Report from the New York International Auto Show
NEW YORK — U.S. and foreign automakers are showcasing dozens of new and updated automobiles this week at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center. The show, which dates back more than a century and was previously held at the New York Coliseum, the old Madison Square Garden, and the Grand Central Palace, will run through April 27.
The show highlights the rapidly increasing pace of change in the highly competitive industry, where even the newest models receive what would have been considered major changes in their second or third years of production.
BMW is showing off its Concept X5 eDrive plug-in, which the company refers to as a “connecting step” between BMW’s i-Series plug-in electric models and its conventionally-powered vehicles. In addition, the BMW X4 Sport Activity Coupe made its world debut here after a preview at the factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina last month.
Following its world debut in Geneva last month, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe made its U.S. debut at the show and the 2015 BMW M4 Convertible also made its world debut here.
Audi, which recently launched a brand new A3 four-door sedan, said it will add the popular A3 Sportback TDI clean diesel to the list of available options for the A3 in the U.S. The Sportback, which is a compact hatchback with a coupe evocative appearance, will become available in the summer of 2015.
Nissan introduced its Smart Rearview Mirror on its Nissan Rogue. The LCD device, which also functions as a traditional mirror, is intended to provide “clear rearward visibility,” according to Nissan, regardless of what would block a normal mirror such as a tall passenger in the vehicle, limited visibility due to the vehicle’s design, or poor weather conditions. The Smart Review Mirror uses a high-resolution camera mounted at the rear of the vehicle and provides a wider angle of view than that of a traditional mirror.
Volkswagen introduced a redesigned Jetta sedan for 2015. The front of the car has a new grille treatment with three vertical fins, a new bumper, and optional Bi-Xenon lighting with VW’s Adaptive Front-lighting System that illuminates corners in turns. Fifteen LEDs surround the headlights in an L shape and the rear has been redesigned with a new trunk lid with integrated spoiler, new taillights, and a new bumper. Numerous driver assistance features including blind spot detection, cross-traffic alert, and frontal collision warning are available.
The Jetta TDI is powered by VW’s new 2.0-liter 150 horsepower EA288 engine, which has an 8% improvement in fuel economy giving the car 45 mpg (5.22 l/100 km) on the highway and 32 (7.34) in the city, develops 236 pound-feet of torque and is the first engine in the U.S. from Volkswagen that is based on the automaker’s modular diesel system. It is also the first Jetta to have an SCR catalytic converter, which enables it to meet future emissions standards.
Meanwhile, Ford, which has continually updated the fifth-generation Mustang since its launch in 2009, is not only introducing its sixth-generation model but disassembling one for reassembly on the observation deck of the Empire State Building.
Alfa-Romeo is marking its official return to the U.S. market with the debut of the 2015 4C sports car. Alfa, which is owned by Fiat, will sell the 4C at select Fiat and Maserati dealerships and is positioning it as a smaller, lighter, and more affordable sports car for enthusiasts.
Finally, General Motors’ Chevrolet unit presented the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible, which will go on sale early next year with the same supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine that develops “at least 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque” for very fast top-down driving.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)