2019 New York Auto Show recap: Big debuts from Hyundai, Subaru, Toyota and more

Whether it's a crossover, a sports car or a slick concept, there's something for everyone on stage in New York.

CNET Cars staff
15 min read
2019 New York Auto Show
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Just as quickly as it arrived, the 2019 New York Auto Show has wrapped up. While Geneva may have been the hotspot for wild moon shots, New York was a bit more grounded in reality, offering a number of cars you can buy -- and soon. Whether it's a crossover or a sports car, there's something for every kind of taste in New York. And yes, there are a couple fun concepts thrown into the mix, too.

Here's a look at what debuted ahead of its official opening to the public on Friday.

Acura TLX PMC Edition

This might just look like a TLX painted in a fetching shade of red, but there's more to this 2020 PMC Edition than meets the eye. Sure, the Valencia red pearl paint is borrowed from the NSX, but that's not the only connection this TLX has with Acura's hybrid supercar.

All 360 examples of the TLX PMC will be hand-assembled at Acura's Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, which is where the NSX is built. (Hence the PMC in the car's name.) Pricing for this limited-edition TLX is expected to be around $50,000, and the first models will roll out of the PMC this summer.

2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition rocks up ahead of NY Auto Show

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Cadillac CT5

Cadillac's new CT5 is less of a CTS replacement and more of a true competitor for the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It also introduces a revised design language for Cadillac, with sharper creases and a more rakish roofline.

Engine choices include a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, good for 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, as well as a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, with 335 horsepower and 400 pound-feet. A 10-speed automatic is standard with either engine, and both rear- and all-wheel drive are available.

Inside, a 10-inch touchscreen display sits atop the dash, which can also be controlled by a rotary knob on the center console. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, and Cadillac's partially autonomous Super Cruise system will be available as an option.

Watch this: 2020 Cadillac CT5 is a right-sized, sporty luxury sedan

2020 Cadillac CT5 brings a new look for the brand's sedans to New York

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Dodge Challenger and Charger Stars & Stripes Editions

Dodge says it has more active military customers than any other brand, and to that end, these Challenger and Charger Stars & Stripes Editions are a thank you to all who have, or are currently, serving in the US Armed Forces.

The Stars & Stripes pack is just a visual updo, adding a center stripe, 20-inch black wheels, bronze interior accents and some American flag decals on the fenders. The package costs $1,995 and can be added to GT, R/T and Scat Pack models.

Dodge Challenger and Charger Stars & Stripes Editions are a patriotic pair

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Fiat 124 Spider Urbana Edition

Speaking of visual updos, Fiat is showing the Urbana Edition 124 Spider in New York, which is an inexpensive styling pack for the Mazda MX-5 Miata-based roadster.

The Urbana Edition starts with the 124 Spider's Classica trim, and adds new 17-inch wheels, performance tires, different exhaust tips and some piano black exterior accents. Fog lights come standard with this pack, too. Otherwise, it's the same 124 Spider we know and love, powered by a 164-horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged I4 engine. The Urbana Edition package only adds $995 to the roadster's bottom line.

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Ford Escape

The Ford Escape gets a pretty radical makeover for 2020, adopting a more curvaceous, almost car-like shape that's longer, lower and wider than before. The latest edition of Ford's compact crossover also adds hybrid power, in addition to two different gas-only engines.

Ford's CoPilot 360 suite of driver's aids will be standard on all trims, with adaptive cruise control and a lane-centering system as optional extras. Inside, you'll find an optional, digital, 12.3-inch customizable gauge cluster, plenty of charging options and a large head-up display.

No word on pricing just yet, but the 2020 Ford Escape will reach dealerships this fall, with the plug-in hybrid model following in spring 2020.

Watch this: 2020 Ford Escape is a citified slicker SUV

2020 Ford Escape gears up for city living

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Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package

Just when it seems like the Blue Oval has run out of Mustang niches to fill, along comes the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance. This new model features the 2.3-liter turbocharged heart of the recently (and dearly) departed Focus RS, along with a bunch of performance bits raided from elsewhere in the Mustang parts bin.

Conceived in around 10 months, the Mustang EcoBoost High Performance delivers 330 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque in a package that's around 200 pounds lighter than the V8 GT. With a standard active exhaust and aero, and braking bits borrowed from the aforementioned GT and GT Performance Pack, 0-to-60 mph is estimated in 4.5 seconds. Ford is hoping the new model will attract a few import buyers, not just muscle car traditionalists.

