Change and Sameness at the 2017 NYIAS

2017 New York International Auto Show

Auto shows provide strong evidence to support the following proverb: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Gearheads from around the world arrive at the Javits Convention Center with eyes alight every Spring to get a look at and learn about the latest and greatest cars available for sale at the New York International Auto Show. The cars change from year to year, of course, but many other things stay pretty much the same.

The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is both new and different. A production car that can get from zero to 60 in 2.3 seconds and pop a wheelie is definitely different, but Chrysler presented a new car that vividly recalls the incredible muscle cars of the ‘60s while packing an unprecedented amount of power and a frightful name in 2014, too. We sadly missed the Demon’s Tuesday night launch party, but were delighted to see and hear the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk demonstrate its Hellcat engine’s power while strapped atop a dyno at Jeep’s press conference yesterday.

The 2017 World Car Awards were also both new and different. They took place on the first morning instead of the second and featured a new Urban Car category, but as usual the awards were presented at breakfast, featured a number of cars not available in the U.S., and used pyrotechnics and confetti to accompany the awarding of the ultimate World Car of the Year award. That new Urban Car award went to BMW’s i3, the 2015 version of which impressed our reviewer as an interesting move in a new direction. Jaguar’s debuting F-PACE SUV managed a double whammy, taking both the World Car Design of the Year and overall World Car of the Year titles.

Another group of 2017 NYIAS attendeesOther things that were mostly the same: Lots and lots of brand-new, scary clean cars, many of which haven’t hit dealership lots yet. A horde of press attendees (6,350 media folks registered, according to a sign in the Media Center) with a wide variety of accents, expertise, personal brand preferences, fashion sense, and lack-of-sleep symptoms. Lots and lots and lots of electronic devices that take notes, photos, and/or video in the hands of most attendees or on stands at every press conference. A media center that ranged from whisper quiet to pit-lane loud depending on what was happening on the show floor. Much consultation among car writers about evening parties, new outlets and opportunities, the good old days, and how much happier the world would be if more people understood cars better.

Despite all those similarities, the 2017 NYIAS did include lots of changes, too, particularly among the hundreds of cars (and quite a few engines) on stands throughout the show. We’ve already published a couple of videos detailing the new Subaru Outback and Crosstrek and the debuting Buick Regal Sportback and TourX, and we look forward to sharing more. We’ve had a blast and learned a ton at the show, and we encourage anyone considering purchasing a new car this year to at least think about attending a show themselves to learn more about the cars they’re considering and figure out whether they should consider others.

The New York Auto Show almost wraps up the international auto show season, which will continue with Auto Shanghai, which opens on April 21st. But there will be plenty of shows of new and classic cars throughout the Summer and Fall, and that season will restart December 1 with the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show and 2019 cars. We’ll attend that show for the first time this year, then we’ll return to Detroit in January, and of course, next year’s NYIAS. Because the more things change…

Would you be more likely to attend a car show featuring new or classic cars? Why?

-Steve Halloran

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1 Comment

  1. Great article! If only more people did understand the vehicles they were purchasing… I have seen plenty of change in my life, but fondly remember the ’66 Pontiac Lemans I purchased in 1980 as my first vehicle; 2-dr, black & white bucket seat interior, Powerglide, started modifying it with my dad before I got my driver’s license… Love the new technology these days.

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