We’ve been around the industry for quite some time now and for the most part, we know better than to expect the world from the New York Auto Show.
Make no mistake, the event has always generated great attendance, especially since it’s being held at one of the world’s most important cities. But to peg the New York Auto Show in the same level as its counterparts in Geneva and Frankfurt is getting a little too ahead of oneself.
Having said that, this year’s installment of the New York Auto Show is still something that’s worth keeping close eyes on, especially the number of concept cars that are scheduled to be unveiled to the world for the very first time.
Here at Topspeed, we make it a point to give you guys a heads-up on what to expect for these type of shows - call it a preview, if you will - and this year figures to be no different.
There are a number of cars scheduled to be unveiled when the doors of the New York Auto Show are opened on April 22, 2011. It may not be the number we come to expect from Geneva, but as far as quality is concerned, this year’s event figures to have plenty waiting to have their covers pulled off.
Details after the jump.
Chevrolet Sonic Z-Spec
Back at the Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet first introduced a concept version of the new Sonic Z-Spec. Fast forward a few months later and the production version is finally getting ready to make its world debut. Looking a lot similar to the concept that was shown in Detroit, the production version of the Sonic Z-Spec has been likewise pegged to carry a 1.8-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine that delivers 135 horsepower and 125 lb/ft of torque with an optional upgrade to a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine with 138 horsepower.
Chrysler "Race Inspired" Concept
We don’t usually associate the words ’Chrysler’ and ’race’ in the same context in recent times so you have to excuse us if we’re a little surprised by this new development. According to the US automaker, the New York Auto Show will be the site for what appears to be a ’race-inspired’ concept. Details are still scarce as of the moment, but you can expect to be updated once we find more details on this still-to-be-named concept car. On its own, we’re already curious as to what Chrysler has in store for us, but after teasing it as a ’race-inspired’ concept, our anxiety levels just went up a few notches.
Fiat 500 Cabrio
Just in time for the spring and summer seasons, Fiat is preparing a cabrio version of the Fiat 500. With room for four passengers, the new 500C will make its debut at the New York Auto Show and it will come with a premium dual-layer power-operated cloth top that is designed to deliver all-season driving pleasure whether the roof’s up or it’s tucked away at the back with the power-operated cloth top retracting up to the car’s rear spoiler anytime the driver pushes up to 60 mph. To give customers a wide variety of options to choose from, Fiat will be dressing the 500C in as many as 14 different exterior colors.
Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake
The New York Auto Show may be lacking in star power compared to Geneva or Frankfurt, but the presence of the 2012 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake more than makes up for it. As the latest incarnation of the iconic American muscle car, the 2012 GT500 Super Snake will not only be dressed to impress in New York, but it will also come with an engine that produces in excess of 800 horsepower. And that doesn’t even count the additional engine options it’s expected to have.
Introduced only in 2008, the Shelby GT500 Super Snake has become the crown jewel of the Mustang line, a car that blends torque-twisting muscle with a supercar-like power that very few American-made cars can reach.
The presence of this car alone at the New York Auto Show is enough to make this event a must-attend.
We have to give props to Lexus because the concepts that they’ve been releasing all look amazing. Just goes to show that Toyota’s up-scale brand is getting ready to throw down against the European heavy-hitters. The Japanese company’s latest work is the LF-Gh concept, a car that takes the styling cues of Lexus’ new L-finesse design philosophy. Defined by combining style, performance, efficiency, and eco-friendliness with state-of-the-art technology, the LF-Gh concept is set to become the model for which future Lexus vehicles will be based on.
There are no plans for production, but if this is the kind of style we’re in store for with future Lexus models, consider us very impressed.
Mercedes Benz Concept A Class
Another ridiculous-looking concept - in an awesome way - headed for New York comes straight out of Germany, in particular, the Mercedes Concept A Class. Looking far more svelte and sexy than past A-Class models, the new Concept A-Class is set to redefine the way hot hatches will be looked at in the future - at least when it comes to Mercedes models. The concept Mercedes is inspired from natural elements like the wind and the waves, while also taking cues from aviation engineering. For all intents and purposes, the Concept A-Class is being described as a redefinition of what a premium hot hatchback should be. As far as engines go, the Concept A-Class is a front-wheel drive model that is expected to come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine taken from Mercedes’ M270 series with an output of 210 horsepower mated to a dual clutch transmission.
The New York Auto Show won’t be having a lot of debuting concepts, but for those that will be there, nothing intrigues us more than Nissan’s new zero emission motorsports concept. Details behind this car are still in the dark, but taking into consideration the concept Nissan introduced at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show - the Ellure - it looks like this soon-to-be-introduced concept will be the first to follow the Ellure’s overall futuristic design language. We’ll definitely know more about this car when its revealed at the New York Auto Show, but for now, all your guesses are as good as ours.
2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S
The Porsche Panamera is so popular these days that it’s hard to believe that Porsche is set to release the seventh model of the line at the New York Auto Show. The latest Panamera model is the Turbo S and it is expected to be the most powerful version of the entire Panamera line-up. Powered by a 4.8-liter, V8 biturbo engine that delivers an impressive 550 horsepower, the Panamera Turbo S replaces the Turbo as the crown jewel of all Panameras. The downside with the Turbo S is that all that power translates to a lot of Benjamins - $173,200 worth, in fact.
Scion FT-86 II Concept
It seems that the FT-86 Concept has been passed around more times than a plateful of turkey on Thanksgiving. The concept sports car has already been tagged as potential Toyota and Subaru models, but now it appears that a third model will be joining the fold, only this time, it’s going to come with a Scion badge.
Details behind the Scion FT-86 II Concept are still being kept under wraps, but we do know that it’s going to come with the same powertrain as the Subaru versionof the FT-86: a 2.5-liter boxer-four engine that comes with an output of 305 horsepower.
2012 Subaru Impreza
Subaru is offering something tastier for fans of the Impreza with the new 2012 model. Coming with what a design that’s expected to offer "roomier cabin space with new level of comfort and refinement for enhanced product appeal", the 2012 Impreza will be a redesigned and refreshed take on the existing model. We’re not expecting overwhelming changes on the new version, but we are a little bummed about the new 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed, four-cylinder engine the car is going to be offered in. The new powertrain will replace the 2.5-liter SOHC aluminum-alloy engine from past models, and will have a lower output of 148 horsepower compared to the past model’s 170 ponies. Guess we’re going to have to make do with the new styling changes for the 2012 Impreza.
2012 Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen has been talking about the new Beetle’s design for quite some time now and they say it will take its inspiration from the original Beetle that debuted 73 years ago. No one in their right mind will think this is anything but a Beetle, but the changes in the reliable "Beetle format" are easily distinguished. The new Beetle is bolder, more dynamic, and more masculine, with the latter being a huge bonus for this generation of the car.
For the US market, Volkswagen will offer three different engines for the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle: one diesel and two petrol. The 2.0 TDI engine delivers a total of 138 HP and has a fuel economy of 40 mpg fuel economy in the Highway cycle, 29 mpg in City driving. The petrol line-up will include a 2.5 liter five-cylinder engine and a 2.0 TSI engine with 197 HP. Depending on the version, the petrol engine will deliver up to 25 mpg on a combined cycle.