A preview of what to expect at the Big Apple's big show next week.
The New York International Auto Show has been an important fixture on the automotive scene since its introduction way, way back in 1900. Located at the Javits Center since the '80s, close to 1000 vehicles will be on display including some brand-new model unveilings and the usual array of jaw-dropping concept cars. Taking place around Easter weekend each year, the show will run from the 30 March until the April 8, with press days to kick off a week from now.
The GMC Sierra was recently revealed and offers a thoroughly updated package introducing some much-needed new drivetrains and updated safety and convenience technologies to the range. But there are plenty of trim levels and versions that have yet to be announced and rumors are that an all-terrain variant is on the horizon.
The current interest in SUVs sees the Aviator return after an absence of more than a decade, utilizing Ford's modular C6 platform. Rumors suggest that it may bear more than a passing resemblance to the recently updated MKC and while details are thin on the ground all will be revealed at the Auto Show.
The Cadillac XT4 compact crossover is sure to gather some crowds at the show, and a number of teaser shots hint at a thoroughly modern design. Power is rumored to come from a turbocharged inline-four and Cadillac's Super Cruise hands-free highway driving system is highly likely to be on offer too.
Nissan will be introducing its new Altima at the NY Auto Show for the first time. The carmaker has remained tight-lipped about the details although the few camouflaged test cars that have been spotted indicate an evolutionary update rather than a completely new design. The existing four and six-cylinder engines and CVT transmission are likely to be carried over but we will have to wait for the full reveal before we know whether they opt for the downsized turbocharged route.
The Maxima will be getting a refresh too and while the 300-hp 3.5-liter V6 is likely to remain unchanged there should be an updated infotainment system, additional safety systems and a comprehensively restyled front and rear end. Camouflaged test mules have hinted at many styling cues from the Vmotion 2.0 Concept car (pictured).
Kia is also looking to increase its market share of the luxury sedan sector with its new K900. We have seen a few teaser pictures which indicate a restrained and classy design, while Kia says that it has followed a concept they call 'Gravity of Prestige'. A tad lofty sounding perhaps but the end result looks very promising. If it is as accomplished as the recently introduced Stinger, the competition has something to be concerned about.
Lexus is hoping to gain some customers with an all-new ES sedan. Using Toyota's TNGA New Global Architecture platform it looks to be a smaller size than the current model. It is rumored to retain its 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 and hybrid powerplants.
The Forester will be moving to Subaru's global platform architecture and will be a bit larger than the current model. The design will feature some modern touches but the overall shape will be familiar to current owners. Expect the usual symmetrical all-wheel-drive and boxer engine configuration hopefully with a turbocharged trim offering too.
The RAV4 has been on sale since 2013 and the new model is long overdue. Being one of Toyota's best-selling US offerings it can't afford to take any risks. So while we can expect a big update in powertrain and safety tech, it is unlikely that Toyota will risk alienating their core market with a big deviation from the core RAV4 strengths. The silhouette teaser shot does indicate a less angular look though.
The Pilot will be receiving a mid-life cycle refresh this year and other than the usual exterior and interior updates we can also expect to see a hybrid version, most likely sharing a number of its drivetrain components with the existing Accord Hybrid. The 280-hp 3.5-liter V6 should carry on in the standard models for now.
The move towards EVs though continues unabated and the Hyundai will be unveiling its all-electric Kona which will join the range later in the year. There will be a choice between a 39.2-kWh or 64-kWh battery pack which will offer a range of between 150 and 250 miles. Further details should be forthcoming at the NY Auto Show unveiling.
North American Debuts will include crossovers from some major manufacturers. BMW's X4 is the sportier, slightly less practical version of the equally new and technically similar X3. The current model is available in xDrive28i and M40i flavors and we will be getting a similar engine line-up with a 248-hp 30i and 355-hp M40i making their debut in July.
Jaguar meanwhile is sailing in new waters with its first ever all-electric offering. Erly indications are that it is more than a worthy competitor to the Tesla Model X. It will be offered with a 90-kWh battery pack and a claimed range of 240-miles, with power sent to all four wheels. Making 394-hp and 512 lb-ft of torque the I-Pace gets to 60 mph in a very quick 4.5 seconds. Owners will be able to interact with their I-Pace using Amazon's Alexa.
Lexus is also bringing the futuristic UX to our shores. The new crossover places a lot of focus on providing good handling characteristics and its compact size and aggressive styling give off a distinctly sporty air. Base models will feature a 168-hp 2.0-liter gasoline engine while the UX 250h will offer a hybrid powertrain with approximately 176-hp on tap. Neither may be particularly rapid but overall economy should be excellent.
The Lexus RC F luxury sports coupe now gets the Black Line treatment to further enhance its aggressive looks. Limited to the RC300 and 350 F Sport models, only 650 examples will be built. The changes are largely cosmetic comprising of two new exterior paint options, unique alloys, a bespoke wood-trimmed steering wheel and orange accent stitching throughout the cabin.
Aside from these upcoming models, manufacturers will be showcasing some of their future technologies with the usual collection of weird and wonderful concept cars. Some may be nothing more than a design idea enrobed in a stylish fiberglass casing while others are near production ready designs. Either way, the New York International Motor Show is set to offer another dazzling display of the latest the automotive world has to offer.