This Mercedes is one of the cars that turned heads at the New York Auto Show.
Macan, from Porsche
Nissan has pull.
Mercedes-Benz takes it.
Japan knows cars.
More German brawn
Despite no-shows by big nameplates like Tesla, Ferrari, Bugatti and Lamborghini, hyper efficiency and high performance remained the two dominating themes at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, which opened yesterday and runs for 10 days. Automakers piled on the high-tech automotive hardware, loading the latest bevy of coupes, sedans, convertibles and SUVs with the latest in smart safety and powertrain technologies.
Look for these 10 on a Texas highway near you.
Porsche Macan Four-Cylinder
Although already available overseas, the 2017 four-cylinder turbocharged Macan arrives for the first time in the U.S. in July — joining a lineup that includes the S, Turbo and GTS guises and the first to meet CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards. Officially the most affordable Porsche in the lineup — not to mention the lightest SUV the German label has produced — this Macan features a familiar 2.0-liter inline-four Volkswagen Group engine, but the rest is pure Porsche.
Its 252 horsepower is mated to a seven-speed PDK gearbox and power goes to a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system. Sixty mph arrives in 6.1 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package, and top speed is 142 mph. Despite the smaller engine, this Macan iteration should remain plenty fun to drive.
Price: starting at $47,000
Mazda MX-5 RF
Mazda received the lion’s share of buzz at the show with its surprise reveal of a Miata hardtop convertible. With its Porsche Targa-like silhouette, this gorgeous machine—dubbed the MX-5 RF for “retractable fastback”— features a compact lid that retracts in just 12 seconds and doesn’t hog any more trunk space than the soft-top version. It comes with the well-received two-liter or 1.5-liter SkyActive engines with a six-speed automatic or manual. An imperceptible 5mm increase in height allows the upscale roadster a bit more cabin privacy and wind protection, and is overall a much more stylish look.
Price: expect just under $30,000
2017 Nissan GT-R
The hardcore, hand-built street-racing machine popularly known as Godzilla boasts even more power while increasing interior comfort. From its six-cylinder, 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged engine, the car now has 20 more horsepower (565) and a four lb-ft torque boost to 467 coupled with a new suspension and 20-inch forged wheels. Minor design tweaks include a new hood and nose treatment and a higher waistline. Inside, the GT-R features improved Nappa leather seats and a larger, and less tech-centric, infotainment system.
Up front, a new, larger “V-motion” grille with matte chrome finish and an upgraded front spoiler and bumpers are standouts, while, in back, new aerodynamic features include side air vents near the quad exhaust tips, improving air flow.
Price: starting at approximately $102,000
Toyota Prius Prime
Coming two years after Toyota ended production of its previous Prius plug-in hybrid car, the Prius Prime has doubled its full-charge mileage to an impressive 22 via a larger 8.2-kWh battery and a more fine-tuned hybrid system. Toyota estimates the Prius Prime will get 120 or more MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) — the highest MPGe rating of any Plug-in Hybrid. Design tweaks include a more dramatic taillight scheme and “aquatic” body sculpting introduced in the Mirai hydrogen vehicle last year. Millennials will love the optional 11.6-inch touchscreen.
Price: starting at under $30,000 with a federal tax credit
When the freshly redesigned E-Class debuted a few months ago, it became the most technologically advanced sedan in the world. Now that car has gotten a performance bump, with a twin-turbo three-liter Bi-Turbo V6 producing 396 horsepower and a rear-drive bias in its all-wheel-drive system. Though not as outrageous as the upcoming E63, the E43 has serious punch while offering an edgier design and bigger wheels, which make it quite a serious sports sedan. There’s a new front bumper, 19-inch wheels and dual exhausts at each rear corner, while, inside, stylish red accent stitching abounds.
Audi R8 Spyder V10
Audi’s recently redesigned R8 supercar now receives the Spyder treatment, with a fabric drop-top that can open in 20 seconds while cruising at up to 30 mph. Reverse airflow around the occupants’ heads has been cut by 90 percent, making it one of the most hair-friendly convertibles ever. The 540hp beast has been stiffened by 50 percent to accommodate the roofless design, while inside features the virtual 3D cockpit as well as a new natural-language voice control system, which utilizes microphones set into the seatbelts for better audio pick-up.
Lincoln Navigator Concept
Lincoln’s pursuit of “quiet luxury” — per its current motto — comes at no sacrifice to design showmanship. Falcon doors? Teak load-in stairs? Telltale signs of a concept, but beyond those elements, the new Navigator previews an elegant large SUV design.
Its classic Lincoln design language is visible in its sleek sheetmetal. Inside, tech goodies abound, including an intercom system to facilitate communication between third-row exiles and the more forward passengers, and a screen system to allow competitive gaming between passengers. Fashionistas will love the shipshape “gear and wardrobe” management system in the cargo hold.
BMW M760i xDrive
Marking the first time BMW has allowed its M tuning division to work its magic on the flagship 7-Series sedan, the M760i xDrive officially becomes the fastest of all current BMWs. The V12-powered luxury sports sedan is distinguished by a unique aero kit with larger air intakes, kidney grilles with active air flap louvers, and a rear spoiler. Inside, look for an illuminated V12 logo, M logos on the steering wheel and paddle shifters, and piano black accents with a V12 badge around the gear selector and iDrive controller. Looking for an even more exclusive 7? The Alpina B7 x Drive launches this fall.
Price: between $150,000-$160,000
Mercedes GLC Coupe
Fluid lines make for a striking new offering from Mercedes. The GLC Coupe is beautifully proportioned — 3.2 inches longer and 1.2 inches lower than the standard GLC — and features a single-louver grille and less steeply raked A-pillars. Helping add a sportier look to the coupe are optional LED headlights and wheel sizes that stretch all the way to a beefy 21 inches. Inside, opt for the Interior Sport Package, which adds a flat-bottom steering wheel, rubber-studded pedals and AMG floor mats. Available in two trims, the base GLC300 Coupe features a 241hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, while an AMG GLC43 will boast a 3.0-liter BiTurbo V6 with 362hp. Both come with a nine-speed auto transmission.
Chevy Camaro ZL1
Hellcat owners, you’ve been warned. With an engine pilfered from the Corvette Z06, the ZL1 has shed 500 pounds for a class-leading power-to-weight ratio boasting 640hp and 640 lb-ft of torque from a 6.2-liter LT4 engine. Moreover, this sixth-generation Camaro is GM’s first vehicle to use a 10-speed automatic transmission alongside a purist-spec six-speed manual. The new autobox is said to be tuned specifically to manage the high output of the Camaro. In a nutshell: better handling, refined performance, refined interior.