The best of the rest at the 2016 New York International Auto Show – Ars Technica

Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016

This year’s New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) is currently underway at the Jacob H. Javits Center in Manhattan, and in recent years New York has become an increasingly important event for the auto industry. NYIAS is almost at the point of rivaling Detroit as the premiere US show. We spent a couple of days pounding the floors to find out what’s new and interesting, and we’ve already reported on some of the more significant debuts—like Mazda’s MX-5 RF and Porsche’s 718 Boxster. There are simply too many noteworthy vehicles and technologies on display these days to give the fuller review treatment to all, so what follows is our “best of the rest,” in alphabetical order, because we don’t want to play favorites.

A is for Acura, and that means the Acura NSX GT3. This is a racing version of the company’s new hybrid supercar, built on the same production line in Marysville, Ohio. It’s shorn of the road car’s hybrid system, however. We hope to see some of these competing in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship next year.

BMW usually brings something interesting along from the vault, and this year was no exception. Atop its stand was a gorgeous M1 sports car from the 1970s.

Last year, Fiat revealed its 124 Spider, a two-seat roadster that shares a platform with the Mazda MX-5. Our pick of the range is the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth—which keeps the same 160hp (120kW), turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir engine but adds sportier suspension, a limited-slip differential, and some styling tweaks. You can get the Abarth, with either a six-speed manual or an automatic, later this year. Expect to pay under $30,000.

Ford’s Focus RS continues to taunt us at auto shows. It’s the third-generation Focus RS but the first one destined for these shores. It has 350hp (260kW) under the hood and all-wheel drive, and the clever electronic rear differential has a “drift mode” for when you need to express your inner hooligan. It can be yours for a shade under $36,000.

General Motors is up next. The Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle was on display, finally giving us a chance to check out the production interior of this mass-market, long-range EV. The 640hp (447kW) Camaro ZL1 also made an appearance, winning the hearts of most of the people we spoke to. GM stablemate Cadillac also had some performance versions on offer—the ATS-V and CTS-V. We particularly liked the naked carbon fiber vents and splitters.


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