Spring time in the Big Apple means the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center opens its many doors, inviting consumers and enthusiasts to explore 815,000 square feet of floor space displaying over 1000 vehicles. Motor Trend was there in force to report on the latest unveilings online, as well as on MT Radio, MT TV, and even numerous local TV stations through cooperation with HIT TV.
If you missed the MT appearance on The Today Show, the MT Radio broadcasts, and couldn't attend, not to worry. We braved foul-mouthed taxi drivers, mystery meat pizza, street-corner doughnuts, and other urban horrors to deliver enough new and concept vehicle coverage to satiate your automotive hungers until the next season is jump started with the sizable Tokyo and Frankfurt shows.
Behold the much-anticipated replacement for the legendary Acura Integra: the 2002 Acura RSX has arrived offering performance, luxury, and style. All-new high-tech engine options include a 2.0-liter/160-horsepower four-cylinder DOHC i-VTEC engine mated to either a five-speed manual or optional five-speed SportShift automatic transmission. For even higher performance, check out the RSX Type-S powered by a high-output twin-cam 2.0-liter/200-horse engine paired with an all-new close-ratio six-speed manual tranny. Standard four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, 205/55R16 Michelin rubber on alloy wheels, and a long list of features round out the package. Prices are expected to range between $20,000-$25,000 when it hits dealerships in July.
After taking our breath away in Geneva, the V12 Vanquish makes its North American debut here in New York. Beneath its gorgeous bodywork is an equally stunning aluminum and carbon fiber chassis. The raging heart of this British beast is a 6.0-liter/460-horsepower V-12, promising a 190-mph top speed. All this for just $228,000. In our Geneva online poll, more than 30 percent of respondents said this is the car they would be most likely to buy if cost were no object. The line forms behind James Bond.
From its two powerful engines to its roomy interior, Audi's all-new 2002 model A4 promises high levels of comfort and performance. Buyers can choose from a ULEV-compliant 1.8-liter/170-horse turbocharged four-cylinder paired with a five-speed manual transmission or Audi's completely new five-valve 3.0-liter/220-horsepower aluminum V-6 linked to a six-speed manual tranny. Quattro all-wheel-drive models offer Audi's five-speed Tiptonic transmission with steering wheel controls. Inside, passengers will find increased head, shoulder, and legroom, as well as in-dash six CD changer, dual-zone climate control with sun sensor, and air filtration system.
As if the PT Cruiser wasn't already cool enough, somebody got an idea to make it into a convertible and here is the result: a drop-dead gorgeous drop-top. Calling it a "design study," engineers lowered the header and roof, resculpted the wheel flares, and lowered the vehicle by 1.5 inches. The two-door convertible seats four, and it features a new rear-quarter panel design to accommodate its newly designed longer doors. No changes were made to the standard PT Cruiser powertrain, though this open-air cruiser wears custom Michelin P225/35ZR19 tires on New York-themed "Empire" cast-aluminum wheels. If you like this one, tell Chrysler.
The Ford Focus Street Edition 2 is the latest in a series of Focus special-edition models aimed at attracting what Ford calls the "X and rising Millennial generations." Powered by Ford's 2.0-liter/130-hp Zetec I-4, the S2 features the same suspension-tuning found on the European Focus ZX3 with front MacPherson struts and independent multi-link rear suspension. The distinctive exterior styling features color-keyed moldings and badging, plus spoiler, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and chrome exhaust tip. Inside, the S2 features a six-disc in-dash CD system and sport bucket seats. Pricing will be announced closer to its release this summer.
Folks love Ford's Focus, and the newest rendition is the 2002 Focus ZX5 five-door. Built with the same performance-oriented features and styling cues of the three-door hatchback ZX3, including its 2.0-liter/130-horsepower DOHC four-cylinder engine and standard five-speed manual transmission, the five-door hatchback chassis features a MacPherson strut front suspension, Control Blade multi-link rear suspension, and an available AdvanceTrac Interactive Vehicle Dynamics system that monitors driver input and road conditions to keep the vehicle on its intended course. Its roomy interior is complemented by a rear 60/40-split seat that folds flat for convenient cargo storage.
