From Edgy to Ultra-Luxe, Automakers Brought Some Eye-Catching Models
The 2015 New York Auto Show saw bold statements from Lincoln, Cadillac, and Honda, along with a bevy of new models from the technically sophisticated to the ultra luxurious. Here’s a look at some of the models and concepts getting the most attention.
The Cadillac CT6 returns the storied marque back to the premium full-size rear-drive sedan segment once occupied by the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. But this time the aluminum-intensive CT6 should better compete with luxury makes from Europe and Japan. Initially, three engines will be offered: a 265-hp, 2.0-liter, turbocharged I-4, a 365-hp, 3.6-liter V-6, and a new Cadillac-exclusive twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 with at least 400 hp.
An eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission offering. An “Active On-Demand” all-wheel-drive system sends torque to the front wheels. All-wheel steering and a 34-speaker Bose Panaray stereo system are also included.
Honda Civic Concept
The Honda Civic Concept set off an explosion of news for the upcoming 10th generation Civic. For starters, a new 1.5-liter turbo-four enters the mix for higher trim levels, and the base model gets a new 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated I-4.
The new Civic will also be offered as a four-door hatchback. The big news, however, is that the new Civic Type-R will make its way to our shores, complete with its tight chassis and a turbo-four making at least 275 hp.
In order to gain traction in the mainstream midsize sedan segment, GM has given the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu a substantial overhaul. The wheelbase has been stretched 3.6 inches for more rear seat room, and three new powertrains are available. The base engine is a turbocharged, 1.5-liter I-4 mated to a six-speed automatic, and the performance engine is a turbocharged, 2.0-liter I-4 mated to an eight-speed automatic.
A full-hybrid version features a 1.8-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors. With its substantial updates, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu should better compete in one of the most popular segments.
The new 2016 Kia Optima doesn’t look much different from the current car, and that’s a good thing — style has long been a strong point for the midsizer.
Kia also hopes the new model will move the Optima from the middle of the pack in the midsize sales race and up with the top dogs such as the Ford Fusion and Honda Accord. Just a few improvements include a new 1.6-liter, turbocharged I-4 and a lighter chassis.
The current Outlander was revamped for the 2014 model year, so Mitsubishi might seem like a bit of an overachiever by introducing a new version once again. But this year’s Outlander stands to become a turning point for the brand, introducing a whole new design language that will carry over to the rest of the Mitsubishi lineup.
In addition to a redesigned front fascia, the 2016 Outlander also receives a redesigned suspension, increased sound insulation, and a next-generation CVT transmission.
Subaru STI Performance Concept
The Subaru STI Performance Concept is a tantalizing example of what the BRZ could be with a more powerful engine and extensive modifications to suspension, braking, chassis, and aerodynamics. We asked but were told in a polite but firm way that adding a turbo was not in the cards for the BRZ.
The exercise showcases the Subaru Technica International (STI) performance division, as well, and its expansion in the U.S. market as it replaces Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT). With the expansion of the STI division, it’s likely we’ll get higher-performance STI-tuned models, though we don’t know what they will be called.
2016 Lexus RX
The 2016 Lexus RX looks like a larger version of the new NX compact crossover with sleek lines and a more aggressive and sporty appearance.
With a 30-hp bump, new Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), and larger exterior dimensions, the new RX will no doubt continue to be a top seller for the luxury automaker.
Porsche Boxster Spyder
Porsche has given Boxster fans something to get excited about. The new Porsche Boxster Spyder will not only pump out a whopping 375 hp but also has an estimated 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds, making it faster than the more powerful Cayman GT4 and with a smaller price tag.
Expect it to hit showroom floors later this year.
Entry-level supercars usually don’t offer the same excitement as their more expensive and powerful counterparts, but McLaren has managed to create a model that is not only functional but also relatively affordable.
The 2016 McLaren 570S will hit showroom floors later this year with sharp looks, a powerful 562-hp, 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8 under the hood, and a price tag around $185,000.
The spunky Scion iM is a rebadged Toyota Auris hatchback, but nevertheless, we’re intrigued that it is coming to the States. It offers the same 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine used in the Toyota Corolla Eco but has slightly less power at 137 horses.
The model goes on sale this September, and we expect pricing will fall below the $20,000 mark.
It’s about time the youth-oriented Scion brand introduce a sedan. The iA boasts an arsenal of amenities, including standard push-button start, a 7-inch touchscreen, voice recognition, rearview camera, and apps from Pandora and Aha.
