April is a great time to be in New York. The weather shifts from bitingly cold to slightly warm, and the air remains virtually pollen free. It’s a joyous several weeks to spend outside before the crushing humidity of summer knocks the breath out of you, but I nevertheless spent several hours indoors for the 2014 New York International Auto Show.
There’s always an interesting organization or group of vehicles tucked away in the back corner. This year however, the organization with interesting vehicles was in no dark, dusty corner. The NYC Police Museum apparently has a great collection of bona-fide classics, like this ’58 Ford Custom.
And this Plymouth Fury.
They also had some newer wheels in the form of Chevy’s Caprice. It was a great surprise to see them at the show.
Of course auto shows are primarily about the new cars, and here we have the next generation Mustang. This iteration of the pony car is truly one for the 21st century because of two very important firsts: a standard independent rear suspension and its European debut. The modern age isn’t going to harm the Mustang at all it seems, and neither will the One Ford initiative.
The Focus also gets an update for the 2015 model year with a front end that brings it in line with the Fusion and Fiesta.
It was probably inevitable that Ford’s compact was going to get an update to make it blend in with its siblings. Not likely written in stone was the addition of a three cylinder option. What you see before you is that car, and it features the same one-liter Ecoboost as available in the Fiesta.
Here’s the new Kia Sedona. It looks like the Ford Flex and Nissan Quest had a fun night about nine months ago. Certainly not a bad thing, and it seems like this could give the Chrysler “mini” vans a run for their money.
The Kia GT concept is certainly a more invigorating design than the people hauler previously discussed. It’s not an outdated look by any means, but it has the aesthetic qualities of something out of 1993’s Demolition Man.
Can a photo punch you in the face? If so, this Lexus most likely just gave you a pretty nice shiner. As I mentioned in last year’s coverage of the NY Auto Show, we’re knee deep in the Large Grille Era (LGE) of automotive design. This car features a new corollary though: one large grille that swallows the space normally reserved for the smaller one towards the bottom of the front end. There’s also those check marks under the headlights that probably got a laugh at Nike’s legal department.
Here’s a more tastefully done LGE vehicle: the Cadillac Elmiraj concept. It’s a two door version of the Ciel concept that debuted several years ago.
Nissan had the most risk taking designs at the show. Generically titled “Sports Sedan Concept,” this is likely the next Maxima, or something close to it.
The not-quite four door GT-R looks good out back too, and the thin strip along the c-pillar is a nice little touch.
If you were wondering what that CUV was behind the concept, it’s the production version of the next generation Murano. This picture is obviously not the best quality; the lighting at this year’s show was basically a mix between an Apple store level of brightness and JJ Abrams lens flare. But it does demonstrate the blacked out c-pillar that hides a bit of its proportions.
The front end also mimics the sedan concept. Nissan sure does love this color, don’t they?
This year marks milestones for two historic nameplates. The Mustang turns 50 and the Miata turns 25. Doesn’t the Miata feel younger than that, though? Here’s a first gen model that was featured with a bunch of others at the show.
Speaking of blue, here’s the hood of a 2014 Corolla. The only interesting thing about this car was the fact that it had a clear bra on, not seen on other models in the Toyota section.
The last blue car photographed for this piece is the BMW i8. Remember when electric cars were going to kill sports cars? Now they’re a status symbol. Strange days, indeed.
As the antithesis of the BMW, Toyota’s Camry is as common as a paper clip and just about as exciting. It gets a light refresh this year, smoothing out the front and giving the rear end of very Lexus look. Those vaguely trapezoidal taillights are becoming even more ubiquitous these days and probably warrant a blog post of its own.
But I’ll take some design homogenization over a crass attempt to hide a fat C pillar any day. This looks hideous, and hopefully the designers at rival auto companies agree. You can tint your windows to match the black of the pillar or drive around in shame. Or, you could buy something with a more honorable design like a Fusion or a Chrysler 200.
Speak of the devil! The 200 cribs much of its styling from the Fusion, but it’s still got a good look. Even better is its white interior, which will hopefully make its way into more vehicles in the near future.
Here’s a vehicle that will be sharing a showroom with the 200 soon enough. The Renegade may just be a heavily reworked Fiat, but it looks like a Jeep and talks like one too. Plus, it comes at the right time, since interest in B segment CUV’s is taking shape in the North American market.
The Chevy Trax, the Bowtie’s answer to the B segment crossover question, was at the show as well. Its mini Equinox styling should make it a success, even if it doesn’t draw your attention like the Renegade does.
The Chevy Spark is a car that has intrigued me since its debut it was very spacious but a pretty glaring issue the dash mounted speaker you see on the right. That can’t be too good for acoustics, but it might be asking too much for a more premium speaker location on a car in this price range.
Our last “normal” vehicle is this 2015 Colorado. Will this truck turn the mid-size truck segment around? It’s attractively styled and will feature a host of engines ranging from an I-4 to a 2.8 turbo diesel. If this doesn’t sell, you’ll be able to win a debate against another armchair executive who wants Ford to revive the Ranger.
As they always say, save the weird and depressing stuff for last. First up is a Prowler. Is it a Plymouth or a Chrysler? Do many people care at this point?
The area around the Javits center isn’t really what you expect from Manhattan. There aren’t any interesting shops or restaurants, and the nearest subway stop is pretty far away. This is all set to change very soon with the 7 Line extension, which will likely breathe new life into this area of the city. The new tunnels being constructed for this purpose must also connect to Hell, because that is where this Torino likely hails from, despite the sign seen above.
Last and least, we have the Mitsubishi display. This picture was taken on a Saturday, when getting a decent shot of a car was akin to struggling to get to the front row at a concert. Not here. No one was checking these models out at all. Hopefully someone bought these three some Dippin’ Dots ice cream from the stand on the second floor to cheer them up for being ignored.