You can even order an optional EcoBoost Handling Package -- yes, a package on top of a package -- with wider, stickier tires, MagneRide dampers and a 3.55:1 Torsen limited-slip differential. Pricing hasn't been released, but the model will arrive in dealers this fall in both Coupe and Convertible flavors packing either a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic.

2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance is a bitsa blaster for New York

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Genesis Mint concept

Luc Donckerwolke, head of Hyundai Group design, told Roadshow the Genesis brand would have some sort of electric concept car in New York. That turned out to be the Mint concept, a small all-electric city runabout with neat details like upward-opening doors. Hypothetically at least, it boasts a 200-mile range and the ability to use 350-kilowatt fast-charging to juice up its battery pack. Will something like this come to dealers? "We really hope to see this in the very near future," said Manfred Fitzgerald, global head of the Genesis brand.

Watch this: Tiny Genesis Mint is a city concept we love

Genesis' tiny, electric Mint concept zips into the New York Auto Show

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Hyundai Sonata

Not only have we already seen the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, we've driven it, too. But the car hasn't officially debuted in the US, and it's one of two new Hyundai models that'll take the stage in New York.

We've been pretty stoked about the Sonata since we first saw it in photos -- it's certainly a looker (though the turbocharged model isn't quite as pretty). The super low nose, rakish roof and huge LED light signature certainly give it presence on the road.

The 2020 Sonata has a number of driver assistance aids, including Hyundai's Highway Driving Assistant and a smartphone-based digital key. The thing can even park itself.

US-spec Sonatas will be powered by a naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter I4 engine, or a 1.6-liter turbocharged I4, both of which are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is all that's available for now, but all-wheel drive -- as well as higher-output versions -- could come online soon, too.

2020 Hyundai Sonata brings arresting style to New York

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Hyundai Venue

Following the launch of its three-row Palisade, Hyundai is expanding the opposite end of its SUV lineup at the New York show. The 2020 Venue will be the brand's smallest utility vehicle yet, slotting below the already subcompact Kona.

On the outside, the 2020 Venue takes inspiration from the Korean automaker's other crossovers. It's quite stylish given its stubby dimensions, and yes, it's small -- 5.1 inches shorter in length than the Kona. Equipment includes an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while motivation comes from a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder. The engine delivers 121 hp to the front wheels either through a six-speed manual or through a continuously variable transmission.

Roadshow also had a chance to drive a prototype of the Venue, which revealed that despite its dinky size and low power output, the car seems to be a competitive entrant in the subcompact-crossover space. Interior accommodations are fine for adults, too, though we wouldn't recommend putting tall passengers in the back seat for extended road trips.

Watch this: 2020 Hyundai Venue: Be seen in the small crossover

2020 Hyundai Venue is a small, sophisticated SUV

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Infiniti Q50 Signature Edition

Infiniti's big debut this week is actually happening in China, where the Qs Inspiration Concept makes its debut at the Shanghai Motor Show. But Infiniti didn't want to show up empty-handed in New York, so it's bringing the Q50 Signature Edition you see here.

The Q50 Signature Edition doesn't change the Q50 mechanically, and instead brings a number of aesthetic updates to the table. Sportier front and rear fascias join a set of model-specific 19-inch wheels, and inside, you'll find special aluminum trim. Look for it to arrive in Infiniti showrooms later this year.

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Kia HabaNiro concept

Kia's HabaNiro concept is an electric crossover with pretty cool design and some really interesting technology inside. When it's in autonomous mode, the windshield turns into a big entertainment display and the steering wheel and instrument panel retract away. With two electric motors, the HabaNiro is claimed to get a 300-mile driving range on a single charge of its batteries. While there are no confirmed plans to put it into production, it's certainly packed with ideas.

Watch this: Feel the heat from Kia's HabaNiro concept

Kia HabaNiro is one spicy concept

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Kia Stinger GTS

Have you been wishing it was easier to pull off sweet drifts in your Kia Stinger? If so, allow us to direct your attention to the new GTS model. It's offered with Kia's new D-AWD all-wheel-drive system, which can be put into a Drift Mode that sends 100% of the power to the rear tires. Nice! And even if you get the rear-wheel-drive GTS, it has new programming for the transmission and stability controls to better cope with, well, lurid drifts. Top that off with orange paint and carbon fiber accents, and you've got an even cooler Stinger. It is, however, exclusive, with only 800 to be made.

