The New York International Auto Show opened its doors for a press preview this week, giving journalists a sneak peek at the concept cars, production models, trucks and sports cars that are sharing space at the Jacob Javits Center in midtown Manhattan.
While both the Ford Mustang and the Land Rover Discovery are celebrating anniversaries, other companies are producing cars that boast a lot of speed and technology.
Here is a look at some of the most exciting cars to debut so far at the show. Be sure to check back for updates as more cars are unveiled.
—By CNBC's Robert Ferris
Posted 16 April 2014
After a 20 year hiatus, Italian car company Alfa Romeo will soon begin selling cars in the US again. The 4C will be one of the first models on offer. The engine is relatively tiny—a mere four cylinders pumping out a paltry 237 horsepower. But the cars incredibly light weight means it will still go fast: 0-100kmph in 4.5 seconds according to the company. That is a lot of speed for $54,000.
The new Corvetter Z06 has a 625 horsepower V8 engine made from aluminum. Some of the other details—acceleration and top speed—are scarce, and the car will not be available until early 2015. But we do know this: if you choose the convertible version, you will be driving the fastest convertible Corvette has ever made.
The original Chargers were larger than Camaros or Mustangs, and this new Charger retains that tradition. It is a bit roomier than a Mustang or a Camaro, so it may appeal to people with families. It also has some slick technological updates, including paddle shifters on some models and LED fog lights. You can spring for the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine on the upgraded R/T model and go from 0 to 60 mph, the company ambiguously says, "in the high five seconds." Buyers could also opt for a smaller but fuel-efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine more suitable for, say, hauling groceries.
The BMW i8 is a taste of what the German company hopes to do with hybrid and electric technology (read: take on Tesla). Actually, the i8 is impressive: it is a plug-in hybrid, so it is adaptive and does not need a charge. That makes it perfect for long trips when the still uncommon charging stations are not readily available. But it can still go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds. Plus, the doors.
The new Land Rover Discovery concept vehicle is meant to be a sign of things to come for the Discovery line, which is also celebrating an anniversary (its 25th) this year. Land Rover partnered with Virgin Galactic to create the tech-heavy concept, which is replete with smart glass, remote control drive, and even a "transparent bonnet" that makes the front of the car appear invisible, allowing the driver to see the ground under the hood.
Some muscle car purists contend that the only Mustangs to ever qualify as true muscle cars were the Boss, Mach1 and GT, largely due to their bigger engines. But since the days of the original muscle and pony cars in the late '60s and '70s, the Mustang has been one of a small batch of those models to consistently stay in production. Recent versions, like the Mustang GT convertible, seen here, show that Ford has tried to return to the body style that marked the early Mustangs.
Aston Martin price tags typically start somewhere north of $100,000 and climb above $1 million. So the small British shop, whose cars many Americans know only through James Bond films, has brought a "special edition" model to market that misses the usual six-figure price tag by a scrape. The V8 Vantage GT has a suggested retail price of $99,900 and can reach a top speed of 190 miles per hour. The car can also go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds. Not bad for a "budget" model.
The GranTurismo's name reveals the purpose behind its design: it's a touring car, not something you would expect to find on a track. It has double wishbone suspension to provide extra comfort to drivers, which could prove useful if they decide to test its engine: the car goes from 0 to 100 kilometers in 5.2 seconds, and has a top speed of 285 kilometers per hour (177 miles per hour).
The S63 AMG 4MATIC coupe boasts 577 horsepower, can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds, and can reach a speed of 186 miles, only to be stopped by the car's governor—an electronic system that limits the vehicle's speed.