We went to the 2015 New York International Auto Show this past weekend to get up close with all of the cars we’ve been hearing so much about and commenting on in the last few months. NYIAS is always a fantastic time, but this year was the best it has been in 10 years. The show is a bit of a tradition for us to do with our friends, and this year we chose to forgo the press days so we could go with the group. I’ll admit up front that we didn’t get to everything that was at the show, but we had a blast with everyone. Here are our highlights and opinions on the cars we saw.
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Alfa Romeo has come back to the USA with their 4C sports car leading the charge. This is the open-top version, and it is certainly my choice over the coupe. I really wish it came with a manual transmission, though. Paddle shift isn’t right for a lightweight sports car like the 4C.
Aston Martin Vulcan
The Vulcan is Aston’s awesome Vulcan is one of those hyper-exotic track-only specials, like the Ferrari FXX-K. They will only build 24 of them, and with over 800hp from its 7.0L V12, the Vulcan will definitely move while making all the right noises. I personally prefer road cars, but it’s hard not to love something so bonkers.
This new flagship model looks to be a proper Cadillac, in the truest sense. It aims to take on the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, and Mercedes S-Class (But, actually, maybe not). The Cadillac CT6 has some great features, and some fine details. It also debuts a new 3.0L twin turbo V6 with 400hp for the Cadillac model range, surely a step in the right direction. The most impressive thing for me has to be the car’s weight, though. Despite being the size of a BMW 7 Series, the base model weighs just 3,700lbs. Most of its competition is in the mid-4000lb range. So the CT6 is the size of a BMW 7 Series, but it only weighs as much as a BMW 5 Series. Very impressive indeed. Likely my new favorite car in the full-size luxury segment. Well done, GM!
The ATS-V came out back in the Fall, but this was my first time seeing one up close. The CT6 is the car Cadillac really needed to build, but the ATS-V is the one I personally want to buy at some point. I love the standard ATS, so the thought of one with 120% legit performance credentials is drool-worthy. Unlike the new CTS-V, the ATS-V can also be had with a manual gearbox, and its 462hp is plenty to have fun with. That said, those wanting more power can always turn the boost up and easily see over 500hp. I just love it!
Ford Focus RS
Ford’s new top-spec, rally-inspired Focus is here to take the fight to the Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R. It has an up-tuned, 320hp version of the 2.3L Ecoboost in the Mustang, as well as all wheel drive to put it all to the ground. It only comes in manual (Thank God), and just look at that blue! Needless to say, I am VERY excited to try a Focus RS out for myself.
Ford did an incredible job keeping this thing a secret, and they absolutely stunned the world when they dropped its bombshell in Detroit. It features a 3.5L Ecoboost V6, instead of a V8, and makes “at least” 600hp. The design of the new Ford GT is a total show-stopper. I love how they’ve made it obviously a Ford GT, but with a much more modern twist than the last generation. The price is said to be around $400,000, so would you have this, or a Lamborghini Aventador? I’m leaning toward the GT, myself.
Koenigsegg Agera R
There are exotics, and there are hyper-exotics. This is the latter. Believe it or not, though, this Agera R was a mild disappointment because it was a stand-in for the Koenigsegg One:1 that was supposed to be there. #Firstworldproblems, indeed, but what an epic machine!
Lexus has put their 467hp 5.0L V8 into the GS sedan, and made it into a proper high performance machine. It won’t quite match up against the mighty BMW M5 and Audi RS7, but rumors are saying it will only cost $70-80k. I know I would definitely choose a GS-F over a BMW 550i or an Audi S8, so I hope it really is in that price range. Plus, you know it’s gonna be reliable, and that has to count for something, right?
Lincoln Continental Concept
I wrote a whole article/rant last week about how I don’t think this is the right direction for Lincoln. I will grant that it is a great looking car, but it looks like an Audi, not a Lincoln. And that is a big problem for a brand that is trying to re-establish an identity for themselves. Lincoln should fire their designers and tell them to go work for ze Germans.
Mazda MX5 Miata ND
This was my first time seeing the new Miata in person, and I love it. I liked how it looked in photos, but it really has a beautiful shape to it in person. It would seem that Mazda has done the ND Miata very right indeed, but we’ll see for sure after we drive it!
This is the new entry-level McLaren, but it’s basically the third version of the same car they already make. It has the same 3.8L twin turbo V8 found in the 650S and P1 hypercar, but it the boost has been turned down to around 562hp. At around 2900lbs, the 570S’s power to weight ratio is still very substantial, and it’s likely still faster than a Ferrari 458 Italia. I though it looked a little awkward in photos, but it definitely looks the part in person. Not a bad way to spend around $200,000. It’s surely got more exotic appeal than a Porsche 911 Turbo.
Porsche Boxster Spyder
I’m dead serious when I say this is my favorite new Porsche model… think of it as a reliable, fuel efficient Ferrari 355 Spider. Forget the 911s, GT3, GT3 RS, and the rest of them. The 911 range is pretty overpriced at this point, and while the GT3/GT3 RS are still a good value, they only come with PDK paddle shift, and that’s a bit of a fun-killer. A convertible version of the Cayman GT4, the Boxster Spyder has much of the same suspension and brake parts as the GT3, but it has three pedals and the roof comes off. Even with around 100 less horsepower than the GT3, I still feel like the Boxster Spyder would be a more fun and rewarding experience, overall. Nothing compares to the crisp feel of Porsche manual shifter, and what’s not to love about having the wind in your hair? 375hp is also plenty of punch for a car weighing only 2,900lbs. Plus, you can have one with options for under $100 grand.
Subaru BRZ STI Concept
Subaru is still just teasing us all with this BRZ STI Concept car. Supposedly it forgoes a turbocharged flat-4 in favor of a Super GT racing engine, but that’s all hogwash as far as a production version is concerned. One option Subaru should consider, though, is an up-tuned version of the flat-6 from the Legacy 3.6R. With the flat-6, the BRZ STI would be like a front-engine Porsche 911, hopefully with around 330hp. I like my flat-6 idea, but, of course, a turbo flat-4 is more likely, if a BRZ STI ever does happen.
Subaru Impreza STi 22B
It’s always great to see 1 of the 500 STi 22B’s in the world. JDM heaven, to be sure!
2004 Subaru STi
Seeing my own car behind the barricades, next to the STi 22B gives me hope that the values will continue to increase!
Volkswagen Beetle Pink Edition
My girlfriend really liked this car, and I actually like it a lot as well. A pink Beetle is not something I’d buy for myself, but I think this adds the flavor that the Beetle has needed all along. Beetle sales haven’t been too great, and VW is probably going to end production for the current Beetle in the near future. They should have had more bold colors like this raspberry pink the whole time.
So that does it for our highlight reel from NYIAS 2015. We have plenty more content coming from the show this week, though, so stay tuned. Some of the most incredible cars have yet to be featured!