A review of the 2005 NY Auto Show

   by Mark Bathison
March 26, 2005

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AutoRacing1.com would like to welcome Mark Bathison as the latest addition to our staff.  Mr. Bathison resides in NY not too far from Manhattan and brings a late-teens perspective to our staff, in tune with today's youth movement.

Carroll Shelby with the new Ford Mustang Cobra GT

Overall: The 2005 New York Auto Show is a huge highlight for the city of New York. It injects a considerable amount of money into the local economy surrounding the Javits Center. With New York City being one of the biggest markets for any product in North America the auto manufacturers pay special attention to the New York show. New York never sees many concepts or debuts but this year New York had a few more than usual. Chevrolet, Ford, and Jeep had amazing exhibits that will gain them lots of attention from the local population. This year saw an increase in safety related exhibits even though it was quite evident that all the manufacturers are still bragging about their power numbers. The show was huge, almost all the manufacturers selling cars in North America were there with their latest and greatest. The following is a run down of almost all the manufacturers at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan:  Photos

Acura: Acura’s new 2005 RL was the main attraction for them in New York. Featuring fresh styling and a luxurious interior, Acura is hoping to have the RL break into the four-door mid-range sedan market. They also had a new NSX at the top of their exhibit, while not much has changed it is still fast, sleek, and the flagship of the Acura lineup.

Audi: The highly anticipated A3 was at the New York Auto Show. Audi plans to roll out the A3 later this year with a price tag in the range of $30,000. The A3 is a small sporty hatchback that has been very popular in Europe recently. It is comparable to the Alfa Romeo 147. While the Alfa may outperform it the A3 has been a raging success. Audi’s S4 and A4 get a facelift for the 2005 model year as the does the A6 Avant. Audi’s top of the line model, the A8 L W12 remains virtually the same as 2004 with prices that can go as high as $125,000.

BMW: BMW debuted the 2006 325i in New York. With the BMW, lots of amazing luxury options and a low base price of around $30,000 it appears it will be a hit. In addition there was a lot of attention pointed at the new BMW 7 Series, the new BMW 6-series, and the new M5.

Buick: Buick had their theme song playing on loop in the Buick exhibit where the 2005 LaCrosse was. GM is attempting to save Buick and the LaCrosse appears to be one of the first pieces in doing so.

Cadillac: Cadillac debuted its new limousines at the New York Show. The Cadillac DTS and Escalade ESVe, which will be available soon through the Cadillac Master Coachbuilder Program. Cadillac’s last piece to their billion dollar rebranding puzzle, the XLR-V, debuted in fine fashion in the Big Apple. With a 0-60 time of under five seconds the XLR-V will no doubt be very popular. Around 900 XLR units were sold last year, Cadillac hopes to sell around 5,000 units this year.

Chevrolet: Chevrolet had the biggest presence of any manufacturer in New York. On the second press day they had around 100 red Cobalt Coupes outside the Javits Center which the press got to drive around Manhattan for an allotted time period. In addition Chevy had their ALMS Corvettes there and quite a few of the new Corvettes in a giant display which included multiple models of every Chevrolet product. New for 2006 the Impala SSR and the HHR debuted for Chevrolet in New York as well.

Chrysler: The Chrysler Firepower concept was the most interesting Chrysler branded product in New York. An all out sports car it looks very similar to the Dodge Viper. Chrysler, of course just happens to own Dodge.

Dodge: Dodge’s new Charger was very popular in New York. The SRTS trim level attracted a lot of attention with its Hemi power as did the heavily modified concept-style Charger that was on display and out of the reach of the general public. Dodge had a lot of attention going to the Magnum, new Durango, and the SRT-10. The SRT-10 has a base price of around $48,000, is equipped with the Viper 8.3L V10 engine, six speed manual, and gets nine miles per gallon city driving.

