Future CC Outtake: Curbside Classic Visits The 2013 New York International Auto Show

The big auto shows are interesting for many reasons, but what stands out the most is the contrast between present and future automobiles. Be it concept or actual production cars, these machines represent how we think the future will appear once we get there. And of course, these cars do end up shaping the future in some way. So what were the standouts this year?

Before we get started, I’d like to warn anyone looking for high quality pictures to turn away; this was the last day of the show, which took place on a Sunday. Naturally it was the perfect place for the entire island of Manhattan to find respite from the unseasonably cold April. So these pictures were taken as soon as I could get a clear shot with no humans blocking my path.

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Speaking of the future, here is what you’ll be seeing in every movie and television show that takes place in New York. The Nissan NV200. Taxi for the 21st century? Or hideous Predator look-alike?

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Next up: the Hyundai Veloster Ragtop Concept. I think the brain trust in South Korea might be forgetting the fact that simply renting a bicycle would completely negate this vehicle altogether. I see their creation and cringe at the thought of driving one on the highway, as the wind noise would likely be unbearable. Still, you have to give them credit for thinking outside the box…or car.

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On to a more intriguing concept: The Genesis. Not only is this a radical departure from the current iteration of this model, it also looks like something a villain in Judge Dredd would drive. I’m also dubbing the current design fad the LGE, or Large Grill Era. What constitutes the LGE? Well, a large, central grill for one, and thinner headlamps above them.

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Before we look at more LGV’s (Large Grill Vehicles), it is time to gaze upon the glorious pin-striped Prius. It really is disconcerting how often the Yankees come up in casual conversation around these neck of the woods, but this is New York, after all.

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Well look what we got here, ladies and gentlemen! A bona fide Toyota LGV! It’s the new 2014 Highlander. Updated for the times and given a very Tundra-esque look.

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My god, could we finally see a Corolla that impresses the optic nerve? If the Furia concept is any indication, then that answer is yes.

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And here we have the 2014 Kia Forte. Another LGV to be sure, but it was the rear end that caught my eye. Where have I seen it before?

There we go. Given Peter Schreyer’s influence on the Kia brand these days, I’m a bit disappointed in such a derivative design.

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The Transit Connect. In 2014, will Ford have re-entered the mini-van market with this LGV? Does this count as a competitor to the likes of the Sienna or Caravan? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that the color somehow works on it.

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I know this picture displays the same vehicle as before, but the different blues were quite striking.

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Speaking of blue, here’s a 2014 Fiesta smacking you in the face with its grill. Later this year, the baby Fusion will arrive, and the blue oval will add one more LGV to its lineup.

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Do pickups count as LGV’s? I think not; they’ve had the look for a while, and their design almost dictates a large front opening. Anyway, here’s the Ford Atlas concept, which will lead to the looks of the 2015 F-150. This truck looks like it could roam Europa without looking out of place there.

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Lincoln has been down and out for a while now, but with the attractive MKZ and this Audi-esque MKC concept, the hard times look to be over. Does it qualify as a LGV? I’m not so sure.

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Don’t let the people in this picture fool you: the Chevy SS had the very few gawkers around it. I can’t blame them either since this looks like a vehicle already on sale in North America. My hunch is that few citizens realize this sedan is quite the beast under the hood.

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Does the new Corvette look like a sports car from an alternate Earth where inter-dimensional beings arrived on our planet and simply took over automotive design? It’s attractive, but something seems off about it.

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It’s interesting how non-luxury sedans like the Fusion and Sonata are moving away from the three box design while Cadillac adheres to its “Art and Science” theme, which sticks with the familiar layout that automakers seem to be leaving behind. The new CTS has headlamps that run parallel to the hood, which is prevalent in other makes, but not to this extent.

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Is this going to be the most significant LGV to come out of the Chrysler brand? The revived Cherokee nameplate, if popular, should allay concerns of the American brand being tarnished by its new Italian overlords.

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Here’s the most surprising LGV of the show. If this design makes it to production, it won’t be so bad having one of these several inches from my rear bumper on the interstate, which seems to be a daily occurrence nowadays.

So what observations should we take away from the 2013 Auto Show? The most apparent is that we have pretty much gone away from the large headlamp, grill-less design pioneered by the original Taurus back in 1986. Also, the 2015 Marty Mcfly traveled to in Back to the Future II may not actually be coming to fruition either. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if we come full circle to the Taurus design in 2040.

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And what kind of excursion to the Big Apple would be complete without seeing a CC?