The coming of Easter in New York means flower-laden hats, leaf-laden trees and a whole new crop of cars unveiled at the New York International Auto Show. Once again, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center plays host to the last major auto show of the season, where automakers give an early peek at 2018 model year cars or design concepts.
From early notices, it looks like Dodge will be dominating the show through sheer horsepower, although Honda should have a tasty little amuse-bouche. Toyota settles in with a dose of practicality along with an enticing hint at a future 4x4, and Buick steps into the spotlight with an aim toward expanding its crowd appeal.
The most highly anticipated model expected to drop in New York has been teased so much by Dodge that, by all rights, it should be crying in the corner. The SRT Demon looks to be a follow-on to the Hellcat idea -- drop a ridiculously powerful engine into the Challenger model. In this case, speculation runs to about 750 horsepower, although we'll get the final figure during the press preview for the New York show.
Throughout the last month, Dodge has dropped salacious details about the SRT Demon, noting its diet, its engine sound and even how some of its dashboard screens look. The SRT Demon may not be a car for the average American, but it's sure to make noise at the show.
Honda's other high-po Civic
If the standard Civic feels too pedestrian, but the Civic Type R looks too scary, the Civic Si may be just right. Yes, the high-performance Civic with a much longer legacy in the states than the Type R is ready for a comeback. The Civic Si builds on the same excellent platform as the new Civic model, so should be an impressive little runabout. And it should be more affordable than the Type R.
For those interested in green cred, Honda will also be showing off the Clarity Electric, a new zero-emissions play by the company. The Clarity builds on the expertise Honda accrued with its Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, leveraging that model into a car with likely broader appeal.
Toyota on the trail
A mention of Toyota inevitably evokes thoughts of Prius hybrids and Camrys, but the company has fielded many very capable 4x4s over the years, such as the current Tacoma and former FJ Cruiser. With the FT-4X concept, it looks like Toyota is readying another real off-roader, and that's a welcome thought.
Perhaps hedging its bets to maintain its huge market share, Toyota will also bring a new Sienna minivan and Yaris economy car to New York. Chrysler's Pacifica set a new bar for minivans last year, so we are eager to see if Toyota can make the grade with its long-in-the-tooth minivan. Yaris, at the bottom of the Toyota's lineup and an all-around economy choice, should see the application of active safety technologies, including automated precollision braking, which Toyota has promised to make standard throughout its range.
Buick regales NYC with variants
As a brand, Buick may be squeezed by its Chevy and Cadillac siblings, but this middle child makes an attempt to stand out in New York, bringing to the fore variants of its Regal model that should broaden its reach. The Regal Sportback presents the kind of modern elegance already staked out by cars such as the Audi A7 and BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe. It trades in a traditional trunk for a sweeping rear hatch, presenting a new aesthetic.
While the Regal Sportback may be fashionable in the city, Buick also wants to take on the active, outdoorsy life, again leveraging the Regal model with its new TourX version. The TourX's station wagon body fits five passengers along with recreational and camping equipment. Standard all-wheel-drive helps it deal with a looser road surface, be it snow or dirt.
But that's not all for Buick, as the GM brand will also be showing off a new luxury trim, Avenir, which it can apply to any of its models. We expect to see the Enclave Avenir as the first example of this new upper tier at Buick.
There will, of course, be many other cars unveiled at the show, and we will bring them to you in our stories, photos and video. The New York Auto Show will host a press preview on Wednesday, April 12 and Thursday, April 13. It opens to the public from Friday, April 14 to Sunday, April 23.