The 2016 NYC International Auto Show wrapped up this past weekend from the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, New York. I was lucky enough to get a day off to head over to the convention center and tour some of the world’s newest and most luxurious vehicles. Although unexpectedly lacking in the EV department, these vehicles turned many heads and packed some sick new features (and many $$$ signs to go with it). I thought it would be great to rundown some of my favorite picks of the week in a few different categories to give you a feel of the power and the technology behind some of the hottest new cars in the market.
Most Horsepower (that you would never even need to use)
2017 Dodge Challenger Hellcat
The new Hellcat is quite simply an animal. It packs a 6.2L supercharged four-cylinder V8 engine (probably the last few of its kind that will ever get to market). It also hits 707hp and gets about 650 lbs-ft of torque, making it one of the best engines in all of its class. The challenger itself is a beautiful car with an unmistakable body, and this new model only enhances the Hellcat brand. With a hefty price tag of somewhere over $60,000 base, the car will probably not reach a large-scale audience. However, you can’t argue with the literal bang for your buck that you’ll get with the 2017 Cat.
Coolest new EV (Not named Tesla)
Mercedes Benz i3
Since Tesla doesn’t partake in the NYC Auto Show, I had to go out and find another cool EV manufacturer on the floor. Although that is a relatively tough task these days, the new 2017 Mercedes Benz i3 may be able to compete with the recently announced Tesla Model 3 (at least in terms of brand name buying power). The new i3 is said to pack about 120 miles in range, which should be useful enough to be an every-day commuter for most consumers. At around $45,000 base, it will eventually lose out to the cheaper Model 3. However, Mercedes will have over a year head start and will certainly gain market share with its $68B market cap. Something that worries me about the i3 is the limited capability of Mercedes to product Lithium batteries in the long-term. Tesla is currently building battery Gigafactories to combat this issue, which may help them in the future as the element becomes more scarce. That being said, be on the lookout for i3’s and their 65-mph top speed on the road long before Tesla even gets to the market in late 2017 to early 2018 (we all know Tesla runs on Elon Time).
Coolest Concept Car:
The Toyota Mirai and its hydrogen-fuel technology has stood tall for a few years now as the only real alternative to electrical vehicle technologies. Pronounced at this year’s show as “The World’s Most Greenest Car”, the Mirai is said to have an estimated 67-mpg highway. Running on hydrogen fuel, the car’s only real byproduct is H20. Although hydrogen is “cleaner” overall than electric to produce, it will be tough to gain mainstream acceptance for hydrogen refueling stations. With electric already dominating the new technology landscape, Toyota has a lot of catching up to do if they want this car to reach the masses. However, with their super-selling Prius in their back pocket, Toyota can afford to dream big. This Mirai is a concept that Toyota has been working on since I was a kid coming to these car shows in NYC, so I hope that one day we will be able to see the car on the mass-market.
Until next year (Maybe the last in the Jacob Javits Center??)