New York Motor Show 2014: Live Report
The show is growing in popularity in the motoring calendar thanks in no small part to Britain's Jaguar Land Rover which focuses large chunks of its small country-sized budget at stealing the headlines.
The manufacturer has already treated us to the glitzy Discovery concept unveiling on board a disused aircraft carrier, on the Hudson river, next to a spaceship. No joke. And the firm is promising some more surprises at today's show.
But it's not just JLR. Ford has been busy grabbing some column inches with a Mustang stunt on top of the Empire State Building, while they'll be news from the big American manufacturers and the Germans too.
Stay tuned to this live blog for updates throughout the afternoon and evening as the show kicks off in America.
James Baggott - The final word
And that's about that from New York. We've seen some interesting concepts, some mad tech, some very focused floor cleaners and some massive burgers - but now it's time to pick a favourite.
For me it's a close call between the M4 Cabriolet and the Disco concept. The Beemer is extremely brutal and puts BMW back on top of their game in terms or looks and performance. We can't wait to drive it.
But for me - and not because they've paid for my ticket out here (full disclosure and all that) - the star is the Discovery. The concept may not be everyone's cup of tea in terms of looks, but it's the exciting technology and the nod to an exciting future for the firm that makes this car the real star of New York 2014.
Come back tomorrow for a more in depth look at our star cars and a gallery of pictures.
Leon Poultney - Concluding remarks
The 2014 New York International Auto Show hasn't been the most action-packed motor show on the calendar but there have been a few hidden gems amongst the enormous pick-up trucks and muscle cars. The Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept has definitely stolen the spotlight with its intriguing tech and stylish design but my Car of the Show award has to go to the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG.
The gorgeous silhouette is backed up by truly phenomenal performance figures, as well as a host of opulent fittings and cutting-edge technology. I can't wait to get behind the wheel later this year.
Runners-up include the handsome Nissan Murano concept - a potential SUV range-topper for the Japanese marque - and the BMW M4 Convertible. The latter prompted worried reactions from M3 fans thanks to the nameplate change and engine fettling but it looks excellent in the flesh - it's bound to sell in droves.
James Baggott - 2052
No, Mazda hasn't left their new MX-5 concept in the less desirable part of town - this, is in fact, it. Well for now at least.
In an attempt to take teasing a concept to the next level, Mazda isn't showing us what the next MX-5 will look like, merely just what's under the skin.
So what can we tell apart from the fact it will have wheels, transmission and an engine? Well, according to reports, the SkyActiv chassis will remain a rear wheel drive, four cylinder model. Weight distribution will be 50:50 and it will be classified as a mid-engined sports car thanks to the engine's location.
The new MX-5 is due to go on sale next year and we're likely to see a fully clothed version later this year.
Leon Poultney - 2045
Mercedes' luxury barge has been given fiery AMG treatment and the results are mighty impressive. A jaw-dropping 577bhp is produced from the twin-turbocharged V8, resulting in a sub 4-second 0-62mph dash. That knocks spots off the likes of Aston Martin's Rapide and the Bentley Continental. It will cost around £100k when it comes to the UK in November but it will boast all of the typical Merc trickery. Heated armrests, TFT displays, Magic Body Control and AirMatic air suspension to name just a few. Oh, and Don Draper (well, John Hamm) himself made a personal appearance at the launch, bringing some Mad Men luxury to the most luxurious of performance coupes.
James Baggott - 2035
Honda in embarrassing forgot to bring any cars to the show shocker pic.twitter.com/ZbuQfdpoop- James Baggott (@CarDealerEd) April 16, 2014
Leon Poultney - 2018
This remains one of my favourite vehicles, the BMW i8. A real game changer in the fact that it produces just under 360bhp thanks to a tiny turbo engine and battery power. We recently drove its smaller sibling, the i3 and it was excellent. Plus this has gullwing doors, which is simply ace.
James Baggott - 2015
So Land Rover saved a little nugget of information for the show - the name of the first car in the Discovery "family". It's set to go sale in 2015 and will be called the Discovery Sport, revealed the brand's design director Gerry McGovern during the New York show press conference.
