New York Auto Show 2013 – Roundup

The best new cars from the Big Apple

By Shahzad Sheikh

The New York Auto Show which kicked off over the weekend and is running till next week, is not meant to be one of the major ones. Detroit is the big American Motor Show that sits alongside the likes of Geneva, Frankfurt and Paris as the world’s premiere car shows.

New York Auto Show 2013

But each year it seems to be raising its profile and whereas January’s Detroit event is an opportunity for jingoistic drum beating and bigging up the US big three brands, the New York show seems to be more an opportunity to for those pesky import brands to show up the local establishment and win the hearts of residents of the nation’s most cosmopolitan city.

So what were the biggest stories of the New York show? Well after all I’ve just said, let’s go ahead and start with the flag-waving Americans, because they did manage to save some superstars from Detroit for the NY extravaganza.

2014 Cadillac CTS

2014 Cadillac CTS

I’ve always been a big fan of the current CTS, it’s an underrated driver’s car and its sharp rakish lines give it a futuristic stance, particularly in highly dramatic coupe guise, that belie the fact that it was getting on a bit.

The all-new CTS has gone slightly more upmarket and grown to become a proper BMW 5 series rival. Its styling reflects this new maturity. Having said that – Wow! What a good-looking saloon. The proportions are great and the lines play extravagantly with the light, considering it’s essentially a simplistic geometric design.

2014 Cadillac CTS

It’s based on a stretch version of the ATS platform – which should make it a proper thrill to drive. Despite its increased size, it’s actually lighter than the previous car and offers a 50:50 weight balance.

The range-topper will feature a Twin-turbo V6 (Caddy’s first twin-turbo) mated to an eight-speed auto with the motor producing 420bhp and 430lb ft of torque with 90% of torque available from just 2500rpm giving it a 0-100 time of under five seconds. There will also be a 3.6 V6 with 321bhp and a 2.0 turbo with 272bhp. All wheel drive will be optional.

2014 Jeep Cherokee

2014 Jeep Cherokee

There’s been a lot of controversy about the all-new Cherokee since the first images were leaked and it all centres around its new face with its bent-back grille and slitty headlights. It’s a shocker for sure, especially considering the blunt-faced heritage of the Cherokee brand thus far.

But who says you MUST look back to go FORWARD? Honestly speaking, I quite like it. Because to me it looks like an off-roader out of a sci-fi movie. Sleek, jutting, pointed, purposeful – particularly with the red car/black bumpers combination in the press images.

2014 Jeep Cherokee

It’s not exactly going soft either. There will be three new four-wheel drive systems from regular flavor, to one with a low range and a more serious version with locking rear differential. And you want technology? How about a NINE speed automatic transmission – take that Lexus! (Lexus was the first to market with an eight-speed).

It’ll feature a 3.2-litre version of the Pentastar V6 producing 271bhp and 239lb ft. There is also a 2.4-litre engine producing 184bhp and 171lb ft of torque.

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Refreshed Camaro and new Z28

Chevrolet has echoed the trick that Ford pulled off with the Mustang in 2010, when it took an already sensational looking car and with just a few clever tweaks and a little tightening of the face, made it even more desirable.

The 2014 Camaro does exactly the same, keeping the same basic overall shape and mean stance, but getting an even more aggressive front with new grille and headlights. Chevy’s done a great job with it, but the one reservation is the rear, where the signature taillights seem to have been replaced with one-piece units. The rear now reminds of me of the 96-01 Honda Prelude rear.

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Even more excitingly, 2014 sees the returns of an iconic badge for the Camaro – the Z/28. This is being touted as the most track-capable Camaro ever (just as Ford ends production of the Boss 302 Mustang – its most track-capable Pony car ever – talk about tit for tat).

The Z/28 even proved to be three seconds faster per lap than the more powerful ZL1 in tests thanks to better grip, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and lower weight. It comes with a 7.0-litre (LS7) naturally aspirated from the Corvette Z06 producing over 500bhp and 470lb ft of torque delivered through a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox.

