From a sexy Mercedes-Benz convertible to a complete revamping of one of the nation’s best-selling SUVs, the New York International Auto Show promises a rich variety of new or revised models this year.
The show starts next week with a media preview, bringing a flood of attention to the car and truck industry’s latest and greatest achievements. Then the doors will open to the public on March 30. Last year, officials say more than 1 million people attended over the course of the show.
Here’s what we’re expecting to see this year:
Toyota raises the bar with a new RAV4
Toyota is set to introduce a redesigned RAV4, the best-selling non-pickup in America in 2017.
It will mark the fifth generation of the RAV4, the compact SUV that last year overtook the stalwart Camry sedan as Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S., reflecting a shift among buyers to the higher-riding, boxier vehicles.
Nissan bets new Altima will show cars still matter
Nissan is hoping to reinvigorate the Altima with an overhaul that will be seen for the first time Wednesday.
Vroom vroom. Time
Altima recently lost its crown as Nissan’s best-selling vehicle to the company’s popular Rogue crossover. Still, Altima was the nation’s fifth-best-selling passenger car in 2017, according to Autodata.
New Mercedes-Benz means drop-top fun
Mercedes-Benz has already shown the serious version of its C-Class compact car. For the New York Auto Show, it’s ready to have a little two-door fun.
It’s the world premiere of the C-Class coupe and convertible, which have new looks and more powerful engines.
The C-Class coupe and cabriolet — what Mercedes calls a drop top — will come with a turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 255 horsepower, up 14 horsepower from the previous version. In the Mercedes-AMG performance version, there will be a 3-liter V-6 engine with 385 horsepower, a 23-horsepower increase.
The vehicle’s appearance is defined in particular by its front and tail end and the design of the headlamps and taillamps.
As for styling, there’s a new bumper design and LED headlights and taillights. The LEDS have what Mercedes call an “ultra wide” beam. The model goes on sale later this year.
VW delivers new SUV and Arteon four-door coupe
One key vehicle to watch is a new five-passenger version of Volkswagen’s popular new seven-passenger Atlas SUV.
While most details remain vague, the vehicle will be made at the company’s Chattanooga, Tenn., plant.
The new Volkswagen Arteon has barely surfaced, but already the four-door coupe is being shown in a special edition.
The result is a styling package aimed at making the car look more sporty. The R-Line, as it is called, includes unique features such as 19- or 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a front bumper with gloss-black air intakes and a rear spoiler.
Inside, the Arteon R-Line will have contrast stitching on the steering wheel and shift knob, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a black headliner and stainless-steel sport pedal covers and door sills.
Arteon is powered by a 2-liter turbocharged engine and 8-speed automatic transmission.
Lincoln takes flight with new Aviator SUV
Ford’s Lincoln division has a hit with its redesigned Navigator SUV. Now, it’s going to take on the next size down, bringing back the Aviator nameplate.
For now, Lincoln is not saying a lot about the new model except that’s its one of two new ones that will be coming in the next two years. Ford, which owns Lincoln, said this month that it’s making a huge commitment to SUVs and pickups, which are getting increasingly popular with buyers.
Ford adds more features to Fusion sedan
Defying rumors it might kill its midsize sedan, Ford is adding safety and driver assist features and a new grille to its Fusion when the 2019 model goes on sale in late summer.
The automaker is also introducing a widget that adds many connected-car features to vehicles that lack a built-in modem.
The Fusion got significant updates a couple of years ago, but competition for midsize sedans is cutthroat as the segment shrinks and newer models hit the market.
Fusion gets Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 safety features as standard equipment: automatic front emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind spot and cross traffic alerts, lane keeping, backup camera and automatic high beams. Visual changes include new grilles, LED headlights and new front and rear fascias, or covers for its bumpers.
Lexus goes car noir with its RC F sports car
Lexus is giving the all-black treatment to one of its most distinctive, sporty cars, the RC coupe.
Like other automakers who have picked up on the car noir trend, the RC F Sport Black Line Special Edition will have black wheels and brake calipers. Instead of chrome on the grille and around the windows, it will have darkened chrome instead.
In the interior, there’s orange stitching on the seats to contrast against the black. The Black Line comes in two colors — silver and, you guessed it, black.
Contributing: Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press
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