Day 1 Recap: 2012 New York International Auto Show
The first day of the 2012 New York Auto Show has passed us by, ushering in new family sedans, exotic supercars, and everything in between. In case you missed it, here's what debuted today (and late last night). And for more details on the new cars that met the world this week, check out our page dedicated to the Big Apple's annual auto show HERE. Acura RLX Concept All Japanese luxury automakers have had a tough go in the U.S. in recent months, and Acura is hoping a revamped RL— as previewed by the Acura RLX Concept—could shake things up a bit. The design is all new, but shares some familiar Acura design cues. The new car promises to be lighter on its feet and will employ a V-6 paired with an electric motor instead of the common eight-cylinder engines favored by competitors. The RLX also boasts the Aha infotainment system, which will connect Acura drivers to music and web content stored and constantly updated on the Aha cloud. Pandora and Bing search will also be featured, bringing the Acura flagship up to date. We'll be curious to see if Acura can package the production RLX to compete with the competition. BMW 2013 640i Gran Coupe It looks like a BMW 6 Series. But it's been pulled four inches longer and given two extra doors. But it's not a 5 Series; it sits two inches lower on its coupe-like haunches. We're not sure how to aptly describe it, but we know it looks the part of a Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and Audi A7 competitor. With a 315-horsepower version of BMW's turbocharged inline-6, it should go the part, too. But if that's really not enough to quell the heavy of foot, BMW plans to also offer it later with a 445-horsepower version of its 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8. All-wheel drive is also expected to grace the 6 Series Gran Coupe's options list toward the end of 2012. 2013 M6 Cabriolet We've already gotten to see the monstrously quick 2013 BMW M6 hardtop version of this car, equipped with a lightweight carbon fiber composite roof to lower its center of gravity. But not everyone's so fixated on weight savings and race car technology. So what do wealthy BMW fans get when they just want to enjoy some sun? Probably the M6 cabriolet. It has the same twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 as its coupe sibling, as well as the same 560 horsepower, trick computer-controlled suspension, and race car-inspired dual-clutch automated transmission. But it also has a folding cloth roof. Because some people want to feel the wind rip through their hair instead of just whisping through it. 2013 X1 It's been a long time coming, but the 2013 BMW X1 ended up getting here at just the right time for its U.S. customer base. Coming in nearly $7,000 cheaper than the bigger BMW X3, the X1 opens up a new compact luxury crossover segment that actually began before the X3 grew into its bigger second-generation proportions. The X1 is expected to come with rear-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder producing 240 horsepower as standard. All-wheel drive will be optional on the X1, as well as a U.S.-exclusive turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-6 capable of pounding out 300 horsepower. It's the right time for right crossover at the right price, we think. Buick 2013 Enclave In its first major facelift since hitting the scene in 2008, the Buick Enclave is largely mechanically the same as the vehicle it replaces. It has the same 288-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 as its one and only engine choice. But Buick's also revised its headlights with a less bulbous shape, revised its grille with a larger shield shape to mirror other new Buick models, and infused its interior with a higher-quality materials and IntelliLink infotainment that integrates Pandora, Bluetooth, and voice command functions into a single unit. When the Enclave first hit the scene, it single-handedly lifted the brand in the U.S. The 2013 model should only improve upon that. Chevrolet 2014 Impala Easily one of the most anticipated new cars at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the all-new 2014 Chevy Impala surprised even jaded journalists with its more modern sheet metal, engine choices, and list of features. And it's a long list in each category: possibly more attractive than the Buick Lacrosse; high quality interior with soft-touch materials and spacious, ergonomic features; three engine choices with optional all-wheel drive; and available tech like active cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, etc., which are features found normally in more pricey luxury vehicles. 2013 Traverse The full-size Chevy Traverse crossover SUV has been a popular people hauler since its debut back in 2008 as a 2009 model. However, critics -- both press and consumers -- have been unending in their criticism of some of the Traverse's features, namely the lack of design and material quality of the interior. GM addresses these issues with the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, offering a new dash design complete with a stitched leather or leatherette insert, wood paneling on the door handle, and new air conditioning vents. The 2013 Chevy Traverse also comes with more plentiful standard features like tire pressure monitoring system and rearview camera. Competition in this segment, though, continues to be tough with the debuts of the all-new Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder. Chrysler Group 2013 SRT Viper The most anticipated vehicle to debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show was the 2013 SRT Viper. After a small hiatus, Chrysler’s super snake slithers back into super car contention and is expected to immediately compete against