Ready to roll in the Big Apple


The New York Auto Show opens on Friday, April 22, in its traditional launch of the spring selling season for auto manufacturers and dealers ready to do away the doldrums’ of winter, although this year’s first quarter tally managed to do quite nicely all things considered.

The New York Auto Show closes out the North American show season that started last November in Los Angeles. 

It has been an unbelievable season with hundreds of world and North American debuts — a rebirth of the auto industry — as the economy continues its march toward a full recovery.

New York may be the happiest show, a joyful collection of cars and people ready to polish the Big Apple. Lots of parties as manufacturers host a plethora of media from around the world to cap off their metal versions of ready-to-ware, the spring-fall, 2011 collection.

Here are but a few of the highlights that will bow at the Javits Center — New York’s grand showcase on the Hudson:


BMW announced that the new 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-Cylinder will first power the Z4 sDrive28i that will arrive in BMW stores this fall. Like the company’s latest TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter turbo inline-6, the new 2.0-liter engine will combine highpressure direct-injection and BMW’s VALVETRONIC intake control with a forced induction system consisting of a single twin-scroll turbocharger. With 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, it offers more power and torque than BMW’s normally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-6 that it replaces in the Z4 sDrive30i.


Powered solely by four cylinder engines the 2013 Malibu, introduced ahead of the show, will also offer manual and automatic six speed transmissions. Similar in design to the outgoing Malibu the new vehicle has a more European edge to it which will go a long way in establishing the vehicle in the new global market.


Soon on the heels of the 500 Coupes come the Cabrios. Outfitted with the 1.4-liter and a five speed manual – a six speed automatic is optional – the Cabrio will have a choice of three colors, dual-layered power operated cloth tops. We understand that the top retracts at speeds up to 60 mph. We just don’t understand why. Due at dealers by this summer.


Ford introduced a freshened Taurus even through the current edition is only in its second model year. The 2013 Taurus sports numerous improvements and updates led by a new powerful yet fuel efficient EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine.

The headliner is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that will deliver an estimated 237 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque while realizing an estimated 31 mpg on the highway.


Another great snake bit Mustang. The Ford Shelby GT500 now available with an 800-horsepower option creating the GT500 Super Snake using a Shelby/Kenne Bell upgrade to give the GT500 its full allotment of muscle. Super Snake includes a Ford Racing handling package with adjustable dampers, tuned stabilizer bars, a spring kit and more; a Shelby/Eibach handling package is optional. It’s amazing what you can do if you can afford the price of admission. Shelby GT500’s start around $100,000.


On the day that Honda introduces its new Civic in New York all six versions will already be sitting at your favorite Honda dealer ready for delivery. In addition to the Sedan and Coupe, the ever popular Si sedan and coupe, hybrid sedan and NGV natural gas will be ready to move across the dealer’s curb to your driveway. The new 2012 Civic, in all of its versions, sport a spiffy new look, and that helpful Honda touch.


Hyundai Motor America introduced the all-new 2012 Accent with claims of best-in-class standard fuel economy and power. This marks the U.S. debut of the latest version of the subcompact sedan and the new top-of-the line Accent five-door. The 2012 Accent is slated to hit dealerships this summer. The Accent uses an all-aluminum 1.6-liter Gamma four-cylinder engine to deliver 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque producing a 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway fuel economy rating. The engine’s most notable feature is its use of direct injection, a first for the subcompact category.


See the entire 2012 lineup here in New York highlighted by the 2012 XF sedan and more specifically the XFR as it gets new bodywork that will differentiate it from its sedan stablemate. Without a doubt today’s Jags are more elegant, sleek and faster than ever. XK and XJ will get some refining touches and some new toys. You’ll also get a peek at the XKR-S that had its debut in Geneva. It’s all eye candy for those of us who can only afford to look.


New York will launch the sedan version of the new 2012 Rio subcompact. The new four cylinder gasoline direct-injection engine is expected to reach 40 mpg on the highway giving the Korean car company yet another bulge in its ever flexing muscle in the U.S. marketplace. The Rio is the kissing cousin to sister division Hyundai’s Accent which will also be unveiled here.


