2019 New York Auto Show - Best In Show
The best and the brightest from the Big Appleby Jonathan Lopez, on
Last week, the world’s biggest automakers swarmed the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to show off their latest and greatest models, delivering a host of fresh sedans, crossovers, and concepts to an auto-hungry public. As such, we’ve compiled all the hottest reveals right here for your perusal and enjoyment.
The mid-size sedan segment is stretched a bit thin at the moment, but Hyundai is making it a whole lot more attractive with the debut of the eighth-generation Sonata. Featuring a new platform, two turbo engine options, an upscale interior, and vastly improved exterior styling, the Sonata is looking better than ever, and evolving well beyond the rental undertones of previous model years. To sweeten the deal even further, Hyundai has also hinted at the arrival of a go-faster N Line iteration capable of producing 275 horsepower.
TopSpeed writer Andrei Nedelea agrees. “Hyundai is the manufacturer to watch in the next few years as it seems to just keep on giving,” writes Nedelea. “The South Korean automaker is pretty much nailing every single model it’s releasing nowadays, and the new Sonata is a great example of that. It has a bold face with daytime running lights that run up the car’s hood without making it look garish or distasteful. From the side, it’s as sleek as any so-called four-door coupe, and its interior is as close to feeling premium as that of any rival. Unlike the older model, the latest Sonata has a certain je ne sais quoi that will keep it looking interesting for some time to come. Plus, if recent Hyundais are anything to go by, it should drive nicely as well.”
|ype||GDI DOHC 16-valve Inline 4-cylinder||Turbo-GDI DOHC 16-valve Inline 4-cylinder|
|Materials||Aluminum block and head||Aluminum block and head|
|Bore & stroke (mm)||88.5 x 101.5||75.6 X 89|
|Compression ratio||13.0 : 1||10.5 : 1|
|Displacement||2.5 liters / 2,497||1.6 liters / 1,598 cc|
|Horsepower||191 @ 6100 rpm (est.)||180 @ 5500 rpm (est.)|
|Torque (lb-ft.)||181 @ 4000 rpm(est.)||195 @ 1500-4500 rpm (est.)|
|Transmission||8-speed Automatic||8-speed Automatic|
“The Genesis Mint is a cheeky little car,” says TopSpeed writer Mihai Fira. “The product of some heavy brainstorming by Genesis’ designers in Germany, the U.S., and South Korea, it features ribbon-like taillights and headlights, and with that rounded, stubby tail, it looks cute. Not ‘60s Beetle cute, but cute nonetheless. It’s also simple. In front, the usual V-shaped grille is replaced with some thin creases and a small opening. There’s also strakes along the lower lip, rocker panels, and rear end. Then there are those wheels, which are works of art in and of themselves.
“Yes, the Mint might not be as dramatic as the 2018 Essential Concept, but it previews a different type of car - an electric city commuter,” Fira continues. “Nowadays, these cars seem to be devoid of personality, but the Genesis Mint gives us hope that future city cars will have some character too. Mind you, those clever scissor-opening rear body panels that reveal extra storage will never make it to production, but they are an outlet for the creativity of the designers, and it’s a nice solution in my book. Specs are unknown, but Genesis did mention its future pocket-sized cars will go 200 miles on a charge and come with 350-kW fast-charge compatibility. These numbers are sure to be improved with upcoming production models, so don’t worry about range anxiety.”
Back in 1948, Porsche launched its line of road cars with the 356. Now, seven decades later, the German automaker is celebrating with the release of this sleek special edition 911. Dubbed the “Speedster,” just 1,948 will be built, offering yet another nod to Stuttgart history. Designed to grace the halls of esteemed Porschephiles around the world, each example carries a price tag set at an eye-watering $275,000.
Based on the 991-gen 911, this limited-run droptop is powered by a 4.0-liter flat six-cylinder engine producing 502 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque, all of which reaches the rear axle through a six-speed manual transmission. That means it’s quick, reaching 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and achieving a top speed of 192 mph, but it’s also got the styling to match, including a signature double-bubble roof and unique badging. Final touches include light-weighting via carbon fiber and aluminum, all of which helps to delete 200 pounds of heft compared to the 991-era Carrera 4 Cabriolet.
