NEW YORK--Several Asian brands plan world debuts at the New York auto show this week.
Kia will show a stylish redesign of the Optima sedan, Infiniti is rolling out a new QX56 luxury SUV, and Scion is expected to show either its new iQ minicar or the next version of the tC coupe.
Meanwhile, Acura, Subaru and Suzuki plan variants of models already on sale. Mercedes-Benz will unveil a freshened R-class crossover. And Cadillac, Chevrolet and Lincoln are expected to show derivatives of existing vehicles.
Press conferences are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, March 31 and April 1.
Acura will expand its TSX lineup by adding a wagon that will go on sale this fall. Since the design of the TSX sedan owes much to the European version of the Honda Accord, the wagon is likely to resemble the European Accord Touring edition.
General Motors Co. will reveal the Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon concept, with the same 556-hp, supercharged V-8 engine as the CTS-V sedan and coupe.
Two variations of the U.S. version of the Chevrolet Cruze small car will be shown: a fuel-efficient, four-cylinder Cruze Eco and a sporty version called Cruze RS. The Cruze arrives at dealerships in the third quarter.
Turbocharged and hybrid versions of the new Sonata sedan are expected to be unveiled.
Infiniti will debut a redesigned QX56, the brand's body-on-frame SUV. The low-volume model has remained a steady seller in the United States, despite the industry trend away from truck architecture. Reborn as a unibody Japanese import for the 2011 model year, the QX will get a styling makeover, enhanced luxury interiors and technology offerings that echo recent changes in the Infiniti M sedan and FX crossover.
The redesigned Optima will make its world premiere. Chief designer Peter Schreyer said the intent was to give the sedan an athletic, coupe-like profile by making it longer, wider, and lower than its predecessor. Schreyer said the Optima boasts what he calls a new interpretation of Kia's bold tiger family face.
The 2011 model is due to go on sale this fall. A bigger, 3.3-liter V-6 is expected to replace the current 2.7-liter V-6.
The luxury brand is expected to show either a small car or variant of the MKS sedan.
A freshened R-class crossover will debut with a more aggressive, SUV-like front end and a mildly changed rear. Mercedes hopes the changes will lure SUV buyers who were turned off by the wagon/minivan styling of the current R class.
Toyota's youth division plans a major debut but declined to give details. Speculation centers on the iQ minicar, due to go on sale here by early 2011, or the tC coupe, which is up for a redesign. Either vehicle could be on the stage. It is rumored that the next tC will be the joint Toyota-Subaru sporty coupe concept revealed at the Tokyo auto show last fall.
The Impreza WRX sport model gets a wider and more athletic body--like the STI, the top-of-the-line performance Impreza.
American Suzuki Motor Corp. will unveil a variant of the just-launched Kizashi sedan. Although the company has hinted at a hybrid power train and has given journalists a V-6 version to test, neither has been confirmed for the United States. Suzuki officials declined to give details.
(Source: Automotive News)