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.
Racecars are awesome, and they’re one of the few classes of vehicles you’re guaranteed not to see driving down the road in your suburban neighborhood. Luckily, automakers love bringing racecars to auto shows, and this year Honda stole the spotlight. We highlighted the Honda Civic Coupe rally car, but Acura showed off the even-more-impressive NSX GT3. The 2017 Acura NSX’s twin-turbocharged V6 has been race-prepped and will send all power to the rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential racing gearbox. Scheduled for homologation this fall as an FIA GT3 class racer, the NSX is an exciting crowd-pleaser, and not one to miss during this final weekend at the Javits Center.
Having debuted at last year’s Detroit Auto Show, the 2017 Ford GT didn’t attract crowds during our press-days visit, but we recommend that any racing fan stop by the Ford stand to give this incredible car a long, close look. Designed as an homage to the GT40 that launched a 4-year American reign of terror at Le Mans by taking the three fastest finishes in 1966, the new GT and its flying buttresses look every bit as fast as anything in New York. With a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 that puts out 720 hp and 539 lb-ft of torque, the GT is expected to cover a quarter-mile in 9.4 seconds and reach a top speed in excess of 200 mph. We look forward to seeing how closely a racing version can follow in the GT40’s tiretracks at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
What’s so special about a Lexus? Aren’t they just Toyota Avalons with nice leather interiors and a higher price tag? Well, while some models may evoke that reaction, the 2017 Lexus LC 500 most certainly won’t. Lexus started its image-transformation crusade with the LFA, but with an MSRP just north of “in your dreams,” it was a car built more for the Playstation than actual shoppers. With the LC 500, Lexus has a top-end grand tourer with a starting price below six figures. Using a delightfully old-school naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine, the LC 500 should be as impressive to drive as it is to see (and, if you can believe it, we swear it looks even more gorgeous in person).
The muscle-car horsepower wars have never had higher stakes, so it’s no surprise that the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has more power than any previous stock version. Available in coupe or convertible form, the new ZL1 packs a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 shared with the 2017 Corvette Z06. In the ZL1, the engine’s incredible 640 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque will get delivered to the pavement through a new 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters or a 6-speed manual that offers active rev-matching. Its looks leave no doubt that the ZL1 was built for speed, with a heat extractor built into the hood and a hollow “flowtie” badge in the front grille for cooling.
While hosting a showcase for new cars, the Javits Center is of course packed with brand-new, previously unseen cars, but car fans generally like classics, too, and the NYIAS delivers in that respect as well. The new GT-R occupied the high ground at Nissan’s car stand, but one example of each generation of its Skyline ancestors sat at ground level, looking mighty quick despite their vintage. Also looking dangerously fast and experienced was a BMW M1 coupe, which was temptingly visible but up too high to see as well as we would have liked. A couple of classic Volvo P1800s mounted on separate ledges overlooking Volvo’s stand didn’t look quite as quick, but given their age and rising value to collectors, we understand why they were placed out of reach.
CarGurus is singularly focused on production cars, and we tend to prioritize the high-volume sellers over wild supercars. So the New York International Auto Show is a pretty exciting opportunity. For once, we have good reason to look at the vaporware of the motor-world: concept cars. If it’s missing side mirrors and door handles but sits on 25-inch wheels, there’s a good chance it won’t be making it to production. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun pondering the possibilities, though, and this year the NYIAS showcased some very cool concepts. Our personal favorites were brought in by Kia and ranged from a convertible Optima to an off-road-ready Forte Koup.
Speaking of supercars, Christian von Koenigsegg may be the most innovative mind in the auto business, and his cars are the epitome of cutting edge. We wrote about the Koenigsegg Regera and One:1 but want to reiterate their other-worldliness. The Regera might draw headlines for total horsepower and acceleration, but we love its transmission most. As non-traditional as they come, the Regera operates using a single gear and doesn’t hit redline until 8,250 RPM — at 249 miles per hour. Even more amazing, while running some test laps at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium (one of the fastest tracks in the world), the One:1 set a new lap record for road-legal production vehicles. The next day, it broke the record again. The best part? The One:1 did this on practice laps. Koenigsegg is making only 80 Regeras, but that number looks startlingly high compared to the One:1. Of the 7 total One:1s made by Koenigsegg, only 1 will come to the United States. That kind of scarcity is enough reason not to miss these cars in New York.
What are your “can’t miss” cars from this year’s New York International Auto Show?
-Matt Smith and Steve Halloran