Next week, the world's auto industry convenes on New York City's west side for the 2009 New York International Auto Show. You'll pardon them if they aren't too excited to make the trip.
It's not because of Manhattan traffic or the inevitable 40-minute ground hold at LaGuardia. It's the gut-churning uncertainty. This may be the last time the industry looks anything like it does today. With General Motors and Chrysler under federal control, Fiat angling to hook into the U.S. market, sales across the board off 30 percent or more, there's a decidedly gloomy air hanging over the show even before it gets underway with cocktails and previews.
Nonetheless, some critical new vehicles will be on display--from GM and Chrysler in particular, but also from Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan and Kia as well. New crossovers, hybrids, city cars and a few electric vehicles will be on hand at the Javits Center for the mad rush of media previews on Wednesday and Thursday before the show opens to the public, by tradition, over Easter weekend.
TheCarConnection.com will be reporting live all next week from the show floor, as the wraps come off new vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz ML450 Hybrid, the Volkswagen Golf and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Right now, and during the show, you'll be able to look here for the latest from the show--whether you bookmark this page or follow our New York auto show tag or catch us over at Twitter.
What's on the docket for the New York show? Find out everything in our New York Show preview here, and stay tuned as we start rolling out breaking news on Monday:
2009 New York Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Acura ZDX: Think of it as Acura's version of the BMW X5 and X6. The ZDX is spun from MDX bits and pieces, but wears a slinkier body and a "coupe" tag. Think it's a stretch? Check back next week for live pictures and be the judge.
Volkswagen Golf: Yep, we're back to Golf. The company that brought you Touareg and Tiguan says the born-again Rabbit name has done zilch for its awareness in the U.S., so it's re-adopting the Golf moniker for its new three- and five-door cars. The hot GTI version will make an appearance in New York alongside the standard versions.
2010 Jeep Grand CherokeeEnlarge Photo
Jeep Grand Cherokee: You loved it in Chrysler's application for federal bailout loans; it's still unsure if consumers will flock to the new Jeep Grand Cherokee when it goes on sale late in the year. The new Cherokee adopts a new unibody and moves more toward the crossover end of the ute spectrum this time around. The angular edges have been softened a bit. We're anxious to see how this one translates from PDF into sheetmetal.
Subaru Legacy: The updated version of Subaru's mainstay sedan arrives in New York with its most handsome look yet.
Kia Sorento: Bandied about the world in concept and production form, the Sorento finally comes home to the U.S.--a few hundred miles removed from its new West Point, Georgia production home. This time around the Sorento drops frame construction and moves smartly into the crossover class--right next to the Grand Cherokee.
Kia Forte Coupe: The Kia Forte sedan bowed in Chicago; the coupe may appear in New York alongside the new Sorento, but you never know. They could decide to sport out another Soul concept.
Land Rover Range Rover: A refreshed version of the snazzy RR will bow in New York. It's not a comprehensive renovation of the Range Rover, which is halfway through its lifecycle, but a cosmetic update.