2016 New York Auto Show: Performance & Sports Cars

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceShowtime in New York
New models of all types will be on display at the 2016 New York International Auto Show from March 25 through April 3, but the ones that generate the most excitement are the high-performance, sexy machines. There’s plenty of variety within the ranks of the power elite as well, with sports cars ranging from the affordable Mazda MX-5 Miata to the extreme Koenigsegg Regera. Click through to discover the sports cars that caught our attention during press preview days at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAudi R8 Spyder
If you’re looking for fun in the sun, the new R8 Spyder will certainly help you find it. Audi took the wraps off the sexy convertible in New York, and this car would turn heads even if it wasn’t painted bright yellow. Slightly shorter in overall length but wider than its predecessor by about 1.4 inches, the R8 has a low, wide stance, further accentuated by the large honeycomb grille. Audi’s headlights often provide a signature look at night, and the R8 is available with laser lighting for maximum visibility and range — identified by a blue anodized strip in the headlights. The convertible top is cloth and weighs just 97 pounds. The top can be opened in 20 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAudi R8 Spyder
Certainly one of the most compelling reasons for driving the R8 Spyder with the top down is hearing the wonderful sound that emanates from its powerful V10 engine as it revs up to 7800 rpm. Output is rated at 540 horsepower with almost 400 lb-ft of torque — good enough to move the R8 Spyder to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds to an eventual top speed just shy of 200 mph. Power gets directed to all four wheels via Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel drive system, which provides excellent traction even in adverse weather conditions.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceChevrolet Camaro ZL1
Chevrolet has taken the Camaro to an all-new level with the introduction of the very powerful ZL1. The ZL1 sports a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that puts out an incredible 640 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. This big engine gets teamed with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a new 10-speed (yes, ten) automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Performance stats haven’t been released, but a sprint to 60 mph should easily fall under four seconds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceChevrolet Camaro ZL1
The new ZL1 is differentiated from the rest of the Camaro lineup with a lower grille opening, a new hood, a larger front splitter, wider fenders, a wing-style rear spoiler and 20-inch forged aluminum wheels fitted with Goodyear Eagle F1 high-performance tires. “The Camaro ZL1 is designed to excel at everything,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of global product development at GM. “It’s a 2+2 coupe offering incredible performance — acceleration, handling and braking — with the highest levels of technology and perfect chassis damping, making it suitable for everyday driving. It will compare well to any sports coupe, at any price and in any setting,” he noted.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceJaguar F-TYPE SVR
The Jaguar F-TYPE already offers impressive performance in one of the best-looking cars on the road, but for some drivers there’s always room for more power. For those folks, engineers at Jaguar created the all-new Jaguar F-TYPE SVR. Developed by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, the F-TYPE SVR is lighter and more powerful than the F-TYPE R yet still amenable to everyday use. “The new F-TYPE SVR is the first series production Jaguar car to be developed by Special Vehicle Operations and benefits from everything we know about precision engineering, performance and design,” said John Edwards, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceJaguar F-TYPE SVR
The supercharged V8 engine in the F-TYPE has been bumped to 575 horsepower. Combining that power with significant weight savings allows the SVR to reach 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 200 mph for the coupe, 195 mph for the convertible. All F-TYPE SVR models are equipped with lightweight 20-inch forged wheels, high-performance tires and full-time all-wheel drive for excellent traction and grip, even in poor weather conditions. The F-TYPE SVR will be available as a coupe or convertible when deliveries begin this summer.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceKoenigsegg Regera
One of the most exotic and most powerful cars on display — perhaps in the entire city — is the Koenigsegg Regera. Designed to offer more luxury than the typical extreme offering from the Swedish car company Koenigsegg, the Regera doesn’t give up anything in terms of performance. This uniquely-styled sports car features memory-foam power seats, a 9-inch display screen, Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple CarPlay and ambient lighting. But no matter what how this car is appointed, the Agera is all about performance.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceKoenigsegg Regera
Powering the Regera is a twin-turbo V8 engine teamed with two electric motors via a unique direct drive system. With more than 700 horsepower from the electric motors alone, combined output exceeds 1500 horsepower and 1475 lb-ft of torque. Weighing just 3,500 pounds, the Regera will reach 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and — even more impressive — almost 250 mph in less than 20 seconds. Only 80 Regeras will be built, with prices starting well above $2 million.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMazda MX-5 Miata RF
We fully expected Mazda to eventually produce the new MX-5 with a retractable hardtop. And we were right, but the car introduced at the New York Auto Show was not exactly what we anticipated. When this MX-5 RF (for retractable fastback) rolled onstage at a media-only event on the eve of the New York show, it looked more like a fastback than a coupe, with a targa top and buttresses flowing back toward the rear of the car. When the top is retracted, the car retains the same silhouette, but with the top and rear window stored away.
Video: Watch the world debut of the new Mazda MX-5 RF in New York

