• 2015 New York Auto Show: The Complete Roundup

    April 2, 2015

    The 2015 New York International Auto Show has completed its second press day before the doors are opened to the public.

    Day-two had a lighter schedule of events, with a focus on forthcoming production models rather than concepts and design studies. Unveilings included the redesigned Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan Maxima, along with an updated Chevrolet Spark.

    The New York show maintained its status as one of the most important global launch events of the year, wrapping up the North American show season with more than a dozen new models that will soon be headed to showrooms across the country.

    Be sure to check out our video updates with footage from the show floor.


    2016 Nissan Maxima
    Sporting an athletic body redesign, the new Maxima revives Nissan’s “Four-Door Sports Car” positioning. The sedan sheds 82 pounds and bumps power output up to 300 horsepower to help fulfill the marketing promise, while the revamped interior takes inspiration from aerospace.

    Cadillac CT6
    The flagship sedan inaugurates a new naming scheme for Cadillac, but more importantly it serves as the first model in a revitalization effort under new leadership. Aimed squarely at the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the CT6 claims to out-handle the German rivals thanks to the Omega platform’s mixed-material structure.

    Lincoln Continental concept
    Ford’s luxury division has introduced a bold new concept that previews a radical shift in design language. Presented as a design study, the concept is expected to serve as the inspiration for a MKS replacement. The company will likely have to make quite a few changes to satisfy Bentley, after the British automaker noted a striking resemblance with the Flying Spur.

    2016 Lexus RX
    Most luxury automakers are scrambling to build new crossovers, but 17 years ago the segment was essentially nonexistent until the Lexus RX arrived. Facing increasing competition, Lexus has embraced a much more aggressive look for the 2016 RX, with a longer wheelbase and a more powerful engine to further sweeten the proposition.

    Full list of introductions:

    2016 Buick Enclave Tuscan Edition

    2016 Cadillac CT6

    2016 Chevrolet Malibu
    2016 Chevrolet Spark

    2016 GMC Terrain

    Honda Civic concept

    2016 Infiniti QX50

    2017 Jaguar XF

    2016 Kia Optima

    2016 Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography

    Lincoln Continental concept

    2016 Lexus RX

    Mazda MX-5 Club

    2016 McLaren 570S Coupe
    2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
    2016 Mercedes-AMG G65
    2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE
    2016 Nissan Maxima

    2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder

    Rolls-Royce Wraith ‘Inspired by Film’ edition

    2016 Scion iA
    2016 Scion iM

    Subaru STI Performance Concept
    2016 Toyota RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid
    VW Beetle concepts

    2017 VW Golf SportWagen Alltrack

    Image by Brian Williams.

  • NY LIVE: 2016 Toyota RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid

    April 2, 2015
    Toyota has lifted the veil off of the updated 2016 RAV4 at the New York Motor Show.
    The RAV4 benefits from a new front end whose design is loosely inspired by the Corolla and the 2016 Avalon. The crossover gets more angular headlights, a single-slat radiator grille accented by thin strips of chrome and a new lower bumper that incorporates two air intakes. LED tail lamps are available at an extra cost.

    A shark fin antenna, new alloy wheel designs and three additional paint colors called Silver Sky Metallic, Black Currant Metallic and Electric Storm Blue round out the updates for the upcoming model year.

    Inside, the 2016 RAV4 gains a redesigned instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch configurable TFT screen, an available seven-inch touch screen, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a sunglasses holder, an additional USB port up front and revised cupholders designed to accommodate tall mugs with handles.

    The biggest news for 2016 is the addition of a gasoline-electric hybrid model (pictured). The RAV4 Hybrid will be equipped with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology but full technical details are being kept under wraps for the time being. Toyota says that the Hybrid will come standard with all-wheel drive, that it will offer more power than the standard RAV4 and that it will return better gas mileage.

    The 2016 Toyota RAV4 will launch this fall. Gasoline-burning models will be offered in LE, XLE, Limited and SE trim levels, while Hybrid buyers will be able to choose from two trims called XLE and Limited, respectively.

    Live images by Brian Williams.

  • NY LIVE: 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

    April 2, 2015
    Mitsubishi has introduced the updated 2016 Outlander at the New York Motor Show.
    The 2016 Outlander ushers in the automaker’s new design language. Its front end gains more angular headlights, a new twin-slat radiator grille and chrome accents, styling cues that bring it in line with the XR-PHEV II concept that was presented in Geneva last month. Out back, the SUV is fitted with bigger LED tail lamps connected by an elegant strip of chrome trim as well as a new bumper that integrates faux brushed aluminum trim and nearly vertical fog lights.

    The usual assortment of new alloy wheel designs and paint colors round out the exterior updates for the next model year.

    Inside, the seven-seater Outlander features a more ergonomic steering wheel, a new media interface that runs Mitsubishi’s MMCS infotainment system and a host of additional features like an available auto-dimming rear-view mirror. SEL and GT trim levels can be ordered with Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control.

