Our Favorite Cars From the New York International Auto Show

The big stories at the New York International Auto Show? Today’s usual–meaning electrification and alternative power sources. But not everything was about efficiency, as we found some excitement in the mix.

Here are some of our favorites:

BRE Stripes Are Back: The Nissan 370Z will return for 2020–pretty much unchanged since its release for the 2009 model year–with the big news being the stripes. Well, two stripes: The 2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition recalls the BRE Datsuns fielded by Peter Brock and driven by John Morton and others. Choose from white with red accents or silver with black. 

Engage Drift Mode: The forthcoming, limited-edition Kia Stinger GTS comes in two different guises: rear-wheel drive as well as their D-AWD all-wheel-drive setup. The D-AWD version features a mechanical limited-slip rear diff as well as a drift mode that, according to Kia, “sends up to 100 percent of power to the rear wheels and holds gears without upshifting.”

The Porsche Speedster Returns: The forthcoming 911 Speedster isn’t just about looks and sunshine. It will be quick, too, as power comes from a naturally aspirated, 4.0-liter flat-six lifted from the 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS. One difference, though: The one in the Speedster receives individual throttle bodies; it will rev to 9000 rpm while producing 502 horsepower. The optional Heritage Design package adds the retro accents.

Racing the Kenmeri Skyline: Following the dominating performance of the Hakosuka Nissan Skyline, the follow-up model never got quite the chance–blame the energy issues of the day. From Nissan: “This car was a ‘Skyline 2000GT-R Racing Concept’ car and was exhibited at the 19th Tokyo Motor Show held in 1972 after the introduction of the new model. Its car number was 73 which suggested the participation in races of the coming 1973 season. But the Nissan works team stopped operating because of tasks such as the development of anti-pollution technology and improvement of fuel efficiency.” At the New York auto show, Nissan had the concept on display.

The Supra Is Here: We’ll be driving this one next month, but Toyota had the all-new Supra on display–two of them, in fact. Full report to come once we get behind the wheel, but our recent stint in the BMW Z4 left us impressed. This isn’t a BRZ. It’s a different animal.

Happy 30th, Miata: If you’re seeing the MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition and thinking that you’d like one, you’re too late. Sounds like all of the copies assigned to the U.S. market have been claimed. In addition to the Racing Orange paint, the anniversary model receives Rays forged wheels, Recaro seats, Bilstein dampers and Brembo front calipers.

Caddy CTS-V Continues: When we first encountered the CTS-V 15 years ago, we thought that maybe it was a one-time thing. Nope. Cadillac had their latest version on display: 640 horsepower, a 200 mph top speed, and the ability to reach 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. 

Hello, Rivian: This was our first real-life encounter with Rivian, the new maker of electric “adventure vehicles.” Electric doesn’t have to mean boring, though, as they’re claiming a zero-to-60 time of 3.0 seconds as well as the ability to ford 3 feet of water.

 

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te72
te72 Reader
4/22/19 8:30 p.m.

So, we're just gonna pretend that there isn't a GT-R LM on display there behind number 73? Fairly certain that's what I'm seeing there anyway, doesn't quite look like the 400M which from memory, was red. I could be mistaken on this particular example, but it is definitely not your every day R33, that's for sure!

BluEvo210
BluEvo210 New Reader
4/22/19 9:09 p.m.

So, we're supposed to be impressed that Kia can make a transmission that holds gears without upshifting?

If you're much of an enthusiast, you were going to buy a manual transmission in the first place, and then there's no question of unwanted upshifts.

BluEvo210
BluEvo210 New Reader
4/22/19 9:15 p.m.
te72 said:

So, we're just gonna pretend that there isn't a GT-R LM on display there behind number 73? Fairly certain that's what I'm seeing there anyway, doesn't quite look like the 400M which from memory, was red. I could be mistaken on this particular example, but it is definitely not your every day R33, that's for sure!

You mean the Nismo 400R?  They came in more colors than red, but I know what you're talking about. 

