2015 NYC Auto Show: Back from the Future

I love auto shows, and look forward to them like a kid on Christmas morning.  The New York City Auto Show is one of oldest, biggest and has always been a favorite.  Here are a few highlights of a simply fantastic experience.  Some moments seemed straight out of Fast and Furious; and others more from The Jetsons.

Delphi’s Autonomous Audi SQ5

Delphi has pioneered automotive innovation for well over a century, beginning with the first electric starter in 1911, the first in-dash radio in 1934, and more recently, the first integrated radio GPS system in 1994.  Today their focus is software and safety and they showcased both in a 2014 Audi SQ5 that drove itself to the show from San Francisco.  Well, 99% drove itself.  Over 9 days, and 3400 miles across 15 states, humans only took over off the freeways on city streets.  Amazing.

 

2015 Audi SQ5

2015 Audi SQ5

 

Not to minimize the technological achievement of driving itself across the country, but it is critical to note that this vehicle is not a concept car or some experimental stunt vehicle.  The new SQ5 is perhaps the sleekest, most powerful and luxurious vehicle in the crossover, small SUV category.    The supercharged V-6 offers 354 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque, which launches this vehicle out of the driveway.  Incredible suspension, an eight-speed automatic and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system make the driving experience comparable to a high-end sports cars.  Phenomenal fascias and 20-inch wheels turn heads, and the interior features leather and Alcantara sports seats.

Great in a Small Package: Honda’s New Civic

The new Honda Civic was one of the biggest stars of the show.  I always tip my hat to the automotive media because the reporters are always on the top of their game at the auto shows.  But in New York this year, journalists who cover our industry were blown away by the new, turbo charged Civic.  This is Honda’s 10th Generation Civic, and the consensus is that the proven compact value and style leader only gets better.  This show stopper was in a color aptly called Nuclear Ooze Green.

 

Civic Concept

10th Generation Civic

 

Available toward the end of the year, the new Civic features a1.5-liter VTEC® Turbo engine with direct injection, a short-shifting 6-speed manual transmission, and a new, more sporty and efficient continuously variable transmission.  With class-leading fuel economy and outstanding performance as well as improved interior features, overall ride and quietness, the new Civic is set to once again dominate its category.  This is a car you’ll have to see to believe.

Great in a Big Package:  

Your father wouldn’t recognize today’s Caddies – bold styling with, as always, unrivalled elegance, dramatic performance and still comparatively affordable.  The new CT6, available later this year, is a peek at a new standard bearer. More than just bigger, it comes with an abundance of new high-tech including LED lighting, massaging seats, and super-premium audio.

 

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2015 Cadillac CT6

 

Powertrains include a 265-hp turbo four, a 335-hp V-6, or a 400-hp twin-turbo V-6; and a plug-in hybrid will also be available.  Incredibly, despite the added size, the CT6 weighs no more than the smaller CTS.  This is automotive engineering of the future, achieved by using a mind-boggling total of 11 different metals.  Clearly, Cadillac has its eye on its German competitors and with new entries like the CT6, any perceived gaps are quickly closing.

 

Teen Driver Safety Feature: Chevy’s new Malibu

Everyone agrees on the urgent need to somehow make teens safer drivers.   And for parents, handing over the keys means worrying until our kids return home safely.   We don’t sell new Chevrolets, but when our competitors do something smart and noteworthy, I have to tip my hat.

The new Chevy Malibu is sleeker, more stylish, but the real news here has nothing to do with any of that.  It makes great strides with a special programmable key. Young drivers can’t even turn on the radio before seat belts are buckled.  Top speed can be governed by parents, and driving activities can be closely monitored.  Expect these types of features across many brands in the not so distant future.

I had a wonderful time at this year’s New York City Auto Show.  It’s great to be home and I really do feel like I’m Back from the Future.  There’s no doubt whatsoever that the automotive future will be exciting than ever.


Make it a Great Day!

Mario