Marking the 50th anniversary of its original introduction at the 1964 New York World's Fair, an all-new Mustang is waiting to greet visitors this week at the NY Auto Show.
But Ford's redesigned pony car isn't the only offering putting the emphasis on performance at an annual event that had, in recent years, been more focused on battery cars and other green machines. While there are a number of new, fuel-efficient products on display, muscle cars have muscled their way to dominance on the floor of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on New York's West Side.
From Detroit, there's not only the new 2015 Ford Mustang, but a pair of muscle cars from rival Fiat Chrysler's Dodge Division. And General Motors, which had a hit with the all-new Corvette Stingray shown in NY last year is back with the upgraded Chevrolet Corvette Z06, which is expected to add nearly 200 horsepower – coming in at an estimated 625 hp – when it reaches showrooms early next year.
According to Tim Kuniskis, the head of the Dodge brand, which is showing off updated, 2015 versions of the 2-door Challenger and 4-door Charger models, the need for speed has never gone away, despite gasoline prices that are averaging in the mid-$3-a-gallon range across the nation. The company's research suggests that about 4.5 million Americans, better than one in every four of the estimated 16 million expected to buy a new vehicle this year, will put performance at the top of their shopping lists.
That's certainly good news for Detroit, which continues to draw some of its biggest profits from performance-oriented products, whether muscle cars like the new Mustang GT and the Dodge Charger and Challenger pair, or heavy haulers like the latest Chevrolet Silverado pickup.
But as with more mainstream market segments, domestic makers don't have a unique lock on performance these days. There are plenty of bulked up import offerings at the 2014 New York Show. In fact, the most powerful model at the show comes not from the U.S. or Germany but Sweden, in the form of the Koenigsegg Agera. It offers an assortment of models making at least 1,000 horsepower – no typo, there – with the One:1 Mega topping out at 1,322 horsepower. The price tag, incidentally, is an equally astounding $1.4 million.