I think you're right in the first place, and that's a Skyline GT-R LM in the background.

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
4/22/19 9:17 p.m.

I really really want to like the Rivian, but that glow line around the hood is hard to take. 

Any more details on the display model?

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/23/19 7:04 a.m.
BluEvo210 said:

So, we're supposed to be impressed that Kia can make a transmission that holds gears without upshifting?

If you're much of an enthusiast, you were going to buy a manual transmission in the first place, and then there's no question of unwanted upshifts.

Shhhhhhhhhh, let people enjoy things. wink

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/23/19 8:30 a.m.
z31maniac said:
BluEvo210 said:

So, we're supposed to be impressed that Kia can make a transmission that holds gears without upshifting?

If you're much of an enthusiast, you were going to buy a manual transmission in the first place, and then there's no question of unwanted upshifts.

Shhhhhhhhhh, let people enjoy things. wink

Not to mention that most new cars don't offer a manual trans anymore. But hey, hate away. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/23/19 9:47 a.m.
RevRico said:

I really really want to like the Rivian, but that glow line around the hood is hard to take. 

Any more details on the display model?

Here's the bare chassis:

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/23/19 9:59 a.m.
bobzilla said:
z31maniac said:
BluEvo210 said:

So, we're supposed to be impressed that Kia can make a transmission that holds gears without upshifting?

If you're much of an enthusiast, you were going to buy a manual transmission in the first place, and then there's no question of unwanted upshifts.

Shhhhhhhhhh, let people enjoy things. wink

Not to mention that most new cars don't offer a manual trans anymore. But hey, hate away. 

Yeah, I can't put the genie back inside the bottle. Know what would get more manual transmissions on the lot? More buyers. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/23/19 10:03 a.m.

Oh yeah, if possible, do one of the available tours. I got to tag along with Thursday evening's tour. It was a great chance to walk the show without the crowds and with an expert. 

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
4/23/19 10:52 a.m.

I’d love to get on the list for a new Speedster,  but I imagine the list at my local dealer is already long.  Checking....

edit: scratch that,  I just saw the MSRP!

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/23/19 11:15 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:
bobzilla said:
z31maniac said:
BluEvo210 said:

So, we're supposed to be impressed that Kia can make a transmission that holds gears without upshifting?

If you're much of an enthusiast, you were going to buy a manual transmission in the first place, and then there's no question of unwanted upshifts.

Shhhhhhhhhh, let people enjoy things. wink

Not to mention that most new cars don't offer a manual trans anymore. But hey, hate away. 

Yeah, I can't put the genie back inside the bottle. Know what would get more manual transmissions on the lot? More buyers. 

Ding ding ding.

But we all know that it's a conspiracy against enthusiasts that no manufacturer makes an AWD, 6spd wagon, that gets 40mpg, has 400hp, and is only $14,999 MSRP.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/23/19 12:32 p.m.

See also: Subaru Legacy GT wagon with a six-speed manual.

Everyone said that they'd buy one. The reviews were amazing. Actual number of units sold? Like six. Maybe seven. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/23/19 12:35 p.m.
Cotton said:

I’d love to get on the list for a new Speedster,  but I imagine the list at my local dealer is already long.  Checking....

edit: scratch that,  I just saw the MSRP!

Oh yeah, not a cheap date. In addition to the GT3 engine (with individual throttle bodies), the Speedster gets a lot of bespoke hardware, including the carbon front fenders and hood. The body in white is unique to that model, too. On the plus side, the car's value will only go up, up, up. 

Wally
Wally MegaDork
4/23/19 12:37 p.m.

I wish I’d known about those tours sooner.  I’m going to book one next year.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/23/19 12:42 p.m.

I'm going tomorrow. I've been going almost every year since 2003.  I never go expecting to get excited about anything, but occasionally I am surprised.

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
4/23/19 1:11 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
Cotton said:

I’d love to get on the list for a new Speedster,  but I imagine the list at my local dealer is already long.  Checking....

edit: scratch that,  I just saw the MSRP!