Orange you glad Kia's new Stinger GTS has a drift mode?

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Lincoln Corsair

Lincoln introduced the 2020 Corsair, an entry-luxury crossover that essentially replaces the MKC in the brand's lineup. With a design language that matches other new Lincoln models and a plush, well-trimmed interior that features genuine wood and soft leather, it looks to be a strong contender against cars like the Cadillac XT4 and Lexus NX. Powertrain choices comprise 2.0- and 2.3-liter turbo-four engines, while tech features include the ability to use a smartphone as a key and a long list of active-safety technology. The Lincoln Corsair goes on sale this fall.

Watch this: 2020 Lincoln Corsair is a stylish and tech-filled luxury crossover

2020 Lincoln Corsair brings smart luxury design to New York

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Mazda CX-5 Diesel

Mazda's big debut in New York is a diesel version of the CX-5 crossover. If that sounds like déjà vu, well, it's because Mazda promised us that diesel powertrain would arrive quite a long time ago.

The 2.2-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder arrives in the CX-5 later this year. It's rated for 168 hp and a stout 290 lb-ft. EPA fuel economy numbers are estimated at 27 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. It'll be offered only in the CX-5's top Signature trim with all-wheel drive, meaning prices start at $41,000 plus $1,045 for destination.

2019 Mazda CX-5 diesel is rated for 30 mpg highway

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Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Coupe

The latest coupe-ified version of the GLC-Class comes to the US with a few exterior tweaks, like new headlights and taillights, but it's what's inside that really counts. The old COMAND infotainment system is gone, replaced with Mercedes' latest MBUX tech, housed on a 10.2-inch touchscreen, complemented by a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster just to the left.

The GLC gets a bump in power for 2020 as well, with its 2.0-liter, turbocharged I4 mill putting out 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Curiously, the GLC Coupe is only available in 4Matic all-wheel drive -- rear-wheel drive is not on the table.

Look for the 2020 GLC300 Coupe to arrive in Mercedes dealers later this year.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe brings tweaked style to New York Auto Show

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Mercedes-AMG GLC63, GLC63 Coupe

In addition to bringing the refreshed GLC300 Coupe to New York, Mercedes-AMG brought its hopped-up GLC63 and GLC63 Coupe to the show, as well. Wearing the same fresh exterior as the regular GLC, the 63 model ramps up the powertrain with a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8. Base 63 models make 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.

If you're after a bit more, there's a GLC63 S that turns up the wick to 479 hp and 516 pound-feet.

2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe blitzes the New York Auto Show

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Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

Mercedes' biggest SUV, the three-row GLS-Class, has been fully redesigned. While it's still plenty spacious, capable and luxurious, the GLS now also packs even more features to amp up the model's tech and luxury offerings. It also has a 2.3-inch longer wheelbase than its predecessor, providing more rear legroom.

The 2020 GLS doesn't look too different from before, though there are updated styling elements and, notably, you can now option wheels up to 23 inches in diameter from the factory. Moving inside, you'll find twin 12.3-inch displays with the automaker's MBUX infotainment software, tons of active safety gear and even Mercedes' E-Active Body Control semiactive suspension system. And don't forget the special secret car wash mode!

Powertrain choices include a new GLS580 option with a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 with Mercedes' EQ Boost mild-hybrid tech. The engine alone is capable of putting out 483 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, and the 48-volt starter-generator offers supplemental oomph of up to 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet.

Watch this: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is the pinnacle of tech and luxury

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class brings big luxe to the Big Apple

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Mercedes-AMG A35

If you like your Mercedes sedans small yet mighty, the AMG A35 is for you. The turbocharged, 2.0-liter I4 engine is good for a very healthy 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Power goes to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, and with a stiffer suspension, recalibrated steering and beefier brakes, the A35 should be a blast to drive -- more so than the already enjoyable A220.

Inside, you'll find Mercedes' excellent MBUX infotainment system, plenty of expensive-feeling leather and a 64-color ambient lighting system that's sure to impress. We're pretty stoked to drive this one.

