Marking the annual end of U.S. auto show season, NY delivered a couple of surprises
The 2016 New York International Auto Show was a mixed bag compared the the sedan fest of 2015. Many of the introductions were either vehicles getting a mid-cycle refresh or volume products historically not known for moving the excitement gauge much. So we’ve consolidated our highlights into a single handy post to give you a look back at our significant story picks.
Lincoln Navigator Concept
With production Continental models headed to dealerships soon, Lincoln debuted their vision of a next generation full-size SUV, the Navigator Concept.
Inspired by yachts, the most impressive feature is the way you get inside. Dual gullwing doors open vertically and teak wood steps extend out of the body.
The pale blue interior is a touchscreen lovers paradise with displays on the dash, rear view mirror and each of the seat backs. Lincoln says a production version of this concept will debut in 2017.
Genesis New York Concept
Genesis used to be a model in Hyundai’s line and now it is the name of their luxury brand. The surprise reveal of the show was the aptly named New York Concept, a sleek sedan aiming to show a potential styling direction for the brand. The muted blue color of the exterior was paired with copper accents.
The car is aggressively sculpted but hangs together from both front and back views. The back glass has a subtle seam line molded into it that extends across the roof.
The other interesting area of surfacing is the gills behind the front wheel vents. There’s no seemingly easy way to mold these out of metal so sadly they’d probably never see production.
Hyundai is readying a new sedan that aims to offer consumers a better choice in alternative energy driving. The Ioniq is a single model with the choice of either a full electric, plug-in hybrid or traditional hybrid powertrains. It is a kind of ‘three bears’ approach to offering a vehicle and matching it to customers with varying electric driving needs.
The Ioniq could compete against EV’s line the Chevy Volt or non-electric sedans. It is an interesting approach from a modular engineering perspective but whether the car is a victim of too many compromises for the sake of diversity remains to be seen.
Homage to the Classics
Several automakers exhibited pristine examples of classic vehicles from the past. Toyota celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Corolla with a party showcasing several historic models.
Volvo exhibited two classic examples of their P1800 sports car produced from 1961-1973, The white model with the ‘ST 1’ number plate was the car used by Roger Moore in the 60’s TV show ‘The Saint’. Volvo’s current design vocabulary references shapes found on the P1800, particularly the front grille.
Two cars getting a lot of attention were pristine Nissan Skyline GTR’s from the late 60’s and early 70’s. These were both Japanese spec models not sold in the United States. At the time, they were the Japan equivalent of the iconic American muscle cars.
Top Down Toys
Just like many apparel retailers around Manhattan, several stands at the 2016 NY Auto Show were looking more summery. Mazda showed off a retractable hardtop version of their new Miata. Looking ready for cruising the Hamptons is Porsche’s new 718 Boxster S that sports coral red paint. Topping out the horsepower charts is Audi’s R8 Spyder fitted with a V10 engine and sporting the same performance numbers that garnered the hardtop R8 World Performance Car of the Year for 2016.
So Long, Scion
Toyota’s youth brand Scion completed its last auto show as a brand in the city where it was originally launched. Scion stuck with NY as a place to debut many concept vehicles over the years and it typically added something special to the show. Assembled one more time were a collection of past custom and concept vehicles including the iQ and FR-S.
Toyota has already started to transition former Scion models over. A rebadged and refreshed Scion FR-S now bears a Toyota badge and will be renamed the GT 86 for 2017.
New York International Auto Show
Photos: Bill Pinter, Dave Pinter