5 Cars To Checkout At 2015 New York Auto Show

The doors to the 2015 New York Auto Show opens this Friday, April 3rd. So if you are in or around New York, make sure to stop by and checkout all the newest automobiles on display and see where the future of the auto industry is heading. 

If you are a fan of a particular make and model, you will instantly know which booth you need to visit to checkout the latest offering and get all the needed information to make your future purchase. However, for many people, they have absolutely no idea where to start, which way to go, and where to exit. So, if you are one of those people, then you are in luck because after viewing all the cars that are going to be displayed at 2015 New York Auto Show, I have compiled a list of 5 cars you need to checkout while you are attending the auto show. So, let’s get started shall we?

1) Lincoln Continental Concept

Finally!, a Lincoln which looks like it can hold its ground against its European rivals like the Mercedes-Benz S Class, Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and even the Cadillac CT6 or whatever its final name is.

The Continental will be making its global debut as a concept at this year’s New York Auto Show this Friday, April 3rd. Word from Ford is that its engineers and designers are working hard on a production version of the car, which likely will debut sometime next year.

Contrary to certain rumors and/or speculations, the new Lincoln Continental will not be riding on the platform which currently underpins the Ford Taurus and the Lincoln MKS. Instead, the production version of the Continental will be riding on an elongated version of the CD4 platform, which currently serves the Ford Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ.

The new Lincoln Continental is designed with American and Chinese consumers in mind. When the production version of the Continental reaches the local Lincoln dealerships nationwide, it will be powered by a 3.0 L EcoBoost V6 engine. Also, Lincoln will be offering a 2.7 L EcoBoost V6 as a “base” engine in the Continental. All of the engine’s power will be routed to all four wheels, yes, the Continental is scheduled to receive the same all-wheel-drive system found in the upcoming 2016 Ford Focus RS hatchback. Ford has not offered any details about what transmission will be used in the Continental, but if I have to make an educated guess, it will most likely be the 9-speed automatic unit, which Ford is co-developing with General Motors.

Since this is the flagship model in the Lincoln lineup, the Continental will features options and technologies not found in any current model lineup. Some of these unique features include a chromed door handle below the windowsill, which can be opened and closed, with a swipe of your hand. The car will also feature a electrochromatic sunroof, which can be changed from opaque to transparent with a push of a button. Other fancy features include a 30-way adjustable rear seats, plush carpets, and an outside bolster which inflates and deflates to ease the process of entry and exit.

After analyzing these press images of the Lincoln Continental, the sides of the car almost look like a hybrid between the Bentley Mulsanne and the Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury sedans. The front of the car almost looks like a combination of Jaguar, Audi and Acura since the lower grills look like a design element from Acura, the grille from Jaguar and the headlights from the Audi. Speaking of Audi, the headlights on the Lincoln Continental feature the Matrix-style LED setup, which currently cannot be used in the U.S. but might be after Lincoln successfully introduces this technology to our streets. However, there is one feature that is truly unique to the car, and it is its rear fascia. I like the bold, yet smooth lines of the trunk and I do like the quad-exhaust setup, which gives the car a very elegant, but muscular look.

Overall, based on these preliminary information and images, the Lincoln Continental Concept looks like a mixed bag of goods, but I should not be too quick to judge since this is still a concept and a lot can change between this car and the production version. But, we will know more about this Lincoln flagship when it debuts later this week at the 2015 New York Auto Show.

2) U.S. Spec Ford Focus RS

America, your wait for the awesome Ford Focus RS hatchback is almost over! When Ford debuted the Focus RS hatchback earlier this year at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, many of mine and other auto journalists’ doubts were laid to rest. Unlike the earlier generations of the Focus RS, the new one is all-wheel-drive and for the first time, available in the U.S.

Like its European cousin, the engine in the U.S. Spec Focus RS is a 2.3 L EcoBoost 4 cylinder engine which produces “more than” 315 horsepower. Ford has not released any official performance or power output numbers, but word around the internet is that the engine could be pumping out at least 325 to a max of 345 horsepower.

Regardless of its final power output results, all the power from the engine will be transmitted to all four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. Sorry, no automatic gearbox here. With this potent drivetrain combination, expect 0 to 60 mph times of under five seconds and a top speed of more than 155 mph, which is the current limit of the less powerful Ford Focus ST hatchback.

Based on the images of the U.S. Spec Focus RS, there are not a lot of differences between it and its European cousin. Due to the variations in our and European government regulations, the only differences easily noticeable are the U.S. spec headlights/taillights, wheel design, and the deletion of the center mounted rear fog-light between the diffuser on the Euro spec car. Aside from these minor changes, the 2016 Ford Focus RS almost looks like its European cousin across the pond, which is good news.

