Chicago Highlights from the Big Apple
With some flashy debuts and a healthy dose of technology news, automakers made some noise during the New York Auto Show, wrapping up the unofficial close to the (major) auto show season. We’ve pulled together our top five vehicle introduction picks that feature forward-thinking technology aimed to make driver’s lives easier, safer and overall more enjoyable. Oh, and that will actually be available for purchase in the near future.
Among one of the most buzzed about debuts from NYIAS, the CT6 is a full-size, lightweight and agile sedan that’s matched with a 3.0L V6 Twin-Turbo engine. The CT6 will be the first car to offer the new Bose Panaray sound system (this vehicle includes 34 speakers!). Additionally, the CT6 will offer passengers individual climate control and extended comfort seats with five massage settings. The rear compartment features USB and HDMI inputs for the 10-inch multimedia screens incorporated into each front seat.
Additional tech features include a 360-degree exterior camera, a surround-view video recording program, advanced park assist, pedestrian impact detection and prevention, and a 10.2-inch CUE multimedia screen.
The CT6 is the flagship model, the first of eight all-new Cadillacs set to launch over the next five years. It’s expected to go on sale next year.
Also speculated to come out next year, Lincoln introduced its new Continental concept – a resurrected name from decades ago – yet a completely refreshed, high-tech model. While the four-door sedan’s look is inspired by its 1960s design, it’s fitted with today’s technologies including laser-assist high beam headlights, park assist and a pedestrian detection system that automatically brakes to avoid collisions.
Another unique feature that appeals to an affluent business demographic is the built-in laptop trays for backseat passengers, similar to what one would fine in an airplane. Lincoln is marketing this vehicle as “quiet luxury” to differentiate it from other sports sedans.
The launch of the 2016 Chevy Malibu is very significant to Chevrolet and GM as whole. Overall, the vehicle offers better fuel economy, a more spacious back seat and advanced technology. Set to rival competitors, such as the Camry and the Accord, the Malibu provides attractive features such as new technology under the hood designed to make a difference at the gas pump. While the 2016 Malibu will grow in size (passengers in the backseat will get 1.3 more inches of legroom), it’ll actually weigh less than the previous model.
The new Malibu comes with a standard, new 1.5-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine with stop-start technology that’s expected to get 27 mpg in the city (which is up 8 percent over the former model), 37 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined.
Also introduced was the new Malibu Hybrid, which touts more than 45 mpg city/highway combined. The gas-electric hybrid has a direct-injection 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that works with a two-motor electric drive unit. Chevrolet hopes the hybrid offering will help sell more cars in key markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, as well as other markets as gas prices increase.
When it comes to safety, the all-new Malibu offers a lane-keeping assist system with lane departure warning, a front pedestrian alert system, side blind-zone alert, forward collision alert with a following distance indicator, front and rear park assist and rear cross traffic alert. Malibu’s IntelliBeam system will automatically turn the headlamps on high for better visibility and the adaptive cruise system will offer automatic braking. Another innovative feature is called the Teen Driver system that helps parents monitor performance, such as fastest speed and reaction time. Parental controls can be customized via the Chevy MyLink infotainment system that will be connected to specific key fobs and will give audible and visual warnings when the car travels over a preset speed. Additionally, parameters can be set on where the teen is allowed to drive. For instance, they must stay outside of the city boundaries or else their parent will be notified.
The Malibu is set to go on sale late this year.
The 2016 Hyundai Tucson made its U.S. debut at the New York Auto Show last week, and offers several noteworthy technology, convenience and safety features. The new Tucson has an available hands-free Smart Liftgate, ventilated front seats, stain-resistant fabric on select cloth interior seating plus added interior space and storage options. Packing performance and efficiency, the Tucson comes with a new 1.6L turbocharged engine that’s tuned for smooth responsive power for every day driving and better fuel economy. While it’s just 2.6 inches longer than the previous model, it gives off the impression it’s larger due in part to its square-set front and taller hood.
From a safety perspective, Hyundai has loaded the Tucson with innovative features including headlights that swivel with the road – for optimum directional lighting when taking curves – lane departure warning system, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision avoidance with automatic braking.
Forward-thinking tech features include the ability to start the vehicle using not just a smartphone, but a smartwatch (Hyundai plans to partner with the forthcoming Apple Watch and Android Wear models). Additionally, the Tucson will come equipped with sought-after connectivity features such as Pandora and Siri “EyesFree” – to name a couple.
The new Tucson is expected to go on sale this summer.
Nissan is refreshing the original “four-door sports car” for 2016. The new Maxima will be more modern and upscale due to its refreshed infotainment system, larger touch-screen and higher quality materials. It comes standard with features such as an 8-inch touch-screen display with the NissanConnect infotainment system and navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, Google online connectivity, two USB ports, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a hands-free text message system.
While powertrain choices are similar to the former model with a 3.5L V6 engine, Nissan claims more than 60 percent of its parts are new, equating to more horsepower and a 15 percent improvement in fuel economy (the new Maxima is estimated to provide 22 city/30 highway mpg). The new model now offers 300 hp (up from 290) – a remarkable amount for a sedan!
From a safety perspective, innovative features include Nissan’s Around View Monitor – providing a 360-degree view of the car – adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with automatic braking. Additionally, a segment first, the Maxima offers a new feature called the Driver Attention Alert that detects drowsy driving.
The Driver Attention Alert system adapts to each individual driver and monitors steering input patterns (using steering angle sensors) during a period of driving to establish a baseline. It continuously compares subsequent driving patterns to a baseline using a statistical analysis of steering correction errors and will ask the driver if they need a break. This technology is similar to that offered by luxury brand Mercedes-Benz, and will be offered on higher-end Maxima models priced in the upper $30K range.
The Maxima is set to go on sale this summer.
What was your favorite debut this year? Comment below or tweet us @ChiAutoShow.
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