2017 New York Auto Show: SUVs Galore

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSport-Utes
Trucks have always dominated auto sales in America and still hold the top spots, but recently SUVs have pushed past passenger cars with sales that continue to grow. The popularity of the crossover and sport-ute are quite clear at this year’s New York Auto Show – almost half of the new vehicles shown were SUVs. These range from the futuristic Genesis GV80 to the luxurious Lincoln Navigator to the extreme Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. What follows is a look at the SUV highlights from the 2017 New York Auto Show.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBuick Regal TourX
Buick showcased an all-new model at this year’s New York show, expanding the Regal lineup with the very stylish Regal TourX. Along the lines of the Subaru Outback or Volvo V60 Cross Country, the TourX features full-time all-wheel drive and a raised ground clearance to handle more than just rough pavement. “Regal TourX is a crossover in the truest sense of the word, with the drive dynamics of a car and the versatility of an SUV,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, global Buick and GMC. The hands-free tailgate, versatile cargo area and available roof rack make the TourX quite useful for whatever adventure the driver has in mind.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBuick Regal TourX
Powering the new TourX is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 250 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. A standard eight-speed automatic transmission and intelligent AWD with active twin-clutch distribute the power to the ground. The Regal TourX comes well equipped with an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot as well as Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Also available is a Driver Confidence package that equips the TourX with the latest in advanced safety features. TourX will be available in three different trim levels – TourX, Preferred and Essence – when it arrives in showrooms towards the end of this year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceGenesis GV80 concept
Hyundai’s luxury marque is still in its infancy, currently offering just two models – the G80 and G90 sedans. But here in New York, Genesis provided a look at what’s coming next with the introduction of the GV80 concept. “There is a unique energy and diverse global culture to New York that is fitting for Genesis, and we are excited to unveil the GV80 Concept here,” said Head of Genesis Brand, Manfred Fitzgerald. “This concept is an important milestone for the brand to share our vision of the future, introducing a further expansion of our product portfolio.”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceGenesis GV80 concept
The GV80 concept provides a vision of a Genesis SUV with clean lines and signature Genesis grill. The interior is very simple with elegant materials, including semi-aniline leather trim with quilted diamond stitching on the interior door panels, seat inserts and center console side and a digital instrument panel that stretches across the entire dashboard. As a futuristic-looking SUV the GV80 utilizes an advanced plug-in hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. We were told that a new production vehicle based on the GV80 should join the Genesis lineup within the next two years.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceInfiniti QX80 Monograph
Designers of the QX80 Monograph were looking to build a vehicle with a “commanding presence” –one look at this large SUV and it’s clear they were successful. Providing a look at what a next-generation large Infiniti SUV might look like, the Monograph features a large, bold grille flanked by stylish headlights that have the look of human eyes. With flush door handles and rear-view cameras instead of mirrors, the whole vehicle has a very clean style, almost looking sculpted with its satin exterior paint. Taillights mimic the look of the headlights, and very large exhaust outlets provide the image of power. The high beltline and massive 24-inch wheels add to the bold presence of this SUV concept.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceInfiniti QX80 Monograph
“Earlier Infiniti show cars have started conversations with our customers, which gives us the chance to talk about the brand’s future direction,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Infiniti Global Design. “We have listened to our customers to discover their expectations for a large SUV from Infiniti in 2017 and beyond. The QX80 Monograph illustrates how Infiniti’s ‘powerful elegance’ design language could be used to develop our luxury SUVs in future.” While this vehicle won’t go into production, we do expect to see a number of the design elements in the next-generation QX80.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceJeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
There’s no question that Jeep is the master of handling just about any off-road terrain. At this year’s New York Auto Show, Jeep showed that it can handle the track as well with the all-new supercharged Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Taking a page from the Hellcat guide to horsepower, the new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will boast a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine putting out a ridiculous 707 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque. With that much power on tap driving all four wheels, the acceleration figures are quite astounding. The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will hit 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. For a little perspective, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S is about three tenths slower to perform the same sprint. With a top speed of 180 mph and the ability to reach a quarter mile in just 11.6 seconds, Jeep claims the Trackhawk is the most powerful and quickest SUV on the market.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceJeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
Of course, if you’ve got power to go fast, you need equal power to stop. The Trackhawk is fitted with high-performance Brembo brakes with 15.75-inch vented rotors and 6-piston calipers up front and 13.78-inch rotors with four-piston calipers in the rear. With these new brakes, the Trackhawk can stop from 60 mph in just 114 feet. This high-performance Jeep rides one inch lower than the typical Grand Cherokee and features body-colored wheel flares, side cladding and a sculpted hood with dual heat extractors. The Bi-xenon headlights are surrounded by LED running lights, but fog lights have been removed to optimize air flow and cooling. The quad exhaust and 20-inch titanium wheels complete the look. Built in Detroit at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant, the 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is expected to arrive in showrooms later this year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRange Rover Velar
After its debut in Geneva last month, the all-new Range Rover Velar made its first appearance in North America at the New York Auto Show. The fourth model in the Range Rover lineup, the Velar features an all-new design using Jaguar Land Rover’s Lightweight Aluminum Architecture. Velar makes use of flush-fitting door handles, flush glass and rear LED light clusters for a clean, elegant look, while super-slim Matrix-Laser LED headlights incorporate animated direction indicators. A bold grille dominates the front end, and available copper-colored accents enhance the hood vents, lower fascia blades and side vents. Land Rover Chief Design Officer Gerry McGovern noted, “We call the Velar the avant-garde Range Rover. It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything.”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRange Rover Velar
