The 2016 New York International Auto Show set attendance records over its first weekend, and organizers expect total attendance to exceed 1,000,000 visitors. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek during press days One and Two. We’ve already shared video impressions of some of our favorite new vehicles, as well as posts on the amazing array of supercars at the show, the Genesis New York concept, the awesome Bandit Edition 7T7 Trans Am, and the custom-made, Chevy Aveo-based ETV. Here’s one more taste of the show, which ends Sunday at 7pm New York time. We urge you to consider getting there while you can, as the show may be the only chance you’ll ever get to see some of these cars.
In a low, good-ole-boy grumble, the representative for Trans Am Worldwide told me that the Bandit Edition 7T7 Trans Am on display at the New York International Auto Show was already sold to a customer in Dubai. “You know, all of those guys have Ferraris and Lamborghinis. If you want to get noticed, you drive something like this. Our cars are popular there.”
Signed personally by Burt Reynolds, star of the iconic “Smokey & the Bandit” trilogy, the Bandit Edition 7T7 Trans Am starts life the same way every vehicle built by Trans Am Worldwide does. With a fifth-generation Chevy Camaro SS. Officially licensed to build the cars, the company undertakes a significant styling conversion and offers the 7T7 Trans Am in a variety of color combinations as well as with varying degrees of equipment and performance.
The funny thing about being at a major auto show is that you tend to get tunnel vision. You can be running around the show floor taking notes on crossovers and minivans and not acknowledge that you’re standing amidst some of the most impressive supercars on the planet. Thankfully, that was not a problem for us at the 2016 New York International Auto Show.
Fresh from appearances at the Geneva Motor Show, the New York show is the first time some of these supercars have been seen on North American shores, and they represent various corners of the high-end ultra-performance marketplace.
The front end looks like the face of a Cabbage Patch Kid. The rest of the Genesis, though, is a beautifully compelling car that people should genuinely desire. It’s dazzling, even with the squished cheeks and broad smile.
The design direction of Genesis, Hyundai’s new luxury brand, debuted last week in New York and seems to have squashed any rumors that the brand’s cars would be nothing more than rebadged Hyundais.
If the production versions of the coming Genesis G70, G80, and G90 look anything like this, we can be sure that affluent young buyers will take notice, and Lexus and the Germans will feel some competitive heat.
Yes, Genesis could be the real deal.
Day Two began with the World Car Awards. Backed by a surprisingly loud, club-ish soundtrack and some odd song choices (maybe intended to help attendees wake up after a very long Day One?), the Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle got the World Green Car Award, the Audi R8 Coupe took the World Performance Car Award, and the BMW 7 Series won the World Luxury Car Award. Mazda managed to take two trophies, as 2016 World Car Design of the Year and World Car of the Year, with its MX-5 Miata, and having driven the car ourselves, we heartily applaud the WCA jurors’ decision.
To be frank, the Chevrolet Aveo was never an aspirational car. It was transportation selected more for its practicality than its passion.
Nor is it a car that would normally turn heads at a venue like the New York International Auto Show (running now through April 3). However, it’s a different story when its platform is the donor for the ETV, a car made by Mike Vetter’s Car Factory in Micco, Florida. In that case, it stops foot traffic among a typically jaded automotive media, with auto journalists stopping to wonder, “What is that?” It’s the first of eight in existence, and it’s a great-looking vehicle (even it does look like an over-stuffed ballet slipper from the side).
The New York International Auto Show hosts more than a million visitors every year, and we are excited to report on the biggest news from day one. From a 120 MPGe Toyota to a 565-hp Nissan GT-R, an all-new pair of Subaru Imprezas, and a $72,000 Maserati SUV, NYIAS did not disappoint.
Media days are over, but the show must go on: the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, that is. Models introduced there don’t always have a huge impact on the domestic market, as the New York International Auto Show later this month focuses on the U.S. The Geneva show seems more geared to letting car fans around the world drool over barely aspirational cars.
Here are a few that caught our attention from the show.
The Honda Civic hatchback is on just about anyone’s list of cool European cars that Americans can’t have.
The car is built in Europe, for Europeans, and there’s been no sign that Honda would offer it up to a clamoring American public. Why is that? Money, of course.
Adapting the car to fit American tastes and to comply with American crash and emissions standards would simply cost too much, not to mention the costs associated with building in Europe and shipping to the United States.
The math didn’t add up, so the car never came here.
But guess what? Honda has announced that it will ship the next-generation Civic hatchback from its factory in Swindon, England to the United States for the first time ever in an attempt to inject some life into its struggling European division.
Let’s compare some numbers:
The smallest 2006 Ford F-150 is 211 inches long.
The smallest 2016 Toyota Tacoma is 212 inches long.
There are countless trim levels and sizes for each truck, but we have to acknowledge that the current midsize Tacoma is nearly the size of a full-size truck from a decade ago. And it’s still growing.
At the Chicago Auto Show this week, the Tacoma and another shamelessly large truck, the Ram Power Wagon, showed that downsizing isn’t an option.