For 107 years, the New York International Auto Show has opened its doors to the latest concept and production vehicles and welcomed enthusiasts to admire what manufactures have worked so hard to create. Over 1,000 vehicles were displayed this year, all vying to capture the attention and excitement of onlookers. This is a very important show; it takes place in America's largest car market and is North America's largest publicly-attended Auto Show. The dates for this years show are April 6th through April 16th. With over 6,000 media and industry executives attending the media days, held on the fourth and fifth of April, this is a well documented and publicized event.
'Situated in the media capital of the world, the NYIAS offers a great opportunity for car companies to show off their latest products to the press,' said show chairman John LaSorsa. 'We're thrilled that more than 20 manufacturers have chosen this year's Show for so many important new vehicle introductions.'
Exciting two- and four-door sedan introductions seemed to be a popular theme this year. Hyundai introduced a V8 powered, rear wheeled drive, premium sport sedan named the Hyundai Genesis. Mercedes-Benz introduced their next generation C-Class and a stunning CLK 63 AMG Black Series Edition. The CLK 63 AMG is powered by a 6.3-liter V8 capable of propelling the car from zero-to-sixty in 4.1 seconds. Top speed is limited to 186 mph. Essentially, it is a street legal version of the Official F1 Safety Car with technology borrowed from Formula One. Carroll Shelby was on hand to introduce the Shelby GT500 KR. He was all smiles as he talked about the next generation of tuned Mustangs, a 540 horsepower monster. The Nissan Nismo 350Z has a six-speed manual gearbox, an extensive list of unique sporty equipment including a special body package, handling equipment, and a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces just over 300 horsepower. The next generation of the Subaru Impreza WRX was one of the most anticipated debuts of the show. Only a few pictures were shown prior to the opening of the show, with information that only heightened ones curiosity. What was revealed was a new, more refined Impreza that grew slightly in size to accommodate a greater degree of comfort and utility. Under the hood is a 2.5-liter flat-four Boxer engine delivering 224 horsepower and weighs 50 pounds less than its predecessor. Greeting visitors as they entered the show (being one of the first displays that visitors saw as the came through the main entrance) are two Callaway Corvettes, one a coupe and the other a convertible. The supercharged engine is good for over 600 horsepower, with technology throughout that is indicative of a company that has long roots in the ultra-high performance realm and has raced at the grueling 24 Hours of LeMans. Just as impressive, the cars have a fuel efficiency rating of 18 mpg in the city and nearly 30 on the highway, all from an automobile that has a top speed of over 200 mph. Bentley brought over their Geneva Motor Show car, the Brooklands. This two-door, four-seater Grand Touring Coupe is both muscular and elegant. The twin-turbocharged 6.75-liter engine produces 530 horsepower and wrapped in traditional and hand-assembled, craftsmanship. Production is limited to just 550 cars which makes it one of the world's most exclusive coupes. Cadillac showed their updated STS. The standard engine is a V6 unit that produces about 300 horsepower; larger engines are available to those motorists who desire more power. Infiniti's new G37 has a 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 330 horsepower. The two-door coupe is a performance thoroughbred that is packed with an advanced performance system and an all-new seductive skin.
Chevrolet introduced three exciting and aggressive looking concepts, the Groove, Beat, and Trax. Each share about the same dimensions, but differ in features and functionality. The Chevrolet Beat is a front-wheel drive, three-door hatchback that personifies performance, energy, and excitement in a small, compact package. The Groove is a front-wheel drive vehicle and has four-doors. The concept is contemporary and funky that draws its styling cues from Chevrolet's rich heritage. The Trax was constructed to appeal to the young car buyers in urban markets. With these three concepts, Chevrolet is proudly and loudly stating that size doesn't matter.
Ford brought three celebrities, Carroll Shelby, Chip Foose, and Funkmaster Flex, to help harnass momentum for their new Ford Flex Crossover and the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500KR. Also on display was the Ford F150 Foose Edition, and its proud creator, Chip Foose, who is also the star of TV's Overhaulin, was there to help stir excitement for the vehicle. The Expedition Funkmaster Flex Concept shown at SEMA was on display and will soon be available for sale at dealerships in limited numbers. Expedition Funkmaster Flex Edition, the hip hop guru of car customization, was on hand to show off this special edition vehicle.
The Ford Flex Crossover has a bold design, seating for seven, six-speed gearbox, all-wheel-drive, and a 3.5-liter V6 engine. The vehicle will go on sale in the summer of 2008 and will join the Edge and Taurus X in the Ford crossover lineup.
Lamborghini showed off their Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera which has a total production limit of 250 units. It is equipped with permanent 4WD, a six-speed gearbox, aluminum space frame, and an aluminum V10 engine that produces 530 horsepower and propels the car from zero-to-sixty in 4 seconds and reaches its top speed at just under 200 mph. Dodge brought their Mopar Viper, Saleen their S7 Twin-Turbo, and Rolls-Royce their Phantom. Spyker brought a nice collection of vehicles that included the D12 Peking-To-Paris and the C8. Pontiac displayed their V8 powered, rear-wheeled drive, G8 car which was first shown to the public only a few short months ago.
Lotus showed a limited production vehicle, the 72D Edition Elise. The car is a 35th anniversary vehicle built as a tribute to Emerson Fittipaldi's who became the youngest champion in Formula One history in 1972.
This is a very special time of the year, for many of reasons. Ten of those days are the public viewing of the New York Auto Show. This is the last major auto-show for many, many months in North America for vehicle introductions. By now, the industry is well in-tune with the direction set forth by the debuts and introductions. Detroit was pretty tame with many practical concepts that could easily become reality. This auto show followed that trend, with many of the debuts a possibility for production. Production cars are becoming faster with high horsepower and performance in all aspects. Safety is keeping pace, as are alternatives to traditional fuel.
This was a show that highlighted mainstream auto manufacturers, and the hand crafted, exotic, car creators. There were some big and exciting debuts, and many that will soon grace our roadways. Many of the concepts shown at the last few major auto-shows have made their way to the Big Apple; a tour of the Jacob Javits Center is one that paints a clear picture of the current and future auto marketplace.
Malcolm S. Forbes once said 'Ability will never catch up with the demand for it,' which rings true for today's automobiles. The cars of today are so mechanically and technologically advanced than those of just a few years ago, but are still continuing to evolve by leaps and bounds. The NYIAS does a great job at showcasing these cars of the future.
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