When it comes to auto shows in America, the three big dogs are Detroit, LA and New York. The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) is the oldest one of them all, with its first show in 1900 - yes, it's that old! Located in the heart of Manhattan, it brings together nearly every manufacturer you can think of, including all their big execs, industry leaders, enthusiasts and consumers from all ends of the world. Clearing over one million attendees each year, it's arguably one of the largest automotive events there is anywhere. With all that said, we simply can't hold back how overjoyed we are to have our Scion Tuner Challenge FR-S front and center this year! You can find it in the North Hall of Javits Center at the Scion booth (the show ends April 12). Also don't forget to read the entire feature on our FR-S in the May '15 issue.
Anyway, back to subject at hand - we did manage to see some exceptional new cars and concepts that'll be interesting to watch unfold as the year progresses. In no particular order, here are the top seven cars we came across at the 2015 New York Auto Show.
Lexus GS F
While it debuted in Detroit, this was the first time seeing the new GS F with our own eyes. It looks more aggressive than we imagined and its appearance is complemented by the luxury sedan's 467-horsepower (hp) 5.0-liter V-8 (the same engine from RC F). The seats and slightly more aggressive styling cues give it a slight motorsport feel while still remaining sophisticated overall. With a limited run of 1,600 cars, we expect these babies to fly out of your local Lexus dealer like hotcakes!
We were quite optimistic when the iM concept debuted at the LA Auto Show with a very sporty hot hatch design. The night before NYIAS opened, Scion invited us to the reveal of the 2016 iM production model - less cool and sporty than what we expected, but we hope the aftermarket can step in to make it a 'lil sexier when the car is available later this year. Its best features are Pioneer head unit with a seven-inch display, LED running lights, backup cam, optional TRD gear from the dealer and a sub-$20K price tag.
Honda Civic Concept
There's a glimmer of hope for Civic fans. This 10th-gen Honda Civic Concept is said to remain more or less unchanged when a production model comes out of the woodwork. It shares similarities to the Type R hatchback introduced earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show. We dig the LED lights and aggressive exterior of the coupe. Honda tells us the base model will come with the company's new four-cylinder turbo and a six-speed manual - win! Our fingers are crossed... Honda even says the Type R is coming back to America but we can only wait and see!
The brand's first sedan - it's big on affordability, safety and efficiency, with a 42mpg rating on the highway. The iA's biggest competitor might be its Toyota Corolla brother, but with a $16K tag and sportier look, the Scion might be a spicier option for entry-level sedans.
Subaru STI Performance Concept
Subaru might just be teasing us with this one. There's no confirmation if there will be an STI version of the BRZ brought to North America, and less likely the turbocharged Super GT engine in this concept. But they're keeping our imaginations running wild with this STI concept and talks of bringing in STI parts to the US, which include the suspension, brakes, chassis, engine and aero upgrades. But, these are all what-if scenarios. Still, we can dream...
Ford Focus RS
We've had our eyes on the Focus RS for decades in Europe. If you're a performance car enthusiast, you'll be psyched to find out it's finally coming our way! As a current competitor against the STI and VW Golf R, the all-wheel-drive Focus will be powered by a 315hp 2.3L four-cylinder turbo. It'll also come with all the bells and whistles like the aggressive aero, Brembo brakes, six-speed manual and sporty Recaros. This is easily one of the most exciting cars of the year. Good job, Ford!
Like the GS F, New York wasn't the debut of the new Acura NSX; however this was the first time we saw the mid-engine hybrid supercar in person and we literally found ourselves staring at it for over an hour! It looks incredibly sexy in person, and for the record, it doesn't look like a copy of the R8. The details of the exterior are absolutely gorgeous, from the LED lights, powerful front grille, aggressive rear diffuser, center exhaust and optional carbon roof. The wheels fit like butter - staggered 19x8.5-inch fronts and 20x11-inch rears. We don't mind the carbon ceramic brakes, either. We've yet to see the production model fire up, but we're excited to see what the 550hp-plus, twin-turbo, three-electric motor V-6 hybrid can do.