Spun off from the soon-to-be-produced 2003 GM Hummer H2, the H2 SUT (sport/utility truck) took the New York by storm when it opened the show with the original Hummer-phile Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's powered by GM's 6.0-liter Vortec 6000 V-8 mounted longitudinally and mated to a heavy-duty five-speed auto tranny with full-time all-wheel drive. A folding bulkhead at the rear of the passenger compartment allows for flexible seating and storage options. Infrared night vision, GPS navigation, OnStar, and 17-inch wheels with heavy-duty independent front and five-link rear suspension complete its rugged accouterment. read more...
The model designation that has embodied Honda performance returns to the Civic lineup in 2002. Back to its hatchback roots, the English-built 2002 Civic Si packs 160-horsepower from its i-VTEC engine, with a 20 percent improvement in torque over last year's Si coupe. Full compliment of sport enhancements include performance-tuned suspension, close-ratio five-speed transmission, silver-face gauges, ABS-equipped disc brakes, rear spoiler, and body-hugging bucket seats. The 2002 Si goes on sale in the U.S. early next year.
Entry into the premium Infiniti ownership experience has become more desirable with the recently launched 2002 G20. Numerous detail refinements improve the compact luxury sedan, with an available Sport Package attracting the most attention. Outfitted with the all the traditional power goodies (and then some), the G20 continues to offer affordable luxury in a sporty package. This midlife update is intended to sustain the G20 until the higher-performance, next-generation model is introduced.
Infiniti has revitalized the near-lux I30 for 2002, including a name change to reflect the revered VQ engine's climb in displacement to 3.5-liters. Power has increased 33 horses for a 260-horse total, ensuring swift acceleration. To carry this new badge, and evolve styling, the exterior was updated with a new grille, standard Xenon headlamps, and refined decklid. From major changes, like suspension revision, to detail items like a new analog clock, the I35 promises to further push the performance/luxury envelope without breaking the bank.
Jaguar is attacking the fast-growing compact sedan market with its new X-Type. When it goes on sale this summer, Jaguar's first all-wheel-drive model will start at $29,950 when powered by a 2.5-liter/194-horsepower V-6, and bumps up to $35,950 when powered by a 3.0-liter/231-horsepower V-6 engine. Boasting performance and agility, the efficient luxury sedan features five-speed manual or auto tranny, bird's eye walnut veneers, and Connelly leather seating. ABS, automatic climate control, cruise control, high-tech satellite navigation system, and remote keyless entry round out the list of available luxury amenities.
Making a bold move into the hotly contested minivan segment, Kia introduced the Sedona in New York. The front-drive minivan faces entrenched competition with dual-sliding doors, 195-horsepower V-6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, and the industry-leading warranty package. Standard features include power windows/mirrors/locks, dual-zone air conditioning, cruise control, and rear defroster. Although pricing wasn't announced, Kia is expected to maintain its value positioning with this latest model.
Land Rover's Freelander is a small, premium sport/utility all-wheel-drive vehicle targeted at driving enthusiasts, and is designed to be comfortable and capable on- or off-road. Freelander is powered by Land Rover's KV6 2.5-liter/175-horsepower 24-valve DOHC V-6 engine and is shifted by a five-speed Steptronic automatic or five-speed manual transmission. Permanent all-wheel drive, four-wheel Electronic Traction Control, Hill Descent Control, and all-terrain ABS fill out the high-tech foster of standard features. Land Rover promises it will arrive stateside this winter priced under $30,000.
An action-ready Land Rover Defender will share the silver screen with Angelina Jolie in the June-release live-action film "Tomb Raider" inspired by the popular Indiana Jane-style video game. Built from the Defender 110 high-capacity pickup, the V-8-powered Defender has been specially modified for the movie with wildlife-blinding lights, roll cage, expedition gear, navigation system, and winch. Contrary to earlier reports, we fear the limited-edition 'Tomb Raider' Land Rover edition will not be offered stateside.
