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10 Hottest Debuts at the 2015 NY Auto Show

Compacts and full-size luxury; hybrids and high-performance supercars.

by on Apr.06, 2015

The Cadillac CT6 makes its NY debut.

The turnstiles are now open at New York’s Jacob Javits convention center, spinning rapidly as the crowds rush in to check out all the new sheet metal on display at the annual NY International Auto Show. team was on hand for all the unveilings at last week’s media preview, a two-day extravaganza that saw more than two dozen different unveilings. Some of the new models played it safe, others are simply forgettable. But there also were plenty of surprises and significant debuts.

Best of the Best!

Here’s our list of the Top 10 Debuts at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Click on the product names for more complete coverage.

Toyota Debuts New RAV4 Hybrid

Adds package of low-price safety features.

by on Apr.02, 2015

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 hybrid will post class-leading mileage numbers, officials said during its New York Auto Show debut.

Toyota has rolled out the latest in a growing family of hybrid vehicles during the New York International Auto Show next week, the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid.

The Japanese maker’s eighth gas-electric model adopts relatively subtle tweaks to differentiate itself from other versions of the RAV4 crossover-utility vehicle, including modest revisions to the front end. But it opts for the most radical revision yet of the familiar Toyota Synergy Drive powertrain.

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The introduction might not be seen as the best timing for a new hybrid.  With a few rare exceptions, the market for battery-based vehicles has taken a sharp tumble over the last year – even the Prius losing momentum in 2014 – as a result of lower gas prices. But Toyota remains optimistic there will be solid demand for what Bill Fay, head of the Toyota division, calls a “no compromise SUV.” (more…)

Mitsubishi Outlander Makes Impact in NY

Maker introduces new design philosophy

by on Apr.02, 2015

The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander debuted at the New York International Auto Show.

Mitsubishi hopes that its latest introduction in New York, the 2016 Outlander, will continue the Japanese maker’s burgeoning regrowth in the U.S.

The new seven-passenger crossover features Mitsubishi’s new front design concept, “Dynamic Shield.” This feature is inherited from the bumper side protection seen on generations of the Montero, providing unique protection for both the people and car.

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“The 2016 Outlander has an eye-catching new design aesthetic inside and out, and with its long list of engineering upgrades, the new Outlander literally looks, drives and feels like an entirely new vehicle, making it an even more compelling value than before,” said MMNA Executive Vice President, Don Swearingen. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Pulls Hat Trick at World Car of the Year Awards

Maker takes three trophies and lands a finalist in every other category.

by on Apr.02, 2015

Mercedes' PR Chief Christoph Horn, center, accepts the World Car of the Year award for the Mercedes C-Class.

Mercedes-Benz dominated the competition during the World Car of the Year ceremonies at the New York International Auto Show.

“Mercedes pulled off a hat trick,” said Peter Lyons, co-chairman of the global awards program, after he handed out the last of five trophies during ceremonies at New York’s Jacob Javits convention center. That included the coveted honor of being named World Car of the Year for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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“I am speechless,” said the German maker’s global PR chief Christoph Horn, as he stared out at a large audience of journalists and executives from competing manufacturers. “One doesn’t think it could get better” than taking one, then a second trophy, “but it did,” said Horn as he took the biggest of the awards. (more…)

First Look: 2016 Nissan Maxima

New version builds on sedan’s sporty past.

by on Apr.02, 2015

Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan chief, introduces the new Nissan Maxima at the New York Auto Show.

It may not be a pocket rocket, like the GT-R, but the Nissan Maxima has traditionally targeted buyers looking for a midsize to slightly larger car delivering a spirited ride and performance. And Nissan is hoping to up that appeal as it rolls out the latest version of the sedan at this year’s New York International Auto Show.

The 2016 Maxima has been “reimagined and re-energized,” the maker suggests, with a more sporty and distinctive design, a lighter and more rigid platform, features such as its Active Ride Control and, under the hood, an updated version of Maxima’s 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

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The 2016 Nissan Maxima “was designed and engineered here, primarily for U.S. customers,” said the maker’s CEO Carlos Ghosn, during a NY presentation. A key goal, he added, was delivering “a level of performance that moves it closer to its little brother, the GT-R.”


