The 2017 New York International Auto Show carries on a tradition that dates all the way back to 1900. That’s when the Automobile Club of America hosted what’s considered to be the first modern auto show in North America. Some 48,000 people attended, checking out about 160 horseless carriages from companies such as Winton, McKay, Riker, and at least one recognizable name: Daimler, perhaps best known as the owner of Mercedes-Benz.
Flash forward 117 years, and today’s New York showgoers are expected to number about 1 million, and they’ll be able to see almost 1,000 vehicles. Many will be all-new or redesigned, too, with the following five being perhaps the most notable.
2018 Dodge Challenger Demon
The 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon was introduced after months of hype, and as things turned out, the car managed to exceed some very high expectations. Going straight to the numbers, the Challenger Demon relies on a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 and an eight-speed automatic transmission to deliver 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque. It has a 0-to-60 mph time of 2.3 seconds, and quarter-mile performance that includes an elapsed time of 9.65 seconds. Per Dodge, those are the fastest production-car acceleration times in the world. Meanwhile, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Challenger Demon is the first production car certified as able to pop a “wheelie.”
Nor is this merely a case of putting a bigger supercharger into the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, which was the world’s most powerful muscle car before the Demon was launched. Yes, engineers did that, but they also deployed a full array of dragstrip-friendly technologies, like an innovative cooling system that leverages the car’s climate-system coolant. It’s not only the additions that make a difference, either. Owners can order the Challenger Demon without passenger or rear seats, for extra weight savings.
Challenger Demon production will be limited to 3,000 units for U.S. customers and 300 for Canadians.
2018 Hyundai Sonata
Though customer interest in midsize sedans has slipped in recent months, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata shows manufacturers still have much to offer in the segment. For starters, the Sonata will have an especially impressive range of standard technologies when it goes on sale later this year. Its standard driver-assistance measures alone include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert. Next, the Sonata’s standard infotainment system will rely on a 7-inch touch screen and support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.
Hyundai also extends tech functionality with upgraded Blue Link telematics, which can connect the Sonata with Amazon’s Echo device. As one benefit, this allows owners to control key vehicle functions, such as warming up the car on a cool day, from anywhere they can interact with Alexa. Lane keeping assistance, a top-down camera system, Qi wireless smartphone charging and an eight-speed automatic transmission are among the Sonata’s other new tech options.
The appearance of the 2018 Sonata has been likewise enhanced, particularly up front. There, a “cascading grille” design appears and is set off by dramatically carved fog-light pockets and an aero-style front-lip spoiler.
2018 Lincoln Navigator
With Lincoln seeking a return to credibility as a luxury automaker, and customers sharply focused on SUVs, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator may be the right vehicle at the right time for its brand.
The all-new Navigator is a full-size, three-row SUV with traditional body-on-frame construction and what’s expected to be the highest tow rating in its class. Yet it also furnishes a wide selection of Lincoln’s modern-day technologies and its share of truly premium amenities. A certain highlight is the Navigator’s mobile Wi-Fi hot spot with 4G LTE connectivity, which can support up to 10 devices and has a range of up to 50 feet from the vehicle. The Navigator further offers Lincoln’s Perfect Position front seats, which offer 30-way power adjustability, climate control and massaging functionality. The Navigator can also be tailored in one of three Lincoln Black Label design themes: Yacht Club, Destination and Chalet.
Premium performance is ensured by a standard 450-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine, as well as the use of high-strength aluminum alloy in the Navigator’s body. This helped lower the Lincoln’s curb weight by almost 200 pounds as compared to the 2017 model.
Subaru Ascent Concept
As its name indicates, the Subaru Ascent Concept is not a production vehicle. However, it does preview an upcoming SUV for the brand that will share the “Ascent” name and at least some of the concept’s features. That includes its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, naturally, and a new turbocharged, direct-injection boxer-style engine. A similar exterior design also is likely, as the concept’s “Dynamic x Solid” style language is production ready. In fact, it can be seen on another brand-new SUV that debuted in New York, the redesigned 2018 Subaru Crosstrek, which is expected in dealerships this summer.
But the real news here is that the Ascent marks the company’s return to the three-row SUV segment, a class it competed in previously, and unsuccessfully, with the smaller Subaru Tribeca. Thus, if the production Ascent retains the same 198.8-inch length as the concept, it will be slightly longer than a 2017 Ford Explorer. It’s additionally worth pointing out that the Ascent will be manufactured in the United States, at Subaru’s assembly plant in Lafayette, Indiana.
2018 Buick Regal
Two variants of the 2018 Buick Regal made their premieres in New York, both with distinctive body styles that are more often associated with premium German brands. That isn’t a real surprise since the Regal is based on the German Opel Insignia.
The Regal Sportback, like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, is a sleek sedan with a coupe-like silhouette and a rear liftgate instead of a traditional trunk. It provides twice as much standard cargo space as the current Regal sedan, along with a higher total cargo capacity (with rear seats folded) than its BMW rival. The Regal TourX is a lifted wagon developed as a competitor for the Audi Allroad, among others. The TourX has more overall cargo space than its mentioned rival, while also boasting a standard twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system that’s optional on the Sportback.
What both new Regals share are features such as a standard 250-horsepower turbocharged engine, a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone integration and an active-hood pedestrian safety system. This new tech can lift the back of the Regal’s hood up by roughly 4 inches, which Buick says can “lessen the impact and potentially reduce injury.”