The New York auto show follows Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Geneva, making it the last of the big international shows of the season. This is the show for automakers that have been pulling their punches, waiting to make a splash against fewer new model launches. And this year sees some tantalizing details of new models from Nissan, BMW, and Subaru, and mystery cars from Acura and Toyota.
Audi showed off its new A3 in three-door format at the Geneva auto show last month, so the time would seem right to unveil the five-door version, the only one sold in the U.S. The new A3 features a new engine and exciting connected cabin tech. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz showed off a new A-class in Geneva, based on a concept it brought to New York last year. Sounds like a hint that it is time for the U.S. A-class.
BMW announced its smallest SUV some years ago, showing it off at European auto shows and suggesting the car would also be sold in the U.S. The economic and supply hurdles that prevented its importation have now apparently been jumped, so BMW will show off the U.S. version, with a slight styling update, in New York.
The midsize sedan segment has not been known for groundbreaking design, yet Nissan seems poised to offer something different with its new Altima. Teaser photos reveal styling cues that look far from the boring body of the current Altima. Beyond styling, we are eager to see if it also introduces new power train and cabin tech.
Subaru Outlander and Legacy
Subaru uses the last event of the international auto show season to show off two significant updates. Both its Outlander and Legacy get styling changes, power train updates, and an innovative new driver assistance system. Subaru Eyesight uses stereoscopic cameras to track vehicles and pedestrians ahead.
Lexus ES and Toyota sedan
Remaining cagey about their offering at the show, Toyota and Lexus merely announced new sedans, although Lexus was kind enough to specify that its car would be an ES update and offered a teaser photo. Toyota merely says that it will show off a new sedan, although that may mean an Avalon update.
Acura flagship hybrid sedan concept
Acura has said very little about its debut, except to note it would be a new flagship sedan with a hybrid power train. Both those details speak volumes, suggesting either a replacement for or a radical update to the RL. The promise of a hybrid power train means the new all-wheel-drive system Acura announced last year, most likely with electric motors at the rear wheels and a gas engine and another electric motor at the front wheels.
Click our New York auto show coverage page to see more stories when our full coverage begins on April 4 and 5.