Report from the 2017 New York Auto International Auto Show, Where Bigger Is Better

By Jonathan Spira on 13 April 2017
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NEW YORK—Showcasing dozens of new domestic and foreign cars as well as hundreds of updated ones, the New York International Auto Show opens to the public Friday after two press preview days.

The show, currently at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center, 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.

Here’s a brief look at what we saw.

Lincoln showed off its new and rather massive Navigator SUV, which closely resembles the concept for the Navigator shown at last year’s show.

Dodge presented the insanely fast Challenger SRT Demon. Just reading the stats gives the impression of speed, to wit: 840 horsepower, 770 pound-feet of torque, 1.8g of acceleration off the line, zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) in a mere 2.3 seconds, zero to 100 mph (160 km/h) in just 5.1 seconds, and the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds.

Honda debuted two new versions of its Clarity, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric after introducing its hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell last year in Tokyo. The Clarity Electric can go 80 miles (129 kilometers) on a charge and the plug-in hybrid has a 40-mile (65-kilometer) battery range, all with a good-looking exterior and interior design. Honda has publicly stated that it plans to have two-thirds of its global sales consist of electrified vehicles by 2030.

Volvo, which has become more Swedish since Chinese automaker Geely assumed control of the venerable brand in 2010, showed off the XC60, which will be built in Volvo’s new production facility in South Carolina although there’s been no word as to whether the XC60 will actually be sold in the United States. Naturally, the XC60 has an impressive list of safety features, the most notable being Steer Assist, which relies on multiple cameras and sensors to allow the car to take control in certain situations, such as if a distracted driver were to allow the car veer into oncoming traffic. Oh, and look closely on the dash on the passenger side: there’s a Swedish flag stamped into the aluminum that runs from the edge of the driver-side cockpit to the passenger door.

Prior to the start of the show, Cadillac announced plans to equip the new CT6 sedan with Super Cruise, General Motor’s take on Tesla’s Autopilot feature and offered visitors to the show a virtual Super Cruise experience.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz is continuing to capitalize on buyers’ preferences for SUVs and crossover vehicles with the 2018 GLC63 and GLC63 S Coupe. The GLC63 will come with a 4.0-liter, 8-cylinder, bi-turbo engine paired with a nine-speed transmission, capable of going from a standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.9 seconds thanks to its 469 horsepower. The Coupe version is even faster, with 503 horsepower and a zero-to-60 time of 3.7 seconds.

Volkswagen showed off its updated Golf line for the 2018 model year including the Golf, Golf SportWagen, Golf Alltrack, Golf GTI, and Golf R, all gaining new LED taillights and running lights, updated wheels, and a larger (6.5” or 8” depending on trim level) touchscreen central display.

Audi debuted the new Audi Sport brand, with plans to bring eight models to the market over the coming 24 months. This includes the 2017 R8 V10 Spyder, the all-new 2018 TTRS, and, for the first time in the U.S. market, the RS 3.

Lexus, on the heels of introducing its new 2018 LS 500 sedan, showed the F Sport LS variant. The F Sport gets a more intricate spindle grille, different rocker panels and moldings, and special F Sport badges and wheels. It also gets F Sport-specific front seats and steering wheel, adaptive gauges inspired by the LFA supercar, aluminum pedals, and ultrasuede trim.

Buick introduced a completely redesigned Enclave that is bigger and more luxurious than its predecessor. The 2018 Enclave, a full-size three-row crossover, gets the brand’s new Evonik Acrylite lighting technology, a new engine and transmission, and two inches (51 mm) added to its wheelbase and overall length, the latter making the third row better suited for adult passengers.

Paul Riegler contributed to this story.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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