I CANNOT wait to try this thing!

2014 Range Rover Sport

2014 Range Rover Sport

So the first big international star of the show is the all=new Range Rover Sport. It fuses the styling cues of the little Evoque and the all-new Range Rover. And it does actually work best of the two. The sleek styling does lend itself better to the ‘sporty’ pretentions of this iteration of the Rangie.

I’ve always maintained that if you’re getting a Rangie, get the Big Daddy. So is it wrong for me to now desire the Sport more? The only thing I’m not sure about is the rear view which looks like the bumper’s fallen off somewhere.

2014 Range Rover Sport

Like the bigger Range Rover, the Sport also sheds weight, a massive 420kg in total depending on engine and of course it gets a host of technological updates. Plus, despite only being 62mm longer than the previous Sport, it gets something even its big brother doesn’t – the option of a third row of seats. Yep, the Sport is now a 7-seater.

The engine line-up remains pretty familiar, but at least now the Sport will live up to its badge by entering the exclusive league of the five-second SUVs.

2014 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG

2014 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG

We’ve seen the CLA saloon before, and a good-looking little saloon it is too, but here is the AMG performance variant – with a few extra bits of contrasting aero added to give it that serious intent.

No mental AMG V8s here though, in fact all you get is a 2.0-litre Turbo putting out a 360bhp and 332lb ft of torque.

2014 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG

This does give it a 0-100 time of just 4.6seconds and a limited top speed of 250kph, but I’m not really sensing that AMG DNA the press release talks about – particularly as this is all-wheel drive (what I don’t get to just sit there vapourising the rear rubber, in true AMG-stylee?!).

It’ll be interesting to see if this one is worthy of the AMG badge once we get behind the wheel.

2013 Subaru WRX Concept

2013 Subaru WRX Concept

Somebody in Subaru has screwed up. Badly. They forgot to circulate the memo that all WRXs should look downright ugly, or at the very least should be utterly plain-jane Japanese econobox saloons with some spoilers.

Unfortunately someone seems to have mistakenly hired an actual designer, and look what he’s gone and done! Don’t worry though, calm down and rest assured it’ll surely be ruined in time for production, because this is a mere concept car, not the real deal.

2013 Subaru WRX Concept

Lower, sleeker and wider than any WRX before it, this does look amazing, employing classic signature cues like the WRX bonnet scoop and the blue – though the memo about the traditional gold wheels must also have got lost in the terrible breakdown of communication that’s occurred at Subaru HQ.

No word on how close to the production car this is going to be, I hope it’s nothing like it, because Subaru PR is awful here in the UAE and we’ll never get to drive it which, if it does end up looking like this, will really suck!

2014 Jaguar XJR

2014 Jaguar XJR and 2014 XKR-S GT

Blimey Jaguar – it took you long enough! The XJ came out in 2009 and NOW you give us the XJR? Admittedly the regular XJ is amongst the quickest in its class – in any of its engine guises, thanks to its lightweight aluminium body.

2014 Jaguar XJR

So this should be a seriously fast bit of kit, despite its limousine proportions. There 550bhp and 502lb ft of torque (that too from just 2500rpm) giving this beast a 0-100 time of 4.6seconds and limited top speed of 280kph.

2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT

But if that’s not enough speed for you, and you’re not fussed about having a fully luxurified Jag, and spend most of the winter weekends at local track days – then you’ll need to get your skates on fast to place an order for the limited edition XKR-S GT. Actually they’re only building 30 of these, so you’re probably already too late.

2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT

Massive aero, huge Brembos, stiffer suspension and quicker steering all turn this into a time-attack Jag that’ll take around 4 seconds to hit 100kph and has a limited top speed of 300kph, featuring the same 5.0 V8 as fitted to the XJR above.

Let us know what you thought about the stars of the 2013 New York Auto Show below

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