2017 New York Auto Show preview

New York auto show poster main

THE DUST has barely settled since the Geneva Motor Show, but the motoring world’s eyes are already focused on the New York event which begins on April 12. More than 1000 cars and trucks will be on display in the Big Apple including a few production models and concepts making their global debut – here’s a list of highlights.

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
This aptly named car would indeed be the chosen ride of Beelzebub, should he bother to get his licence. The supercharged version of the Hellcat produces 527kW (707 horsepower) from its 6.2-litre V8 and is designed for straight-line speed. To further facilitate this, it’s shod with barely street legal 315mm wide Nitto NT05R drag radials on all four corners. These will be the widest front tyres ever fitted to a production vehicle – 10mm more than previous record holders on the Camaro Z/28 which wore 305s front and back.


2018 Ford Explorer
Not much has been revealed about the mid-life facelift of the fifth-generation of the Ford’s medium-large SUV. The Explorer has overcome problems including a deadly issue with its Firestone tyres at the beginning of the millennium (which earned it the Exploder nickname) to be one the Blue Oval’s most enduring SUV models. Previous model Explorers were sold in Australia before the locally produced Territory and there’s a chance the nameplate will return here with the 2018 model.

Honda Clarity PHEV/EV

Honda’s pioneering hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is branching out with full electric and plug-in hybrid versions. While Honda has plenty of faith in the future of hydrogen it is following the Hyundai Ionic’s lead by providing the three main low emission drivetrain types to reinforce its aim for two thirds of its vehicle sales to be fuel cell or all-electric by 2030.

2018 Infiniti QX80

Infiniti has released a teaser image that suggests it has finally done something about its aesthetically challenged QX80 and will give the next-generation a How to Look Good Naked style reveal in the Big Apple. The vague picture shows elements of the current model of the Nissan Patrol-based big SUV, but with a new front-end treatment including high-set headlights, reshaped grille and deep cheek vents that appear based on the recent QX50 Concept.  

2018 Jaguar F-Type  

Jaguar’s sports car is getting a new look and a smaller engine under the hood, with a turbocharged Ingenium 2.0-litre petrol engine to complement the existing 250kW/450Nm 3.0-litre supercharged donk. The smaller engine is expected to produce around 200kW of power and 400Nm of torque. Spotted testing and the Nurburgring last year, the 2018 F Type looks like it will have a fresh front fascia, complete with new LED headlights, reprofiled bumper and reshaped air intakes.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Hrand Cherokee Trackhawk
The Dodge Challenger Demon won’t be the only 6.2-litre FCA muscle car to debut at the New York Auto Show, with the wraps also expected to come off the beastly Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Announced at New York last year, the Trackhawk is believed to have the same supercharged 6.2-litre V8 HEMI under the hood as the 527kW Dodge, which is expected to propel most powerful ever production Jeep from stop to 100km/h in under 4.0sec.

Expected to go on sale in the US later this year, Wheels’s sources last year confirmed it would eventually be sold in Australia to sit above the Grand Cherokee SRT that is also one of the quickest SUVs on the market with a 0-100km/h time of 4.8sec.

Mercedes AMG GLC63/GLC63 Coupe

Mercedes AMG GLC63/GLC63 Coupe
AMG has taken the Benz’s GLC base SUV and coupe versions and turned them into insane 370kW-plus high-riding beasts with a wet-sump twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 that required the bonnet to be extended. Both the GLC63/GLC63 Coupe will arrive in New York on the on the back of AMG’s announcement that they can a crack a sub-4.0sec 100km/h, which is quicker than what Porsche claims for the Cayenne Turbo S. The formidable duo is expected to come exclusively with the 4Matic four-wheel drivetrain and will be similar to the their GLC43 stable mates in terms of looks and features.

Toyota FT-4X Concept

Toyota FT-4X Concept
Not much is known about this, except that FT means “future Toyota” and 4X suggests a 4x4 vehicle, which is supported by a teaser pic showing a chunky wheel. Other information is scarce, but with a full suite of SUVs, it’s thought this will be a rugged off-road vehicle that could be anything from a potential replacement for the FJ Cruiser to a reimagined LandCruiser complete with hybrid drivetrain.

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