The New York International Auto Show opens Easter weekend, and like the budding blooms on tree and flower stem, automakers will show off their newest pieces of work, vehicles ready to be picked by consumers by summer and fall. Unlike the recent Geneva show, with its stunning exotics and concepts, the 2014 New York auto show will feature cars designed for the common driver.
Far from pedestrian, however, the offerings have cultivated quite a bit of excitement. Leading the pack is the everyman's supercar, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, which will be seen for the first time in rag-top form. That's right -- not only will this new Corvette Z06 give Ferraris and Lamborghinis a run for their money on the track at a third of the cost, but it lets you put the top down and enjoy a warm drive in the country. Chevrolet notes that chopping off the roof resulted in no compromise for the car's performance.
BMW makes a similar move, coming up with a convertible top version of its all-new M4 performance car. More intriguing will be the 2015 BMW X4, a car of similar proportions to the X3 SUV but with the aggressive styling of the X6. The X4 follows BMW's medium-size pattern by coming with either a turbo four-cylinder or a turbo inline six-cylinder engine. The dashboard gets the company's very latest version of iDrive for touch-pad control of onscreen menus.
Dodge hits the show floor with a double whammy: the 2015 Challenger and the 2015 Charger, both redesigned from top to bottom. Dodge has been cagey about the details, but a teaser shot of the Charger's headlight and grille shows modernized styling similar to the new Durango . Headlights are subtly integrated into the front, bookending the cross-beam grille. For the new Challenger, Dodge hints at the legendary Superbee for its drivetrain tech.
Acura is on board with its all-new TLX model, part of a full line revamp that has already seen the ILX and the RLX. The premium TLX will sit between these two models on the lineup, retaining Acura's premium feel and featuring new drivetrain tech. Similar to the RLX, the TLX will get a direct injection 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, but the more interesting option will be the direct injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder and its eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Nissan has announced the 2015 Murano for the show, its popular crossover vehicle redesigned to be an 'upscale social lounge.' New styling elements include Nissan's now standard boomerang headlights, which can optionally hold LED projectors . The 2015 Murano retains its 3.5-liter V-6 with fuel economy primarily helped by a continuously variable transmission, a technology of which Nissan is the undisputed master.
There are quite a few more enticing releases set for the show, such as GTS versions of Porsche's Boxster and Cayman, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, and the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta. Wagon enthusiasts will appreciate the Golf SportWagen that Volkswagen will bring to the show. And for a little mystique, Land Rover brings out its Discovery Vision concept, which should be a predecessor to a new LR2.
As always, be prepared for a few surprises as the automakers pull off the covers.
The 2014 New York auto show runs from April 18 to 27. CNET's coverage will begin this week during press preview days.