MAR 21st 2016

New York Auto Show 2016 – Performance Heaven?

Anyone with energy left after the excitement of the Members’ Meeting at the weekend could do a lot worse than hop on the red-eye and make a trip to the Big Apple. It’s New York Auto Show week.

Last year the NY show hosted the world debut of McLaren’s first Sports Series model, the 570S, so what exciting new cars can we expect this year?

Ferrari Targa Florio promo

It’s no Geneva – and what an incredible show that was in 2016 – but there are some interesting goodies lined up, which we can tell you about now, and a few surprises which we will be reporting on as soon as the show doors open on Wednesday 23 March.

Our favourite Toyota is the GT86 and at the end of this year there will be a smart new one in the showrooms. It’s a facelift but as the pictures show an effective one, with restyled front end, LED lights, new wheels and gentrified interior (lots of Alcantara!) serving to improve its stance and boost the quality feel.

There are no engine changes but we are promised – shock horror! – suspension changes. They haven’t gone and spoiled one of the world’s natural oversteerers have they? Fear not, the revised damper and spring rates are aimed at increasing agility. GRR will be looking for an early drive just to make sure it’s as much fun as ever…

New York Toyota

Another of GRR’s favourite cars due to appear in revised form in New York is the Nissan GT-R. As the picture clearly shows… well, it clearly shows nothing. And Nissan is keeping this one close to its chest, so exactly what it has in store for Godzilla we will have to wait until later this week to discover. It must have something exciting in store for it: the 550hp all-wheel drive supercoupe is pushing nine…

Another intriguing teaser image comes from Hyundai, showing a concept Genesis. In the UK the Hyundai Genesis is still a £50,000 flagship sedan aimed at the likes of BMW and Mercedes. It is also a very rare sight on the roads. But in the States, since last November, Genesis has been less a luxury model and more a luxury offshoot brand, a bit like how Citroën started with the DS model and then turned it into a standalone brand.

In the US there are already two Genesis models (Genesis G80 and Genesis G90) and it wants to have six by 2020. The New York concept will reveal the sporty and premium new design language that will distinguish such cars. In countries like the US and China at least; no decision has so far been taken on Genesis in the UK. Take a look at this video and see if you think Genesis should launch as a brand here

A brace of new Minis will be taking their public bow in New York. There’s the Clubman All4 sporty all-wheel driver, but the one we want to get to know most is the John Cooper Works convertible, which goes on sale in the UK this month.

The JWC ragtop heads up the new convertible range (which starts at £18,475) and like all of the models is said to be more dynamic, practical and refined than before with better roof and bigger boot. The JWC version has 231bhp, is available as manual or auto, gets to 62mph in 6.6 seconds and costs from £26,630. And, yes, you can get it with a Union flag woven fabric roof…

There will be a good scattering of new Mercedes, of both the Benz and AMG varieties, at New York this year. Starting with the smallest, there’s a facelift in the offing for the already dramatically styled CLA. The fresh look is down to a wheels/bumper/grille/headlights makeover, but as well there are upgrades inside including new upholstery, trim and more connectivity. The version to have is the 381hp AMG jobbie (0-62mph in 4.2 seconds!), but just as appealing, though for different reasons, is the new 109bhp 180d – a very stylish way to cut your car tax: its CO2 is just 89g/km.

All the same upgrades will apply to the CLA Shooting Brake which is unveiled in April and will no doubt further boost the already storming success of Mercedes’ most compact cars. Compared to the practical but mundane old A-class, the sportier new one has brought down the average age of A-class buyer by 13 years

Then there’s the new Mercedes GLC – no, not the one we can’t yet tell you about, though you can see a video of that above.

The new model Mercedes is fessing up to now is the AMG version of the 2015-launched mid-size SUV (BMW X3, Audi Q5 rival). This GLC is a ’43’ in AMG speak, so gets the latest twin turbo V6 with 367hp, rear-biased all-wheel drive and 9G-Tronic automatic transmission – plus all those essential AMG suspension, design and technology tweaks we know and love.

0-62mph? A brisk 4.9 seconds. If only it were available in a sleek coupe body….

Any Impreza fans out there? The Subaru is not the performance machine it used to be, but, who knows, the new one at New York may bring back the glory days. One picture so far – showing a sharply chiselled nose – but it’s an all-new car, on a new platform, and ‘completely redesigned inside and out’ according to Subaru. Symmetrical four-wheel drive? Of course. Turbo nutter engine? Probably not…

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