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Day One’s Coverage Of The 2012 New York Auto Show

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New York City skyline

New York City skyline

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The first day of the 2012 New York Auto Show has come and gone, and once again the sheer number of new product and concept reveals has consolidated the event’s position amongst the world leaders of international auto shows.

There are nearly 100 separate events, conferences, industry forums, symposiums, award ceremonies, roundtables, and parties taking place during the show days--in addition to the more than two dozen press conferences hosted by the automakers.

Among the major U.S. shows, New York’s event has a reputation for being a haven for luxury-brand and sports-car introductions, as well as the place where some interesting concepts and special editions roll out.

This year was certainly no different with the introduction of the 2013 SRT Viper supercar, 2013 Acura RLX flagship sedan concept and Fisker Atlantic prototype just some of the major attractions.

Our dedicated team of editors are doing their best to hot foot it around all the events and bring you the latest details and live photos.

Here’s a rundown of what they saw on day one at the show.

2013 SRT Viper GTS

2013 SRT Viper GTS

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2013 SRT Viper: Undoubtedly the most anticipated car of the show, if not the year, the new 2013 SRT Viper has finally been let loose. The car’s arrival marks not only the return of the iconic nameplate after a two-year hiatus but also the launch of Street and Racing Technology (SRT) as a standalone brand. The important numbers for the new Viper are a peak output of 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, derived from an 8.4-liter V-10, 100-pound weight saving over its predecessor, and expected 0-60 mph time of less than four seconds. The iconic supercar will be hand built at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit starting later this year.

2013 Lincoln MKZ

2013 Lincoln MKZ

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2013 Lincoln MKZ: The latest addition to the Lincoln lineup, the all-new MKZ, is crucial as it not only represents the future of Lincoln in both style and substance, but the car's success is also key to the future viability of the brand itself. So does it have what it takes to compete in the hotly-contested mid-size luxury segment? That’s hard to answer just yet. Reactions towards its styling were mixed in New York though its specs, on paper at least, are impressive. However, with the stunning job Ford did on the MKZ’s cousin, the 2013 Fusion, will enough buyers be convinced to pay extra for this luxury version? Only time will tell.

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL Class

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL Class

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2013 Mercedes-Benz GL Class: If you’re looking for the utmost in luxury in a three-row SUV, look no further than the all-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL Class. It’s both bigger and more powerful than the model it replaces, and this time its styling is rather bold and crisp and actually suits the big utility quite well. Atop the range is the GL550, which uses the same 4.7-liter V-8 as its midrange brother, but with output boosted to 429 horsepower and 516 pound feet of torque. Compared to the 2012 GL550, that’s a gain of 47 horsepower, but an even more impressive gain of 125 pound-feet of torque. First sales being this fall.

Infiniti Zero Emission Concept at New York Auto Show, April 2012

Infiniti Zero Emission Concept at New York Auto Show, April 2012

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2011 Infiniti Zero Emission Concept: Infiniti’s version of the Nissan Leaf, the Zero Emission Concept, was unveiled briefly late yesterday although its official debut is actually pegged for later today. The concept vehicle previews Infiniti’s first electric car due out sometime next year but it also showcases the latest styling trends the automaker will be implementing in its future models. The concept sports a fairly conventional sedan body though from some angles it looks rather awkward. Let’s hope the production version of the Zero Emission Concept doesn’t turn out to be the next Lexus HS 250h.

2013 Lexus ES 300h

2013 Lexus ES 300h

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2013 Lexus ES: The latest generation Lexus ES bowed in at New York and this time it comes in two different flavors: an ES 350 and ES 300h. The ES 350 model continues with a 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine while the ES 300h is a new hybrid ES model that pairs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a Lexus Hybrid Drive system. If you hadn’t already guessed, the latest ES once again shares much in common with the more humble Toyota Camry, though the car’s styling has finally taken a turn for the better, ensuring it will be competitive in the premium sedan segment.

