High performance luxury sports cars took center stage at this year’s New York Auto Show. New product launches included Audi’s convertible version of its R8 supercar, the R8 Spyder; the redesigned Lincoln Navigator concept luxury SUV; and the Mercedes-AMG C63/C63 S cabriolet with 503 horsepower and 516 ft-lbs. of torque in the C63 S. Fuel efficient and alternative technology vehicles wasn’t the star of the show, though it did have its presence; even though gas prices are down, automakers are continuing to move forward to diversify green car offerings on the market and to meet federal and state of California fuel economy and emissions standards. Hyundai’s Ioniq took the most attention among green cars being shown off, and the Toyota Mirai fuel cell car won an international award.
Hyundai announced that its newly unveiled Ioniq will roll out to dealers later this year in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicle options. Hyundai’s putting a lot of hope in the Ioniq to move its brand along with excellent gas mileage and attractive plug-in range; and as its first dedicated alternative technology model. Hyundai wants to be the second largest green car seller in the world by 2020, following Toyota, so there’s a lot of expectation on the Ioniq brand to perform. The hybrid version may be rated at 57 or 58 miles per gallon in combined city and highway mpg. The plug-in hybrid will get 25 miles of battery power before the gas engine kicks in with a total driving range of about 600 miles using its battery and gas engine. The battery electric car will go 110 miles per charge, farther than the Nissan Leaf.
Hyundai’s Genesis brand showed a hybrid-powered, cleanly styled concept luxury sedan. The stylish hybrid concept car is the latest offering from Hyundai’s newly launched Genesis luxury brand. It offered a glimpse of the upcoming Genesis G70 that has its sights set on the BMW 3-series; and it’s meant to set the stage for the future of the Genesis brand.
The 2017 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid was Toyota’s most visible showing in New York. It suggests that Toyota remains committed is to its Prius lineup of hybrids at a time when gas prices remain at unexpected lows. The introduction of the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid comes two years after Toyota ended production of its previous Prius plug-in hybrid car. The first Prius plug-in car went just 11 miles on a full charge and dropped in sales after an initial surge. Toyota estimates that the Prius Prime will get 120 or more miles per gallon equivalent, which would be the highest MPGe rating of any plug-in hybrid. It will offer a significant 26% improvement over its predecessor Prius Plug-in.
In the SUV segment, Toyota demonstrated a hybrid version of its Highlander, Honda Motor Co.’s Acura MDX will get a new “sport hybrid” option, and the Maserati Levante is available in hybrid form. As for supercars, the Koenigsegg Regera revealed in New York combines electric drive with a V-8 engine to generate more than 1,500 horsepower.
During a ceremony on Thursday at the show, The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car was named 2016 World Green Car. The Mirai was one of eight global vehicles nominated for the annual award. Judges factored in tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of a major advanced power plant technology to increase the vehicle’s contribution to sustainability. While it’s only rolling out now in California, advocates of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles see the Mirai as a major stepping stone in moving the technology forward.