2007 New York Auto Show Photos & Coverage
Ford Flex, Subaru Impreza WRX, and Lexus LX 570 take center-stage!
2008 Ford F-150 Foose Edition
2008 Ford Expedition Funkmaster Flex Edition
2008 Hummer H2
2008 Hummer H3 Alpha
2008 Jeep Liberty
2008 Lexus LX 570
2008 Subaru Impreza WRX
2008 Subaru Tribeca
2009 Ford Flex
Chevrolet Minicar Concepts
Infiniti EX Concept
To check our the full coverage of all the highlighted vehicles mentioned in this write-up, go to MotorTrend.com!
Colorfully low-key, the Ex Flex heralds in Ford's rediscovery of niche marketing customization. Available in rear-wheel-drive or 4x4 versions, the SUV features a 340-watt Audiophile Sound System, MP3 player audio input jack. Exterior mods include a 3d Carbon body kit with custom front and rear fascia and side skirts, two-tone black and Colorado red (a Ford GT color) paint with orange pinstriping, Funkmaster Flex badges, trailer hitch cover and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels.
SVT says it will build a hot truck, but this isn't it. In fact, look for an F-150 SVT no earlier than the '09 model year, when an all-new truck is due.
For 2008, the H2 receives a 393 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 and a new six-speed automatic, both of which offer increased efficiency along with a 20 percent increase in power. As a result, towing capacity is up by 1,500 pounds to a total of 8,000 pounds. Inside, the interior has been completely redesigned with a revised blue-backlit instrument panel, center console with silver trim, seats, controls, and door panels. A third row has been added that seats two people, as opposed to the old model's single-seat. Improvements have also been made to the heating and ventilation systems, as well as the stereo - a Bose unit is now standard. Exterior styling is updated with a larger front grille and silver-painted lower bumper.
With the new Alpha, the H3 finally gets a long-awaited V-8 engine in addition to the somewhat underpowerd inline-five. With the 5.3-liter V8 that produces 295 horses and 317 lb-ft of torque (that's an increase of 53 and 75 respectively) the H3 finally feels like one of the family. Towing capacity is uprated to 6,000 pounds, but cosmetically not much has changed. The styling remains largely the same, save an Alpha badge here and there and the new silver-painted lower bumper that is found on the H2. The Luxury Equipment package is standard on the Alpha variant as is the Chrome Appearance package and 16-inch chrome wheels.
The standard Impreza 2.5i and the WRX are on an all-new platform with a 3.7-inch-longer wheelbase. The front subframe is gone, allowing Subaru to mount the engine 10 mm lower than in the old model. An unequal-length control arm suspension replaces the multilink in back, in part to reduce the wheelwell intrusion and buy more trunk space.Or hatch space. The WRX hereby becomes a five-door hatchback worldwide. You'll be able to buy a 2008 WRX sedan, based on the new Impreza four-door, as long as you buy it in North America, a concession to lingering distaste here toward hatchbacks. The STI will be available globally only as a five-door hatchback when it goes on sale next year.
Ford is looking to make some additional noise in the crossover segment with the 2009 Ford Flex, which will join the Edge and Taurus X (formerly Freestyle) in the automaker's lineup next summer. Flex is powered by Ford's 3.5-liter V-6 with an estimated 260 horsepower on tap, mated to a six speed tranny and available all-wheel-drive. The seven-passenger seating is multi-configurable, and Flex features a lot of neat options on the inside, including an interior refrigerator, the Ford Sync communications and entertainment system, ambient mood lighting and a multi-panel skylight roof.
General Motors has turned to Korea for a trio of minicar concepts, and will look to the Web to help them decide which one is the coolest. The three vehicles, built on GM's global mini architecture, are clearly aimed at the younger set, and could be a signal of The General's desire to create a youth-oriented channel along the lines of Scion. Designed by GM's design studio in South Korea, all vehicles are named in a musical theme -- the Beat, Groove and Trax. Beat, a front-drive, three-door hatch, has an import tuner vibe and is powered by a 1.2-liter turbocharged gas engine mated to an automatic tranny. The Groove has a "funkastalgia" (their word, not ours) theme and features bulging fender flares, a short hood and is powered by a 1-liter diesel. Trax is a crossover with all-wheel-drive and its one piece bumper and fender system lends it a bigger appearance. It also features a rear-mounted spare tire, roof rack and 1-liter gas engine.
Chevy is looking to the Web to gauge U.S. interest in the cars and to help them decide which one is the coolest at the following site: www.vote4chevrolet.com. Our fave? The Beat.
A near-production vehicle which is the likely successor to Infiniti's FX crossover (no word yet if the FX name will survive), the EX Concept looks like a cross between the FX and its new G sedan. The vehicle has an aggressively sloping roofline, what the automaker says is a luxurious interior, and a liquid crystal glass roof that can morph from transparent to translucent.