with the STI’s Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential, then by god we have a winner on our hands. Help us cleanse our palates of the XV Crosstrek Hybrid and give us the BRZ we’ve always wanted.

4. Honda Civic Concept

Something must be in the water at Honda. They drop a neon-green Civic Concept, confirm the Civic Type-R will comes to the US, and then dish details on the future Civic Si! Christmas came early in Minato, Tokyo. We’re not quite sure how the Acura NSX will fare, but the Civic has always represented reliable entry-level performance for the masses. It’s about time that Honda got back on track and gave the world the Civic it deserves.

3. Cadillac CT6

It may have been teased in a series of TV commercials, it may have gotten its own pre-reveal event, and we may have seen it being cleaned off before getting covered under its white sheet, but the CT6 still makes our Best list. Not for any of those reasons, of course. Look at it. In an era of busy and complex designs, Cadillac bestows its flagship with sharp, clean lines and a timeless design. The proportions are just so right. With forward-looking features like a twin-turbo V6 and optional AWD, the CT6 bucks all but the silly-naming-convention trend of modern flagships. So welcome to NY, Cadillac. A home-turf reveal is just what you needed to step out from the shadow of the Renaissance Center.

2. U.S.-spec Ford Focus RS

315+ horsepower. 320+ lb-ft torque. 6-speed manual transmission. AWD. Once the forbidden fruit of European hot-hatchbacks, the next-gen Focus RS is finally coming to America. And it has a drift button! Wait…I had something for this.

1. McLaren 570S

McLaren 570S 1

You know a brand is “exclusive” when its “budget” sportscar will cost $185,000. So how can we justify McLaren’s 570S taking our #1 spot? In photos, the 570S didn’t look all that great. But in person, its absolutely stunning. McLaren finds a way to turn the engineering of drag, downforce, and airflow management into stunningly elegant designs. The 570S is simpler than it’s bigger brothers, the P1 and 650S. There’s no active aero or hybrid technology. Under the show lights, it is a bit difficult to discern all the intricate details. There’s fins, strakes, splitters, ducts, diffusers, and even flying buttresses incorporated into the body. It is both aggressive and beautiful to behold.

Day 1: 2015 NYIAS
Day 2: 2015 NYIAS
2014 5 Best/Worst of the NYIAS
2013 5 Best/Worst of the NYIAS
2012 5 Best/Worst of the NYIAS

-Christopher Little

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