New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The New York International Auto Show is North America’s oldest motor show. Here are the highlights from the 2018 event

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) is North America’s first and most-attended motor show, dating back to 1900. As the last big show of the international season, this is a chance for manufacturers to showcase any new metal that might be left in the cupboard, as well as springing a surprise or two. Read on to see the hottest new cars in New York.

Cadillac XT4

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

You’ll have worked out by now that life isn’t always fair, so while you really fancy a Cadillac ATS-V coupe or CTS-V saloon, you’re more likely to end up behind the wheel of an XT4. It’s the latest in a seemingly never-ending line of compact crossovers, which slots in below the XT5 in Cadillac’s range of crossovers and SUVs. The front- or all-wheel-drive XT4 is powered by a new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine developing 235hp, which is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. It fills a massive hole in the Caddy range and goes head-to-head with the likes of the Volvo XC40, Jaguar E-Pace and BMW X3.

Kia K900

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

This is the second-generation Kia K900, with the saloon treated to a comprehensive overhaul for its New York debut. It’s longer and wider than before, with a rear end that isn’t too dissimilar to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The front and rear overhangs are shorter, pushing the wheels further out to the corners of the car to create a larger cabin. The dashboard is dominated by a 12.3-inch screen, which is accompanied by an analogue clock developed by Maurice Lacroix. The Korean-built K900 will go on sale from the second quarter of 2018, but is unlikely to be sold in the UK.

Toyota RAV4

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The RAV4 – that’s ‘Recreational Active Vehicle with 4WD’ – arrived in the UK in 1994, with Toyota aiming it at “those with active lifestyles, a sense of fun and who want to be a just a little different.” Back then, a crossover was a leftfield choice, which is in stark contrast to the car industry of today. This is the fifth-generation RAV4 and, while it might have lost its sense of fun, it remains one of the most popular cars in the world. Last year, some 770,000 RAV4s found a home, making it the sixth best-selling car on the planet.

Subaru Forester

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Speaking of best-sellers… While the Subaru Forester might hold niche appeal in the UK, it’s actually a strong seller in the US and accounts for 25 percent of the firm’s overall production. This is a much sharper Forester than before (the old car is pictured), with a look that draws heavily from the Viziv concept of 2015. There’s no word on the specs for the UK-bound Forester, but there are rumours Subaru will drop the diesel engine and manual gearbox.

Volkswagen five-seat SUV

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

This is a five-seat SUV concept based on the seven-seat Volkswagen Atlas, but don’t get too excited because it’s not coming to the UK. Like the Atlas the as-yet-unnamed concept is designed and engineered for the American market and will be the third VW model to be assembled at the Chattanooga factory.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The updated Mercedes-Benz C-Class saloon and estate made their debut at the Geneva Motor Show, now it’s the turn of the coupe and cabriolet. Scheduled to go on sale in the US by late 2018, the 2018 models feature new front and rear ends, standard-fit LED headlights, a larger media display as standard, and a range of new alloy wheels and colours. UK buyers won’t have as long to wait, as the coupe and cabriolet will go on sale in April, with first deliveries in July. All UK-spec cars will feature sports suspension as standard.


New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Fresh from its reveal in Geneva, the BMW X4 is set for its North American debut, this time in M40i guise. It’s powered by the same six-cylinder engine you’ll find in the more practical X3 M40i, meaning 355hp and 365lb ft of torque. The new M40i – which features a wider track and a lower centre of gravity – will hit 60mph in 4.6 seconds.

Cadillac CT6 V-Sport

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Remember that Cadillac XT4 from earlier? To paraphrase Chris Tarrant, we really don’t want to give you that. This is the new CT6 V-Sport: the first ever V-Performance version of Cadillac’s flagship saloon. It’s powered by an all-new 4.2-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, which develops 550hp and 627lb ft of torque to deliver what we’d expect to be outstanding performance figures. “With its lightweight architecture, an all-new Cadillac Twin Turbo V8 coupled with the tightened suspension and revised AWD torque split, we’ve enhanced the CT6 to be well-balanced and capable of all conditions,” said Lyndon Lie, CT6 chief engineer.

