On March 23, as in tomorrow, the gates open for the motoring media, and yes, we can barely contain our excitement to be there. There are ten cars that interest us most, ten cars in a sea of four-wheeled extravaganza. Because time is short and talk is cheap, models such as the Nightfall Edition of the GMC Terrain, Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet, US-spec VW Golf Alltrack, facelifted Buick Encore, and Scion tC Release Series 10.0 were left out. Other nameplates such as the Audi R8 Spyder haven’t been confirmed, although the most ardent voices in the rumor mill insist that the New York Auto Show is the place of debut.
Instead, I shall talk you through the genuinely important stuff that will certainly be revealed in the Big Apple. In the list of the most anticipated cars of the 2016 New York International Auto Show, you’ll find a diverse array of nameplates, ranging from high-performance dream machines to mainstream offerings.
2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Magnetic Ride suspension and a manual transmission with active rev matching for effortless hell-and-toe action? You can have those too. Cue the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, a muscle car with sports car credentials.
The question that sprung to mind when the golden bowtie let the cat out of the bag is if the Camaro ZL1 can hold its own against the almighty Dodge Challenger in SRT Hellcat form. “It will compare well to any sports coupe, at any price and in any setting,” according to Mark Reuss, the GM vice prez of global product development. Let’s wait and see what happens.
Later edit: Surprise! Chevrolet has unveiled the Camaro ZL1 Convertible in New York.
2017 Chevrolet Sonic
For the 2017 model year, both the hatchback and the sedan received an extensive facelift inside and out. To be honest with you, the refreshed Sonic isn’t a showstopper, but its design will grow on prospective buyers.
Because this is the top vehicle for first-time new buyers in the Chevy stable, the manufacturer has poured more effort into overhauling the cabin and the standard features list rather than focusing on the exterior. Per se, the Sonic boasts 4G LTE, Wi-Fi hotspot, Android Auto, and Apple CaPlay.
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe
I’m actually impressed that it took Mercedes-Benz less than a year to turn the GLC Coupe Concept into a production-ready car. A car that will allure people away from the BMW X4 thanks to a more coagulated design.
For what it’s worth, a plug-in hybrid and a 503 horsepower (510 PS) Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Coupe will be added to the lineup after the four- and six-cylinder models debut in New York. Dear BMW, this is checkmate.
Later edit: Mercedes-Benz has let the GLC Coupe out of the bag.
So what will the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe be like? First and foremost, look at the MX-5 Miata in the picture above and imagine that the soft top is made of metal. That’s it, that’s the Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe.
Of course, it will be a hardtop that retracts at the push of the button. Of course, it will be marginally heavier than the regular MX-5 Miata. But then again, what you lose in power-to-weight ratio you gain in comfort.
Later edit: It's called the 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF and it's gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
What is sure is that Jeep will debut two variants of the mid-size SUV. The first and most important is the Trailhawk, the most rugged member of the Grand Cherokee family and the one pictured above. The second has been christened Summit and it is laden with premium goodies and toys.
For those who were waiting for Jeep to debut the all-new C-SUV at New York, tough luck. The replacement for the Compass and Patriot has been rescheduled to premiere at the Sao Paulo Auto Show in November.
Later edit: Jeep has finally unveiled the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and the updated Summit.
2017 Acura MDX
The third generation of the model started production in 2013, and for the 2017 model year, Acura has decided to lose the signature beak. Mind you, it was about time the Japanese brand changed things for the better.
An updated powertrain is in the cards, as are more creature comforts compared to what the 2016 model year has to offer. As things stand now, the 2017 Acura MDX shapes up to be quite an appealing family hauler.
Later edit: The 2017 Acura MDX is a great family hauler, especially in Sport Hybrid form.
2017 Subaru Impreza
The 2017 Subaru Impreza won’t just be better than its predecessor in all aspects but it will most likely kick-start the company’s electric vehicle ambitions. I present this fictional cookie to the reader who corrects my remark by mentioning the Subaru Stella Plug-In electric kei car from 2009.
At the end of the day, the 2017 Subaru Impreza can be summed up in four words. These words are “the future of Subaru.” It sounds better than “the next step in the evolution of Enjoyment and Peace of Mind,” doesn’t it?
Later edit: Here's the 2017 Subaru Impreza.
2017 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid
Toyota hasn’t confirmed anything about it except that we should expect “the next mechanical marvel in the Prius lineup,” but trust me, New York is the place of debut for the pluggable brother of the fourth-generation Prius.
If the leaked image featured above is to be believed, the Prius PHV will one-up its sibling as far as exterior styling is concerned. I mean, just look at the shape of the taillights. How bold is that for an eco-conscious vehicle?
Later edit: This is the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, which isn't as good as the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid.
2017 Nissan GT-R
The Lexus LFA-inspired trapezoidal openings integrated into the sides of the front bumper and the V-Motion front grille make it for me. There are some minor differences at the rear as well, but nothing to write home about.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed the regular GT-R will be upgraded to 600 horsepower for the 2017 model year, but never say never. If I were a big shot over at Nissan, I would give it 600 HP. It’s fitting for a swan song.
Later edit: Here's the 2017 Nissan GT-R.
Genesis New York Concept (previews 2018 Genesis G70)
Let’s wait and see what the Genesis New York Concept has in store for the production model. It needs three things to pose a threat to models such as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4.
First and foremost - a rear-wheel- and all-wheel-drive chassis. On a close second comes an exterior design that pleases the eye as much as the quality of the cabin stimulates your tactile sense. Thirdly - Hyundai’s luxury arm needs to undercut the pricing of the established German trio. If Genesis complies with these requirements, the G70 will turn out to be a welcomed addition to the compact executive sedan genre.
Later edit: Man does this thing look the part. Check the Genesis New York Concept for yourself.