You can read about the new concept elsewhere on AOL Cars, but as a recap it's packed with new technology that's straight out of James Bond's Q branch - like smart glass, augmented reality, remote control driving and see through bonnet. McGovern promised that these ideas "won't gather dust" either and said we'll see some, if not all, coming to a Land Rover model soon.
But until then we wait with baited breath to see just what elements of the show concept are carried over to the new Discovery Sport when it goes on sale next year.
James Baggott - 1945
The media scrum on the BMW stand has calmed down a bit now so I've popped back to have a proper poke around the new X4. I was one of the minority who loved the X6 - I liked its weird looks and impracticality over the X5. I also like the fact buyers bought it because they obviously didn't care about its looks. The X4 will be just the same - you can't say it's a good looker but it's certainly distinctive. In a sector of generic German SUVs I think it may, and I stress the 'may', do ok.
Also on the New York show stand is the M4 Convertible. I've been blown away by how good the Coupe looks and with the roof chopped it's stunning. BMW have certainly scored a winner again with this beauty.
BMW X4 and M4 Convertible. That's number synergy that pleases my OCD. One incredibly better looking than the other. pic.twitter.com/YcVgqWPi3S- James Baggott (@CarDealerEd) April 16, 2014
Leon Poultney - 1935
It's Frankencar! No it's not, it is an art project by sculptor Joan Florea who used 3D printing and liquid metal technology to cover an old 1971 Ford Torino. It's pretty impressive in the flesh but we're not sure it will catch on, or pass pedestrian safety tests for that matter...
James Baggott - 1922
This storm-cloud grey, plastic covered, jacked up, eye-offending monstrosity is the new Jeep Renegade. It's a Nissan Juke-sized off-roader with Fisher Price looks and about as much style as Timmy Mallet. It's likely to hit our poor, unfortunate shores in the not too distant future - giving us just enough time to start barricading the ports. Can you tell it doesn't float my boat?
James Baggott - 1911
James Baggott - 1905
Downstairs - yes, there is a downstairs at the New York Show - I've found this from Mazda. It's a Clubsport concept of the recently released 3.
It might look a bit 'Halfords special' at the moment but it certainly shows a lower stance, and the spoiler could make the as-yet-to-be-confirmed MPS version of the hatchback look rather mean indeed.
With side skirts, low front splitter and twin exhausts the Clubsport concept is purely all show though - sadly there's no mention of any tweaks under the bonnet...
James Baggott - 1850
James Baggott - 1825
We've started the afternoon with a look around the GM hall. It's away from the main area and feels rather tucked away and quiet. On show are Buick, Chevrolet and GMC models - and we've even spotted former Vauxhall MD Duncan Aldred, who moved over the pond earlier this year, walking the stands.
There's plenty of muscle on display here too - with cars like the Camaro Z28, a vented version of the car that starred in Transformers. The special edition is lighter and faster than the SS model with a V8 mated to a four speed auto.
James Baggott - 1815
Sorry for the pause in proceedings. We've been indulging in a healthy lunch a la American. Need to walk through some more halls as I can feel arteries clogging as I type.
Leon Poultney - 1647
Check out this monstrosity. It's the Soleil Anadi and it can tickle the 200mph mark thanks to it being based on a Corvette. It also has a rather interesting interior that appears to be fashioned from red leather and birch. It looks like it has been fashioned from an IKEA returns bin.
James Baggott - 1640
James Baggott - 1635
I'd even have this in orange. Dodge Challenger is seriously cool. pic.twitter.com/IT87sbt0kY- James Baggott (@CarDealerEd) April 16, 2014
James Baggott - 1625
James Baggott - 1610
Launch of the show! Just what I've always wanted - Lexus golf balls! I don't even play golf and I'm excited pic.twitter.com/Zf29PnrsgD- James Baggott (@CarDealerEd) April 16, 2014
James Baggott - 1605
Leon Poultney - 1605
New York Yankees themed Prius is proving a hit. No word on whether you can get it in your favourite team colours.
