[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ell it is the holiday season again and that means we put on our Easter bonnets or get ready to enjoy traditional Passover dinners with our families and of course get ready to spend a glorious day at the New York International Auto Show. This great event started in the turn of the last century and has become North America’s first and largest automotive exhibition. No matter what problems we have faced in these past 100 years, one thing remains constant and that is the tradition of bringing new and innovative automotive concepts and vehicles to this national stage.
Even during the past few years as the automotive industry struggled, the show saw an increase in attendance and enjoyed the media attention it deserves. After all where can you spend an entire day looking at so many gorgeous and luxurious new automotive marvels then the New York Auto Show?
We attended the show on the first Press day which was Wednesday and it was our first time at the show on this special day for the media. In the past I have covered the show and rubbed shoulders with the thousands of attendees, trying to get my shots and information about the vehicles on display, but not this year.
What a great experience being the first to see the newest and hottest cars and trucks in the world and all under one roof. The only shoulders we rubbed were others from the media with cameras and tripods positioned to get their photos, videos and interviews with the public relations people from each company. Of course there were tons of models, lots of wonderful food for the press at so many exhibits and open bars for soft, hard drinks and of course specialty coffee’s.
Since it was our first time at this media event, my goal was to simply get the images, take some video, see some of the vehicles that would impress me and find out what the automotive industry was doing to increase fuel economy without sacrificing the style and comfort we have become used to over the years.
Well, I can tell you they have not sat on their laurels and have gone way out to earn the increased sales we are seeing these past months. The cars are getting upwards of 40 miles per gallon on the highway with most averaging around 28-30 combined city and highway. Plenty of smaller cars which not only won’t break your budget, but will save you dollars when you have to actually drive your car somewhere and gas goes to $4.00 per gallon.
But, that is not to say that those that are not concerned about $4 gas or the cost of a new vehicle have been forgotten, they haven’t. One can see this on a visit to some of the luxury manufacturers like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes Benz, Bugatti, BMW, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lexus limited production “LFA” that will start at $375,000, or many of the others you will see at the show.
We really liked the new BMW 640i Gran Coupe being introduced in the United States first. This powerhouse boasts their popular N55 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six, good for 315 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque and mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The eight-cylinder 650i and xDrive models will follow suit in short order, as well. Cost for this beauty is a mere $76,895 for the 640i.
One company, new to this market has come up with a truly stunning vehicle that is a true hybrid that you can either plug in or fill up. It boasts a range of 300 miles on electrical power alone, pretty impressive indeed.
Now Fisker Automotive, (no relation to the scissor company with the same name) is headquartered in Anaheim, California. This made in the U.S.A. vehicle, shows once again, that the American spirit and creativity is not dead, although it has been sleeping for some time.
They have created a sports car that will truly take your breath away. At the show they introduced the world’s first “premium hybrid electric vehicle” the 2012 Karma Eclipse at a cost of around $110,000 (depending on paint finish). Now those big shots that purchase this car can feel and look good driving it and even be eco responsible too. I can just imagine all the Hollywood celebs driving a new 2012 Karma Eclipse down the PCH with the top down and not feeling any guilt owning such a beautiful and eco friendly vehicle. I remember when all the celebs that wanted to show their eco stance would be tooling around in a Toyota Prius…well now guys you can finally give your Prius to your wife or kids and upgrade to the Karma Eclipse, a real mans car for today. Frankly, there were so many in the $250,000 to million dollar class that it is worth going to the show just to see what the Wall Street and the oil barons are driving.
In our video you will see many for the 1% crowd that must have these glorious and beautiful machines, after all the rest of us, or the 99% have to be concerned about fuel economy, costs and safety and this industry hasn’t forgotten about us either.
Mini Cooper was there in force and introduced their new and very sporty little Mini John Cooper Works Countryman line that boasts four or five seats and merges racing passion in a all wheel drive system. This is the biggest MINI with the most powerful engine.
In keeping with tradition and Aprils Fools Day, they will be showing what many will think is their new amphibious model called the Yachtsman. The announcement is part of a MINI tradition of prank press releases on April Fools Day. In its spoofy press release MINI said the Yachtsman will cost $236,000 and come with a warranty that includes 3-years of free mooring, “annual dry-docking and free barnacle removal, for the original captain.” It was fun to see and I am sure many people would love to have the Yachtsman probably as many that want a car that can fly.
Whoops, come to think of it at the show you will see the first automobile that can fly and orders are being taken now at a cool $279,000. Terrafugia has come closer than anyone to making the flying car a reality and the government has already granted the company’s request to use special tires and glass that are lighter then normal automotive ones.
The Transition® Street-Legal Airplane is now a significant step closer to being a commercial reality. The production prototype of the Transition® Street-Legal Airplane completed its successful first flight at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY on March 23, 2012.
I wanted to keep this review as short as possible, but that is almost impossible to do, so I will invite you to see our 14 minute video where you will see the famous Buggatti, the worlds fastest car breaking speed records at 253 mph and costing a cool $2 million. Or the Nissan Leaf, the first 100% electric car with zero emissions and a driving range of 100 miles on a single charge.
If you are into classic cars, the original Shelby Cobra with worn seats is on display and boasts a price tag of $25 million. Don’t forget to check out all the exciting 1+1 two seater sports cars that every company seems to be showing including the fantastic Scion 2013 FR-S.
This holiday season is special when you add a trip to the show and at a cost of $15 for adults, it is less money then going to the movies and I can assure you a lot more fun. So grab the family and head over to the wonderful and exciting New York International Auto Show and get ready to drool at all these great new cars and trucks.