New York, New York - the big city of dreams, a concrete jungle where those dreams are made of - you know, nothing you can't do? Aside from inspiring rappers, the city also plays host to the last piece of the automotive show puzzle of all the major cities and this year was a prime spot for a few Japanese manufacturers to release some long-awaited vehicles. Of course, we were there to see these cars first and we're excited to share what's coming soon to showrooms near you:
Entering a New Dimension with Scion's tC and IQ
Scion came in strong with two hot offerings at NYIAS, with its second gen tC and the bite-sized iQ. The tC isn't the FT-86 we've been hoping (and praying) for, but thanks to a more aggressive design (check the roof line) and power from a new 180hp 2.5L motor (up 19 hp from the 2.4L version), we're sure this coupe will continue its hot streak. More great features include a choice of a 6-speed manual or auto transmission, 18''wheels, larger brakes, panoramic sunroof and a stereo package that's sure to blow your ears away, so what's not to love about the upcoming tC?
Sharing the floor with the tC was the iQ, which was introduced as a micro premium that's aimed at blowing other small cars away. Powered by a 90hp 1.3L, it's may be starving for power, but that's not its primary function. It's geared for you city folk and for its size, this could be an urban hipster's dream as it can easily seat three people comfortably, four if you really cram them in there (we don't recommend this unless you're vertically challenged). It's also über safe, as it comes preloaded with traction control, ABS with brake assist and 10 (yes, count 'em - 10) airbags, including the world's first rear window.
Following the debut of the tC and iQ, Scion also unveiled the world's first modified versions of both cars, as conceptualized by 5Axis' Troy Sumitomo. Flowing perfectly with Troy's stable of Scion concept cars, the tC was given a super aggressive body kit and wheels inspired by samurai warriors of the past while the iQ was turned from urban cute into techno-monster with its low aero and upsized wheels/brakes. For cars that aren't even available for purchase, we're glad someone like Troy has the ability to stretch the imagination and bring these ideas to life. Sadly, these 5Axis creations are one-off but there may be a possibility that street version kits may be released, depending on consumer demand. We'd be curious to see which drift team will get one first, to make a RWD version or to possibly make a FT-86 concept come to life, that is, until Toyota drops the official version. We'll be driving stock versions of both cars shortly and will report back afterward on how they drive and feel.
Sources: www.sciondimension.com, www.fiveaxis.net
Easily the hottest hybrid we've seen to date is Lexus
CT200h concept, a 4-door hatchback that has enough styling to put its Prius brothers to shame. Give us one of these and we'll make sure to slam it and set it off with proper aero.
Subaru Goes Wide and Brings the STI Sedan Back
The highly-anticipated return of the STI sedan couldn't have come at a better time than NYIAS, shortly after Subaru announced that the 2011 WRX would be offered with a wider body. Now enthusiasts will also have their chance to pick between which STI they'd prefer more - the hatchback or sedan - and is the first time ever that Subaru has had both versions available at the same time. We're really loving the sedan - not because we dislike the hatch - but because it's something we haven't seen in a while and were starting to miss. From every angle it just kicks ass. Power-wise, it hasn't changed but Subaru has taken steps to improve the handling, similar to that of the 2010 STI Special Edition but even more performance-oriented. We'll be driving these very soon as well, so stay tuned for our driving impressions.
We've been waiting on this to drop for a long time - Acura's TSX Sport Wagon is going to be a nice alternative to the European A4s and 3 Series wagons, but only as far as looks are concerned. With no AWD drivetrain in the works and the standard 2.4L K-series engine, the jury is out on the performance front.
Mitsubishi spoiled us with free back massages and maple-glazed (with bacon, we might add) donuts, so we graciously offer in return a preview of the upcoming Outlander Sport - something you might call a "more fun" version of the Outlander GT because of its shorter size and paddle shifter CVT transmission. We hear Mitsu's R&D team may make a true project out of this yet, swapping in the Ralliart's engine and transmission to make it a compact SUV like no other. They had us at free back massages.