Watch this: 2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 is entry-level hotness

2020 Mercedes-AMG A35 is a premium pocket rocket

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Mercedes-AMG CLA35

See above, just swoopier. The Mercedes-AMG CLA35 is nearly identical to the A35, just with a more rakish roofline. The CLA35 uses the same 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine, same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and same 4Matic all-wheel drive system. The suspension, steering and brakes are all identical to the A35, well.

Sure, the CLA35 has a bit more of a jaunty roofline, but only drivers with an ultrasensitive butt dyno will notice the 0.1-second difference in the CLA35's 0-to-60 mph time: 4.6 seconds in the CLA, versus 4.7 in the A35.

Pricing has not been announced but we expect the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA35 to hit dealerships in late 2019 -- just like the A35.

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA35: Sleek style and potent punch

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Nissan GT-R

Every version of the 2020 Nissan GT-R has updates this year, including the Track Edition, the Nismo version and 50th Anniversary Edition model.

For the Nismo, changes include improved aerodynamic parts and reduced weight, as well as a new turbocharger. Then there's the 50th Anniversary model, which brings back the R34-generation GT-R's "Bayside (Wangan) Blue" paint, an Alcantara headliner and embossed seats. As to the Track Edition, it gets the Nismo's 600-hp engine (up from 565 hp previously), while a carbon-fiber roof and carbon-ceramic brakes become available as options.

2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition brings another birthday party to NYC

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2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo debuts a little sharper in New York

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Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition

The current Nissan 370Z is an old, old car, but we still rather like it. Nissan's pretty fond of its two-seat sports car, too, and to celebrate the model's heritage, is presenting this 50th Anniversary Edition 370Z in New York.

Mechanically speaking, the 50th Anniversary Edition is the same as any other 370Z; this update really just amounts to a trim-and-tape appearance package. You get a racing stripe, a spoiler delete option, unique 19-inch wheels, an Alcantara steering wheel, unique seat stitching and, of course, logos galore.

Nissan is also tipped to bring a GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition to New York, which we should know more about in the not-too-distant future.

2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition takes off in New York

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Nissan Versa

Previously, the Nissan Versa sedan was pretty much known for one thing: being the cheapest new car on sale in America. But that might change with the new 2020 model, and with good reason.

One look at the 2020 Versa, which technically debuted at a music festival in Florida last week, and it's clear this car is a big step forward in terms of design and available content. It looks sharper and smarter, comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and offers niceties like LED headlights, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and more.

The outgoing 2019 Versa starts at an ultralow $12,360, not including $895 for destination, which undercuts even the homely Mitsubishi Mirage ($13,795). Can the vastly improved 2020 Versa hold onto that crown? We're not so sure. But the fact that it's a far more desirable product seems worth the added cost to us.

2020 Nissan Versa loses the frump, gains tech

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Porsche 911 Speedster

Porsche teased us with a 911 Speedster concept last year and has now revealed the production version. The 911 Speedster has a chopped windshield and a lightweight manual soft top, as well as throwback aerodynamic humps on the decklid. Under the skin, the 911 Speedster is light and feisty, with a 4.0-liter, flat-six engine delivering 502 horsepower through a six-speed manual transmission. Air conditioning is not included unless you specifically option it back in, and carbon-ceramic brakes come standard. With such an appetizing recipe, we've no doubt that all 1,948 copies will sell out quickly.

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster is a 502-hp, limited-run stunner

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Qiantu K50

The K50 comes from a car company you probably haven't heard of, Qiantu. It's a Chinese all-electric sports car with wild supercar looks and a claimed 400 hp -- which can rise to 430 hp in a brief "overclocking" mode.

With a 78-kWh battery pack, the car is claimed to manage a 186-mile driving range on a charge. High-performance parts include Pirelli P Zero tires and Brembo brakes, as well as carbon fiber bodywork and an aluminum frame. We're still waiting to find out exactly how much the car will cost when it arrives in the US in 2020. But we do know that US manufacturing will be handled by California-based Mullen Technologies.

Qiantu's K50 electric sports car should arrive in the US in 2020

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Subaru Outback

Following the debut of the 2020 Legacy in February, the 2020 Subaru Outback made its debut in New York. While it doesn't look dramatically different from the prior version of the high-riding wagon, the Outback does switch the Subaru's latest global platform -- as employed by pretty much all its cars, including the new Forester, Ascent and Crosstrek.