the likes of the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and the Nissan GT-R. An 8.4-liter V-10 engine is responsible for 640 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque motivate the Viper to an estimated top speed of 206 mph. While the engine is noteworthy, the interior really steals the show for SRT’s newest vehicle. Coated with soft-touch materials, the Viper actually has an interior that’s worth its estimated $95,000 price tag. Fisker Atlantic Codenamed the Fisker "Nina" for the longest time, the Fisker Atlantic is promised to be the startup luxury automaker's second car following the 2012 Fisker Karma. But that sedan is $107,000. This one's about the size of a BMW 3 Series and is intended to cost half as much as its big brother. Under the hood, power comes by way of a plug-in hybrid system. When the battery runs out of juice, a BMW-sourced turbocharged four-cylinder picks up the slack and serves as an on-board generator. We think it's a promising second hitter in Fisker's lineup, but the company's been battling financial pressures for some months. There's a chance it may never even the light of day, much to our dismay. GMC 2013 Terrain Denali The midsize crossover GMC Terrain has been a hit for what used to be exclusively a truck maker. But GMC saw an opportunity to take it further upmarket with the 2013 Terrain Denali. New on the inside are finer leather, a soft-touch dashboard, mahogany wood accents, and "Denali" embossed in the seats. It also gets minor exterior improvements including the signature Denali grille, new 18- or 19-inch wheels, and a good bit more chrome. But best of all, and available on all trim levels of Terrain, GMC is ditching its meager 3.0-liter V-6 engine from last year in favor of a 301-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6. Thank goodness. Honda 2013 Honda Crosstour concept The 2013 Honda Accord Crosstour concept showed up at the 2012 New York International Auto Show as a near-production ready vehicle. The latest Crosstour was on the receiving end of numerous design changes in order to make it more SUV-like and less Accord-like. Features like a grille outlined with chrome, new boxy foglamps, and larger headlights give the Crosstour that necessary look. As for the power bump Honda promised, a 3.5-liter V-6 engine will be an option along with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that is in service now. Honda is mum though when it comes to numbers on the latest engine to power the Crosstour, so stay tuned. Hyundai 2013 Santa Fe Hyundai has been unleashing a slew of highly styled cars offering unparalleled value. Amid all those recent debuts, crossovers have taken a backseat, until the 2012 NYAS, that is. The newest Santa Fe signals Hyundai's focus on increasing presence in the compact crossover market. It was widely felt the Santa Fe was a good, if bland, vehicle. With a more aggressive looking exterior, and a more premium-feeling interior, the 2013 Santa Fe is a better vehicle than the one it replaces. Two engine options and a choice of two-row and three-row versions will help broaden the appeal. While the compact crossover market is increasingly difficult to make a mark in, we wouldn't bet against Hyundai. We think the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe will hold its own among the sea of good offerings in this segment. Lexus 2013 ES 350 and ES 300h While it may not have been the most exciting unveils at this year’s New York International Auto Show, the Lexus ES 350 is important to the Japanese luxury automaker. How important you ask? Well last year the ES 350 carried the most sales weight for Lexus selling 40,873 units last year. With the introduction of the latest ES model and now with a hybrid variant, we expect both to only tighten its sales grip within the automaker. The ES 300h also marks the first time this model will be available with a hybrid powertrain. Lincoln 2013 MKZ It’s no secret Lincoln has been battling self-image issues for years now. They say the first step to admitting you have a problem is to acknowledge said problem. The good news for Lincoln is that they're all-too-aware they have that issue. That’s where the 2013 Lincoln MKZ comes in. The freshly designed sedan has luxury vehicles like the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class set square in its cross-hairs, style-wise, but it sits at a much more accessible end of the luxury market. The latest MKZ shares a platform with the 2013 Ford Fusion and is powered by a turbocharged EcoBoost 2.0-liter inline-four and is rated at 240 horsepower. The other engine that will be available is a 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 300 horsepower, which replaces the 263-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 currently in service. Both engines are hooked to a six-speed automatic transmission. Mazda Takeri Concept Mazda used the 2012 New York Auto Show to show off its attractive Takeri Concept, but more importantly hinted at what we can see in production on the 2014 Mazda6. The Takeri boasts a 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D turbodiesel engine, which we're most likely to see on the all-new Mazda CX-5. As far as the 2014 Mazda6, we're told it will have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder traditional gasoline engine, and it will be paired with a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. As on the Takeri, it's likely we'll see regenerative braking and a start-stop function for added fuel economy. Now, how closely will the Mazda6 resemble the Takeri? That's what we're looking forward to seeing. Mercedes-Benz 2013 GL-Class The seven and eight passenger luxury SUV segment is a small one, with contenders like the Audi Q7, Infiniti QX56, and even the Cadillac Escalade. Mercedes-Benz is not resting on its laurels, though, and has refreshed is GL-Class full-size SUV. For model year 2013, the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is equipped with more potent V-8 gasoline engine and an even more fuel efficient V-6 diesel engine, standard air suspension, and available surround view camera which allows the driver to navigate the huge GL-Class in all but the tightest parking spots. Mercedes has made the 2013 GL-Class an even safer vehicle with the addition of Crosswind Stabilization system, which keeps the GL-Class planted in heavy crosswinds while braking, and Attention Assist, which detects if the driver is getting drowsy. 