With a major emphasis on electric vehicles, a slightly pared-down New York International Auto Show opened its doors to media on the Wednesday and Thursday before the Easter / Passover weekend. True to trend, some of the major launches happened off-site in the days leading up to the official media days, while some skipped any sort of event at all. The North Hall was closed and many of the major automaker booths were conspicuously smaller than previous years, there were still some notable launches.
Toyota kicked the media frenzy off with the new 2019 RAV4, but the real star was the hot little Corolla hatch. First off – manual transmission. I don’t think I really have to type anything else after that, but for word count purposes, it’s 2.0 L Four-Cylinder, Six-Speed iMT Manual Transmission. Also featured is Amazon Alexa integration for creepy laughing when down shifting.
Volkswagen showed up with a pick-up truck. A LIT pick-up truck. The short-bed Atlas Tanoak has a 276-horsepower V6 FSI® gasoline engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. The both the grille and the bumper of the mid-size five-seater have strips of LED lighting.
Subaru birthed the 2019 Forester surrounded by previous generations. The fifth generation SUV will be available in five trim levels, including the new Sport. The new 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER four-cylinder engine boasts 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, and the interior has more leg and head room thanks to increased wheelbase.
Croatia has many cool things like Bokar Fortress (King’s Landing in Game of Thrones), but you’d be forgiven it’s not the first place you’d think of when it comes to cars. Well, then, there;s the Rimac Automobili. The C_TWO hypercar is damn pretty. Also, electric. Everything you would want in a car you can never afford – slick design, butterfly doors, all the carbon fiber, an electric motor powering each wheel, radar, on-board cameras, and a top speed of 412 km/h (258 mph).
Undoubtedly the standout of all of the launches, the Genesis Essentia concept is simply stunning. Standing there staring like everyone was after the launch, you can see the designer’s hand in every single line on the body.
Rather appropriate considering the holiday, Fisker has been resurrected as Karma with a presence on the show floor.
In quirky-but-cool, Super 8 – yes, the motel chain – has a customized Jeep called the ROADM8. It has a built-in coffee maker. This is all that I needed to know. SOLD.
OH AND ROUSH HAD A MUSTANG.
After the media frenzy, a parade of EV’s drove down 11th Avenue in front of the Javits Center preceding the official public opening. Panasonic Jaguar Racing driver Nelson Piquet led the EV procession, doing donuts in the championship Formula e.
Actor/comedian Tracy Morgan followed the Formula e car and the Jaguar I-PACE in the World Endurance Championship LMP1 title-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid that won 24 Hours of Le Mans three times.