It’s hard to imagine New York being outshone, but that’s what you get for coming on the motor show circuit a month after Geneva.
The Swiss spectacle served up supercars galore, and over in the US next week the focus is on production metal, sensible cars for sensible people. Here’s wheels’ pick of the most important cars scheduled to make their world premieres at the New York motor show.
After its success with the Navigator (Ford’s luxury arm can’t build these full-size SUVs fast enough to meet demand), Lincoln is riding this wave and trying to expand the range in the hope that will bring the brand back into the premium psyche. In New York, Lincoln will revive the Aviator name with a new concept model, likely to be another SUV because the original 2002 Aviator (a tarty Ford Explorer) was an SUV. Other than that Lincoln isn’t revealing anything prior to the New York show, but judging by the Continental and Navigator we can safely assume the interior will be pretty nice…
Fresh after the updated saloon version, Mercedes has revealed the sportier AMG C 43 Coupé and Cabriolet models ready for New York — you can tell the facelifted cars apart from the outgoing C-Class line-up by new front and rear bumpers and new side skirt designs, while the AMG cars add new rims and steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara. The 3.0-litre V6 engine has been enhanced to deliver 23 more horsepower, now rated at 385bhp and 520Nm of torque (the latter figure remains the same as before). With standard all-wheel drive the tin-top sprints from zero to 100kph in 4.7 seconds.
Too bad for us in the Middle East we don’t get Toyota’s hatchback version of the Corolla, because the latest one in the US not only looks pretty spiffy but also comes with an available manual transmission, mated to a 2.0-litre high-compression engine that should be developing 150bhp at least. With a revised sport suspension and built upon Toyota’s new global vehicle architecture, the longer, wider new Corolla hatch should do some good battle with Golfs, Focuses and Mazda 3s.
Fresh after revealing the latest third-generation Volkswagen Touareg (15in screens people!) in its largest market, China, the German carmaker has committed to another large five-seater, based on its large seven-seater… Built in Volkswagen’s US plant in Tennessee, the seven-seater Atlas has just gone on sale in the US, and at the New York show we’ll get a glimpse of a five-seater production version to go up against competition from Chevrolet, GMC, Ford and Jeep. Designed on the company’s MQB platform also related to everything from the Audi TT to the Skoda Kodiaq SUV, the five-seater Atlas should start from even less than the seven-seater which is currently priced in the US from the equivalent of about Dh110,000.
The RTA will be paying attention to the New York show if only to get a glimpse of one of their future fleet stars — Nissan is putting on the global debut of the next-generation Altima saloon. Judging from the teaser image released by the Japanese carmaker, the design is about to get a big update coming in line with some of Nissan’s concepts we’ve been seeing lately like the XMotion and the VMotion styling exercises. So it’ll look pretty wild, with an eventual production line-up featuring hybrid and turbocharged petrol-engined Altimas.
Instead of going after BMW 7 Series and Merc S-Classes as ‘new’ Cadillac originally kept promising, the once great brand and the ‘Standard of the World’ keeps moving downmarket, together with everyone else mind you. Cadillac’s figured out that the money is in crossovers, cheap crossovers, although they prefer calling them premium compact crossovers. Which is why the all-new Cadillac XT4 is the latest model in the line-up making its public premiere at the New York motor show. Although the brand is flying in China (year-on-year sales are up over 50 per cent), Cadillac sorely needs to claw back some lost market share in America, and the small XT4 might be the car to help fight off competition from the likes of Lexus, BMW, Volvo, Jaguar, Infiniti, Audi and Mercedes.
It’s hard to believe Toyota’s big-selling RAV4 has now been with us for nearly 25 years, as it was one of the first compact crossovers to innovate with a youthful, lifestyle-y design. The nameplate has since gone mainstream and the styling swayed towards conservative, but at the New York show Toyota will reveal the all-new generation RAV4 on a new vehicle platform and premiering a totally fresh design direction. With the latest architecture we expect the latest Toyota engines too, although it remains to be seen what we’ll get in the Middle East and how that will affect the pricing as the RAV4 currently starts from less than 90 grand.