I have been to the New York International Automotive show at least a dozen times over the years when I was still back east and it was never a disappointment. I really enjoyed going to the NY show because it was more of an industry show than the Philadelphia show which was more a consumer event. I will never forget the anticipation I felt coming out of the Lincoln Tunnel and getting close to the show. I would always park in the same lot that was about 2 blocks from Jacob Javits Center. Even now I can close my eyes and smell New York, for some that might give you a snicker but for an east coaster with fond memories of “the city”, there is no other scent. Needless to say I do miss going to the show. Being in the automotive industry for those years it was one of my self indulging perks. Now my show schedule has been replaced with ski industry shows..equally as fun but different.
Even though I am no longer in the auto industry, I still follow what is going on and upcoming vehicles that are being released. I still scour a few sites for “spy shots” and previews and still get goosebumps when I see cool cars..same as I do with ski gear. Even though I am not at the NYIAS, I read many of the press releases and will report back here with some vehicles that are not so much ski specific but could grab the attention of members that might be considering a new ski car to head up to the slopes.
A segment that has been getting pretty popular and sales have been significant is the “Sub-Cute Ute” class. The popular RAV4’s, Foresters, Escapes and CR-V’s have all grown in size over the years leaving a size range open below them and with most manufactures trying to fill or create segment busting cars, an actual segment that has been viable in Europe has grown here in the states. The Nissan Juke, Buick Encore and to an extent the Kia Soul’s sales have been higher that predicted. These sales have not gone un noticed by the other manufactures and now bring us to some of the new offerings for the 2015 model year.
G.M. has been very happy with the sales of the Buick so they will now be offering it’s Chevrolet brother, the Trax. The Trax is powered by the same 1.4L turbo as the Buick and is offering an optional AWD system and such techo features as its own Wi-Fi hotspot, OnStar and MyLink systems, a 7-inch color touch screen in the dash, and Siri Eyes Free communication for the iPhone IOS 6 and IOS7. EPA estimates expect to be in the mid 20’s around town and low to mid 30’s on the highway. Expect the MSRP to start in the low $20k’s.
Honda will now be offering a model below the class sales leader the CR-V in the new Fit/Jazz based HR-V. The new 2015 HR-V is almost identical in appearance to the Japanese market Vezel with the only some slight exterior changes. The HR-V will be powered by a direct injection 1.5L powerplant. A variation of Hondas SH-AWD will be available.
Jeep will also be expanding it’s selection to the entry level with the Fiat based Renegade. Jeep will offer a 160HP 1.4L turbo four with both a 6-speed manual and 9 speed auto and in either front or a choice of two 4 wheel drive systems and will be offered in two trim levels. Jeep expects the MPG’s to be on par with the rest of the class while offering the most off road ability. The platform that the Renegade will be based off of is part of Fiats global platform and expect sales to be 50/50 between the U.S. and Europe. Jeep already has the Renegade on their website.
Subaru has previewed the newest generation Outback which goes on sale in the fall. There will be only two drivetrain options for 2015, 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter six. Both are horizontally-opposed ‘boxer’ units and drive all four wheels via CVTs. The four-cylinder is good for 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, while the six delivers 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. Manual transmission will no longer be offered on the 4 cyl. Expec the 4 cyl to return average MPG’s in the mid to upper 20’s. Like with other manufactures, technology is a focus with Subaru’s Starlink connectivity system which includes Aha and Pandora smartphone integration, a rear vision camera and Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. An upgraded infotainment system adds a bigger touchscreen display along with SiriusXM satellite radio, SMS text messaging, iTunes tagging and dual USB ports. The redesigned Outback is slightly longer and wider, and it offers 2.7 cubic feet more passenger space than the model it replaces. The 2015 Outback also offers more a bit more cargo space, with 35.5 cubic feet with the rear seats in use and 73.3 cubic feet with the 60/40-split rear seats folded. This size puts it on par with most mid sized SUV’s and makes it one of the reasons that Subaru is so popular in the ski community.
Volkswagen will be offering the next Sportwagen as the Golf Sportwagen and no longer the Jetta Sportwagen. The platform will be all be new based on the 7th generation model and most importantly for the discussion here is All Wheel Drive (4Motion is VWese) but I will get back to that in a moment. This newest generation will be bigger but not “Outback big”. According to Volkswagen, the Golf Sportwagen will be up to 17% more efficient than the Jetta Sportwagen it takes after.For the purists, VW will still be offering a manual transmission so the new Golf Sportswagen will hit the 4 criteria that many have asked for...Wagon, Check. Diesel, Check. Stick, Check and now AWD, BIG check. Adding ALL Wheel Drive as an option to one of the best selling diesels on the market gives a great 40 plus MPG offering for us to head to the ski hills.
These are cars/SUV’s that will be hitting the market for sure in 2015. There were some concept vehicles that will show the direction of their manufacturers that we will be seeing down the road and I hope to be teasing them for next year. Would I love to get back to the New York show? I sure would..in a New York minute.