The event, one of the largest car shows in the U.S. and hosted every year at the Jacob Javits Center, featured a mix of global and North American debuts. The public will get its chance to explore the hundreds of new vehicles starting Friday, April 19. The show concludes Sunday, April 28.
Here’s what to know before buying a ticket.
Times are changing
Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds, said the automotive industry is taking a new approach to target customers.
"A lot of automakers, I think, are really snubbing the auto shows. They’re going to social media, they’re going to experimental events," she said. "It's expensive for automakers to show cars here. The 'let's lift the curtain off the car' approach is seen as a bit old-school."
Lincoln added to its growing SUV lineup with its latest vehicle, the Corsair. Caldwell said Lincoln is smartly focusing on the lucrative SUV segment and the Corsair shows Lincoln's "dramatic transformation" over the last few years.
Lincoln's Co-Pilot360 driver-assist package comes standard on the Corsair and customers can choose between two models: a standard 2.0-liter engine with 245 horsepower and 275-lb.-ft of torque or a 2.3-liter engine with a targeted 285 horsepower and 305 lb.-ft. of torque.
The all-new Subaru Outback premiered at the show with the help of the nation’s national parks. “Visitors will feel the breezes of Yosemite, taste the snow of Denali and watch Old Faithful Geyser erupt, just as it would at Yellowstone,” the company said about its 360-degree, augmented interactive display.
"New York has always a big show for Subaru," Caldwell said. "The Outback is a steady seller for them. Subaru has been on a tear for a decade now and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. It's not just known as the outdoor lifestyle brand – it's appealing to a much broader audience."
Making its world debut at the show, Nissan presented its 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition, which pays homage to the No. 46 BRE (Brock Racing Enterprises) Datsun 240Z that won multiple Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championships with race car driver John Morton behind the wheel. The 2020 370Z model is offered in four trim levels and two different paint schemes: white with red accents or silver with black accents. The sports car stands out with its special 19-inch alloy wheels with red accents and anniversary badging.
The fourth-generation Toyota Highlander also had its global unveiling. To drum up excitement, Toyota commissioned augmented reality artist Michael Murphy to create a 3-D illusion of the vehicle. It took two months for Murphy to create the 3-D printouts, which he then hand-painted to match a design rendering of the vehicle, according to Toyota. Each piece was then strategically placed, making it seem as if the Highlander was floating in air.
Caldwell said the Highlander is a major player in the important midsize SUV segment.
"It's one of those fly-under-the radar vehicles," she noted, "but a steady seller."
Automakers have largely put the brakes on concept vehicles, but Genesis, the Korean luxury automaker, drew accolades for the second straight year with its newest concept, the Mint two-door electric car. Designed for city driving, the Mint is about the size of a Fiat. The interior is minimalist with the driver and passenger sharing a Cognac-color leather bench. Sporty and futuristic, the Mint was one of the most buzzed-about cars with reporters.
Auto shows also offer the average car consumer a chance to see up close some of the most extreme vehicles on the market.
The Bugatti Chiron Sport "110 ans Bugatti" had its North American debut after making a splash in Geneva. Limited to 20 units, the special anniversary hypercar was sold before its official debut last month. Blue, white and red -- the colors of the French flag -- dominate the interior and exterior. Additional salutes to France include the underside of the rear spoiler, which shows the French flag, as well as the headrests and back rests.
"We are paying tribute to our homeland," Maurizio Parlato, COO of Bugatti of Americas, said.
Bentley and Lamborghini may be dueling for the world's fastest SUV title. But now there's the world’s most expensive SUV. Karlmann King, a stealth fighter jet on wheels (as some call it), has a hefty price tag of $2.3 million. Drivers get a 398-horsepower 6.8-liter V10 engine and bespoke interiors. The Karlmann King is handcrafted in Italy.
Supercars with an internal-combustion engine? So quaint. One of the hottest electric supercars to hit the market is the Qiantu K50. Built by Mullen Technologies, a new American electric vehicle manufacturer, the Qiantu K50’s 296kW/402 HP engine is mounted on an all-aluminum frame. Like British automaker McLaren, the Qiantu K50 takes carbon fiber to the limit, cutting the weight of the car and providing stronger downforce for optimal performance and handling.
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Nearly 1,000 cars and trucks will be shown but two popular brands were noticeably absent: BMW and Volvo.