The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) is last stop on the auto industry’s annual trade show calendar. Although other venues feature more floor space than New York’s Jacob Javits Center, the NYIAS is the largest of the nation’s commercial auto shows when measured by attendance numbers. The Big Apple’s week-long auto extravaganza is the industry’s sole opportunity to showcase its wares to the North American market region that ranks second only to California in its consumption of sports cars, luxury cars, and SUVs.
As the final manufacturer-sponsored exhibition of new models, concept cars, and automotive technology of the 2014 model year, New York represented a final opportunity for automakers to generate media buzz as the summer driving season approached. 300magazine attended press days at the NYIAS before its doors opened to the public. The second installment of our NYIAS event showcase focuses on top models from the Old World: luxury cars, sports cars, and supercars models from leading European automakers.
The holder of the all-time Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record for production cars made its NY debut in road-legal form. Porsche chose to emphasize the hybrid design of the car with an in-house charging station. The 918’s 00:06:57 lap in $929,000 Weissach “hot rod” spec was a shot across the bows of rivals Ferrari and McLaren.
With a pure electric mode and a range of 12 battery-powered miles, the 918 is shockingly well suited to Manhattan traffic. With a starting price of $845,000, the 918 is pricier than a cab, but more affordable than the beer at Yankee Stadium.
Don’t let the green tech deceive; the 918 packs 887 horsepower and 940 lb-ft of torque; 60 miles per hour falls in 2.6 seconds as the car barrels towards a top speed of 214 miles per hour.
Refreshments at Porsche are posh.
Porsche unveiled its new 911 Targa 4S in New York. The all-wheel drive Targa features a 3.8-liter, 400 horsepower direct-injected boxer six coupled to a twin-clutch automated sequential gearbox. Prices start at $116,000 USD.
The Targa’s unique power retractable roof stows in seconds. When in place, the roof is designed to recall the classic “toupée” look of the 1966-1993 Targas. The unit can deploy or retract completely in 20 seconds.
Bentleys are big in the Big Apple. Between Wall Street, two NFL franchises, two pro baseball clubs, the NBA’s Knicks, and the orthopedists who stitch them back together, New York is a prime market for the British brand.
Bentley calls the Continental GT Speed Convertible a direct descendent of W.O. Bentley’s racing roadsters that dominated Lemans in the interwar period.
As the purest driver’s car in Bentley’s range, the GT Speed Convertible features a twin-turbocharged W12 engine that provides 603 horsepower and a terminal speed of 203 miles per hour. The fortunate driver sits in a hand-stitched leather cockpit with chromed controls and polished wood. Color-keyed stitching matches the paint, which can be custom-ordered.
The GT Speed Convertible features a lower ride height, stiffer springs, higher stability control activation thresholds, and revised throttle mapping that permits faster engine response.
A special body kit with revised fascia and sill panels completes the “Speed GT” signature look.
Bentley also brought its Arnage sedan to the Javits Center. Although smaller and less expensive than the flagship Mulsanne, the Arnage shares a platform with the Continental GT coupe, and it is considered to be the more agile and sporting of the four-door Bentleys.
Alfa Romeo’s 4C coupe made its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show. See 300magazine’s full coverage here.
A rolling jigsaw puzzle in carbon fiber, Koenigsegg’s awesome Agera R is a tribute to one man’s imagination. Christian von Koenigsegg’s dream car features full carbon bodywork, chassis, and Aircore forged carbon wheels.
Green is mean. On ethanol-based biofuel, which has a higher octane than petroleum distillate gasoline, the Agera R’s power rises from 960 to 1140 horsepower. The engine management system detects the change in fuel and raises the car’s output.
The Agera R weights less than 3,000 pounds, and an outrageous twin-turbocharged V8 propels the Swedish hypercar from zero to 200 miles per hour in less than eighteen seconds.
Lamborghini’s Aventador LP-700-4 Roadster is ready to meet the challenge from upstart supercars such as the Koenigsegg. Although the Aventador’s 6.5-liter V-12 lacks punch compared to the muscle bound Agera R, the Italian dream car boasts a “ripping-canvas” exhaust shriek that can split eardrums and raise goose bumps.
With all-wheel drive and Audi-derived electronic architecture, the Aventador Roadster is a surprisingly user-friendly machine.
The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport remains the world’s fastest and most expensive production car. With 1,184 horsepower, the $2.7 million Super Sport is one of the few supercars that can give Koenigsegg’s Agera R a serious challenge. Since the first 16.4 Veyron bowed in 2005, just over 400 examples of all Veyron variants have been built.
BMW’s i8 was one of several alternative fuel cars that portended an upbeat future for auto enthusiasts in the green era. BMW is launching the i8 as the flagship of its “I” line of electric, hybrid, and alternative fuel vehicles.
With dual power and electric-only modes, the i8 can be mean and green as the occasion demands. The car’s hybrid power plant produces a combined 400+ horsepower when both power units are online. Pricing starts at $130,000.
The i8 is nothing if not flamboyant. Even the door system is a hybrid; the carbon units are feather-light and combine the upward swing of a gullwing door with the forward pivot of a Lamborghini-style scissor.
In the flesh, the i8 shape features fantastic details and a dynamic body surface. The original BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics concept car remains shockingly intact considering the design constraints imposed by real world use.
The Rolls Royce Wraith is the Roller for a driver who prefers to let the chauffeur sleep late. Wraith coupes share a platform with BMW’s 7 series, so the car is both lighter and smaller than the patrician Phantom models.
The Wraith cuts an unmistakably Rolls Royce profile, but skillful use of proportion disguises the extent to which Rolls/BMW engineers pared weight and dimensions to improve handling.
The Rolls Royce Ghost is the company’s less expensive sedan. While smaller than the Phantom, accommodations are generous, and the true cost savings come from platform-sharing strategies that remain opaque to the occupants.
Led lighting systems pull double-duty as styling statements in the luxury sector.
Two-tone paint and handsome lines support Rolls’ assertion that the Ghost is a more affordable Rolls Royce, not a “cheap” Rolls Royce.
The flagship. Rolls Royce’s Phantom Drophead Coupe exudes majesty and presence that photos cannot convey. The machine evokes locomotives, vintage yachts, and pre-war coach built luxury touring cars – all at the same time.
Polished stainless steel sill guards greet the lucky occupants. No expense was spared in crafting the most inviting cockpit available today from any automaker.
Everything in the Rolls Royce Phantom feels like a million dollars. All things considered, the car’s $479,700 MSRP should feel like a $520,300 discount!
New York likes luxury cars that can scoot. Mercedes-Benz launched its S63 AMG Coupe at the auto show. Actor Jon Hamm, who plays the character Don Draper on AMC television’s Mad Men, helped to introduce the car to members of the press.
Significantly for New York drivers, S63 AMG Coupe can be ordered with Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.
The S63 AMG Coupe features the bold styling geometries and surface tension that have become a unifying motif for the contemporary Mercedes lineup.