2013 GLK-Class The biggest change to the already competent Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class compact crossover SUV for model year 2013 is the expansion of engine options. Going on sale sometime in early 2013, the Mercedes GLK-Class will be available for the first time with a potent 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine. Fuel economy figures on the GLK-Class diesel have not been released by the EPA at the time of this post, but it should be several ticks higher than the gasoline-powered model which gets an estimated 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. Other changes for the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class include an update on the seven-speed automatic transmission shifter, more exterior color choices, and a reshuffling of option packages. 2013 SL65 AMG When the Mercedes-Benz SL550 and Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG supercars made their debuts earlier this year, we knew it was just a matter of time before an AMG version of the SL65 would make its appearance. Debuting at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG carries all the features of its siblings, including revamped exterior design, interior layout inspired by the stunning Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, and a 254-pound lighter body courtesy of aluminum and carbon composite. Mercedes and AMG worked their magic on the SL65 AMG's V-12 engine, garnering an additional 17 horsepower for a final figure of 621 horsepower. The Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG continues to offer luxurious creature comforts, though, standard Airscarf vent system blows warm air on the driver's neck and the optional "Magic Sky Control" where the owner can lighten or darken the Mercedes SL65 AMG's retractable roof with a touch of the button. Nissan 2013 Altima The 2013 Nissan Altima is perhaps the automaker's most important new vehicle, as the current generation leapt ahead of most other midsize sedans to become the second-best-selling vehicle in its class last year. Nissan didn't feel the need to reinvent the wheel; just make it more refined with luxury car touches and and a host of high-tech features. It's kept last year's basic engine options, but now the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder boasts 182 horsepower and is able to hit a class-leading 27 mpg city/38 mpg highway fuel economy rating. NissanConnect infotainment, a four-inch Advanced Driver-Assist screen in the gauges, and NASA-designed seat foam complement the package and should help it remain more than competitive in its class. 2014 NV200 Taxi Hailed as the "Taxi of Tomorrow," the NV200 completely reinvents all we think of when it comes to chartered transportation. It's a four-seat minivan with a small 2.0-liter four-cylinder instead of a big V-8 like the taxis of yore. It has rear airbags for all passengers, a USB charging station for personal electronics, a skylight roof for viewing New York City's sights, and more. Heck, the NV200 Taxi even has a charcoal-infused headliner for diffusing odors and an antimicrobial material covering its seats. Sure, it may look like a dowdy box. But if this taxi's the future, we're excited to see it today. Porsche 2013 Cayenne Diesel Porsche quietly expanded its midsize crossover SUV lineup at the 2012 New York Auto Show with the addition of 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel model. Porsche had announced it would be bringing the diesel version over to the U.S. back at the beginning of the year. The Porsche Cayenne Diesel is powered 3.0-liter turbo V-6 diesel model which generates a respectable 240 horsepower. The Cayenne Diesel, though, offers over 400 lb.-ft. of low-end power, or torque, zipping from zero to sixty just above seven seconds. That's plenty fast for a vehicle that weights over 4,700 pounds. The Environmental Protection Agency has not yet released the Cayenne diesel's fuel economy which Porsche estimates to be 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Porsche will release the official figures once they're available later this year. Volkswagen Passat Alltrack concept Perhaps the thinnest of the veiled concepts to show up at this year’s auto show in New York is the 2012 Volkswagen Passat Alltrack concept. Already on sale overseas, the Alltrack concept tests the waters to see if there's a market for a return to Volkswagen’s midsize wagon to the U.S. lineup, albeit slightly butcher. The Alltrack concept was originally shown off at the Tokyo Motor Show last November and was brought to New York to gauge customer interest. If Volkswagen feels the Alltrack concept receives a warm enough welcome, we could soon see it stateside. The concept currently on display holds a TDI diesel engine but that would most likely be dropped or supplemented by a gasoline powerplant if it does make its way across the pond. Joel Arellano, Trevor Dorchies, and Matt Askari also contributed to this report.
We're well into 2012, but if March sales are any indication, the beat plays on for Japanese automakers.