James Baggott - 1556
Infiniti is big news in the States - and cars don't get much bigger than this huge behemoth, the Q80. While the brand may still be finding its feet in the UK, over here it's well established and this huge monster is its Range Rover baiting bruiser. Obviously designed to make basketball players feel normal sized and average human beings feel like they're driving a semi-detached house, it certainly has some, er, presence. It's got Chris Eubank and Brighton Lanes disaster written all over it...
Leon Poultney - 1552
This is the Lexus RC F and it's absolutely stunning in the flesh. A 5-litre V8 develops 445bhp, which is sent to the rear wheels via a limited slip-differential. This is just a prototype but it is heading to the UK. Pricing to be announced.
James Baggott - 1545
James Baggott - 1540
Can't stop staring at this beautiful 918 Spyder. It's getting a lot of attention here. I want a go. pic.twitter.com/z3mace8ROL- James Baggott (@CarDealerEd) April 16, 2014
James Baggott - 1535
Meet the new Kia Sedona people carrier. With a smart new face and rounded looks, Kia's family favourite takes pride of place on the stand. Now with the manufacturer's trademark Tiger grille, it's got the looks to match the rest of the range. We rather like it - It's just a shame the Korean brand currently has no plans to bring it to the UK.
James Baggott - 1525
Got to feel for this guy. The sooner he cleans the floor on the stand the sooner flat footed hacks add more marks pic.twitter.com/nt7NrVoQLg- James Baggott (@CarDealerEd) April 16, 2014
Leon Poultney - 1523
How cool is this? A Mazda MX-5 Speedster concept from the 1995 Chicago Auto Show. I bet the 200bhp 1.8 litre engine provided some serious shove.
James Baggott - 1520
Nissan has some exciting stuff on show here. First up is the Murano (pictured below) - not slated to come to the UK, we understand. The model takes the looks debuted on the new Qashqai and forthcoming X-Trail even further. Also on the stand is a Sport Sedan Concept showing off some amazing lines and smart details. We'll find out more at the press conference which takes place later today.
James Baggott - 1512
We walk straight into the show and stumble on the launch of a very special Mustang. Bill Ford is on the stand to unveil the 50th anniversary model available in either blue or white.
Last night a team of engineers precision cut up the same model, stuffed it in the lifts of the Empire State Building then remade it on the 86th floor - in just six hours.
Fresh from that stunt, Bill Ford tells the assembled throng on the heaving stand at the show that only 1,954 models will be built, a hat tip to the year the Stang went on sale.
He also explains the Empire stunt was just the first in a series Ford has planned around the world - the next will take place at the Champions League final in Lisbon where orders will open in Europe.
Bill Ford said: 'A Mustang was my first car. I fell in love with it then and have never looked back. It's my all time favourite car and I love the fact you don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy it. I'm very excited to be offering the Mustang to the world.'
An incredible nine million Mustangs have been sold around the globe since it's launch - a figure that's likely to increase considerably when the new version goes on sale in all markets later this year.
Leon Poultney - 1510
I'm loving this Nissan Sport Sedan Concept but the likelihood of seeing it in the UK is slim. It's said to preview the 2015 Nissan Maxima model and could feature a 3.5 litre V6 when it goes on sale Stateside. The interior is pretty cool, too, with a nice touch screen centre console, flat bottomed steering wheel and futuristic surfaces.
Leon Poultney - 1445
This will be under a cover right now, awaiting its official launch later today. AOL Cars was lucky enough to be invited to an exclusive preview yesterday and learnt the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept boasts neat tech such as gesture control, James Bond-style remote driving, laser headlamps and a Transparent Bonnet.
Leon Poultney - 1442
Not much news yet because the queue for registration is this long. It should be worth it though, with the Mercedes S63 AMG, Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept and the BMW X4 all making an appearance.
James Baggott - 1440
And we're in. Well sort of. We're in the lobby to be accurate. First job is to battle the accreditation process which in true American style is a long, red tape-covered process designed to make you feel inferior. It's working.