New York motor show 2019 notes: news, updates and oddities
Our reporters have scoured the show halls to find out what’s really happening
The New York motor show might not be the biggest on the global calendar, but its location means that it always attracts some of the biggest names in the car industry.
You can check out all the new launches from the show here. Meanwhile, Autocar has been on the ground to check out all the new cars that are on display, chat to the industry experts in attendance – and to find out what’s really happening on the show stands.
Here, our reporters empty their notebooks to bring you the behind-the-scenes info from the New York show.
Stepping into the NY show, you’re instantly greeted by one of the biggest trends of recent years – downsizing. Whether we’re talking powertrains or vehicle dimensions, Nissan’s stand was the perfect example of the downsizing we so often see these days.
The 370Z 50th Anniversary model sits alongside its forebear, the Datsun 240Z. Unsurprisingly, the latter looks positively dinky by comparison.
The birthplace of the Speedster
There’s no better place for Porsche to launch its 991 swansong, the 911 Speedster, than New York. The original 356 Speedster was created at the request of New York dealer Max Hoffman who wanted a ‘stripped-down’ version of the 356 to sell on the West Coast.
The new machines uses the same 4.0-litre flat six as the current 911 GT3 but is heavily modified with a revised fuel system, different revs and more. It’s a lot of work for just 1948 examples, so there’s every chance this unit will make its way into more mainstream models…
Rivian is go
This Electric start-up only rose to prominence last year (despite being around for a decade). Its stand, featuring its R1S SUV and R1T pick-up, took pride of place alongside prominent car makers such as Audi and Mercedes. Its presence is likely a statement of intent as much as anything else, but shows how serious founder RJ Scaringe is. He told Autocar earlier this year that he believes he has now found a niche with Rivian, and can build something different and lasting.
New York is new home for Genesis
Genesis is still finding its feet in America, having launched as a stand-alone brand four years ago. Brand boss Manfred Fitzgerald said, at the unveil of its Mint Concept, that New York had become Genesis’s “second home” and is where it chooses to premiere concepts year after year.
The Mint Concept – probably the best looking car this year’s show in my opinion – is perfectly suited to New York. It’s not confirmed for production but Genesis says it doesn’t create concepts without having an interest in making it a fully fledged car. We can but hope.
Merc-AMG B-Class, anyone?
The Mercedes-AMG range now spans an incredible number of models, but boss Tobias Moers can namecheck one Merc model that doesn’t have an AMG version – the B-Class!
Meanwhile, he confirmed that the new GLS luxury seven-seater will get an AMG model in time.
On show here is the revised GLC63 and new CLA35. So which 2019 model is Moers most excited about? The new A45 hot hatch. He says it’s dramatically improved in terms of driving dynamics.
Kia’s SUV focus
Kia America’s COO, Brit Michael Cole, told us that traditionally the maker has been well known for its saloons in America. Given that trucks and SUVs now account for 70% of vehicle sales in the US, that’s a perception it’s trying to change. The recently launched Telluride, a Ford Explorer rival, is helping that cause for the brand. Meanwhile, we’re more excited for the special-edition Stinger with a drift mode…
Keep on truckin’
It’d be easy to miss the trucks and mods hall if you weren’t careful. Here, you’re reminded of the sheer hulk of many vehicles on US roads. Personal favourites included the Ram 2500 Power Wagon with a mere 6.4-litre V8 and 429lb ft of torque and the bright orange Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
Source: Autocar Online