Some brand new, others less new but still cool
For many automakers, the 2019 New York auto show was a major event. Among others, Toyota showed off the new Highlander, Mercedes introduced the redesigned GLS, and Subaru finally revealed the next-generation Outback. But if you’re interested in cars that are a little less mainstream, perhaps even futuristic, don’t worry. There were plenty of electric vehicles at the New York auto show, too. Here are eight of our favorites.
Audi E-Tron Quattro
Audi’s first long-range electric crossover was first revealed back in September, so it’s not exactly new. But considering how impressive it was during our first drive, it’s one of the few EVs we genuinely can’t wait to see go on sale. Even if the range isn’t as impressive as the Tesla Model X 75D’s, the E-Tron is stylish, luxurious, and seriously comfortable. Hopefully, production delays don’t push delivery dates back too far.
As far as concepts go, we’re pretty sure the Genesis Mint won the show this year. Crossovers may be infinitely more popular than two-door subcompact hatchbacks in North America, but Genesis’ interpretation of a future city car is so cool, we don’t care. After all, how many cars have you seen with scissor-door trunks? Only one? The Genesis Mint? Exactly. Oh, and to make it easier to get in, the bench (!) seat angles itself toward the driver when you open the door.
Kia’s sort-of-a-crossover/sort-of-a-hatchback, the Niro, has only been on sale for a few years, but Kia is already thinking about its replacement. If you want to know what the next-gen Niro will look like, the HabaNiro concept should give you a pretty good idea. We’re sure some of the more concept-y details won’t make it to production, but the chunky styling, well-balanced proportions, and quoted 300-mile (483-kg) EV range already have us looking forward to the next Niro.
Like the Audi E-Tron, we’ve already seen and driven the Mercedes-Benz EQC. But for the New York auto show, Mercedes brought out the EQC 1886 Edition. It’s a limited-run special edition designed to honor Karl Benz introducing his first car in 1886. Styling changes are minimal, and the interior color combination looks cool, but mostly we’re excited to see EQC take on the rest of the quickly growing luxury electric crossover segment.
Mullen Qiantu K50
Whether they’re electric or not, crossovers are all the rage these days. And if you’re looking for a practical daily driver, we totally understand picking one up. But we also can’t help still loving gorgeous two-door performance coupes. It may feel like the Mullen Qiantu K50 came out of nowhere, but after seeing the California-built sports car it in person, we can’t wait to drive it. It won’t be cheap, but it looks far more expensive than its $125,000 USD expected starting price would suggest.
1,874 hp. 1,696 lb-ft of torque. 0–60 mph in less than 2 seconds. Quarter-mile in 9.1 seconds. With specs like that, everything else about the Pininfarina Battista is secondary. But even without face-melting performance, the Battista would have our attention. In addition to being drop-dead gorgeous, Pininfarina’s new electric hypercar was named in honor of the legendary coachbuilding company’s founder, Battista “Pinin'” Farina.
Rivian R1T EV Truck and R1S EV SUV
Although most electric vehicles going on sale in the next few years have Tesla in their sights, Rivian has taken a different approach. Its R1T is an electric pickup truck that’s about the same size as a single-cab Toyota Tacoma, while the R1S is a utilitarian SUV that will be more of a competitor for the Jeep Wrangler than the Tesla Model X. Neither Rivian looks anything like other vehicles on the road, and yet, the more we get to look at them, the more excited we are to get behind the wheel.
Volkswagen ID Buggy
One of the advantages of Volkswagen’s newly developed EV platform is that it can easily be adapted for a wide variety of uses. To show off that flexibility, Volkswagen created a modern take on the Meyers Manx called the ID Buggy. When it was revealed ahead of the Geneva motor show, we thought it was cool. But now that we’ve heard it’s close to being greenlit for production, we’re much more interested. It may not be the best-selling car in Volkswagen’s future lineup, but how cool would it be to actually drive a full-production electric dune buggy?