AUTO REVIEW: New York Auto Show Highlights Americans’ Diverse Desires – The Oakland Press
The New Lincoln Navigator
Mike Covello — AutoWritersInk
New York >> Since Americans come from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, it’s not surprising that we have a wide range of tastes when it comes to our vehicles.
This year’s New York International Auto Show drove home this point with the sharp contrast between the emphasis on high performance and high fuel economy.
Dodge stole the show with its 840-hp Dodge Demon, and Jaguar will offer a four-cylinder engine in its sleek F-Type roadster.
Dodge: You might think that the Dodge Hellcat with 707 hp. was already way too much. Dodge let their Demon out of its cage, and kicked off the show (off campus) with the literal launch of the fastest production factory drag racing car ever.
Smoky burnouts delighted the crowd even more than the appearance of Fast and Furious Van Diesel. The Demon claws its way to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds, and reaches a ¼ mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph. Not a trim level, but a significantly modified Dodge Challenger, the Dodge Demon throws the gauntlet down. We shall see if anyone picks it up.
Jaguar: Jaguar’s F-Pace SUV has won the World Car of the Year award. It highlights a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. This 296-hp. and 295 lb.-ft. of peak torque motor will now become available in Jaguar’s style leader, the F-Type coupe and convertible.
The mid-size luxury sedan market has no pity on any manufacturer not keeping up to date. Acura returns to its Precision Crafted tag line with the unveil of the TLX with the new corporate pentagonal grille. While the basic model is available with a four or six-cylinder engines, the Spec A trim returns with only the more powerful V6 under the newly-shaped hood.
Last year, Honda gave us their fuel-cell Clarity. This year they added an all-electric version and a plug-in hybrid version, making up a trio of models. The hybrid’s 1.5-liter gas engine ends range anxiety, and this version will be available in all 50 states.
The FT4X (Future Toyota four-wheel-drive) concept kicked off the round of press conferences. About the size of their new C-HR cute ute, the FT4X emphasized interior flexibility in some novel ways. The radio is removable, and plays independently of the vehicle. Dome lights become flashlights. The two-way back doors house a warming box on one side and a cool box on the other. Also displayed was the recently revealed 2018 Camry.
The Subaru Ascent is labeled a concept, but we can expect a production version of this seven-seat, four-row people-mover within the year. With the Tribeca gone, Subaru is looking to cash in on their rapidly-increasing sales with a new entry into a very hot market.
The Rogue is now the largest selling vehicle in America that isn’t a pickup truck. Sporting a refresh for 2017, Nissan’s presentation emphasized the new safety features (Smart cruise control, collision warning, etc.) in the Rouge Sport. The Star Wars Rouge One tie-in was also readily apparent with their displays.
Lincoln: The new Navigator does not have the huge gullwing doors of last year’s concept, but it does make big horsepower. Look for the same twin turbocharged V6 engine as you’ll find in the Ford Raptor pickup. A mighty 450 proud American ponies flow through a ten-speed automatic transmission.
The Korean car builder introduced their 2018 Sonata. The car is still only available with four-cylinder engines unlike many competitors. Grabbing a grille from its sibling the Genesis G90, this Sonata is not the styling home run that the 2009 edition achieved. It does continue with Hyundai’s elegant styling for their sedans.
Lexus: The V8 and hybrid Lexus LS500 luxury/sport coupes are barely on the road, and a new F Sport model showed its spindle-grilled face at the show.
Mercedes-AMG: The Mercedes-Benz sub brand, AMG stole the spotlight at this year’s show. While the new E-Class cabriolet was shown, the stage had the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 and GLC63 Coupe featured prominently. Luxury SUVs and Crossovers are clearly a market for which Mercedes Benz looks to offer something for everyone. The AMG GT Concept Car gets my vote for flashiest vehicle on display.
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