As of this writing, Ford has not announced any pricing or availability information about the Focus RS, but expect to learn more about it when it debuts later this week in at the auto show.

3) 2016 KIA Optima 

Oh, wow, this is a KIA? It wasn’t that long ago when most KIA branded cars looked like it was manufactured from scraps or rejected parts from major auto manufacturers. Now, a decade and a half later, the cars wearing the KIA badge almost look like they can teach a thing or two about sexy body designs to some of the major automakers.

When KIA showcased its awesome Sportspace wagon concept at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, I was immediately in love and was praying to the car gods that the future Optima sedan looks something like this. Well, I am excited to announce that my prayers were announced by the car gods based on this single teaser image released by KIA.

As expected, the new Optima improves on the already attractive design of the current model. Some eye-catching details include the slopping roof, the muscular wheel arches, and the enlargement of the lower radiator grille. Combined, these design elements give the new Optima sedan a more mature, but aggressive look.

So far, KIA has been very quite about the new Optima sedan’s details, but to keep us salivating like Sigmund Freud’s dogs, they hinted that the new “Optima will be available with multiple engines and features not found in the current model.” So, basically, this is a waiting game to see if this KIA will live up to all the hype that is being generated.

4) 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata 

The fourth generation of the MX-5 Miata will be making its American debut this Friday at the 2015 New York Auto Show. Since its launch in 1989, the MX-5 or affectionately known as the Miata, stole the heats of many automobile enthusiasts who wanted an inexpensive sports car with perfect weight distribution and handling dynamics. Since then, nothing much has changed in the formula when it comes to creating this super-fun roadster.

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a starting price of $25,735, which puts it in reach of many driving enthusiasts and amateur racing drivers. For those know are looking at the numbers, the new Miata  costs $945 more than the 2015 base model. However, unlike the earlier generations of the Miata, the new model comes standard with six-speed manual transmission, 17 in wheels, LED headlights, USB Audio ports, leather-wrapped shift knob and Bluetooth connectivity. For comparison, the base 2015 Miata came standard with a five-speed manual and Bluetooth connectivity was only available in the top-of-the-range Grand Touring spec.

The only engine available in the U.S. Spec Miata is a 2.0 L Skyactiv 4-cylinder engine while the rest of the world Miata models receive a 1.5 L engine. At the moment, Mazda has not released any official performance or power output figures, but knowing that the same engine is used in the Mazda 3 Sedan/hatchback, expect the engine to produce at least 155 horsepower and 150 lb.ft. of torque.

Like the earlier generations of the Miata, expect three trim levels similar to the current models’ sport, club, and grand touring. So far, Mazda has only released the pricing of the base model, but not the middle and top-of-the-range models, but expect to find out more when the debuts later this week in New York.

5) 2016 Jaguar XF Sedan

After making a dramatic entrance earlier this month in London, Jaguar will be officially debuting the redesigned 2016 XF sedan this week at the 2015 New York Auto Show.

2016 marks the birth of the second generation of the XF model, so when compared to the previous car, the overall design of the car is more evolutionary than revolutionary.

Dimension wise, the new 2016 model’s wheelbase is stretched by 2 inches compared to the 2015 version. But, the width and the length of the new car has increased by fractions compared to the current model.

Initially, it is hard to find design changes between the current and the new XF, but after a closer look, you will notice certain changes like the addition of a quarter window in the C-pillar, which gives the interior a more open feel. Inside, more space is added to the rear seats, so the leg, shoulder and knee room increases a bit compared to the current model. Up front, the center console now features a new 8 inch infotainment screen, and for a few dollars more, you can upgrade to a 10 inch infotainment system which also includes a faster processor and a fast loading screen.

Like it older sibling , the Jaguar XJ and its younger sibling, the XE, the new XF uses an aluminum-intensive architecture, which shaves 132 pounds in rear-wheel-drive models and a more much 256 pounds in vehicles equipped with all-wheel-drive.

Jaguar’s torque-in-demand all-wheel-drive system in the new XF uses a chain-driven transfer case instead of the more traditional, gear-driven units, which shaves a considerable amount of weight up front, and gives the car a better weight distribution results.

After launch, all North American Jaguar XF models will come standard with a 3.0 L supercharged V6 engine, with either 340 or 380 horsepower. Torque in both engines remains the same at 332 lb.ft. All of this power is ether channeled to the rear or all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, which is still selected by using Jaguar’s dial-a-gear shifter.

After the vehicle’s launch in New York, except the cars to arrive at your local Jaguar dealerships in fall. Six months after the introduction, Jaguar will import the XF with the company’s new ingenium series 2.0 L turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines. Also,expect the supercharged V8 engine to return in the XF-R and XF-RS eventually.

Information and Images sourced from the Respected Manufacturer.