Hyundai Kona Electric

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Americans will have to wait a while before they can get their hands on the Hyundai Kona Electric – it will launch in Europe first – but we expect the Korean EV to give the Chevrolet Bolt a run for its money. In the UK, you can expect to pay around £25,000 before government grants for the Kona Electric, which sounds like great value for an EV with up to 186 miles of range and a five-year warranty.

Ford Fusion

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The Ford Fusion (Mondeo in the UK) is the first Ford vehicle to be equipped with the new Co-Pilot360 driver-assist technology, which includes emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot information, lane-keeping assist, rear camera and auto high-beam. Meanwhile, the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid model has been tweaked to deliver an electric-only range of up to 25 miles – nearly 20 percent greater than the current model. A small number of minor cosmetic upgrades and a suite of new colours complete the updates for the 2019 Fusion.

GMC Sierra AT4

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Unveiled in New York City, ahead of the motor show, the GMC Sierra AT4 is “designed for the customer who wants an elevated presence on the road and the capability to venture off life’s beaten path,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC. It’s also the pick-up for those who can resist the lure of the all-conquering Ford F-150. It rides two inches higher than the regular Sierra, and comes with standard features such as four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case, locking rear differentials and skid plates. Power is sourced from a 5.3-litre V8, although 6.2-litre V8 petrol and 3.0-litre turbodiesel options are available.

Jaguar I-Pace

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Both the XK120 and E-Type made their North American debuts at the New York Auto Show, and now it’s the turn of the production version of the Jaguar I-Pace. Boasting 349hp and 512lb ft of torque from its twin electric motors, the I-Pace takes just 4.5 seconds to accelerate to 60mph, while its 90kWh battery can deliver up to 240 miles of range. In the US, the I-Pace will cost from $69,500.

Range Rover SV Coupe

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Also making its North American debut, the SV Coupe is the fastest and most exclusive full-size Range Rover ever. Just 999 will be made, each priced from £240,000 in the UK or $295,000 in the US. Its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine develops 557hp and 516lb ft of torque, enabling the luxury SUV to hit 62mph in 4.5 seconds and 176mph flat-out.

Nissan Altima

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The all-new sixth generation Nissan Altima is here, but all we have ahead of its reveal is this teaser sketch. What else do we know about Nissan’s mid-size saloon? Well, it’ll feature the same ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous technology found on the Nissan Leaf and is expected to be larger than the outgoing Altima.

Toyota Corolla

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Wait, don’t skip to the next slide, because the new Toyota Corolla is quite exciting. For a start, it’s powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which is rather refreshing in a world of downsizing. It’s also offered with a six-speed manual gearbox and features a revised sport-tuned suspension. We think it looks rather good.

Volvo V60

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Yes, yes, yes… the XC90, XC60 and XC40 SUVs are all well and good, but where would Volvo be without a good looking wagon? And few estate cars are as alluring as the new Volvo V60, which makes its North American debut in New York. In the US, the V60 will be available with a T5 front-wheel-drive powertrain with 250hp or T6 all-wheel-drive with 316hp.

Lincoln Aviator

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The last Lincoln Aviator rolled off the production line in 2005 following years of disappointing sales. But now the mid-size luxury SUV is back, although Lincoln is giving nothing away. We do know that it will be based on the Ford Explorer platform and will come with an electrified powertrain option.

Acura RDX

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The third-generation RDX has been designed and developed in America for the first time and is being billed as the “most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade. The 2019 RDX marks the return of the Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) to the line-up and pairs it with a new 2.0-litre VTEC turbocharged engine and a segment-first 10-speed transmission. The A-Spec variant (pictured) looks particularly interesting.

