New York City might seem one of the most car-hostile environments on the planet, but it really isn't. Take the city's annual auto show as irrefutable proof of the opposite: New Yorkers love cars so much, they'll endure a subway ride to get to the Jacob Javits Convention Center to see cars they can't even drive.
Half of New Yorkers may not even own a car, but the annual New York International Auto Show is one of the best-attended in the country, and one of the oldest. And again this year, it's one of the most important events on the automotive calendar, with more mass-market reveals and global introductions than even the Detroit Auto Show held just a few months ago.
Next week, the Internet Brands Automotive team will be on site to tell you more about the big news from Javits--in words, pictures, video, and social media. This week, we're channeling our crystal ball to show you exactly what to expect as the curtains pull back during the show's press days starting Monday. It's a half-week jammed with dozens of press conferences, industry forums, symposiums, and award ceremonies.
The deluge has already begun with previews, sneek peeks, and teasers. Stay with us as we cover the show before and after by bookmarking our auto show pages at The Car Connection, Motor Authority, and Green Car Reports; by following us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram; and by staying in touch with the latest news on Twitter @carconnection @motorauthority @greencarreports.
Meanwhile, these are the most important new vehicles we'll be bringing you from New York:
Shown briefly in ads aired during this year's Super Bowl, the Cadillac CT6 is the GM brand's first real shot at global full-size luxury sedans like the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series. It will pack a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine good for 400 horsepower, and Cadillac says it's the only twin-turbo V-6 engine in the world with both cylinder deactivation and stop-start. The CT6 debuts a new naming system at Cadillac, and also a new normally aspirated V-6. The new 3.6-liter will be rated at 335 horsepower, and like the twin-turbo six, will be paired to an eight-speed automatic. The CT6 is due late this year; there's no word on the plug-in hybrid powertrain suggested last year by GM product development chief Mark Reuss.
After just three model years on sale, the Chevy Malibu gets a complete redo for the 2016 model year. The new family sedan bows in New York with a new profile, and rides on a new version of GM's mid-size Epsilon architecture, dubbed E2. The uprated Malibu promises to deliver more safety and space than the previous Malibu--up to four inches more in cabin space--while it weighs some 300 pounds less, thanks to extensive use of high-strength steel. We know more, but we'll only be able to share it next week as the wraps come off the Malibu on the Javits Center floor.
The Chevrolet Spark is one of the smallest vehicles sold in the U.S., and it's one of the most pleasant to drive, too. We expect that to carry over as Chevy issues a new Spark for the 2016 model year. The Spark will make its New York show debut, but details are slim as of now. What is known, is that the new Spark won't carry over its electric-car EV edition. That battery-powered car will continue in its current form until Chevrolet introduces its new Bolt electric car, just unveiled in January in Detroit.
Hyundai is set to replace its Tucson small crossover SUV, a model that's been with us since the 2010 model year. It's even shown the new vehicle already, this month at the Geneva Motor Show. However, it hasn't shared any powertrain details yet for the U.S. market. The new crossover gets a sleek new look closely akin to the bigger Santa Fe Sport--and for drivetrains, we do expect a a pair of four-cylinders to make the list, with an automatic and possibly a dual-clutch transmission. In other markets, the Tucson gets turbodiesel engines and even a plug-in hybrid edition, a drivetrain that could make its way to the U.S. within a couple of years.
Jaguar's new XE compact sedan has been seen and even driven, but before it goes on sale in the U.S. (Jaguar is waiting on its new range of four-cylinder engines for the XE's sales debut), the new mid-size XF luxury sedan will go on sale. The new XF replaces the gorgeous outgoing car with a live stunt next week, in which the car will cross a pair of high wires in the city of London. The new car goes on sale in the fall, with an aluminum body shared in part with the XE and the new F-Pace SUV. Engines should include a turbo four, a turbo six, and a supercharged V-8 in a high-performance XF SVR.
With a new Hyundai Sonata on the road already, it's time for a new Kia Optima to debut. That happens at the New York show, where the Georgia-built sedan arrives with a sleeker new shape owed in part to the Sportspace wagon concept seen earlier this month in Geneva. The new Optima's specifications haven't been released, but we expect it to share again most of the powertrains found in the new Sonata. That could include hybrid and new plug-in hybrid powertrains based around a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, as well as a naturally aspirated four-cylinder and a turbocharged four-cylinder, with automatic and dual-clutch transmissions.
The Lexus RX is the cash cow for Toyota's luxury brand, and tampering with it is risky business. That's about to happen at the New York show, when the 2016 RX debuts with what may be a considerably more daring look than it's had since 2010. Lexus has released only this teaser shot of the new vehicle, which has more sculpting than the current model--even some cues that remind us of the new Nissan Murano. No tech details have been issued, but we expect the powertrains to include a new V-6 coupled to a six-speed automatic, and an improved version of the RX Hybrid's gas-electric drivetrain, both with an all-wheel-drive option.
Mitsubishi is headed into a future that relies heavily on crossover SUVs, and in New York it ushers in its newest family wagon, a revamped Outlander. The 2016 Outlander's already been previewed in the form of a plug-in hybrid Concept-S, but New York will host the debut of the production version, which Mitsu says gets an improved interior, better performance, and better handling than the current edition. A plug-in hybrid Outlander is expected to join the U.S. lineup sometime in the middle of next year.
The new Nissan Murano crossover SUV has some of the boldest lines you'll find on a mid-size wagon. This year, the Murano gets its four-door counterpart in the new Nissan Maxima, an exciting-looking new mid-size sedan that will bow in the metal in New York, after being teased in Nissan's Super Bowl ads in February. The Maxima looks very much like last year’s Sport Sedan Concept, right down to its split C-pillar and canopy-style roof, but we expect the running gear to be a lot less experimental: here's betting the Maxima draws power from a 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a CVT and spinning the front wheels only.
Last year, Scion said it would reinvigorate its lineup by pruning the iQ and by introducing three new models. One of those three will be the iA. The new carwill be Scion's first four-door with a trunk; it's essentially the sedan version of the upcoming Mazda 2, a body style that Mazda won't sell in the U.S. (The Mazda 2 will also spin off a new Toyota Yaris hatchback.) Given its underpinnings, the new iA should be smaller than the compact xB wagon still in the lineup, though its very age suggests the xB will be replaced soon.
The New York show will also host the debut of the production version of the Scion iM, a new five-door hatchback shown as a concept last fall in Los Angeles. The thinly-disguised concept will likely lose its boy-racer wheels and spoiler, retaining the outline of what is essentially the European market's Toyota Auris hatchback. The iM effectively replaces the Toyota Matrix in the company's lineup, and like that discontinued hatchback, the iM likely will share the Toyota Corolla's powertrains.
Already on the move in Europe, the new Smart Fortwo gets its U.S. debut at the New York auto show, with sales due to start here midyear. Why the delay? Smart has developed a new dual-clutch transmission for American-market Fortwo hatchbacks, to counter the most serious complaints about the current generation's poor shift behavior. Full details on the U.S. Smart's powertrain and fuel economy will be released in New York, but don't expect a new Electric Drive hatchback. The new battery-powered Smart isn't due this year, and may not arrive until late 2016. In the interim, Smart will continue to sell the current electric car alongside the new model.