The best slices from the Big Apple auto show pie

After all the hooplah that was the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show earlier in March, the 2018 New York International Auto Show had the unenviable position of playing the following act. Still, New York brought out plenty of good stuff, including a few sporty luxury boats, some slick SUVs, and one very tasty new EV GT concept. Read on for the lowdown on all that and a bag of chips.

Continue reading for the best debuts from the 2018 New York International Auto Show.

Genesis Essentia Concept

The Genesis Essentia Concept Is The Outrageously Gorgeous EV Concept We Need Exterior
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It’s not often that a fresh auto show debut is unanimously accepted and celebrated amongst the entirety of the TopSpeed staff, but this latest stunner from Genesis fits the bill. It’s called the Essentia, and it’s framed as a top-shelf, high-powered all-electric grand tourer. And while we’re certainly impressed by the cutting-edge technology on display (especially the stuff that helps it hit 60 mph in just 3 seconds flat), what we’re really digging is the way this thing looks.

I mean, just look at it! The Essentia is 12 different shades of badass, with a lovingly crafted carbon fiber body that mates elegance and aggression in a low, wide, perfectly proportioned aesthetic. Details like an exposed composite chassis and push rod suspension components courtesy of the forward windshield extension cement this thing as the unquestionable best in show debut from the 2018 New York event.

Read more details on the Genesis Essentia Concept.

Cadillac CT6 V-Sport

2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport Exterior
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Next up on our best in show list is another elegant-yet-sporty machine to ogle, this time with more doors and extra production-friendly details. It’s called the CT6 V-Sport, and it’s the latest top-shelf performer from the luxury makers over at Cadillac. Highlights include a fresh new exterior with sleek headlight housings that stretch down into the bumper, plus a quartet of exhaust tips in the rear and 20-inch wheels in the corners. However, the really important bit is under the hood, where you’ll find upwards of 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque lying in wait, courtesy of a twin-turbo 4.2-liter V-8. To sweeten the deal, there are rumors the boosted ‘eight could end up in other GM models, including the forthcoming mid-engine Corvette (even though Cadillac flat out denies it.)

Read more details on the 2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport.

Maserati Levante Trofeo

Maserati Levante Trofeo grabs Porsche Cayenne Turbo by the throat with V-8 engine Exterior
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Matching the Trident-badge’s penchant for style and speed with a tall-riding body style, the Levante is a high-powered player in the modern SUV wars, and the latest Trofeo version that dropped in New York solidifies its position among the best of the best. We think it looks great, with a sporty exterior lined by brushed metal and carbon fiber, while the interior is bathed in further high-end materials and comfort. That’s all well and good, but why did we really pick the Levante Trofeo for this list? Well, our man Ciprian Florea says it best: “Because power.”

Indeed. You see, the new Levante ups the ante with an extra 160 horsepower and 110 pound-feet of torque, boasting a maximum of 590 ponies and 538 pound-feet courtesy of the Ferrari-sourced 3.8-liter bi-turbo V-8 powerplant under the hood. Not too shabby, if you ask us.

Read our full review on the 2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo.

Audi RS5 Sportback

Audi Claims The New RS5 Can Do 0 to 60 MPH in Four Seconds, But What Can it Do Under "Ideal Conditions?" Exterior Wallpaper quality
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And the luxury train keeps on a’rollin with the new Audi RS5 Sportback. Offering extra room in the rear thanks to its five-door lift-back body style, this Four-Ringer also looks pretty stylish, with the roofline falling gently into the tail in a decidedly coupe-like fashion. There’s more good stuff inside as well, with carbon added to the dash, doors, and center console, plus there’s an optional virtual cockpit that’ll replace the traditional analog gauges behind the steering wheel with digital readouts. Topping it off is 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque from a front-mounted 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6, all of which is sent to the pavement by way of Audi’s famous quattro AWD system. A run to 60 mph takes less than four seconds, and if you go for the Dynamic package, the electronic top-speed limiter gets raised from 155 mph to an even-more-illegal 174 mph.

Read our full review of the 2019 Audi RS5 Sportback.

Mazda CX-3

Three Years In, Mazda Trumps the Subcompact Segment with Small Improvements to the CX-3 Exterior
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While not quite as eye-catching as the Essentia concept and not quite as quick as the Maserati Levante Trofeo, the most recent round of updates for the Mazda CX-3 are exactly what we were looking for from the compact crossover. The exterior was upgraded with new LED taillights and fresh designs for the 18-inch wheels, plus extra chrome trim. The interior gets a plethora of refined bits and pieces as well, with a streamlined control scheme, extra storage spots, and additional high-end materials. Meanwhile, in the performance department, the 2.0-liter powerplant was retuned to deliver a sharper throttle response, while the suspension and steering get improvements across the board. We liked the CX-3 before - now we think it’s even better.

Read our full review of the 2019 Mazda CX-3.

Nissan Altima

2019 Nissan Altima Exterior
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Nissan also managed to impress us this year thanks to the debut of the latest sixth-generation Altima. Outside, we find the mid-size rocking the brand’s latest Vmotion design language, while motivation is derived from a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 188 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Higher in the trim line is a turbo option making 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. You can even get yours with AWD if you want. With all that paired with a much-improved interior spec, the new Altima definitely has what it takes to punch above its weight.

Read our full review of the 2019 Nissan Altima.

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

2018 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Rounding off this list of the best from New York is the latest high-performance SUV from the Cat Badge. It’s called the SVR, and, as you’d expect, it comes packing all the right stuff to challenge the likes of rival products from Mercedes-AMG and BMW’s M Division. The exterior gets an injection of extra sexiness thanks to new body pieces and extra vents on the hood, while customers will enjoy the copious customization options for the interior. The party piece is Jag’s go-to fun-maker, otherwise known as the supercharged 5.0-liter V-8. Output is rated at a head-twisting 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to propel the machine to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. Top speed is pegged at 176 mph.

Read our full review of the 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR.


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