Hyundai Santa Fe

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The Santa Fe is the best-selling SUV in Hyundai’s 32-year history in the US, with more than 1.5 million units sold. We’ve seen the 2019 Santa Fe before – first in Seoul, then in Geneva – but the importance of the North American market shouldn’t be underestimated. Three engines will be available in the US: 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre petrol units and a 2.2-litre diesel. Seven seats are available in the Santa Fe XL.

Volvo XC40 Inscription

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

For the first time in its history, Volvo has three SUVs in its range, including the XC40. The compact SUV makes its North American debut in lavish Inscription trim, “offering unique features and an expanded list of standard equipment that is uncommon in the compact premium SUV market.” Given the success of the XC90 and XC60 in North America, we reckon the XC40 will be incredibly popular in the US.

Bugatti Chiron Sport

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Following its reveal at the Geneva Motor Show, the Bugatti Chiron Sport is making its North American debut in New York. The power and performance figures are unchanged – like anyone needs more than 1,500hp – but the Sport tips the scales 18kg lighter than the ‘standard’ Chiron. Bugatti claims that the Sport can lap the Nardo handling circuit a full five seconds faster than the Chiron. The North American market is the second strongest region for Bugatti, after Europe.

Infiniti QX60 Limited

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

It’s a busy year for Infiniti, with the new QX60 and QX80 following the launch of the QX50 premium crossover. The QX60 is Infiniti’s best-selling SUV, with the 2019 model featuring a host of cosmetic upgrades, custom 20-inch alloy wheels, stone-coloured leather seats and a suite of safety and security features.

Infiniti QX80 Limited

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The Infiniti QX80 is even larger and more luxurious, with a range of options befitting its role as the brand’s flagship SUV. Options include dark machine-finished 22-inch wheels, matte silver open-pore wood trim, illuminated kick plates and Ultrasuede headliner. Power is sourced from a 400hp 5.6-litre V8 engine.

Audi A6

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The new Audi A6 features the same infotainment system that debuted in the new A8 and A7, with the MMI touch control replacing the rotary dial and conventional buttons of the previous model. A 48-volt mild-hybrid system will be fitted as standard across the range, reducing CO2 emissions by 10g/km.

Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe and Cabriolet

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The new Mercedes-AMG C43 coupe and cabriolet models are powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine, which now delivers 385hp, 23hp more than before. It means that the coupe can accelerate to 60mph in 4.5 seconds, while the cabriolet completes the sprint in 4.6 seconds. Other changes include styling tweaks, interior upgrades, and more personalisation options.

Lexus RC F Sport Black Line

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

Available on all RC 300 and RC 350 F Sport models, the Black Line special edition features two exterior paint colours, standard matte black wheels, orange or black brake calipers, black chrome accents, and orange interior stitching. Just 650 units will be available.

Volkswagen Arteon R-Line

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The Volkswagen Arteon R-Line features a choice of 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels, R-Line badges, a unique front bumper, R-Line air inlets, and a gloss black rear spoiler. On the inside, drivers are welcomed by the R-Line logo on the screen, contrast stitching and other interior upgrades. The Arteon will be available to North American customers in the autumn.

Hyundai Tucson Sport

New York Auto Show 2018: the best cars

The 2018 Hyundai Sport is now equipped with a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine developing 181hp and 175lb ft of torque. Sport trim also includes a six-speed automatic transmission, blind-spot detection, push-button start, 19-inch alloy wheels and dual-zone climate control. US customers will be £25,150 for the front-wheel-drive Sport, with all-wheel drive available for an extra £1,400.

Read more:

The most exciting cars heading to the Detroit Auto Show 2018
The 10 coolest cars at the Geneva Motor Show 2018
2018 Geneva Motor Show video review: from A to Z

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Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Writer with a penchant for #FrenchTat. Also doing a passable impression of Cousin Eddie in an Italian-German beige motorhome.


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