The six best cars revealed at the New York motor show
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
On the world circuit, and certainly compared to the LA show, New York’s motor show is a relatively quiet affair.
However, more manufacturers have worked out that car launches in the Big Apple's low profile environment can generate relatively large impacts, and are starting to pencil in this March event to garner interest in their latest models.
This year, the themes were high-performance SUVs, stylish concepts and a dash of quirky retro. Here are the top six selections from the 2018 show.
Jaguar F-Pace SVR
Some old hands have been wondering whether Jaguar could really make a SUV that would properly reflect the firm’s sporting heritage.
The appearance of the F-Pace SVR [video above] provided a clear answer to that question.
It looks amazing, but not in an in-your-face way. The credible styling is backed not only by serious 404kW power but also – judging from the upbeat attitude of the engineering team members at New York at any rate – by an excellent chassis.
Toyota seems to be really going for it of late with some interesting and purposeful cars. The new RAV4 is another example of that welcome trend.
It’s one of those cars that, from some angles, can look a bit awkward in photographs, but it looks really good in the metal. It’s certainly a big step up from the old model.
We’re hoping that the new RAV4’s refreshingly edgy style will be complemented by sharper driving dynamics. If it is – and the example set by other recent Toyotas is hopeful – then Toyota could have a hit on its hands in this key sector.
The full quota of engine options, performance and prices have yet to be divulged but should be shared later this year before the compact SUV arrives in 2019.
Maserati Levante Trofeo
Sticking a big lairy motor into an SUV is all the rage these days.
So step forward Maserati. It's entry into the nuclear SUV race is the Levante Trofeo, a late surprise at the New York show with a 582bhp Ferrari-built V8 snarling away under the bonnet.
With the existing Levante S costing just over $150,000, expect this muscle-bound powerhouse to demand a fairly large premium.
Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupé
Probably not the car to buy if you have any sort of a conscience about the environment, or if you need to carry more than a couple of passengers on anything like a regular basis.
But if you see a matte black one, as we did at New York, we defy you not to want to pull in every favour to get a drive in one, or to scrape together every last bit of finance to get one on your drive.
It won't be cheap, mind. In fact it will be a fair bit dearer than the saloon version, despite being cheaper to build. That’s the price of style. However, if you do fork out for one, you will get improved performance.
Genesis Essentia Concept
There were more SUVs and saloons at New York than you could shake a stick at, so it was refreshing to see this electric Genesis Essentia on display. If you've not heard of Genesis before, it's the luxury arm to Hyundai.
Placing the batteries in an I-shaped central tunnel structure rather than in the usual ‘flat floor’ configuration is an interesting new take on EV drive line integration.
Built around the battery tunnel is a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis and a 'multi motor' electric powertrain feeding the wheels.
No power figures were issued at last week's show, but Genesis says it will hit 100km/h in an estimated 3.0 seconds - that's Tesla territory.
It ticks all the concept car requirements - lots of carbon, upward opening doors and an eight-inch widescreen display for the driver and passengers.
Classic Mini Electric
This electrified old-style Mini didn’t actually appear in the Show, but it ran around the streets of New York just beforehand, where it wowed onlookers.
By general agreement there would be a strong demand for an all-electric classic Mini. It’s city-friendly in every way. However, some enthusiasts blasted the suggestion of a Classic Mini Electric in our dedicated report on the car.
The Mini's original peppy 1,275cc four-cylinder power-plant has been replaced with lithium-iron phosphate batteries and an electric motor, which the car maker says showcases 'the brand's unmistakable character whilst embracing zero local emissions technology' ahead of the unveiling of the new Mini-E, due in the next few months.
The fully electrified restoration has a range of 104km and a top speed of 120km/h, though not at the same time.
- Daily Mail