The LF-Gh concept is sure to translate to the expected new GS hybrid as hinted to in its code name. Built on the same wheelbase as the 2011 GS this one is sure to employ new thinking technology and an advanced rear-drive platform. Just guessing — it won’t be cheap.


The CX-5, to be based off of the MINAGI Concept, was shown in New York and will feature the full suite of SKYACTIV technologies, and join the brand's global line-up in 2012. The compact SUV will make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

SKYACTIV is a suite of all-new technologies that includes completely redesigned, highly efficient internal combustion gasoline and diesel engines, manual and automatic transmissions, and an advanced body and chassis that will be the core of Mazda's future product line.

Mazda also unveiled the 40-mpg highway fuel economy of its face-lifted 2012 Mazda3 compact car, which made its U.S. debut at the show.



Launched April 19 in Shanghai, the A-Class concept also bows here in New York. Powered by a 2-liter direct injection engine from the BlueEfficiency engine group the A-Class will also feature a dual-clutch transmission that will drive the car through the front wheels. Spiffy looking with its LED headlamps and rather different than the current global A-Class that is not sold in North America – this one looks like it is heading in this direction.

Also on the Mercedes stand is the new 2012 C63 AMG coupe arriving in the U.S. in September. The base engine is the same as that in the C63 AMG Sedan, the 6.2-liter V8. The coupe carries a wider track than the sedan with stiffer springs and damper rates. The overall look inside and out is a bit sexier than the sedan.


There are myriad ways the all-new 2012 Nissan Versa sedan breaks new ground for entry-level sub-compact sedans. And many ways to sum them all up. But Nissan says that perhaps a simple statement is best: Innovation Within Reach. The Versa sports a new 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine engine is rated at 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is estimated at 30 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined with the CVT transmission and 27/36/30 mpg with the 5-speed manual transmission. The fuel economy is significantly improved over the 2011 1.6-liter engine, which is rated at 26 city, 33 highway and 28 combined with the automatic transmission.


Check your wallet; if you have an extra $174,175 in it you may want to consider Porsche’s new range topping Panamera Turbo S with its twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 will outputs of 550 horses and 553 lb.-ft. of torque. While its zero to 60 is a mere 3.6 seconds its light weight titanium-turbines go even faster. If you thought the 6 and V8 were special and the hybrid wonderfully unique ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’ until you’ve seen the Turbo. Oh, if you can handle the cost of this thriller, you can afford the gas.


Is it a Toyota FT-86 compact or is it the Scion FR-S. Maybe both, but the teaser photo came from the Scion guys. Dealers have been expecting the 2012 sporty car and it seems they will get it. The FT carries the Subaru contracted 2-liter, 4-banger boxer with a six speed manual. One would expect to find the same in the Scion.


Using its new boxer engine to underscore it highway mpg of 36, best among all-wheel drives according to Subaru, the new 2012 Impreza will debut here. The new engine, available as a 2-liter or 2.5-liter will provide propulsion for a number of Subaru models including a rear drive sporty car seen in Geneva. It is also a basis for engines being built for Toyota and Scion. Impreza will be available as both four and five-door models.


Suzuki unveiled a gas-electric concept variant of its Kizashi sedan ahead of the auto show as well as turbo concept of the Kizashi. With the moniker Kizashi EcoCharge Concept, the hybrid model is expected to improve on fuel economy by 25 percent. It derives power from a 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine, working in tandem with an advanced electric propulsion system.

The turbo concept version of its Kizashi is expected to make from 275 to 300 horsepower. The engine is matched exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission.


Gone is the dashboard flower vase and the new from the New Beetle, but the essence of “bug” flourishes with a redesign that is more edgy and masculine. It is lower, wider, bigger and sportier and hopefully will have a more global appeal according to VW’s marketing chief Luca de Meo. The 2012 Beetle will offer three engines: the 2.5-liter gasoline five cylinder, the 2-liter TDI Clean Diesel and the 2-liter TSI turbocharged gasoline engine. Transmission choices will include a 5-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic on 2.5L models. Volkswagen’s DSG 6-speed dual-clutch transmission will be offered on the TDI Clean Diesel and the TSI turbocharged gasoline models, while a 6-speed manual will come standard.