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMazda MX-5 Miata RF
The roof mechanism on the new RF has four parts including the rear window. With the flip of a switch, the rear section lifts up while the roof folds with the window, ultimately hidden with only the rear section in place. Aside from being slightly taller, the RF retains the same dimensions and proportions of the soft-top MX-5. Engineers were able to utilize the same real estate that stores the soft-top, so trunk space remains unchanged in the new RF. The MX-5 RF on display in New York is a beautiful Machine Gray — a new color originally introduced for the new CX-9. The sides of the roof and buttresses are painted to match the body color, while the top is available in either the body color or piano black. Look for the new MX-5 RF to arrive in showrooms later this year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet
The onslaught of powerful Mercedes-AMG models continues at the New York show with the debut of the all-new C63 Cabriolet. Following the C-Class Cabriolet introduction a few weeks ago in Geneva, this open-top model joins the C63 coupe and sedan when it goes on sale this fall. “The C-Class is a decisive factor in our company’s success. The new combination of intensive open-air ambience and powerful V8 engine is unique in the segment and perfectly supplements our large C-Class range,” said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet
This new Mercedes-AMG is available as either the C63 or C63S. Both sport a 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo engine — output is 469 horsepower in the C63, while the C63S is rated at 503 horses. Both will reach 60 mph in around 4 seconds, but the C63S can reach an impressive 186 mph. With a wide track, large wheels, flared wheel arches and the customary four exhaust pipes, the C63 easily stands out from the crowd as something special.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan GTR
At this year’s New York Auto Show, Nissan is turning up the performance dial once again with a refreshed 2017 GT-R. The new GT-R gets updated styling but most of the changes are subtle, except for the Japanese automaker’s signature “V-Motion” grille, altered to fit the GT-R’s design and made larger to improve engine cooling. The new GT-R is expected to offer a more comfortable, smoother and quieter ride — qualities not often associated with improved handling — through Active Noise Cancellation technology and new sound-absorption materials, including an acoustic glass windshield.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan GTR
The 2017 GT-R gets more than a new look — there’s a healthy power boost under the hood as well. The 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 now puts out 565 horsepower and 467 lb-ft of torque. That’s an increase of 20 horsepower over the 2016 model. Engine updates give the GT-R better acceleration in the mid- to high-range rpm, and it will sound better at spool-up via a new titanium exhaust system. With a more rigid body structure and new suspension, the GT-R claims even better cornering abilities — an impressive feat given the outstanding handling of the previous version. The 2017 Nissan GT-R arrives in showrooms later this year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche 911 R
Manual transmissions seem to be disappearing from the sports car market; many high-end sports cars don’t even offer a manual anymore. But for the sports car purist comes the Porsche 911 R. Shown for the first time earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show, the 911 R made its North American debut at this year’s New York Auto Show. A limited number will be built — 991 to be exact — and all will feature the 4.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine from the GT3 RS, producing 500 horsepower. And 911 R is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche 911 R
Thanks to considerable weight savings (the rear seat is removed and the roof is constructed from magnesium) the 911 R is the lightest version of the 911. The lightweight design combined with the powerful engine result in a sprint to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. Top speed is 200 mph. Completing the package are Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, ultra-high-performance tires and 20-inch lightweight aluminum wheels.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSpyker C8 Preliator
Spyker has a reputation for building some of the most stylish, unique sports cars on the road, although considering the company’s ongoing financial issues we were surprised to see an all-new model showcased in Geneva earlier this year, and even more surprised to see the car in New York. The C8 Preliator continues the aircraft theme of previous Spykers with taillights that mimic jet engine outlets, small winglets on the sides and 19-inch “Rotorblade” wheels inspired by turbine blades of a jet engine. There’s even a red cover over the ignition switch like a missile launcher on a fighter jet.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSpyker C8 Preliator
Spyker refers to the C8 as its third-generation sports car — this one featuring a longer GT wheelbase that provides a comfortable, roomy interior. Power comes from a mid-mounted V8 engine producing 525 horsepower; a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission are available. Thanks to a lightweight chassis, the C8 reaches 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and claims a top speed in excess of 200 mph. Spyker plans a limited run of just 50 C8 Preliators.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota 86
Earlier this year parent company Toyota announced that the Scion brand would be discontinued, so the halo of that brand — the FR-S sport coupe — was introduced at the New York show with its new Toyota name: the 86. In addition to the new name, the 86 receives a number of updates for the new model year. The front end gets new LED headlamps, a revised bumper and a larger center air intake, giving the sport coupe a more aggressive stance. The rear also gets LED treatment as well as a new bumper design.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota 86
A happy result of the rebranding process, the 86 also receives a slight power increase. The 2.0-liter flat 4-cylinder engine will now produce 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. Suspension also gets revised and the gear ratios for the 6-speed manual transmission have been adjusted for better performance. “When we announced the transition of the Scion models to Toyota we hadn’t planned on changing the names of our cars, but by popular demand, for our sports car, we decided to adopt the global name of 86,” said Toyota Division Group Vice President Bill Fay.

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