    Mitsubishi has not made any major mechanical modifications to the Outlander, meaning that ES, SE, and SEL models carry on with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 166 horsepower and 162 lb-ft. of torque. A CVT sends power to the front wheels, but all-wheel drive is available at an extra cost on SE and SEL models.

    The range-topping Outlander GT uses a 3.0-liter V6 that generates 224 ponies and 215 lb-ft. of twist. Offered exclusively with all-wheel drive, the six-cylinder is bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission.

    The revised Outlander rides better than the outgoing model thanks to a redesigned suspension and a stiffer body. Additional sound-deadening material and a noise-isolating windshield makes the cabin noticeably quieter. Overall, Mitsubishi says it has made over 100 engineering and design improvements to the Outlander.

    The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander will go on sale in the coming months. Pricing information has not been published yet.

  • NY LIVE: Volkswagen’s Beetle-based concepts

    April 2, 2015
    Volkswagen has traveled to the New York Motor Show with no less than four Beetle-based concepts in tow. The show cars were designed to preview what upcoming limited-edition variants of the retro-styled icon could look like, and to celebrate Volkswagen of America’s 60th birthday.
    The most eye-catching concept is dubbed Beetle R-Line. Essentially a Beetle on steroids, it features a deep rally-inspired front bumper that incorporates three air ducts, black mirror caps, an air diffuser integrated into the rear bumper, a sizable spoiler and 20-inch Monterey alloy wheels. The concept sits about half an inch lower than a stock Beetle thanks to a sport-tuned suspension.

    The muscular treatment continues inside with bucket seats and faux carbon fiber trim on the dashboard. Power for the R-Line comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 217 horsepower, a slight power bump over the top-of-the-line regular-production Beetle.

    Next up is the Beetle Convertible Wave. Designed as the ultimate vehicle for summer, it features retro-inspired classic houndstooth seating inserts and a wooden dashpad built to look like a surfboard. Outside, the Convertible Wave gets a Habanero Orange paint job, silver mirror caps and bright 19-inch Tornado alloy wheels.

    As surprising as this might sound, Volkswagen explains that it built the Beetle Pink Color Edition to cater to buyers in the United States and in China who regularly ask for a pink Beetle. It is finished in Pink Metallic with contrasting gray mirror caps, and it is equipped with R-Line bumpers on both ends. The cute look continues inside with a healthy dose of pink trim, though Volkswagen assures us that “an even higher proportion of pink” is conceivable if buyers ask for it.

    Finally, the Beetle Convertible Denim is a heir to the limited-edition Beetle Jeans that debuted in the middle of the 1970s. It features a dark blue soft top, 18-inch Disc alloy wheels and a shade of blue called Stonewashed Blue Metallic that was developed specifically for the concept. Inside, the Denim gains blue upholstery, a matt aluminum dashpad and denim-look map pockets stitched into the front seatbacks.

    What the future holds for Volkswagen’s Beetle-based concepts is up in the air, but the Wolfsburg-based automaker has made it clear that they could be built in the near future if they generate a positive response from the show-going public and potential buyers.

    Live images by Brian Williams.

  • NY LIVE: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Club

    April 2, 2015
    Mazda has revealed its 2016 MX-5 Club trim, promising the “most aggressive road-going iteration” of the MX-5 ever produced.
    The Club will include several performance upgrades when optioned with the manual transmission, including a limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks and a shock tower brace. All Club models will also sport front air dam and rear lip spoilers along with 17-inch gunmetal alloy wheels. An upgrade package featuring Brembo front brakes will be available.

    The Club edition will not get any powertrain upgrades, sharing the same 2.0-liter engine as the basic US-spec model. It will provide 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque.

    The Club will be the mid-trim option for the Miata, which is also available in Sport (base) and Grand Touring (high-end). The Sport will come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, LED headlights, USB audio input, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a leather-wrapped shift knob and power door locks–all from a starting price of $24,915. Additional trim pricing and options will be revealed closer to the MX-5′s summer on-sale date.

    “MX-5 is the heart and soul of Mazda, serving as a beacon for the rest of our lineup with its fun-to-drive dynamics, design and technologies,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO, in a statement. “Jinba Ittai–oneness between driver and machine–defines the MX-5. It’s a philosophy that has led every decision we’ve made toward bringing the MX-5 back to the basics that made drivers fall in love with it 26 years ago when the first generation debuted.”

    Production of the 2016 MX-5 began earlier in March and the first retail units will be delivered to Japanese-market customers in June. Worldwide deliveries will begin following the home market introduction.

    When equipped with a manual transmission, the Miata will tip the scales at just 2,332 pounds. Checking the MX-5′s automatic gearbox option will push the car’s weight to a slightly more portly 2,381 pounds.