Oh yeah, not a cheap date. In addition to the GT3 engine (with individual throttle bodies), the Speedster gets a lot of bespoke hardware, including the carbon front fenders and hood. The body in white is unique to that model, too. On the plus side, the car's value will only go up, up, up. 

I ended up checking with the local dealer anyway.  He said the list is already 7 deep,  they MAY get one allocation, MSRP is ~275k and they expect it to bring 100k over sticker.  Damn.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/23/19 1:35 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
bobzilla said:
z31maniac said:
BluEvo210 said:

So, we're supposed to be impressed that Kia can make a transmission that holds gears without upshifting?

If you're much of an enthusiast, you were going to buy a manual transmission in the first place, and then there's no question of unwanted upshifts.

Shhhhhhhhhh, let people enjoy things. wink

Not to mention that most new cars don't offer a manual trans anymore. But hey, hate away. 

Yeah, I can't put the genie back inside the bottle. Know what would get more manual transmissions on the lot? More buyers. 

I blame the rest of you. My last three daily drivers have been purchased brand-new, with manual transmission. I'm doing my part ;)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/23/19 1:59 p.m.

Gold star for Irish.

While at the show, I was talking to the PR person for a company that offers a sporty car that's big in our world. They had just released a special edition model and were looking at the sales figures: 85 percent automatic, 15 percent manual.

What the what?!

Reporting error. In reality, the take rate was 85 percent manual. 

Whew.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/23/19 2:13 p.m.
irish44j said:
David S. Wallens said:
bobzilla said:
z31maniac said:
BluEvo210 said:

So, we're supposed to be impressed that Kia can make a transmission that holds gears without upshifting?

If you're much of an enthusiast, you were going to buy a manual transmission in the first place, and then there's no question of unwanted upshifts.

Shhhhhhhhhh, let people enjoy things. wink

Not to mention that most new cars don't offer a manual trans anymore. But hey, hate away. 

Yeah, I can't put the genie back inside the bottle. Know what would get more manual transmissions on the lot? More buyers. 

I blame the rest of you. My last three daily drivers have been purchased brand-new, with manual transmission. I'm doing my part ;)

Not my last three DD's, but the last 3 cars I've purchased new, have all been manual.

 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/23/19 4:15 p.m.

I've only bought one car new, but it is a manual. And I still have it. That was also 16 years ago. frown

My ex- is better.  Of the 4 cars she bought new over the past 20+ years, all have been manuals.  Right now, all 5 of her cars are manuals.  I also have 5 manual cars, but also 3 automatics (including one parts car).

te72
te72 Reader
4/23/19 11:01 p.m.
BluEvo210 said:
te72 said:

So, we're just gonna pretend that there isn't a GT-R LM on display there behind number 73? Fairly certain that's what I'm seeing there anyway, doesn't quite look like the 400M which from memory, was red. I could be mistaken on this particular example, but it is definitely not your every day R33, that's for sure!

You mean the Nismo 400R?  They came in more colors than red, but I know what you're talking about. 

I think you're right in the first place, and that's a Skyline GT-R LM in the background.

Durr, yes, 400R, my mistake. These hours at work are affecting my memory, evidently. Fairly certain it's the LM on display there though, straight out of many an hour spent playing the Gran Turismo series for me. Blue lipped wheels, blew my mind as a kid, to consider that was even a possibility. Plus, that thing was menacingly wide, wouldn't surprise me a bit if those rear fenders were related to the JGTC cars.

te72
te72 Reader
4/23/19 11:02 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Gold star for Irish.

While at the show, I was talking to the PR person for a company that offers a sporty car that's big in our world. They had just released a special edition model and were looking at the sales figures: 85 percent automatic, 15 percent manual.

What the what?!

Reporting error. In reality, the take rate was 85 percent manual. 

Whew.

I really hope that gets corrected in the PR world or that car is doomed the next cycle...

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