2013 Porsche Cayenne

2013 Porsche Cayenne

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2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel: Americans still love their SUVs but in New York this week it became evident that their taste is becoming a little more sophisticated. So much so, in fact, that Porsche has decided to bring over its Cayenne Diesel to U.S. shores for the first time. Priced from $55,750, the Cayenne Diesel sits smack in between the base Cayenne and the Cayenne S. It generates a substantial 240 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque from its 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel, which guarantees it a 7,716-pound tow rating and an estimated highway mileage rating of 28 mpg! Porsche also showed off its latest 2013 Cayenne range in New York, which for the latest model year comes with some minor interior tweaks only.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

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2013 Hyundai Santa Fe: It wasn’t just about the big end of town. The New York Auto Show also had plenty of attractions for families, like the all-new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. Buyers hoping for more Santa Fe to love will get their wish with the new 2013 model, which now features three rows of seats to haul up to seven passengers. However, there’s now two new models to choose from, the regular Santa Fe and new Santa Fe Sport. Santa Fe Sport models get a choice of two different four-cylinder engines, while Santa Fe models use Hyundai’s 3.3-liter V-6. Output ranges from 190 horsepower in the base model and tops out at 290 horsepower in the most powerful model.

2014 Chevrolet Impala

2014 Chevrolet Impala

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2014 Chevrolet Impala: One of the big surprises of the show was the reveal of the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. The previously boring rental-king has been given significant makeover, with a fresh new look dominated by Euro-style sculpted flanks, clean lines and a modern interior. When the car goes on sale early next year buyers will be able to choose from three powerplants in total, a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 195 horsepower, and a mid-spec 2.4-liter unit matched with GM’s eAssist supplementary electric motor and rated at 182 horsepower, and a range-topping 3.6-liter V-6 with 303 horsepower on tap. Unlike the current Impala, this 2014 model will be built alongside the Volt and Malibu at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant as well as in its existing Oshawa, Ontario facilities in Canada.

The Terrafugia Transition roadable aircraft

The Terrafugia Transition roadable aircraft

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Terrafugia Transition Flying Car: Flying cars still aren’t quite a reality, but the Terrafugia Transition brings us one step closer. More airplane than practical automobile, the Transition is classified as a “Light Sport Aircraft” by the FAA. The fact that you can drive it from the airport to your home or office is merely an added bonus. While not yet commercially available, the Terrafugia Transition made its auto show debut this week in New York. If you’re seriously interested in a flying car, be forewarned that the ultimate expression of mobility won’t come cheap. To order a Transition, you’ll need to put down a $10,000 deposit on the purchase price of $279,000. You’ll also need to have a Sport Pilot license, which requires a minimum of 20 hours of flight time.

2013 Acura RLX Concept, 2012 New York Auto Show

2013 Acura RLX Concept, 2012 New York Auto Show

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2013 Acura RLX Concept: Though Acura is calling its RLX a concept, the striking sedan unveiled yesterday in New York is actually a thinly-veiled glimpse at the replacement for the aging RL luxury sedan. It’s due in showrooms early next year and will be called RLX as is Acura’s current naming practice. The big news is that it will offer two different drivetrains, a regular front-wheel drive setup and an advanced hybrid all-wheel drive setup labeled Acura Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. This latter system is the same one that will feature in the next-generation Acura NSX supercar due in three years, albeit in a much higher state of tune compared to the version previewed in the RLX.  

Fisker Atlantic concept unveiling before New York Auto Show, April 2012

Fisker Atlantic concept unveiling before New York Auto Show, April 2012

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Fisker Atlantic Design Prototype: Fisker revealed its long-awaited follow-up to the Karma sedan in New York, confirming that the new car will be called the Atlantic and will adopt its big brother’s unique blend of aggressive lines, rear-wheel drive proportion and advanced range-extended electric drive system. Fisker was tight on details, stating only that the Atlantic will rely on a four-cylinder engine that has been tuned to offer maximum economy and high torque as its range-extender. Fisker says its Atlantic is aimed at young families who want to drive an impactful, high-end vehicle while making a positive statement about responsibilities--both in terms of their commitment to sustainability and the practicalities of everyday life.

2013 Nissan Altima

2013 Nissan Altima

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2013 Nissan Altima: Nissan rolled out its fifth-generation Altima sedan in New York, and despite the sedan looking a little dull alongside all the striking performance and luxury cars it remains one of the most important reveals of the show. That’s because the Altima is Nissan’s top-selling model, and in the U.S. it was the second highest-selling passenger car of 2011. The latest 2013 model builds on the successful formula executed by previous models but adopts modern styling, some high-tech features and even more creature comforts. The 2013 Nissan Altima goes on sale nationwide this summer priced from $21,500 and in some guises will offer up to 38 mpg (estimated) on the highway.

That's it for now but remember to stay glued to our dedicated show page for all the latest updates direct from the show floor.
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