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Previews from McLaren, Lexus, Cadillac set stage for New York auto show

The 115th annual New York auto show starts next week -- we'll see new cars from McLaren and Cadillac, not to mention exciting updates, from a hybrid Toyota RAV4 to a new Nissan Maxima.

2016 Nissan Maxima
Nissan's new Maxima sedan takes a big leap forward in styling, showing an exciting new direction for the company. Nissan

Since 1900, the very dawn of the automotive era, the New York auto show has served to showcase new vehicles. And although over a century old, there is no sense that the oldest auto show in the US has lost any steam. For this year, automakers are promising a wealth of debuts, ranging from completely new models to big updates.

McLaren 570S
McLaren only released a few details of its new entry-level car. McLaren

When an automaker comes out with a model at the low end of its lineup, it wouldn't seem a cause for excitement. However, in this case the automaker is McLaren, extending its line with a completely new entry-level model that will likely blow away the most capable models from competitors. The 570S, to be introduced in New York, marks the launch of what McLaren calls its Sports Series, slotting in underneath its current 650S model . Yet the two-seater 570S will feature a carbon fiber body and a V-8 engine producing 562 horsepower.

Cadillac is using the show to debut its all-new CT6 model, a luxury sedan designed to give it ammunition against cars such as the Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-class. Details released so far include a V-6 engine and a body relying on aluminum construction, suggesting a strong fuel economy play. Audio supplier Bose gets in on Cadillac's game with its Panaray system, which the company describes as its most advanced system ever. This system uses 34 small speakers embedded all around the CT6's cabin, which should make for a very immersive experience.

Kia will debut a new generation of its Optima mid-size sedan at the show. There are no details as of yet, other than a nice photo showing new, sharper styling at the front. Expect either a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with direct injection or Kia's more potent turbocharged 2-liter engine, and a hybrid option.

2016 Kia Optima SX
Kia shows us a front view of an attractively restyled Optima mid-size sedan in this preview photo. Kia

We will get a look at the 2016 Nissan Maxima in New York -- and Nissan's large sedan is getting an extreme makeover. The Japanese company has slowly been developing a new design language and identity for its model range, so it will be exciting to see how the new Maxima carries it out. From its photos, we can see a very bold look, with a bulging hood and a long, tapering roofline similar to a hatchback.

Scion will be at the show with a new hatchback, the iM, based on Toyota's European Auris model. The iM should inject some important new life into Toyota's youth-oriented brand. Don't expect a new hot hatchback, as the Auris engine options tend towards the mild. Scion will also be introducing a new sedan, but has provided no details.

Toyota will be hitting the show with a new version of its RAV4 small SUV, now fitted with a hybrid drivetrain to maximize fuel economy. Toyota released no details on the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid, but will likely fit it with the same drivetrain as the Camry Hybrid, a gasoline-electric system producing 200 horsepower that can achieve average fuel economy of 40 mpg.

Lexus RX update
Lexus previewed the new RX model with this teaser shot. Lexus

Lexus will hit the show floor with a strongly restyled RX model, the five-passenger SUV that has done so well for the luxury brand. We don't know much beyond a smaller teaser image released by Lexus, but it looks like the company will be using its latest, very strong styling for the RX model.

The New York auto show opens to the public at the Javits Center in Hell's Kitchen on April 3. CNET will be covering the new vehicle launches during a preview on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.