Although its 1.5-liter inline-four engine only pumps out 106 hp, the model is expected to achieve 33/42 mpg city/highway when paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
GM hopes to boost U.S. sales of its global city car by making it slightly larger and giving it slightly more power than the current car. The redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Spark will also get a less cartoonish look.
The new Spark is said to ride on a longer wheelbase with a lower overall height. A new 1.4-liter EcoTech I-4 is rated 98 hp, 14 hp more than the current 1.2-liter four-cylinder. The new engine is backed by a five-speed manual or CVT. Expect the new powertrain to top the current 31/39 mpg city/highway rating.
Renamed and face-lifted for 2016, the GLE-Class — formerly known as the M-Class — has a version for just about everyone, including the diesel-powered GLE300d, GLE550e plug-in hybrid, and the insane 577-hp AMG variant in the form of the GLE63 S.
Most of the goodies from the M-Class, such as the available air suspension and agility control, carried over as standard or optional equipment. Additionally, the name change also brought some slight increases in exterior dimensions that should improve cabin space for passengers and cargo.
Lincoln Continental Concept
Displaying a new 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 and a new design language, the Lincoln Continental shows a new direction for the brand and a commitment to the Chinese market where it plans to expand. Gone is the split-wing grille, replaced by a more traditional design that will be seen in all future Lincoln models. Inside, the focus is on luxury and comfort, featuring a modern and upscale cabin that suggests that the Continental Concept will become a car to get driven in.
Additionally, there’s also a slick electrochromic sunroof that uses the same technology as the windows in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, eliminating the necessity for sunshades, drapes, and curtains.
New exterior styling and the addition of a hybrid powertrain puts the 2016 RAV4 in line with the rest of the Toyota lineup. A new SE model promises to spice things up with a sportier suspension tuning and 18-inch alloy wheels, and tech features have been updated with the addition of a 4.2-inch TFT color display, a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, and a 360-degree camera to make parallel parking easier.
The 2016 RAV4 is also safer than before thanks to the addition of features such as automatic pre-collision braking, radar cruise control, and forward collision warning.
Honey, I shrunk the Santa Fe. The 2016 Tucson now looks like a mini version of its larger stablemate, but that’s not a bad thing. Its new appearance gives the compact crossover a breath of fresh air, and the interior has been upgraded to feature higher-quality materials, fancy stitching, and tons more tech.
As for the hardware, the Tucson now gets a 1.6-liter turbo-four that makes 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, and the familiar 2.0-liter I-4 and six-speed carry over from the last model year.
After making its debut in a Super Bowl commercial, the new Maxima arrived in New York boasting a stylish new look, a lighter body, and bolder performance. The Maxima finally looks like a legitimate four-door sports car with its new appearance, and it shed 82 pounds in the process. It also has a heartier 3.5-liter V-6 with 300 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque attached to a new Xtronic transmission that helps with performance and fuel efficiency.
The cabin was also upgraded with nicer materials and extra goodies, and drivers should have fun with a new Drive Mode Selector that adjusts the ride experience.
The 2016 Smart Fortwo is making its U.S. debut, though it has been on sale in Europe since late last year. The U.S.-spec model will be powered by a turbocharged, 0.9-liter I-3 that produces 89 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque that will get paired with a five-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
We expect an all-electric version to eventually join the lineup, as well. Compared with the current model, the new Fortwo gets a stronger tridion cell (strong enough to withstand a head-on collision with an S-Class at 31 mph), an improved turning radius (now 22.8 feet), upgraded interior materials, updated technology, and better seating position.
Aluminum is the name of the game for the 2016 Jaguar XF, which the automaker claims will be up to 265 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
Powertrains will include a new 2.0-liter Ingenium turbodiesel I-4, and we expect a supercharged V-8 to eventually join the lineup to take on the mighty Germans. The interior gets a much-needed upgrade, too, with an all-new infotainment system and more room.
Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack
The Golf SportWagen Alltrack is essentially a more capable Golf SportWagen with an extra inch of ground clearance and the automaker’s esteemed Haldex 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. Black moldings on the wheel arches and flared side sills make the Alltrack look more rugged, but it only looks that way on the outside because it actually has a more upscale interior than the regular SportWagen.
Engine options should include a 1.8-liter, turbocharged inline-four gas engine rated at 170 hp and a 2.0-liter turbodiesel rated at 150 hp.