Our pick of the New York Motor Show
With the likes of Jaguar Land Rover ploughing huge budgets into dominating the Manhattan showcase, we've already seen car launches on aircraft carriers and some important models for Europe showing their faces for the first time.
Yesterday, AOL Cars ran a live blog from the show with pictures, videos, tweets and live updates from the motor show halls. In case you missed that click here. But now we've had time to digest the launches – and our huge burger lunch – here are our top cars of the show.
Land Rover Discovery Concept
It was launched on an aircraft carrier, next to a spaceship, with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop – anyone would think the new Discovery was a big deal for Land Rover. Of course, I jest, it's a massive deal. This new car debuts not just a new model, but a new "family" for the manufacturer – the first of which will replace the Freelander next year and wear a new Discovery Sport badge.
It's packed with tech too, like a "see-through" bonnet - augmented reality that can project sat nav directions and camera feeds on the smart glass windscreen - gesture controls that open doors without the need to touch them and the ability to remotely drive the car using a tablet or smart phone. How much of this James Bond Q branch-style tech will make production is unclear, but the firm's big wigs promised us cash is being invested in all of it. Exciting stuff.
Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe
The world's chief executives can worry no more about making their next meeting on time thanks to this luxury missile. With 577bhp under the bonnet, the monster S63 AMG Coupe can hit 60mph in just 3.9 seconds – and shave precious seconds off the dash to the office.
It has a 5.5-litre turbocharged V8 engine that produces 40bhp more than the CL63 AMG it replaces and an interior that'll please those used to five star hotels and private jets. Air suspension, an imaginatively-titled Magic Body Control system and other technological trickery helps keep caramel lattes from spilling on Saville Row suits too. The S63 will go on sale in November and cost a finance director-bothering £100,000.
BMW M4 Convertible
Convertible? Cabriolet? We're not sure which term the Germans prefer – and frankly don't care – all we know is the BMW M4 looks absolutely stunning with its roof chopped off.
The M4 features a clever three-piece folding metal roof and some not-so-subtle design tweaks to mark it out from lesser drop-tops in the range. These include quad tailpipes, larger front bumper and a tweaked kidney grille.
The convertible will go on sale in September costing £60,730 and boasts a 3.0-litre turbocharged six cylinder with 425bhp. The new car is 60kg lighter than the old drop-top M3 and this has helped lop nearly a second off the 0-60mph time, now down to 4.6 seconds.
Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary
It wouldn't be an American motor show without some muscle, and thankfully Ford has been taking its protein shakes and come up with this. It's the 50th anniversary Mustang revealed by Bill Ford himself.
The night before the show, Ford chopped one up and rebuilt it, cut-and-shut style, on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, recreating a stunt they pulled off with the original back in 1954. And in what manufacturers like to call "synergy" they'll make just 1,954 of these special edition 'Stangs.
It's available in a not-too-confusing blue or white colour choice, has a retro four speed auto box and chrome detailing that also gives a hat-tip to its heritage. Under the "hood" is a 5.0-litre V8 (of course) producing 414bhp and meanwhile we can look forward to our own Mustang arriving in the UK soon.
Finally, Kia's not-so-pretty Sedona MPV has been given the same plastic-surgery treatment as the rest of the range – and it's looking not too shabby as a result. The new model might still be a little bit van-like, but with the trademark Kia tiger nose and smart headlights, it looks a lot smarter – and there's few who'd argue it needed it.
The MPV has seating for eight as well as some clever internal trickery that can fold seats away and remove them, offering owners a multitude of options.
Right, don't get your hopes up, the largest of Nissan's MPV family is unlikely to be making it to the UK any time soon. And that's a shame because this big brother to the Qashqai and soon-to-arrive X-Trail takes the family features a little further.
Lower, longer and wider than the car it replaces, the car has a smart interior with a 60 per cent reduction in switches to make it simpler for drivers. Nissan has said it will monitor the UK's reaction to the car to see if there's an opportunity to import it.
There were a number of models that didn't make our top cars of the show cut, and this X4 very nearly was one of them. Let's face it, the crossover fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down – but thankfully there are many people out there that love an ugly duckling, and BMW will be hoping they're willing to buy one of these.
The maker has form here. Apparently 240,000 people bought the equally visually-challenged X6, so there's certainly a market for it. Borrowing engines from the X3, the X4 will go on sale priced from £35,590 – that's a lot of money for a car only a mother could love. So why's it included here? Well, we like manufacturers being brave – and revealing this with a straight face was certainly that...
Check out the gallery below for further highlights of the New York Motor Show.