A variety of flavors to satisfy your speed lust

I’ll just come out and say it – being the follow-up act to the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show is not an enviable position (check out some of our coverage here to see what I’m talking about). Nevertheless, the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) pulled it off, providing us with plenty of fresh metal worthy of our collective attention and desire. From muscle-bound track monsters, to European refinement, to Japanese tech, there really was a little bit of everything in the Big Apple this year. But the question is this – which models stood out as the best of the bunch?

The criteria for clinching a spot on this list is loose, but I’ll try to distill it down for you. A Best In Show winner has to stir emotion. It has to excel, both as a piece of design and a technical showcase. Significance in a historical context is a big plus. And of course, there’s the speed – big power, crazy specs, prowess in the twisties… you know, the good stuff.

The following five cars have all that and more, and if you love fast machinery, odds are you’ll find something to love in this list.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Best In Show

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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When Chevrolet drops the most powerful Camaro to ever roll off an assembly line, you know you’ve got a showstopper on your hands. Say hello to the new ZL1, which takes top honors on the Camaro totem pole thanks to a Z06-derived, 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 stuffed under the hood, which is supercharged to 640 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. That’s an enormous amount of output for any car, but route it all to the rear axle of the sixth-generation Camaro, and suddenly those high-and-mighty Hellcat owners are looking a little nervous. That’s especially true when you start talking about the ZL1’s lightweight chassis, functional aero package, magnetic suspension, and oversized Brembo brakes.

Muscle car good looks, blown V-8, and it can turn? Yes please.

Read the full review here.

Ford Shelby Hertz GT-H

2016 Ford Shelby Hertz GT-H
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Speaking of muscle cars, I’d be remiss to leave out the new Shelby Hertz GT-H. This thing takes the after the “rent-a-racers” first seen back in the ‘60s, but applies the philosophy to a modernized package. It breaks down like this – if you want the pleasure of dropping behind the wheel of a tuned-up Mustang, but don’t necessarily want to pay the MSRP, you can get one for the weekend through the Hertz Adrenaline Collection.

Complementing the 5.0-liter V-8 burble is a new exhaust system, while a Ford Racing Handling Pack tightens the suspension. The traditional black and gold color scheme is used for the exterior, while new carbon-fiber aero makes extra downforce. Aluminum 19-inch wheels and Michelin rubber issue the tire smoke.

Read the full review here.

Acura NSX GT3 Racer

2017 Acura NSX GT3 Race Car High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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From an engineering standpoint, the new NSX is insanely complicated, but for folks like you and me, its purpose is quite simple – go fast. Thanks to NYIAS, we now have our first look at the next-gen Japanese legend in its most natural form – a stripped-out, competition-ready race car.

In the transition from street prowler to track terror, the NSX lost its AWD system, instead gaining a six-speed sequential transmission routing power to the rear wheels only. However, peek behind the stripped-out cockpit and you’ll find the same twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 as the road variant.

Suffice to say, the hype behind the release of the second-gen NSX is still fresh, and this GT3-spec is more than enough to fan the flames for enthusiasts. I can’t wait to see this thing out on the starting grid.

Read the full review here.

Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet

2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet High Resolution Exterior
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The C63 Cabriolet is more than just a roofless AMG product, although that in itself is a decent reason to put it on this list. Rather, it goes a little deeper than that. This is the top-spec C-Class convertible, a body style that was added to the immensely popular C-Class line just a few weeks ago. Style, luxury, presence, sophistication – Mercedes fans want it all with this one. The only thing missing is a little adrenaline pump.

The C63 goes above and beyond in that department. First and foremost, there’s a twin-turbo V-8 for motivation, providing up to 503 horsepower in the go-faster C63 S. There’s also a Nurburgring-tested suspension package, and the option for ceramic brake discs bigger than the wheels of many entry-level compacts. Throw in the option for top-down motoring on demand, and you have one extremely enticing package.

Read the full review here.

Mazda MX-5 RF

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Unveiled High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Simply put, the fourth-generation ND MX-5 is epic. Building on a history of sublime front-engine, RWD handling, the ND is both lighter and shorter than the third generation, somehow improving on a formula that’s often copied, but rarely matched. The only thing missing is styling to go with the world-beating handling.

Enter the MX-5 RF. It’s got everything you need from Mazda’s iconic roadster, plus a retractable hardtop roof. It doesn’t matter if the top is up or down – either way, you’re looking one of the sexiest MX-5s ever produced.

Now, there are a few questions left on the table here, namely what the roof does for the car’s performance. I reserve the right to retract the RF from this list if it comes to light that the foldable hardtop does in fact ruin the car’s dynamics, because although it looks fantastic, that’s not the point of this car. First and foremost, the MX-5 is a model that handles like a dream. The new roof is just icing on the cake. Granted, it’s much needed and extremely tasty icing, but it’s icing nonetheless.

Read the full review here.


So what do you think? Did New York bring the goods? Are any of these models leaving your jaw on the floor? Are we on target, or did we miss something? We wanna know, so make sure to post your opinion in the comments!

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