The New York Auto Show is the most attended car show in the world, and it begins this Friday at the Javits Center in midtown Manhattan, running through April 23rd. Just about every major automaker will be in attendance, showing off both cars you can buy today as well as new concepts hinting at what’s coming soon. Here’s what we’re looking forward to:
It’s hard to understand how large the new Lincoln Navigator is without standing next to it. To be fair, its size isn’t vastly different from the old one, and it hasn’t changed much from the concept vehicle Lincoln showed at last year’s New York Auto Show, but it remains an imposing presence. I called the previous concept a “massive, luxurious land yacht,” and I stand by that description.
It competes with large luxury SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade and the Infiniti QX80, but there’s a bit more of what Lincoln calls “quiet luxury” to the Navigator. Sure it’s massive, but it holds itself well, like a 350-pound lineman who looks fat but is actually made of solid muscle. It might be the most curious car at the show.
We don’t know which is more impressive about the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon: the stats or the tire smoke. 840 horsepower; 770 pound-feet of torque, 1.8g of acceleration off the line; 2.92 feet of wheelie; 0 to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds; 0 to 100 mph in 5.1 seconds; and the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds.
And it does all that with a three-year / 36,000 mile warranty. It’s a completely insane engineering masterpiece.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
In most suburban enclaves, every parking lot is filled with pickup trucks and SUVs ready to conquer snowy trails and unpaved back roads. Luckily, we have a new truck from Jeep that puts the “sports” back in sports utility vehicle: the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It’s a giant SUV that borrowed the 707-horsepower V8 from sister-brand Dodge’s SRT Hellcat models. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 180 mph. Fuel economy figures were not disclosed, but we all know that anyone who would buy this thing doesn’t give a crap about fuel economy, right?
Honda debuted its hydrogen-powered fuel cell Clarity last year in Tokyo. This week, the automaker will show off two new versions: an electric car that goes 80 miles on a charge and a plug-in hybrid with a 40-mile battery range and longer range on gasoline. We drove an all-black Clarity earlier this week, and the smooth ride and luxury interior was totally pleasant. But fuel cell cars still face enormous hurdles. Without fueling stations, no one is going to be leasing these vehicles anytime soon.
Nonetheless, automakers are still convinced that there’s a place for hydrogen in the future of transportation — especially as vehicles get more and more automated. It would be worth checking out the Honda Clarity if only to get a glimpse of what a non-Tesla zero-emissions car looks like.
Cadillac’s Super Cruise
Cadillac announced earlier this week that the new CT6 sedan coming out this fall would come equipped with Super Cruise, GM’s much ballyhooed attempt to take on Tesla’s Autopilot. There won’t be a production-ready CT6 at the Auto Show, unfortunately, but Cadillac will have a Super Cruise-themed display set up, so you can experience the highly automated, hands-free system virtually.
Sure, the Bugatti Chiron debuted in Geneva a year ago, but how often can you see a $2.5 million car? The mind-boggling Chiron is more like a piece of engineering artwork than a car, and it’ll be on the show floor in New York. It’s like the Mona Lisa — go see it, just so you can say you did (and take a selfie in front of it, naturally).
The FT-4X has the distinction of the being the concept-iest concept car at the auto show. This is less of a vehicle and more of a giant, rolling Leatherman multi-tool with four-wheel drive — or a big, orange gearbox on wheels. Everything in this car is actually something else. The armrest is also a North Face sleeping bag. The handlebars are water bottles. The dashboard is a boombox. The trunk doors contain a hidden warmer and refrigerator.
Since it’s just a concept, it’s unclear if the FT-4X will ever be built. Toyota may carry over a few design notes for future vehicles, but the Japanese company will likely squeeze all the weirdness out of the final product. Which is a shame, because the FT-4X may be weird, but it’s fun, too. Cars should be fun.