Auto News for March 28 – New York Auto Show – Day One

  From a new compact crossover to five seat VW SUV, to a high performance AMG Mercedes, this will be quite a day at the New York Auto Show.

 Here is what we know thus far in the first of two press days:


Toyota will lead off the day long schedule of introductions with the 2019 RAV4.

 It will ride on the new TNGA platform in a package that is lower and wider than existing models and it will ride on a longer wheelbase. Toyota claims it is 57 percent more rigid and offers a half inch higher ground clearance.

 A 2.5-liter four matched to an 8-speed transmission will be the major powertrain, and a hybrid model will also be offered with a CVT.

  XSE Hybrid will be the “Sportiest” RAV4, followed by Adventure, and the more elegantly decked out Limited.

  Next, Nissan will unveil a new Altima, joining the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry in an attempt to show there is still a market for a conventional four door sedan.

 A five passenger version of the Volkswagen Atlas, known currently as “Cross Sport Concept” is next up.

 The “near-production” concept is a plug-in hybrid with a combined 355 horsepower and an anticipated 26 mile all-electric range. A conventional mild hybrid version of the same powertrain would make 310 hp.

 The actual production vehicle is scheduled to be launched in the U.S. market starting in 2019, and will be built alongside the seven-passenger Atlas and the Passat sedan in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The main engine will be the same 3.6-liter six offered in the larger Atlas model.

 Inside will be either a 10.1 inch touchscreen or a 12.3 inch, both of which will change displays depending on the drive mode selected – On-road, Off-road, Sport or Snow.

 Cadillac did not wait for the show to start and introduced its first compact SUV last night at its Manhattan headquarters. The XT4 gets a 2.0-liter 237 horsepower four with 258 lb-ft of torque matched to a nine speed automatic. Cadillac claims 30 mpg on the highway.

 Seven “interior environments” will be offered based on Luxury, Premium Luxury or Sport Trims.

 The latter offers a choice of Jet Black with Cinnamon Accents with High-Gloss Carbon Fiber, Light Wheat/Jet Black with Red Accents and Morello Red High-Gloss Carbon Fiber, Sedona/Jet Black with Fineline Calico High-Gloss Wood.

 Prices will start at $35,790 when the XT4 goes on sale in the fall.

 Just before lunch, Mercedes will show off the new AMG C 63 with a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine with output of either 469 horsepower or 503 horsepower with a 9-speed transmission. It is worth noting that one mechanic assembles each engine in the shop in Affalterbach, Germany, according to the “one man – one engine” principle.

 Via the specific AMG menu, the driver is able to call up a host of additional information to make the driving experience even sportier:

 Warm-up: engine and transmission oil temperature plus charge pressure as Boost display.

 Setup: current status of systems such as the drive system, suspension, AMG Dynamics, exhaust system, ESP, transmission.

 G-Force: display of current g-forces in a coordinate system and ability to save maximum values.

 Race Timer: manual stopwatch for lap times and color display of fastest and slowest laps, plus average speed and distance.

 If the AMG Track Pace option is ordered, instead of “Race Timer” the instrument cluster shows the “AMG Track Pace” menu, with visualizations of race tracks, sector and lap times.

 There is also a specific AMG Track Pace view in the optional head-up display with circuit graphic, bends, braking points, delta speed and absolute times.

 Engine Data: engine torque / rated output in a bar chart plus charge pressure as Boost display.

  Up to six drive programs are available: “Slippery,” “Comfort,” “Sport,” “Sport+,” “RACE” and “Individual.

 Performance seats are also offered with the AMG that should hold you in firmly place under robust driving conditions.

 Mercedes said the C 63 S Coupe will accelerate from zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds.

 All C 63 variants will go on sale by early next year.

 I am pausing for now but do check back a bit later for still more from the NYC show.




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