In its first collaboration with the exclusive retailer, Lincoln is producing 50 special edition 2002 Blackwood SUVs to be showcased in the 2001 Neiman Marcus spring catalog. Priced at $58,000, the elegant Blackwoods feature a distinctive box-like trunk with power tonneau cover. The indulgent interior is trimmed in luxurious black leather and wood, with Neiman Marcus logos and 7-inch LCD DVD/video/CD player with game center hookup and wireless headphones. Customers can purchase a Neiman Marcus Edition 2002 Lincoln Blackwood beginning 9 a.m. EST on Friday, May 4, 2001, by calling 877-BLACKWOOD.
Lincoln is returning to the timeless elegance of classic American luxury with its all-new Lincoln MK 9 coupe concept. Featuring optimized proportions and a stance, its overall image is one of sophisticated performance. Outside, its glossy black face features an evolution of the traditional Lincoln signature grille flanked by twin xenon headlamps with integrated turn signals; Continental 275/45R22 front and 295/40R22 rear tires are mounted on 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheels; and twin rectangular dual exhaust outlets. Inside, it is indulgent and comfortable, with advanced digital and analog gauges mounted behind etched glass in a simple symmetric dashboard, while overhead the roof console features dimmable electro-luminescent light panels and fiber-optics.
The Mercedes-Benz C230 Kompressor is making its rounds through the auto show circuit, drawing favor at every stop. This trim new coupe is smaller than the sedan on which it is based and features smart front airbags, curtain side airbags, Tele Aid emergency call system, ESP stability control, and a particularly innovative sliding sunroof. Expected to be priced under $30,000, the sporty hatchback will be powered by a 2.3-liter/190-hp supercharged and intercooled engine, with choice of six-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic with Touch Shift manual gear selection.
The big brother of the Mercedes-Benz family, the G500 Gelaendewagen is destined to arrive for sale in the United States this fall. The G500 is powered by the same 5.0-liter/300-hp V-8 found in the S-Class sedan and SL roadster, which pushes torque through three separate differentials (front, center, and rear) for maximum traction. Standard equipment includes a full leather interior, power heated seats, automatic climate control, GPS navigation system, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and 265/60R18 tires on alloy wheels. Mercedes-Benz expects to sell between 1000 and 2000 of the rugged sport/utility vehicles each year for a suggested price starting at $72,500.
ASX, or Active Sports Crossover, combines sports sedan handling, international style, full-time four-wheel drive capability, and stretch-out room for five adults in an all-season, multipurpose vehicle. The flexible interior balances space for passengers and cargo, while offering a "walk-through" semi-flat floor. Technical features include an advanced cruise control system and the Mitsubishi Multi-Communications System (MMCS), which includes on-board navigation capabilities. This dashing model is heading toward production.
Updating its near-lux sedan, Mitsubishi applied a European-inspired design treatment that indicates future vehicle appearance. Up front, a contoured hood wraps down into the front fascia. At the rear, the 2002 model is distinguished by a new decklid with a chrome license plate accent and restyled taillamps. The Diamante offers a host of convenience features, including automatic climate control, 210-watt/eight-speaker audio system, keyless entry, and numerous power amenities.
Mitsubishi has redesigned its aging four-door Mirage from the tires up, and has even given it the international name for the U.S. market: Lancer. The 2002 Lancer is scheduled to arrive in August featuring a standard 2.0-liter/126-horsepower DOHC engine, roomier interior, and improved ride and handling. Packaged in three editions -- standard ES, luxo LS, and sporty OZ Rally -- the price will range from about $14,000 to $18,000.