Ford: Ford brought some interesting cars to the 2005 New York Auto Show. The GT500 Mustang, 2005 Mustang Convertible, 2006 Fusion, and 2006 Ford Harley Davidson F-150 were all in attendance. As far as concepts go the Ford Fairline, GR 1, and Synus were all represented. The Fairline and Synus are very much like the Scion xB. The GR 1 looks like it is a newer version of the Shelby Cobra Coupe. Ford also had a very modified Mustang GT Cobra which looked like it was ready to play a lead roll in the next Fast and Furious movie.

GMC: GMC had their new Canyon trucks in New York and were heavily promoting their new I-5 engine which gets the gas mileage of a four cylinder and produces the power of a V-6.

Honda: To much surprise Honda did not debut anything new in New York. Although they had a few of their Ridgeline pickup trucks which appeared to be of great build quality. On top of bringing a slew of Ridgelines Honda also had a heavily modified version of the Civic pointed at the youth crowd.

Hummer: Hummer had their new H3 in New York, as well as the ever popular H2 and the almost never-changing H1.

Hyundai: South Korean auto builder Hyundai debuted their new economical Accent model in New York. With a 1.6L 16 valve four cylinder motor and a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty the Accent could be appealing for low-income and young buyers.

Infiniti: The 2006 Infiniti M debuted in New York, a large four door sedan. The Infiniti Q45 received a facelift for 2005 so it is unseen where the M will or can fit in. The G class stays the same while the QX56 is new for 2005, based off the Nissan Armada.

Isuzu: Isuzu came out in force at the Javits Center. Debuting their new lineup of pickups – the I280 and I350. Marketed more as work vehicles they featured a long 7 year warranty and are nearly identical to their Chevrolet and GMC counterparts. The only difference is they come with the Isuzu name and cost considerably less. The Isuzu SUV, the Ascender, is a near exact duplicate of its GM counterparts and sells for around $1,400 less than its sister at Chevrolet. The base engine for the Ascender gets around 215 bhp and is much more economical than any of the huge power plants Chevrolet and GM drop onto that platform. It’s a mystery why people aren’t flocking to Isuzu dealerships. Isuzu has also been reportedly working on a new line of diesel engines.

Jaguar: Jaguar’s 2005 lineup is vastly improved and Jaguar had a huge exhibit at the show. Jaguar’s 2005 array includes X-Type, S-Type, XJ, and XK. The British manufacturer is poised to start increasing its sales in the always competitive luxury car market. New models from Jaguar for the X-Type are the Sportwagon, X-Type Sport, and a new VDP edition. The S-Type received a new muscular look for the 2005 model year, with a new crisper front-end, more athletic rear, re-engineered body panels, a new interior, VDP option, and a price reduction of $4,125. For the 2005 model year the XJ received a five inch stretch which warranted much more interior room. Jaguar has expanded the XJ lineup from three to five models. For 2005 there is the standard wheelbase XJ8 and XJR, plus a long wheelbase XJ8 L, a Vanden Plus, and at the top of the line the Super 8 (now with 400 bhp). Finally, the XK has new exterior styling which portrays it in a more aggressive stance. This includes new bumpers and side sills. The larger exhaust pipe finishes the XK8 models and backs up Jaguar’s claim of a aggressive styling plan. There are three new multi-spoke wheel options for 2005 as well. Jaguar seems ready to return to glory with a well-rounded lineup of cars that start at prices as low as $30,995 and escalate to $86,995.

Jeep: Jeep had a full off-road obstacle course set up outside the Javits Center for the masses which included everything from hill climbs to driving over logs that looked virtually impossible to drive over. Inside as well at the Jeep off-road center was the new 2005 Cherokee.

Kia: Kia’s 2005 model year is vastly improved from their 2004 cars. Kia was able to roll out three new models, the Spectra5, Spectra SX, and the Sportage for the 2005 model year. These new models boast an array of features which include a spoiler, 16” wheels, side sills, sport cloth seats, and a sport suspension. Returning models include the Optima, Amanti, Sedona, and Sorento. The 2006 Rio also debuted with a hefty exterior styling change for the better.

