Despite New York’s nickname of Empire City, it’s never been the empire of the automotive industry in America. That recognition goes to hardy Detroit where, to this day, the main players reside. Nonetheless, the New York show has had some major global reveals; last year, it showcased the Jaguar F-Type SVR, the Mazda MX-5 RF and the Audi R8 Spyder to name a few.
This year was more subdued, at least in the way of new car reveals. The major reference points were the new GLC 63 and GLC 63 Coupe, the latest models from Mercedes’ flourishing AMG performance brand, and a new entry-level F-Type which uses a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ingenium petrol, built by Jaguar Land Rover.
It’s fair to say that reveals are largely to do with timing – both AMG boss, Tobias Moers, and Jaguar sports car chief engineer, Erol Mustafa, admitted that their respective reveals fitted with programme timings.
But Moers also noted the obvious – that America is the most important market for AMG, not least with SUVs. And for the F-Type, it is the second largest market after England.
The other notable reveal was the bonnet-heavy Genesis GV80 concept. With Genesis currently a petrol-only saloon brand, the production version of this SUV is set to catapult Hyundai’s luxury arm into the UK market eventually.
But really, this show was for the home crowd. If the LA motor show in November was all about electric SUVS – with its star car, the Jaguar I-Pace – then the New York show was all about sheer brutish American metal.
The Dodge SRT Challenger Demon was one of the big names with all its 852hp of might and some absurd Guinness World record. And then there was the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which lays claim to being the fastest production SUV in the world. There was every expectation that the Trackhawk would look like any other muscly American SUV, but under the show lights, and in an unusual shade of red paint, it was a damn fine-looking thing, despite its angular lines and silly name.
The Civic Si, an America-only Honda which sits between the standard Civic and the Type R also looked good in coupe form.
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