Friday, March 25, 2016

The 10 Must-See Debuts from the 2016 New York Auto Show

Best Of 2016 New York auto showJust in time for summer, Audi is launching a convertible version of its R8 supercar, the R8 Spyder, which makes its debut at the New York auto show. This dramatically proportioned roadster is the next addition to the growing lineup of second-generation R8 models, and, like the new R8 coupe, the Spyder features the same height and wheelbase as its predecessor, but it is both wider and shorter.The new R8 Spyder comes to market with the fabulous, naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10, rated at 540 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. The high-revving engine can play the entire range from a dark growl to a piercing howl, and its soundtrack is no empty promise: From a standstill, 62 mph comes up in 3.6 seconds, according to Audi, and top speed is ungoverned at 198 mph. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic channels the power to all four wheels—most of the time. The Quattro all-wheel-drive system can send as much as 100 percent to the front or the rear axle, although the default setup is strongly rear-biased. There is a GKN-supplied, water-cooled front differential and a limited-slip differential in the rear. READ MORE ››The new sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro offers a four-cylinder engine for the first time since the 1980s, and its 1LE handling package is now available for the V-6 model. The Ford Mustang, too, has turned to a turbo four in response to tightening fuel-economy and emissions standards. But lest you think the days of howling, rip-roaring V-8 muscle cars are fading, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is here to change your mind.Debuting just ahead of the 2016 New York auto show, the newest version of the 10Best-winning Camaro is a no-holds-barred, supercharged V-8 beast. Of course, what you really want to know is how much muscle it’s packing. The answer is 640 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque, coming from General Motors’ LT4 supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine also found in the Corvette Z06. While the ZL1’s numbers fall 10 horsepower and 10 lb-ft short of the hottest Corvette’s, those figures still represent a whopping 60 horsepower and 84 lb-ft more than the last Camaro ZL1’s 580-hp 6.2-liter supercharged LSA powerplant. READ MORE ››The Fiat 124 Spider, otherwise known as the Mazda Miata’s Italian cousin, showed its sportier side when the Abarth-tuned droptop made its debut at the Geneva auto show earlier this year. Now we have full details on the Abarth-ized 124 that we’ll get in the States. Officially called the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth, this new model’s performance upgrades are roughly equivalent to the Miata’s Club package.Unlike the European-spec Abarth, which has 170 horsepower, the U.S.-spec Fiat 124 Abarth doesn’t get any extra power (sadly). The 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes the same 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque as the standard 124, although the Abarth’s specially tuned exhaust should offer unique aural delights. Other upgrades include a limited-slip differential, Bilstein dampers front and rear, and an optional Brembo brake package that includes 17-inch wheels. If that equipment list sounds familiar, it’s because it is nearly identical to the Miata’s Club trim level and its extra-cost ($3400) Brembo/BBS package. READ MORE ››Luxury-car companies love to preview the future with concept cars that establish a so-called “design direction” and overall ethos for the brand. And so the fledgling Genesis, eager to jump right into the global luxury-car pool, is following the well-established template set before it with the unimaginatively named New York concept. This hybrid-powered, cleanly styled sedan concept is meant to foreshadow the future of Hyundai’s Genesis brand—specifically, it’s a glimpse at the upcoming Genesis G70 that has its sights set on the BMW 3-series.Introduced by Genesis chief designer Peter Schreyer at—you guessed it—the New York auto show, the New York concept shows an attractive, athletic, yet subtle face to the world. We appreciate that Genesis doesn’t call it a “four-door coupe,” although its rakish, sloping roofline is certainly inspired by cars like the Audi A7 and the Mercedes-Benz CLS. Lexus could learn a thing or two from the Genesis concept’s hexagonal grille that’s distinctive without being garish, while the rear haunches bulge ever so slightly to emphasize the car’s rear-wheel-drive proportions. For a concept car, it’s refreshingly short on ridiculous design details, although the large wheels, extravagant lighting, and front fender grilles probably will be toned down for production. READ MORE ››Lincoln basically won last year’s New York auto show when it rolled the surprisingly seductive Continental concept onstage, a move that signaled the dormant American luxury-car brand might have awoken from its product slumber. Now this year Lincoln is again making big news in the Big Apple with an even bigger vehicle: the Navigator concept.Applying Lincoln’s new form vocabulary to the model said to wear its most recognizable nameplate, the Navigator concept is an enormous and surprisingly lovely thing. Don’t be seduced by the huge gullwing doors and wood-paneled “concertina” staircase—those are strictly conceptual touches, devised to provide a good view of its interior, according to Lincoln—but spend some time checking out the details, including its elegant headlamps, slim horizontal tailpipes, wide lower air intakes, cantilevered rear air deflector, and straked hood