The Very Best of the 2018 New York Auto Show

Switzerland gets all the headline-grabbing supercar and sports car unveilings, but New York is where they make their North American debut.

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Bryan Campbell

Year after year, the New York International Auto Show has a tough job on its hands. It’s the last big auto show of the season and has a tough act to follow: it lands on the calendar immediately after the Geneva Motor Show. Switzerland gets all the headline-grabbing supercar and sports car unveilings, and then New York is where they make their North American debut. However, the Big Apple had a few cards up its sleeve this year.

Near-identical crossovers graced most stands this year — it’s a sign of the times; we just have to accept that the crossover is the standard car for the world. But within the vast sea of blandness and new-in-Geneva cars are some real automotive treasures worth getting excited about. Oddly enough, the headlining acts are small hatchbacks, a sedan and an all-electric SUV. Typically, that wouldn’t set anyone’s hair on fire, and yet NYIAS 2018 gave us a handful of cars we can’t wait to drive.

Audi


Audi Sport continues to expand its line up with a four-door version of the incredible (and wonderfully green) RS5.

Cadillac


Earlier this week, Cadillac announced the arrival of the redesigned CT6 flagship along with the CT6 V-Sport and its 550 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. The big luxury four-door is Cadillac’s latest attempt to take on the Germans but only time will tell if it can compete. Next to the new executive car, was the XT4, the brands newest compact SUV — Cadillac’s breadwinner.

Genesis


Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury sub-brand, took the covers of the G70 (the performance model) and the G90 (the luxury model) sedans. If you’d said a few years ago that Hyundai, in whatever capacity, would have cars to threaten the BMW 3-Series, you’d be laughed out of town. Ignore how similar it looks to the Kia Stinger — Genesis is looking more and more promising with every announcement.

Jaguar


It’s no secret the F-Pace is a damn good SUV. So why wouldn’t Jaguar give it the SVR treatment and stuff a big ol’ 5.0-liter supercharged V8 with 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque under its hood?

Land Rover


When Range Rover announced the $295,000 SV coupe, it almost looked too good to be true. The SV Coupe is one of the few cars making its ‘North American debut’ that’s worth seeing in person. It’s almost concept car-like — especially the elegantly simple interior replete with flowing walnut and sycamore trim.

Lincoln


Lincoln has been busy refining its lineup, and it’s paying off. The Aviator all-electric SUV and Nautalis crossover expertly adopt the brand’s new design language and level of refinement. while Cadillac is busy chasing the Germans for performance, Lincoln is quickly and not-so-quietly becoming America’s standard for luxury.

Mercedes-AMG


Mercedes’ new GT 4 Door Coupe super sedan made its debut in Geneva last month, but it’s another North American debut worth checking out. The sculpted, focused interior alone is worth a look in person.

Nissan


Longer, lower and wider, the 2019 Nissan Altima gets updated styling, borrowing heavily from the Vmotion 2.0 Concept. What isn’t immediately noticeable but even more important than the updates styling, is the engine. The 3.5-liter V6 is Nissan’s new groundbreaking variable compression ratio engine which offers a significant increase in efficiency and MPG over the old mill, not to mention 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque.

Subaru


The Subaru Forester inflates in size for 2019. Subaru stretched and widened its top-selling SUV, so now it has more interior and cargo space.

Toyota


Toyota is on a tear as of late, and the Corolla hatchback is the latest car from the Japanese brand to garner a bit of fanfare. If this were only a few years ago, no one would care there is a new Corolla, but Toyota’s new performance-minded brand direction has the world paying attention. Toyota says it’s done making boring cars and the Ford Focus-baiting (that blue paint isn’t a coincidence), six-speed manual-having hatch is a statement of intent. The GT86 was the first offensive; the official announcement of the next Supra is a sign of things to come and the Corolla hatchback aims to fit in the family.

Volvo


The Volvo V60 makes its North American debut as well, so its stats and specs are no secret — it’s just too damn sexy to not to include.
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