New York Auto Show: Red Carpet report

The first New York International Auto Show was held in 1900. It was also the first of this country’s automobile exhibitions and it has traditionally brought out the highest profile manufacturers. Press days at the auto show are a bit like Fashion Week, with a mix of journalists and luminaries vying for a spot close to the stage.

It’s nearly impossible to attend every press conference, because if you’ve positioned yourself well for one, you’re almost guaranteed to be standing in a corner at the next one. Nevertheless, a group from the New England Motor Press Association made the trek, including regular contributors Craig Fitzgerald, George Kennedy, Cliff Atiyeh, and John Paul.


Just about every manufacturer had some bit of news, but here’s a look at the most interesting news cars:

2014 Honda Odyssey

The Odyssey displays a host of minor design changes for 2014 with a few new visual cues, but the big news is in the cargo area. Apparently encouraged by his 10-year-old daughter, an enterprising Honda engineer stowed an on-board vacuum, supplied by ShopVac. The production version tucks neatly behind a plastic panel and features a hose long enough to suck up a whole minivan’s worth of cookies.

2014 Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport is a smaller-scaled version of the ultraexclusive Range Rover. It features the same go-anywhere attitude, blended with British-style luxury inside, but at a price that’s a lot easier for the upper middle class to justify. The Range Rover Sport provides a third row of seats, unlike competitors like the BMW X5, but they’re comically small, and really suited for the tiniest kids you can find.

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

If you grew up in the Massachusetts suburbs in the 1970s and 1980s, the Z28 was the car to have. It’s been gone from Chevrolet’s lineup since 2002, but in a bit of a surprise, Chevrolet reintroduced it at the New York show. Look for the Z28 to feature the LS7V-8 engine from the Corvette, with horsepower figures estimated to climb past 500.


2014 Cadillac CTS

Sneak previews of the CTS have been all over the internet, but New York was the first place to show it in the flesh. It’s a handsome car with a few more curves than the angular CTS it replaces. A new 420hp, 3.6-liter twin turboV-6 is under the hood, and thanks to weight-saving technologies, Cadillac managed to shave 244 pounds—more than the weight of the average American who will buy one—from the car’s overall curb weight.

2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT

Typing in all caps generally means you’re angry about something. The all-caps name plate of the XKR-S GT includes a price tag north of $174,000, so maybe there is something to be angry about. Nevertheless, for the price of entry, you get one of the sexiest GT cars available, complete with a 550hp superchargedV-8 and carbon ceramic brakes.

2014 Acura MDX

This is the first Acura completely developed in the United States. It rides on an all new platform and is powered by a revised version of the perennial 3.5-literV-6 that has been so successful to this point.Third row access comes courtesy of a power-operated folding second row seat. For the first time, those outside the snow belt will have a frontwheel-drive MDX option, but New Englanders would probably pass on that.

2014 BMW 328d

With a base price under $40k and the option of all-wheel-drive, BMW is finally making a case for diesel in the 3 Series.The new 2.0-liter turbo diesel delivers 280-lb. ft. of torque at just 1,750 rpm, and puts 45 miles under the tires with only a gallon of diesel fuel. I guess BMW is tired of watching all those diesel sales go toVolkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.


2014 Buick Regal and LaCrosse

Two big debuts for Buick: The Regal Turbo now gets the same 259 hp as the Regal GS, which should make that car a great performance bargain.The GS is also going to be offered with all-wheel-drive, which may takeabunch of sales from Audi.The larger LaCrosse will be equipped with a lot of the same safety and driver alertness equipment as the Cadillac XTS, with which it shares a platform.

2014VW Golf

The all new Golf is larger by about two inches, but it’s also 60 pounds lighter.The 2.5-liter engine that the base cars featured is now eliminated in favor ofadirect-injection 1.8-liter, four-cylinder turbo with 184-lb.ft. of torque.Volkswagen simultaneously unveiled the Golf GTI.

2014 Jeep Cherokee

When photos of the Cherokee were leaked on the internet a month or so ago, the reaction was almost universally negative, with most of the commentary centered around the odd-looking front fascia. In the flesh, it’s not as bad as the photos suggested, and its four-wheel- drive capabilities are going to be second to none in this category. Equipped with the PentastarV-6, the Cherokee is also good to tow 4,000 pounds.

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