gently dropping down to the signature Lincoln grille. The turbofan-style wheels lay it on a little thick, but for the most part, this is as elegant a form as we can imagine for any full-size, three-row SUV. READ MORE ››Ever since the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata debuted last year, our imagination has run wild concocting new body styles like a Miata coupe, a Miata retractable hardtop, and even a Miata shooting brake. But we didn’t predict the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Retractable Fastback (RF), which combines a power-retractable targa top with a gorgeous fastback roofline. In other words, it’s the Miata coupe you’ve been waiting for, only better.The Miata RF’s power-folding targa top operates like the Porsche 911 Targa’s intricate roof in concept, although it’s somewhat simpler in practice. The 12-second roof-opening process can be performed at speeds up to 6 mph and works thusly: The two roof panels over the occupants’ heads fold while the rear window lowers itself behind the seats and the two flying-buttress supports lift up to accommodate the folded top. Those sail panels, by the way, are a visual trick, wrapping around a conventional trunklid that opens to a cubby with the same 4.6 cubic feet of cargo space as in the Miata softtop. READ MORE ››Can’t decide whether you would prefer a boulevard cruiser or a high-performance sports car? No need to choose if you can plunk down $75K or more for the latest from Affalterbach, the city just north of Stuttgart where AMG’s engineers and designers have whipped up a pair of dual-purpose, leather-lined missiles in the Mercedes-AMG C63/C63 S cabriolets.Featuring chassis and powertrain technology from the just-launched C63 coupe, the droptop editions also get considerable body and suspension alterations. Both employ versions of the M177 4.0-liter V-8, the compact “hot-V” design with two turbochargers mounted between the cylinder banks. Rated at 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque in the C63 cabriolet, or 503 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque in the C63 S cabriolet, this engine works through a seven-speed "Speedshift" automatic that delivers ultraquick gearchanges and rev-matched downshifts. All power is sent to the rear wheels. Mercedes-AMG says that 60 mph comes up in 4.0 or 4.1 seconds. While the C63 cabriolet is governed at 155 mph, the C63 S allows a more generous 174 mph. READ MORE ››Since its introduction in 2007 and arrival on our shores for the 2009 model year, Nissan has incrementally improved its R35 GT-R. For 2017, Gojira’s current incarnation gets its most extensive once-over yet, featuring exterior-design revisions, control-interface simplification, and, naturally, more city-stomping power. Think of it as continued tyranny via subtle mutation.Outside, the 2017 model’s front fascia is revamped with a larger, restyled grille to improve engine cooling. Over the twin-turbo V-6 engine, a reinforced hood features new character lines designed to improve high-speed stability. The side sills swell farther out to move air around the car, while the redesigned rear end enhances the visual impression of width. Nissan claims the GT-R retains its 0.26 drag coefficient. READ MORE ››Just shy of a quarter-century ago, Subaru hired a young actor by the name of Jeremy Davies to earnestly expound upon a new model by comparing it to punk rock. We didn’t exactly buy it at the time, but if punk grew up to be alternative rock, we suppose Subaru pulled a similar trick, recently surpassing perennial countercultural favorite Volkswagen in U.S. sales. And that was long before the whole diesel imbroglio. So if we accept that the original Impreza was the first Ramones album, the latest, fifth-generation example on display at the New York auto show would logically be End of the Century.End of the Century, as you might recall, was produced by Phil Spector. Prior to his second career as a murderer, Spector developed a reputation for his “Wall of Sound” production. And certainly, this latest Impreza packs a lot more than a four-cylinder boxer engine and four driven wheels, which is pretty much all that the first-gen car consisted of. READ MORE ››While most auto manufacturers offer hybrid vehicles, the Toyota Prius serves as the poster child of the genre. It’s a symbol both of greenie superiority as well as an easy target for detractors. The competition never sleeps, however, and the new plug-in variant, now named Prime, has arrived packed with the latest in efficiency, safety, and convenience goodies to ensure the new 2017 Prius maintains its high profile.Measuring 2.4 inches longer and 0.6 inch wider than its predecessor, the 2017 Prius Prime receives a frontal makeover to differentiate it from its non-plug-in sibling, with the fascia gaining deeper creases. Additionally, thin LED-headlamp enclosures bracket a blacked-out center section, which also eliminates the protruding lower “fish lip” of the regular Prius. Out back, a new wraparound LED taillamp design is integrated into a spoiler, adding a degree of contemporary style and some identity for the plug-in. To keep weight down and efficiency up, the Prius Prime uses plenty of high-strength steel, an aluminum hood, and a carbon-fiber liftgate. The Prime sits roughly one inch lower in overall height and, like the redesigned 2016 Prius, employs automatic grille shutters to aid aerodynamic efficiency. Although Toyota hasn’t yet quoted a figure, the automaker expects the car’s coefficient of drag to rank right up—er, down—with the slipperiest production sedans currently on the market. READ MORE ››
from Car and Driver Blog

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