Carmakers take a nibble out the Big Apple
The US auto industry used the New York International Auto Show to this week roll out among its biggest local market reveals, while also showing off some of the latest metal to come out of Europe and the rest of the world. While the world awaits the first-ever rear-wheel drive Corvette to be revealed ’somewhere’ in the flesh today, there was plenty more new black metal in the Big Apple.
Ford for instance showed off its all-new Escape SUV — they call it Kuga in this neck of the woods and described it as 'a heck of a lot of fun to drive'. Talking Escape, Lincoln re-entered the premium compact SUV segment with the Corsair, the company’s smallest crossover yet, but heavily influenced by the monster Navigator and sharing its platform with Escape and packing the same power choices, including 180kW 2-litre and 210kW 2.3-litre turbo petrol four-pots. Should be fun!
Cadillac’s sleek and well-equipped CT5 makes a big bold move with the choice of turbo petrol mills (you’d perhaps expect a V8?) in a 2-litre four-pot or 3-litre V6 as Caddy’s latest answer 5 Series, E-class and A6 and its priced to sell.
Moving abroad, Mercedes was busy in New York, rolling out the 210kW 2-litre turbo AMG A35 Saloon as the new AMG entry point with the promise of 0-100km/h in 4.8 seonds and a 250 kay top end to punish the Audi S3 Saloon and BMW M240i Coupé. Merc also showed the AMG S65 Final Edition, GLE 53 and GT-R Pro.
The everyday Benz badge meanwhile ushered in the new GLC Coupé boasting a light styling update, new driver safety systems and a new range of mild hybrid powertrains headlined by the fastest ever SUV around the Nurburgring AMG 63 S. Topping the Benz show was a tweaked GLS seven-seater SUVs to counter the new X7 while taking it to Bentayga and the imminent Q8 too, complete with a new 245kW 700Nm 2.9-litre straight six.
Nissan’s Ultimate Dream Garage celebrated 50 years of the GT-R and Z-cars showing the likes of the classic original 240Z, the R34 Skyline and the new limited-edition GT-R50 by Italdesign. Porsche meanwhile said goodbye to the 991 generation with the new 370kW GT3-powered 4-litre boxer six chop-top 911 Speedster and Toyota showed its bold new fourth-generation Highlander — you should perhaps pay more attention to this version as it may now very well go global.
Hyundai’s premium brand Genesis rolled out the new Mint — a quirky electric concept with a range of around 320km to show how luxury transport may work in cities one day. Closer to reality, the new 2020 Hyundai Sonata, Korea's answer to the Toyota Camry took a bow. Wonder if that will get to NASCAR?.
There were a few quaint and curious electric cars, best of which appeared to be the one developed by California-based Mullen Technologies and Chinese carmaker Qiantu Motors. They dropped the 280kW dual-motor K50 carbonfibre and aluminium two-door electric sports coupé good for 100km/h in 4.6 seconds, 200km/h and a claimed 375km plug/in driving range
And finally, the all-new Porsche 911-rivalling Chevrolet Corvette C8 with its V8 now behind the driver? It was not New York as I typed, but watch this space…!