Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 New York International Auto Show - Media Day

I was able to attend the first of two days reserved for press access at the 2014 New York International Auto Show on April 16th, so I made sure all of my cameras were charged up and ready to go.  I am not a professional photographer by any means, but here's my gallery from the show (if you'd like to skip to the video page, click here.  The photo gallery can be found here.):

Soleil Anadi

The first car I saw as I walked in appeared to be a customized Corvette, and to an extent, it is.  You may have seen one of these cruising through Monaco in some YouTube videos recently.  This is the Soleil Anadi, a new car from the upstart luxury sports car-maker, Soleil, based out of Milan, Italy.  They are taking the platform and engine block of the C6 Corvette and adding some luxury and Italian styling to create their own interpretation of a sports car.  The car features a 6.2 liter V8 that produces at least 650 supercharged horsepower (they are also offering a non-street legal version that will push out over 900 horsepower).  Soleil will build 25 of these machines, with three coming to the United States and each will start at $295,000.  Buyers will be able to fully customize their Anadis, with many high-end options not costing any additional funds.


Nobody knew what to expect from Maserati at the New York Auto Show this year.  They're celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year, and they recently unveiled the Alfieri concept car, which could preview the GranTurismo's replacement.  As expected, they showed up with a number of Ghiblis, which is the most easily accessible car in Maserati's current lineup.  They introduced a new special edition of the GranTurismo for New York, and it's called the MC Centennial Edition.  The car features minor exterior changes from the existing MC Stradale, but also an upgraded interior and commemorative badging (I think I just made up the word "badging").

Maserati surrounded this particular MC Centennial with speakers that played the exhaust note of the car.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo is back in the U.S.!  Well, sort of.  The 4C is less than two months away from U.S. showrooms, so Alfa brought a pair of them to New York.  Some people have complained about the car's headlights, but it's a very attractive car.  It is truly the perfect pure entry-level Italian sports car, although at 6'3", it was a tight fit for me!

Aston Martin
Aston Martin brought a refreshed lineup to New York, with the DB9 Carbon Edition, V8 Vantage GT and Vanquish Volante (pictured in order).  Each car is essentially an updated or new variant of an existing model, but most notably, the Vantage GT is a new entry-level offering from Aston Martin, which a base price slightly under $100,000.

Manhattan Motorcars

Most exotic car manufacturers sit out the North American Auto Shows, so there is no factory display for Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren (despite a display from McLaren in 2013).  However, Manhattan Motorcars brought a sample of their stable to the show.  As usual, they brought a Lamborghini (Aventador LP700 Roadster), a Lotus Evora and a Bugatti Veyron (Grand Sport Vitesse), but the stunner and surprise of the show was the rare U.S. appearance of a Koenigsegg Agera R.  Christian von Koenigsegg himself was in attendance, so the highlight of my day was meeting and talking to him.  He said that the display car in New York will be going back to Europe, but there is an Agera R registered in Chicago without a "Show and Display" permit (so it is fully street legal) and he expects a One:1 to be sold in the U.S. as well.

Cadillac Elmiraj

One of the most radical, yet realistic-looking concept cars at the show this year is what Cadillac brought: the Elmiraj concept.  This is potentially the next car in the "V" performance car lineup from Cadillac.  It looks crazy, yet it works as a future American performance icon.

This, of course, is not the Elmiraj.


Due to the impending press conference, I did not have much time at BMW this time around.  I spent most of the time with the i8, which is impressive to look at, and just as impractical.  Visibility is awful and it is quite difficult to climb into and out of, but hey, it's a sports car, right?!

Lexus LFA

The Lexus LFA seemed to come out of nowhere when it was unveiled a few years ago (even though it took nearly a decade to develop), and while there are newer and more powerful supercars that have debuted since, the LFA is still an incredibly exciting car.  This particular example is fitted with some of the Nurburgring package upgrades.


Porsche brought a number of new models to New York this year: perhaps their most exciting lineup in a decade.  The 911 Targa is a masterpiece.  Many times, the "retro" designs are not successful, but Porsche did a tremendous job with it.  My only complaint is that the factory wheels fitted on the show display car do not work on this variant of the 991.  I would love to see "retro" Porsche wheels on the Targa.  The 991 Turbo S was also displayed, along with a pair of Caymans, the Panamera S, the new Macan and of course, the flagship 918 Spyder.

Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary

Mazda wins "best display" award this year, in my opinion.  They went all-out with their silver anniversary celebration of the MX-5 Miata.  They feature a vast display of several versions of the car throughout its history, including some rare and special editions you don't see every day.  I'm not a huge fan of the new Miata's styling, but I very much enjoyed the exhibit.

I managed to sneak a shot in before it was revealed at the press conference!

Ford Mustang

It's the Mustang's 50th birthday this year.  Also not a coincidence is the release of the newest generation Mustang.  The new car, along with the 50th Anniversary edition are a part of Ford's display this year.  I have to say, the base car looks too pedestrian.  Hopefully the high-performance versions of this car will look less like a Fusion Coupe.

50th Anniversary Edition


The big reveals from Dodge this year are the new 2015 Charger and Challenger models.  Each car features a "face lift" and improvements beyond cosmetic changes as well (although it's hardly a face lift).  Several different Challengers can be seen at the show this year.  In addition, SRT is offering yet another special edition of the Viper GTS, called the Anodized Carbon Special Edition Time Attack (TA).  It will cost nearly $170,000 and just ten examples of the Carbon Edition Viper will receive the TA package upgrade.

Mopar Edition Challenger

Challenger SRT

Corvette Z06 Coupe and Convertible

Okay, so I am a little bit very biased towards Corvettes.  I spent a considerable amount of time at this exhibit.  I love the C7; I figured I would love the Z06 infinitely more than the base car.  The new Z06 will be one of the best performance cars in the world, no doubt, but somehow, it doesn't look right.  In the past, high-performance Corvette variants looked good because they were different, yet subtle.  The C4 ZR-1 deviated only slightly from the L98-powered Corvettes, the C5 Z06 was basically the 1999 Fixed Roof Coupe with a more powerful engine and the C6 Z06 looked more aggressive than the base C6, but once the Grand Sport debuted, they looked close to identical.  The C7 Z06, though, looks too much like a C7 with an aftermarket body kit on it.  It's almost too busy to be taken seriously.  My biggest complaint is how awkward the front splitter looks.  Still, it is an outrageous car and the thing looks good overall - just not as stunningly beautiful as it should, in my opinion.


The complete YouTube playlist can be found here.

Thanks for viewing!

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