Highlights From The 2018 New York Auto Show

There’s a lot on offer at the New York Auto Show. Ludicrous concepts, pricey supercars all rub shoulders with Regular Joe every day vehicles.
Jason Snyman
2018-04-09
The Geneva Motor Show stole the hearts of motor enthusiasts earlier this year. For those who missed the glitz and glamour of the vehicles on show in Switzerland, many of them have made their way over to the Javits Centre in New York for one of the most anticipated auto shows of the year. Plus, of course, there’s a whole lot more we haven’t seen. It’s not all about unaffordable supercars or amazing concepts we may never see again. There are also some very real, very affordable vehicles on parade. We rounded up some of our favourites – the best of both worlds.
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New York Auto Show 2018

The production version of Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle, the I-Pace, made some big noise.  In Jag news, Waymo announced earlier this week that the company would be purchasing 20000 of the I-Pace models to add to their robotic taxi fleet. Jaguar will be the second official vehicle of Waymo, following the Chrysler Pacifica minivans. Chances are good that the deal will be giving Tesla and Elon Musk sleepless nights. Also making the trip from Geneva was the Volvo V60, the sleek Audi RS 5 Sportback and the mind-blowing Rimac Concept Two – touted as having a ridiculous 415km/h top speed. The drop-dead gorgeous Mercedes AMG GT 4-Door made its first US appearance. BMW revealed a concept for an all-electric classic Mini Cooper. And the new Subaru Forester showed off facial recognition technology able to detect driver fatigue. The future is indeed promising, when Subaru decides to leave behind the spoilers and wings and golden rims for buzzworthy tech. Straight out of early 90’s Sci-Fi magazines came  the Hyundai-owned Genesis Essentia. An electric GT performance concept / fantasy with a retro-futuristic bubble roof. Butterfly doors open up with a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition. It’s everything you wanted as a kid and it could go into production by 2021. We’re going to be okay, Planet Earth. Hyundai also has the electric Kona and all-new Tucson coming in 2019.  

The SUV Trend Continues

Sedans are dead and buried. Deader than Kristen Stewart’s eyes. As evidenced in the World Car of the Year awards, we’ve entered the age of the SUV. A number of car makers unveiled their new models, including Volkswagen’s sporty Atlas Tanouk and Cadillac’s 2019 XT4. The VW bad boy Atlas Tanouk was one of the biggest talking points in New York, but VW has stated there are no concrete plans for production. The unveiling was only meant to gauge the reactions of the buyers and media. Based on the reception, though, we may indeed see this VW pickup on the roads in the near future.  

It’s Pretty Normal, Too

The New York Auto Show is also about people like you and I and the cars we drive every single day. Toyota’s new RAV 4 was on show, as well as the new Nissan Altima – with an all-wheel drive version featuring ProPilot Assist. ProPilot Assist is similar to Tesla’s AutoPilot and Cadillac’s Super Cruise, in that it is an innovative semi-autonomous driver assist system. The difference, of course, is Nissan’s much lower normal-person price tag and the fact that the Altima boasts one of the most advanced engines in the industry. The variable compression turbo. The RAV 4 is long overdue for a couple of modern upgrades, and will feature driver assistance and a more efficient engine. Expect a new rugged body, better off-roading capability and a nicer interior, too. Also announced was the 2019 Toyota Yaris, which was first the Scion iA, then the Yaris iA and now just the Yaris, but based on the Mazda 2. We don’t get it either, but the little Yaris has always held a place in our hearts. If only one thing could be taken away from the New York Auto Show, it is the glaring fact that both the automobile and the automobile industry are undergoing dramatic transformations. Sedans and coupes find themselves eclipsed by the SUV. The electric revolution is gaining momentum. Pickup trucks are making a comeback. Cutting edge technology is making driving safer and easier and more affordable. Collision warning with auto braking. Facial recognition. The sky is the limit, and even then, with flying cars just beyond the horizon, we may not stop there. And it’s about time.