For 118 years, New York City has hosted an annual assembly of automotive manufacturers. The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) calls together the biggest names in the industry to showcase the new direction of their company to the general public. Overwhelming displays for attendees range from the latest models that inhabit public roads, to futuristic concept cars that inhabit our minds.
Traversing four floors of the enormous Javits Center in Manhattan to catch a glimpse of the nearly 1,000 cars and trucks on display can be tiring. We are here to save you the hassle by giving you, in no particular order, our top eight highlights from this huge spectacle.
1. Nissan’s 2019 Formula E Car
Since the inception of the FIA’s new all-electric single-seater racing series, Formula E, drivers have had to leap from car-to-car in the pits to complete one race distance. However, with the unveiling of the second-generation electric race craft, those days are history. This Nissan-clad latest generation Formula E car wears the new FIA-mandated halo protection, while its power plant also generates double the amount of energy storage capacity and double the range. The power supply isn’t the only new feature, as this current car dons fresh bodywork aggressively shaped to better contour air, and further blend the lines between an open-wheel car and a Le Mans Prototype. The future of electric racing looks bright with this new entry.
2. The Volkswagen Arteon R-Line
Hailed as the spiritual successor to the CC, the new Arteon R-Line represents much more to the Volkwagen brand than a new midsize sedan. It is responsible for shaping the brand’s next step, offering the performance and style of a sports coupe in the price point of a usual midsize. If the large ominous grill opening on the front is the shape of things to come, I’ve got a feeling this will be a popular outlet for the sedan crowd once it officially launches in the fall.
3. Interactive Booth Displays
Technology is being incorporated into our lives more every day. This became increasingly more apparent while walking NYIAS’s Media Day this year. I passed hundreds of people tethered to live streaming cell phones with microphones affixed to their mouths. Just as our use of this technology is changing, so is the way we’re receiving it. Automotive manufacturers utilized several different variations of interactive setups at their booths. Dodge and Volkswagen chose to line competitive attendees up against one another in life-sized simulator races, while others like Chevy elected to immerse guests in a virtual reality trip over various terrains in their new Camaro.
4. The MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept
Okay so, this is just a concept, but look at the aerodynamic bits on every corner of the new MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept! Considering the standard F56 chassis, describing this concept with the word “aggressive” is an understatement. The widened carbon fiber planes of the front and rear fenders elongate the wheel arches into airflow shaping wings, which stretch the length of the chassis. Accompanying the racing-natured pieces on the sides, a massive front splitter contours the air immediately after greeting the front end, while a rally-style carbon fiber roof spoiler spits the air out the back. Although, there is no word on the power plant inside this concept, we can only imagine it is highly performance oriented to match the stripped interior, and carbon fiber enveloped exterior.
5. Hypercars from Manhattan Motorcars
It was a rare opportunity indeed for many to see, for the first and probably only time, these beautifully crafted pieces of automotive superiority on display. These cars not only top the record books in numerous speed columns, but also verify their worth by way of outrageous price tags and low production numbers. They are the pinnacles of vehicle development, whether it’s in their construction materials, or their performance statistics. Cars like the new Bugatti Chiron Sport, Rimac C Two, and the $4M Lamborghini Centenario were our favorites of the bunch.
6. All of the Porsche Display
I couldn’t narrow down which part of the Porsche display I liked best, so I chose the whole thing. Front and center was an impeccably presented vintage Porsche 356B convertible complete with luggage rack.
Positioned alongside the 356B was the world premiere of the 991.2 GT3 RS in Lizard Green with the Weissach Package, which includes 25-pound weight saving magnesium BBS wheels, a carbon fiber roof, and carbon sway bars. These additions are only $31,000 over the $189,000 price tag for the standard 991.2 GT3 RS—pocket change, right?
However, my personal favorite of their display was the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo (long enough name?). This takes the stereotypical station wagon, and turns it on its head. It incorporates the Turbo model’s 550 hp twin-turbo V8 with a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 136 hp electric motor for a grand total of 680 hp! Not a bad power output for an all-wheel-drive family hauler, ey?
7. All of BMW’s M Display, Too
The Bavarian automaker comprised their fleet from M1 to M6 in a wide variety of colors. Starting with a vintage M1 Procar displayed in their loft seating area, down to an Alpine White M2 and Dakar II F80 M3 at the base of the stairs.
They followed those closely with a Fire Orange M4 convertible, new Purple Silk F90 M5, and a British Racing Green M6 Gran Coupé. Happy to explore new color options with their customers, BMW’s Individual color program seems to be a main highlight for the brand.
8. RAYS Wheels
Last but not least, the modification-addicted section of the automotive culture gets its own portion of the NYIAS downstairs thanks to international OEM and aftermarket wheel manufacturer, RAYS Wheels. This year the group from RavSpec, a New York native RAYS dealer, brought along a few of their own project cars including this new Civic Type R with Gram Lights 57ANA wheels, a new Dodge Charger with Volk Racing TE37 Ultra wheels, and a Nissan GT-R with the company’s flagship Volk Racing TE037 Dura wheels.
For years the top marques would unveil their newest breed of speed in an attempt to capture the American public’s attention in New York. However, even with a recent shift in alternative power interest, the cars presented on the stages made for a fantastic overload of general automotive excitement. I’m already eager to see what models make it to the Big Apple next year.