Alongside the mainstream Lancer sedan in the Mitsubishi booth lurked the extreme Evolution VII, twin-turbocharged road rocket offered in Japan for a mere $24,000-$28,000. Subaru has finally offered the revered WRX in the U.S., and now we're hoping competition pressures Mitsu to do the same. Here's why: 276 horsepower, 283 lb.-ft. of torque, race-bred five-speed transmission, massive Brembo brakes, all-wheel drive, active yaw control, lightweight aluminum body pieces, Recaro seats, Momo steering wheel, titanium interior trim -- need we say more?
Nissan stole the show with its introduction of its next-generation Altima. A radical departure from the previous model, the new Altima features a distinctive new look and performance upgrades to its drivetrain and suspension. Plus, it is significantly larger inside and out. A 2.5-liter/180-horsepower DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder is the base engine, and a 3.5-liter/240-horse DOHC 24-valve V-6 is optional for the first time in this sedan. Four-wheel disc brakes and 205/65R15 tires are standard, though four-wheel four-channel ABS and 215/55R17 tires are available on V-6-equipped models. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date in September.
Nissan likens its Chappo concept to be a sort of "living room on wheels," designed from the inside out to be more than just basic transportation, but also an extension of its driver's social gathering space. Looking slightly like a baseball cap, the tall boxy city car features tea-room styling with flexible seating configurations, onboard computer, and entertainment center so that it can be a comfy and stylish place to hang out. Dual-entry doors that open both ways allow access for automotive socialites.
Suzuki's latest concept is designated a "Sport Crossover" and it's designed to cross sport sedan performance with SUV cargo-toting convenience. Its 2.0-liter aluminum DOHC inline four-cylinder is supercharged to make 220 horsepower, delivered with traction-assisting all-wheel drive to 225/45R17 tires on alloy wheels. Outside, beefy bumpers, integrated spoiler, side skirts, dual center exhaust, and stinger antenna give the four-door crossover vehicle an edgy refined look. Its high-tech appearance continues inside to its spacious five-seat interior featuring a low driver's dashline with digital instrumentation. A GPS navigation system boasts a liquid crystal display center that controls the audio system and works as a television.
Toyota built the Matrix Race Car to show easy aftermarket racing add-ons for the Matrix. Developed by Toyota Technical Center, designers started with a standard Matrix and added a race-bred suspension featuring coil-over adjustable springs, Brembo 13-inch vented and cross-drilled brakes with four-piston calipers, and 18-inch wheels shod with Dunlop Formula R 245/R18 racing slicks. Interior features include a padded rollcage, MOMO carbon fiber racing seat, MOMO racing steering wheel, Simpson five-pint racing seatbelts, and fire extinguisher system. The Toyota Matrix made its North American debut at the Detroit Auto Show, and it will be on sale early next year.
Originally unveiled at the Chicago Show, Toyota's "Rugged Sport Coupe," is an aggressively styled, entirely new, two-door concept penned by CALTY, Toyota's North American design center, strictly to gauge the public's reaction to its muscular appearance and edgy mechanical forms. Intended to recall images of rally cars and extreme adventure, the four-wheel-drive four-seater seems equal parts Celica and Land Cruiser, combining high performance, real-world utility, and affordable price. With several manufacturers building similar concepts, it becoming clear that this is a sign of vehicles to come.
Volvo's Performance Concept Car has been blinding fans all over the auto show circuit with its gorgeous two-tone Laser Blue/Silver paint job, but it's what's inside that makes it special. Underhood is a potent Volvo five-cylinder 2.4-liter/296-hp engine linked to a six-speed manual transmission. Power is put to the pavement by aggressive 245/35R19 tires, while vehicle dynamics and driver input are monitored by Volvo's Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept (CCC) system. The CCC setup adjusts automotive handling to respond for greatest comfort and performance. Meanwhile, Volvo's Dynamic Stability and Traction Control works with the electronically managed four-wheel-drive system to help the driver avoid skids and improve ride and road-holding characteristics. Volvo has give this high-performance model the go-ahead for production.