So then - stylish good looks, plenty of poke, and less weight? Sounds good to us.
|Engine||naturally-aspirated 4.0 liter flat-six|
|0 to 60 mph||3.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||192 mph|
Mazda’s penchant for providing performance thrills in unexpected places has certainly grabbed our eyeballs on more than one occasion. Now, with the addition of oil-burner power to the CX-5 lineup, we’re definitely paying attention, as explained by TopSpeed writer Ciprian Florea:
“The Mazda CX-5 was already a cool crossover when it came to looks, equipment, and performance. The Signature trim adds to that by moving the SUV into the premium market, a place Mazda has never been up until now,” Florea explains. “So why am I adding an already familiar vehicle to this list? Well, because of the diesel engine. Yes, I know, ‘Dieselgate,’ pollution, and all that jazz, but that’s exactly why I’m nominating this SUV. In a world where ‘diesel’ is a dirty word, especially in the U.S., Mazda has a lot of guts. I appreciate that, as I do the company’s efforts to keep diesel alive by making it more efficient than ever.”
|Engine||Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter diesel|
|Horsepower||168 HP @ 4,000 RPM|
|Torque||290 LB-FT @ 2,000 RPM|
|Fuel economy city/highway/combined||27/30/28|
As we said above, we think Hyundai has been killing it lately, and now the brand is adding to the momentum of its upswing with a new compact crossover called the Venue.
“The way the subcompact SUV market has been booming over the last few years, it takes a lot of determination and courage to create a product that not only impresses but also stands out from the crowd,” says TopSpeed writer Siddhant Dhimaan. “From my initial impression, I believe Hyundai struck gold with the Venue. To step into the premium segment, a brand needs to have a vehicle that sells without putting in much effort. And since this pseudo-SUV is primarily framed as a mass-market offering, it comes will all the bells and whistles you could ask for at the given price point.
“The Venue will slot under the Kona, but unlike its curvy, stylish big brother, the Venue adopts a boxy shape that will please all and offend none. Given it’s priced at roughly $17,500, the Venue is rich with features. You get an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, and loads of options, like heated seats and heated mirrors. My only critique here is the underpowered 1.6-liter engine, but hey, what do you expect from a vehicle that costs less than $20,000?”
|Type||Gamma II 1.6 MPI|
|Materials||Aluminum block and head|
|Bore & stroke (mm)||75.6 x 89.0|
|Compression ratio||11.2 :1|
|Displacement||1.6 liters / 1598cc|
|Horsepower||121 HP @ 6,300 RPM (est.)|
|Torque (lb-ft.)||113 LB-FT @ 4,500 RPM (est.)|
Read our full review on the 2020 Hyundai Venue
As Ford moves away from sedans to instead concentrate on trucks and crossovers, greater emphasis is placed on nameplates like the Escape. No wonder then that the Blue Oval is keeping this compact at the top of its game with a new fourth generation in New York, as explained by TopSpeed writer Safet Satara.
“This completely new Ford Escape introduces us to new thinking behind the Ford SUV frenzy,” Satara says. “Not only is it the first SUV Ford built on its new modular compact car platform, but it also gives us a modern, softer, sophisticated, and sleeker look.
“But the significance of the new Escape goes beyond its mere existence. Its architecture also supports the new Lincoln Corsair, and it will form the basis for the upcoming baby Bronco. Furthermore, Ford included new tech features, such as a heads-up display, full safety suite, and a fantastic cylinder-deactivation system for its turbo three-cylinder engine. Much of this will migrate to other vehicles in the Ford and Lincoln lineup.
“The New Ford Escape presents another vital evolution for Ford. Its importance goes beyond a single model, and it ensures the development of fun and exciting new CUVs. I can’t wait for the ST. It may be a lot like the 275-horsepower Lincoln Corsair. For now, I’d say that the safest bet is a standard Ford Escape hybrid.”
2020 Ford Escape drivetrain specifications
|1.5L EcoBoost||2.0L EcoBoost||2.5L FHEV||2.5L PHEV|
|S, SE, SEL||SEL,Titanium||SE Sport, Titanium||SE, SEL, Titanium|
|Configuration||Aluminum block and head, In-line 3 cylinder||Aluminum block and head, In-line 4 cylinder||Aluminum block and head, Atkinson-cycle I-4||Aluminum block and head, Atkinson-cycle I-4|
|Bore and stroke||3.31 x 3.54 in.||3.44 x 3.27 in.||3.50 x3.94 in.||3.50 x3.94 in.|
|Displacement||91.4 cu. in./1,497 cc||122 cu. in./1,999 cc||152 cu. in./2,488 cc||152 cu. in./2,488 cc|
|Compression ratio||10.0:1||9. 3:1||13.0:1||13.0:1|
|Horsepower (targeted)||180 hp||250 hp||198 hp||209 hp|
|Torque (targeted)||177 lb.-ft.||275 lb.-ft.||N /A||N /A|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic||8-speed auto with SelectShift® with paddle shifters||PowerSplit: Electronic Co ntinuous Variable Transmission||PowerSplit: Electronic Co ntinuous Variable Transmission|
Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Escape.