The biggest interior change, both literally and figuratively, is the addition of an 11.6-inch, portrait-style touchscreen infotainment screen that first appeared in the Legacy. It features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Outback also will feature EyeSight, Subaru's suite of active-safety tech like adaptive cruise control and lane-centering steering.

While most models will use a 2.5-liter flat-four engine rated for as much as 33 mpg highway, the 2020 Outback also sees the return of an XT model with a turbo mill. Specifically, it's the 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four engine from the Ascent and Legacy, tuned to produce 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. All told, Outback offers a lot to appeal to practical shoppers.

Watch this: 2020 Subaru Outback is still spacious and practical in its new generation

2020 Subaru Outback is as ruggedly handsome as ever

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Toyota Yaris Hatchback

Mazda2, we see you.

Just as the not-for-America Mazda2 forms the basis for the Toyota Yaris sedan, so too will it see US-spec life as the 2020 Yaris Hatchback. That's a good thing -- even with just 106 horsepower on tap, Mazda knows how to make a fun-to-drive small car.

The 2020 Yaris Hatchback is a sharp-looking car, and comes standard with a number of features, including 16-inch wheels, pushbutton start and fog lights. Leatherette seats, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers and LED headlights are available on the higher XLE trim.

2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback: Mazda2, is that you?

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Toyota Highlander

Toyota teased its 2020 Highlander in a pretty neat way, with what the company calls "augmented reality" artwork. But the real deal is even cooler, looking to turn the well-known three-row family crossover into an even more appealing and more customer-friendly machine. The 2020 Highlander has bolder styling, with the bodywork designed to reduce wind noise at speed, and it grows a little bit to improve interior room. While a 3.5-liter V6 engine is standard, we're most excited about the new hybrid model, which has a "predictive" efficiency mode and is promised to return an incredible (for a three-row crossover) 34 miles per gallon combined. And, as ever with a family vehicle, Toyota has included lots of active-safety tech under its SafetySense 2.0 suite of technologies.

Watch this: 2020 Toyota Highlander is a smart SUV with optional hybrid power

The 2020 Toyota Highlander gets a new platform, new tech and new drivetrains

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Volkswagen Atlas Basecamp Concept

Volkswagen's Atlas SUV is a few years old now, but the automaker is finding new ways to keep it fresh. That's evident at this week's New York Auto Show, where VW presents the Atlas Basecamp Concept, a rugged, outdoorsy take on the German automaker's three-row SUV.

The concept is based on the Atlas SEL, but gets a matte black-and-gray paint job with orange accents. The Basecamp rides 1.5 inches higher than a standard Atlas, and rides on knobby tires perfect for heading off the beaten path. Front and rear LED light bars and a Front Runner Slim Line II roof rack round out the exterior changes.

In addition to the Atlas itself, the Basecamp package includes a Hive EX trailer, with mountain bike racks. It can serve as a mobile, um, basecamp, as the trailer contains a queen-sized bed, kitchenette, portable toilet, hot-water shower and a refrigerator.

The Atlas Basecamp isn't planned for production, sadly. In addition to its New York debut, you'll be able to see this concept at the SEMA show in November.

The Volkswagen Atlas Basecamp concept is ready for adventure

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Volkswagen Tarok Concept

Volkswagen is still investigating the possibility of offering a pickup truck in the US. At last year's New York Auto Show, VW showed us the Altas Tanoak concept, a midsize, unibody truck that was met with high praise. For the 2019 show, Volkswagen is back with another truck, though this one's a lot smaller -- and we've seen it before.

The Tarok concept first debuted at the Sao Paolo International Motor Show last November, which makes sense, as compact pickups do well in the Brazilian market. The Tarok rides on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform, which underpins the Golf, Jetta, Tiguan and others.

The coolest thing about the Tarok concept is how it integrates the bed with the cab. Rather than being separate entities, the Tarok has a removable panel that can extend the bed into the cab. Volkswagen says its small truck can haul up to 2,271 pounds of payload, too.

VW Tarok pickup concept is in New York to gauge your reaction

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Originally published April 15.
Update, April 18: Final update turns this preview into a recap.