Caddy, Lincoln Big Apple Debuts Also Target China

Chinese buyers will be critical for success of CT6, Continental sedans.

by on Apr.02, 2015

Ford CEO Mark Fields said the Continental plays a "critical" role in the revival of the Lincoln brand, including driving sales in China.

Hoping to regain their once-lofty positions in the hierarchy of global luxury brands, Cadillac and Lincoln launched two critical new products at the New York International Auto Show this week. But while the new Cadillac CT6 and Lincoln Continental might be on display in the Big Apple, the two makers are also hoping that Chinese buyers pay close attention.

That’s because China is expected to become the world’s largest luxury car market within the next year or so – and it already leads the world in the purchase of premium luxury models, such as the big CT6 and Continental, noted Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields.

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China, Fields noted, is a “critical” piece in Ford’s planned revival of the long-neglected Lincoln brand. And Johan de Nysschen, the new global president of General Motors’ Cadillac division has similar expectations. (more…)

Hyundai Debuts 2016 Tucson in NYC

Maker gets competitive in growing segment.

by on Apr.01, 2015

Hyundai introduced the new Tucson in New York. It followed the global introduction, which happened in Geneva.

Hyundai’s new 2016 Tucson SUV made its American debut today in New York. The new design, debuted globally at the Geneva Motor Show, takes it a step forward.

With a sleeker design that moves even further away from the classic, boxy SUV look of earlier versions, the new Tucson is clearly aimed at building Hyundai’s share of the booming global utility vehicle market.

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“Our new compact SUV will be a big step forward for the Hyundai brand globally,” said Peter Schreyer, president and chief design officer of Hyundai Motor Group, in Geneva. (more…)

Kia Optima Remains at Head of the Class

Next-gen sedan builds on success.

by on Apr.01, 2015

The new 2016 Kia Optima builds on the exterior styling of its predecessor. It his showrooms this fall.

The 2016 Kia Optima, the car that basically pushed the maker to the head of the class with midsize sedan buyers, finally got its full-on debut at New York International Auto Show.

“The Optima changed the way people felt about the Kia brand, and KMA owes much of its growth and success to its head-turning design and sporty performance. It was – and still is to this day – a fresh alternative in the midsize sedan segment, and it amplified a five-year design-led transformation that propelled Kia to record-setting sales year-on-year,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, sales and marketing, KMA.

Auto Show News!

“The all-new Optima retains the signature personality of its predecessor, but we’ve literally improved everything, providing more space, better ride and handling, more technology and greater refinement.” (more…)

Bragging Rights: Subaru Shows Off with STI Performance Concept

STI unit plans major US expansion.

by on Apr.01, 2015

Subaru debuted its STI Performance Concept at the New York Auto Show today.

There’s nothing wrong with a little bragging, at least if you’ve got something worth crowing about. Subaru has been quite well, thank you, on both road and track, and New York Auto Show-goers will get to see why when they check out the Subaru STI Performance Concept making its debut this week.

The concept car comes at a good moment for the Japanese maker which is planning a major U.S. expansion of its Subaru Tecnica International operations, STI for short. It will focus on three core business operations: aftermarket parts, STI-tune cars – such as the top-line version of the WRX – and motorsports.


“At STI we know from our racing that to win, it is important not only to have high power, but also that all aspects of performance are balanced over the whole car,” said STI President Yoshio Hirakawa. “When we achieve this balance, the driver feels that the car is easy to handle and reliable, and he can use it fully to the limits of its performance. Our plan is to produce cars and accessories that drivers can really enjoy.” (more…)

Lexus Goes for Goosebumps with 2016 RX

by on Apr.01, 2015

Lexus debuted the RX450h and RX350 at this year's New York International Auto Show.

Picking up on the more aggressive design language it has adopted for recent models like the RC Coupe, Lexus is bringing out a fourth-generation RX crossover that is designed to raise the “goosebump” factor.

Making its debut at the New York International Auto Show, the 2016 Lexus RX boasts a longer wheelbase, a more lavish interior, and plenty of new digital technology – including a new, low-cost package of collision avoidance features. But it’s the revised design likely to draw attention, especially among the young car buyers Lexus has been heavily targeting lately.

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“We gave our designers and engineers more freedom to focus on the things that … elicit an emotional reaction and bring out the goosebumps,” said Mark Templin, the executive vice president of Lexus International. (more…)