It's been a busy first day for most of our editorial crew, who spent the day sprinting between media previews at the New York Auto Show.
Among the major U.S. shows, the New York show has a reputation for being a hotbed for luxury-brand and sports-car introductions, as well as the place where some interesting concepts and special editions rolls out.
Well, there was a flying car. But instead, however, the news is primarily the surprisingly large number of mainstream production-car reveals—as well as a few concepts (really prototypes) that looked production-ready.
Here are some of the highlights from day one:
Hands down, the 2013 Dodge SRT Viper GTS is the king of the show so far. The comeback of the iconic supercar, now with a set of modern electronic systems, driver's aids, and connectivity features—along with a more premium trim and a luxurious cabin—isn't just a story for enthusiasts; it's emblematic of the resilience of the U.S. industry, and its recent comeback. And with its 640-horsepower, 8.4-liter V-10, the new Viper remains a glorious throwback—albeit a modernized interpretation—to a muscle-car era of decades ago.
The Viper's premiere was perhaps the hottest press conference among the show previews, as while many of the other models at the show had been teased to the public and widely revealed to the press in advance, Chrysler had kept details under tight wraps.
Fisker Atlantic concept unveiling before New York Auto Show, April 2012Enlarge Photo
Aside from the Viper, one of the most eagerly anticipated premieres at the New York Show was that of the Fisker Atlantic Concept
. With slow-going deliveries of the automaker's larger Karma flagship, this new, more mainstream model—still two or three years away—will make it to production, officials insisted. Like the Karma, the Atlantic will be an electric car, but with a small BMW engine functioning as an on-board generator when you've used the battery's charge.
Last year marked the introduction of an all-new Toyota Camry; now the closely related Lexus ES family has received a complete redesign for 2013
—gaining some of the Camry's improvements, but staking design ground that's further away from the bread-and-butter Toyota sedan than ever—and clearly made to fit right alongside the new GS sport sedans. Look for both a standard ES 350 model this time, with a V-6, as well as a ES300h, which borrows the Camry Hybrid's 200-horsepower, four-cylinder hybrid powertrain.
Acura also turned to a hybrid powertrain for the introduction of the Hybrid Concept
, a vehicle that very closely shows the look and design direction of the 2013 Acura RLX, a large sedan that's due early next year and set to replace the Acura RL. With a hybrid-based all-wheel-drive system, as well as a direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6, the RLX's powertrain makes 370 horsepower and should deliver strong performance, all-weather drivability, and an estimated 30 mpg in the city and out on the highway.