Chicago Auto Show Blog

Cars are the Star of the Big Apple

Posted by: Jennifer Morand

Automakers lit up the Big Apple last week with an assortment of flashy vehicles that debuted during the New York Auto Show Media Preview. While there were a plethora of noteworthy introductions, we’re honing in on five special vehicles that fall into the following categories: best concept, eco-friendly, SUV, sports car and best performance.

Cool Concept: Lincoln Navigator


While you can’t drive this concept off a dealer lot, Lincoln’s design team is aiming to make the next generation Navigator all about “elegant beauty.” The buzz-worthy gull-wing doors and concertina steps that descend down both sides of the vehicle certainly fit that desired description. Lincoln says the futuristic doors and steps help show off the “serenity and harmony” nautical-themed interior, but prospective buyers shouldn’t necessary expect those features in the production version. Speaking of the production version, Lincoln says we can expect the all-new Navigator to be available for purchase in about a year.

Greatest Green Car: Hyundai IONIQ


The Hyundai IONIQ is the first of its kind – a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and an electric vehicle all wrapped up into one car. With its sporty demeanor, Hyundai believes this vehicle will be even more fun to drive than a gas-powered car. Rivaling the Prius, the IONIQ hybrid is expected to be rated at 57 or 58 mpg (highway/city combined); the plug-in version is claimed to have an electric-only range of 25 miles before gas; and, according to Hyundai, the EV has an estimated driving range of 110 miles between charges.  Hyundai’s new IONIQ is expected to hit dealerships later this year.

Luxury Family-Hauler: Acura MDX


Acura pulled the sheet off a restyled and refreshed three-row MDX. Most notably, the luxury SUV offers bold, new styling and standard safety features including driver-assistive technologies such as automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow and road departure mitigation. Acura claims the 2017 MDX is the first luxury SUV to offer these advanced safety features as standard. The 2017 model is expected to go on sale at Acura dealerships this summer.

Show-stopping Sports Car: Mazda MX-5 RF Miata


The first-generation Miata debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 1986, and it has come a long way since then. Mazda stole the #NYIAS attention with the all-new MX-5 RF hardtop Miata. The “retractable fastback” (as Mazda refers to it) has an automatic targa roof that can fold back at speeds up to 10 mph. A targa top was first introduced on the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa, and is ultimately designed for passenger safety with a semi-convertible body, a removable roof section and a full-width roll bar behind the seats. However, with the new MX-5 RF, it’s the exotic and rare look that will really draw people in. The RF received two awards back-to-back during the show’s Media Preview, World Design of the Year and World Car of the Year, voted on by auto journalists from across the country. This “targa top” version of show-stopping sports car will be available for purchase, but Mazda hast yet to announce the exact date.

Best Performance (with a Retro Flair): Nissan GT-R


Nissan wasn’t shy when it boasted that new GT-R was the “most powerful, most progressive sports car” the brand has ever produced. The automaker says it was determined to take supercar performance to the next level with the new GT-R’s overall cleaner design and enhanced aerodynamics, a new “Display Commander” that puts all the power at the driver’s fingertips and a plush, hand-crafted premium interior.  Under the hood is a 3.8-liter V-6, twin-turbocharged engine that puts out 565 hp.

Nissan also dazzled journalists with a handful of classic Skylines on display (the GT-R is an evolution of the Skyline brand) that garnered a lot of attention in-person and in the social media space. Perhaps the most buzzed-about of the throwback models was the 1969 Skyline 2000 GT-R.

The 2017 GT-R is expected to hit showrooms this summer.

Did you have a #NYIAS favorite that wasn’t on our list? Comment below or tweet us @ChiAutoShow.

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