The big news from Honda was confirmation that there will be another Type-R in the lineup as the performance flagship. Honda showed off what it called an “ultra-sporty” Civic concept that offers a glimpse forward to the design direction of the 10th generation Civic that will debut in the fall. It is said to have a longer wheelbase, a lower, wider stance, a more set back greenhouse and a new 1.5-liter VTEC turbo engine. Transmission-wise there will be a six speed manual or a CVT. (Ugh.) The new Civic marks the first time that global development of both the sedan and coupe models is being led by a North American team.
Taking a bow at the Subaru stand was one wild child – the STI Performance Concept with an engine based on the Super GT Suby race car. The company said the car signifies a plan for U.S. expansion of the performance division of Subaru. These cars could feature more extensive modifications from the factory than previously offered, such as suspension, performance, braking, chassis and aerodynamic upgrades. (Like that huge bat wing?)
Over at Kia, the 2016 Optima made its debut, the work of renowned designer Peter Schreyer. It will be available with three engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbo four that is mated to a seven speed Dual Clutch transmission. Sales will begin in the fourth quarter of this year and five trim levels will be available. The interior is said to be more spacious with more soft touch surfaces and available in “rich merlot” or “dark aubergine.”
Appearing for the first time in Gotham and not Arizona was the Hyundai Tucson crossover that will be released in July. The wheelbase has been lengthened by more than an inch with cargo space increased to 31 cubic feet, or five cubes more than the current model. The 1.6-liter turbo mentioned above will also be offered in the Tucson with an estimated 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque with peak torque delivery starting at only 1,500 rpm. It will be coupled to a seven speed Dual Clutch transmission and all-wheel drive will be an option. To keep the wax out of occupant’s ears, a 405 watt audio system with eight speakers will be available.
It is also news when a Scion rolls into New York with a trunk. That would be in the form of the 2016 Scion iA featuring a 1.5-liter four estimated to deliver 42 mpg, its maker claims. Customers can choose a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. This is Scion’s first sedan and will appear in dealerships this fall for an estimated MSRP in the $16,000 range. A 7-inch display with audio system, 6 speakers, remote interface and rear view camera are standard equipment. Navi will be a dealer installed option.
Also joining the Scion lineup will be the iM, a five door hatchback with an expected MSRP of under $20,000. Sion said it is the answer for young buyers looking for a sporty hatchback, but who still need to pay for things like rent, food, school loans and weekend fun. For power there will be a 137 horsepower, 1.8-liter four with either a 6-speed manual transmission with hill start assist or a CVT with a sport mode. Own a dog? You can obtain a dog harness with tether, door guards, seat pet barrier and even a grass pad to discourage your pooch from settling in on the center console. Thus far, no options for cat owners.