Lexus: The IS350 debuted in New York. A sleek four-door that could eventually replace the IS300, Lexus had their usual array of sporty sedans in New York. The biggest surprise in the Lexus camp was the Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus powered Grand Am car right in the middle of things.

Mazda: The MX Cross Sport concept for Mazda at the Javits Center looked to fit in perfectly in the Mazda lineup. A car-based with sporty styling it fitted in well with the new Mazda 5 on the floor of the Mazda Exhibit.

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz was well represented in New York with a huge exhibit. The new M-Class, SLK55 AMG, and CLS were all there. The gem of their exhibit was undoubted the McLaren SLR with a price tag around $465,000. The Mercedes R320 and R500 both debuted in New York. Both feature the classic Mercedes look combined car-based SUV styling with the R500 being the bigger model.

Mini: Not much about the Minis have changed over the past few years since BMW brought back the brand. The newest change to the small car is a convertible version for the 2005 model year.

Mitsubishi: Financially troubled Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi is desperately trying to get itself back on its feet. Even with financial troubles Mitsubishi created a lot of attention for the new Raider pickup, which is expected to go head to head with the new Honda Ridgeline. The new sleek 2006 Eclipse GT made an appearance in New York as well. Mitsubishi also debuted the Lancer Evolution Xi, a very highly modified version of the Lancer. Mitsubishi and Subaru have been trading new models in the high-performance low-cost market.

Nissan: Debuting for Nissan in New York was the Nissan Sport Concept. A mix of a Ford Focus and Nissan Armada the Sport Concept like all Nissans looks to be shooting for younger buyers with aggressive styling and big wheels. In addition Nissan had their new for 2005 Pathfinder and Xterra in New York. The Nissan Azeal concept also debuted for Nissan in New York. A coupe that has flirted with the future the Azeal has controversial looks and will most likely not see production.

Pontiac: Pontiac had their new G6 and G6 convertible as well as the new SUV named Torrent in New York. The GTO, which is having some issues in the sales department, was the center of attention in Pontiac camp.

Porsche: Porsche had their usual array of high priced amazing sportscars at the Javits Center. The 911, 911 Turbo, Cayenne, and Boxster were very popular among the crowds. At the heart of the Porsche exhibit was the supercar Carrera GT.

Saab: The new Saab SUV, the 9X-7 looks to be a ray of hope for the Saab faithful. Also noteworthy was the new 9-3 SportCombi which puts Saab into the midsize wagon market.

Saturn: Saturn had their Aura and Sky concepts in New York. The Aura is a four door sedan that looks like it could see production while the Sky is a sleek looking roadster that will probably not see production anytime soon under the Saturn name.

Subaru: Subaru unveiled a new Forester edition in New York. With a much needed facial upgrade the Forester looks a lot like the Ford Escape. New cars in New York also included the new Legacy Wagon, new Outback Wagon, and the B9 Tribeca (minivan). Subaru’s devotion to their rally program was reaffirmed in New York as they showed up with Solberg’s #1 car from last season as well as two rally simulators.

Suzuki: Suzuki unveiled their new X concept SUV in New York. It is unseen whether this car will go into production; it looks a lot like the new Saturn VUE.

Toyota: The FJ Cruiser concept was in New York, a retro styled SUV that will most likely never see production the FJ Cruiser looked very neat. Toyota had their complete 2005 lineup in New York with much media attention going to the fuel efficient Echo.

Volkswagen: VW had their new 2005 Jetta and Passat in New York. Much improved over the 2004 models with little or no difference in the price these new models promise only good things for the German builder. In addition Volkswagen had their Ragster concept model in New York, a Bug with a low-cut roof, the Ragster could see production.

Volvo: Volvo had their 2005 lineup of cars in New York with an exhibit that focused on the traditional Volvo marketing pitch, safety.

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