Luxury Cars Converge from Near and Far on the 2010 New York Auto Show
What would an auto show be without an array of luxury and performance automobiles on display? While the Geneva salon last month held the greatest variety of vehicles targeted by European automakers especially at upscale buyers, the recently concluded New York Auto Show wasn't without its share as well.
This year's expo at the Javitz Center in Manhattan, our crew on the ground got a first had look at the latest from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac, Lincoln, Acura and Infiniti, and even Hyundai. Each brought out its latest luxury sedans, wagons, crossovers and sport-utility vehicle. Follow the jump to see what they saw.
Mercedes-Benz was undoubtedly the busiest of the premium marques at the New York show this year, unveiling several new luxury vehicles for the North American market. Most prominent was the new R-Class, a crossover vehicle which – in its outgoing iteration – has not been the company's hottest seller. A sort of tall wagon (or short minivan), the 2011 R-Class has been treated to a facelift, giving it an updated look and a new lease on life. Mercedes is offering the vehicle as either the R350 or the R350 BlueTEC, the latter a clean-burning diesel, both mated to the company's 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.
In addition to the R-Class, Mercedes also intriguingly brought out the new E-Class estate wagon – and intriguing choice given the similarity between the two. The wagon follows the sedan, coupe and convertible in the new E-Class line-up, and though wagons are rapidly losing ground to crossovers in the North American market, the E-Class estate offers a compelling alternative, with rear-facing third-row jump-seats and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive as well.
While Mercedes was showing the new GT3 racing version of its SLS AMG supercar to journalists in Mexico, at the New York show company spokesmen confirmed the pricing for the roadgoing version, which will be available to American customers beginning this summer for $183,000.
While arch-rival BMW may not have had anything substantially new to show to the New York show-goers, its closely associated performance tuner Alpina rolled out the new B7 xDrive. The 7 Series-based super-sedan is available for the first time with all-wheel-drive, giving it all the traction it needs to channel the 500 horsepower produced by its modified 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine.
This being an American show, the American luxury marques weren't going to miss out on the action. Cadillac took the occasion to unveil the highly anticipated CTS-V Sport Wagon, adding a more versatile body-style to the CTS-V range. Like the CTS-V sedan and coupe, the Sport Wagon is driven by a 556-horsepower supercharged V8 engine.
Taking a decidedly different approach, Lincoln unveiled the new MKZ Hybrid in New York, giving the Ford Motor Company yet another electrified product in its line-up. With its eyes set squarely on the Lexus HS250h, the hybrid Lincoln is rated at 41/36 miles per gallon (city/highway), making it more efficient than the Lexus while demanding a more attractive sticker price.
Finally, the Asian luxury brands made their presence known as well in New York. Infiniti used the occasion to unveil their latest full-size luxury sport-utility vehicle, the QX56. Based on the gargantuan Nissan Armada, the QX is Infiniti's take on the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. Capable of transporting eight passengers and towing 8,500 lbs of yacht in ultimate luxury, the QX56 benefits from a new direct-injection 5.6-liter V8 and all the latest convenience features you'd expect for a full-size $56,700 sport-ute.
Honda's luxury division Acura, meanwhile, rolled out the TSX Sport Wagon in New York. Based on the award-winning, overseas-market Honda Accord Sport Tourer, it joins the TSX sedan in anchoring Acura's range while giving customers a greater choice in body-styles.
A brand that you would never have associated with luxury just a few years ago, Hyundai is making considerable headway into the premium market by offering fantastic values. After breaking in with the Genesis sedan and coupe, the Korean automaker has finally brought over its flagship Equus luxury sedan from its domestic market. Ready to take on the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, the Equus packs all the luxury bells and whistles you could expect at a substantially more attractive price around the mid-$50k range.