Inside the Velar showcases an all-new infotainment system called Touch Pro Duo, designed to make in-car technology clearer, quicker and more enjoyable to use. The system features two high-definition touchscreens and learns from the user, anticipating needs to provide what the user wants, when it’s wanted. The angle of the upper screen can be adjusted, and the lower screen resides in the console between the seats. Users can move content between the two screens with the flick of a finger. The new Range Rover Velar will be priced from $49,900 when it arrives in showrooms later this year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLincoln Navigator
The wraps came off the all-new 2018 Lincoln Navigator at this year’s New York Auto Show, and the new model hasn’t strayed much from the look of the concept that was introduced just one year ago. The large grille immediately grabs attention, and when the driver walks up to the Navigator, the Lincoln logo lights up softly along with LED lighting that brightens the ground all around the vehicle. Ambient lighting inside illuminates all three rows of seats at night, while during the day the panoramic sunroof ensures that even those sitting in the third row don’t feel claustrophobic.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLincoln Navigator
The big Lincoln has big power to match – a twin-turbo V6 engine is expected to produce about 450 horsepower, delivered through a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Towing capacity was not released, but Lincoln claims that the Navigator will “deliver more towing capability than any other premium full-size SUV.” Made to be luxurious as well as family friendly, the new Navigator offers multiple USB ports, wireless phone charging, wi-fi hotspot as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A rear-seat entertainment system will also be available featuring two 10-inch display screens. We expect the new Navigator will arrive in showrooms later this year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-AMG GLC63
It’s been almost 20 years since Mercedes applied its AMG charms to an SUV for the first time. In New York this week the latest AMG SUV makes its debut in the shape of the GLC63. This will be the first time Mercedes has put a biturbo V8 into its midsize crossover. Three versions of the GLC63 will be available – SUV, Coupe and S Coupe. These represent quite the boost up from the current AMG GLC43. Power on the GLC63 SUV and Coupe will come from a hand-built 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine producing 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. For those looking for a bit more power, there’s the GLC63 S Coupe which bumps output to 503 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-AMG GLC63
Performance figures for the AMG GLC63 are impressive with either option – 60 mph comes up in just 3.9 seconds in the SUV and Coupe – the GLC63 S Coupe does the same sprint in 3.7 seconds. The big V8 power is channeled through a very quick AMG SPEEDSHIFT 9-speed transmission and sent to the road via the AMG 4MATIC+ variable all-wheel drive system. The intelligent all-wheel drive system utilizes an electromechanically controlled clutch that connects the permanently driven rear axle to the fully variable front axle. The best distribution of power is constantly calculated based on driving condition and driver input. One of the standout features on this newest member of the AMG family is the Panamericana grille that was previously only seen on the flagship AMG GT sportscar. The Mercedes-AMG GLC63 models will arrive in showrooms early in 2018. Pricing will be released closer to the on-sale date.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan Rogue Dogue
The Nissan Rogue is currently one of the most popular crossovers among American drivers. Although dogs are not purchasing many new vehicles, if they could the Rogue Dogue concept would be high on their consideration list. This special one-off concept will certainly get them howling — or begging — at this year’s New York Auto Show. This special Rogue has been outfitted with all the creature comforts a dog could want. And it’s not just dogs that will be interested — Nissan cites a survey noting that 83 percent of dog owners say it’s important for their dogs to be as safe and comfortable in their vehicles as other passengers.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan Rogue Dogue
A long list of dog-friendly features have been added to this 2017 Nissan Rogue. Highlights include built-in food and water dispensers, a slide-away dog ramp for easy access to the rear compartment, heated air vents for a custom dog bed in the rear cargo area, a second-row dog hammock and harness clips mounted in the rear compartment. Nissan’s Rogue Dogue concept also has a 360-degree dog shower with a 10-gallon pressurized water reserve, as well as an integrated dog drying system with a heated compressed-air dryer and an outside hose attachment. Of course dogs may not be as excited about this bath-time feature as their chauffeurs. Unfortunately, Nissan doesn’t currently have plans to put the Rogue Dogue into production, but if you (or your dog) think that they should, by all means speak, SPEAK!

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru Ascent Concept
Subaru has been without a 7-passenger crossover since the Tribeca was discontinued a few years ago, but that’s about to change with the introduction of the new Subaru Ascent. An all-new model for the Subaru lineup, the Ascent already looks familiar with styling similar to the brand’s popular Outback. About 10 inches larger than the Outback, the Ascent will feature two seats in the 2nd row and space for three in the 3rd row. The vehicle showcased in New York is still considered a concept, but we’re told that its unlikely much will change for the production model.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru Ascent Concept
Built on a variation of the Subaru’s new global platform, the Ascent will be powered by an all-new turbocharged boxer engine. Details of the new motor have not yet been released, but we’d expect at least 250 horsepower. Of course, the Ascent will feature Subaru’s full-time all-wheel drive system. Production of the new model will take place at the Subaru of Indiana plant in Lafayette, Indiana, alongside the Outback, Legacy and Impreza. The Ascent was designed exclusively for the North American market, and is expected to arrive in showrooms early next year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru Crosstrek
The first complete redesign of Subaru’s popular Crosstrek debuted at this year’s New York Auto Show. Slightly longer and wider than the outgoing model, the new Crosstrek gets new styling that features the familiar hexagonal grille and “hawk-eye” headlights. With a sculpted hood, larger fender flares, matte-black cladding and an impressive 8.7-inches of ground clearance, Crosstrek is easily differentiated from its Impreza sibling. Built on the all-new global platform designed to significantly enhance body and chassis rigidity and strength, the Subaru Crosstrek should exhibit excellent driving dynamics similar to the all-new Impreza, aided by suspension improvements, a lower center of gravity and more responsive steering.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru Crosstrek
Inside are several improvements over the last-generation Crosstrek. Seats have been updated, there’s a redesigned steering wheel and more space is available for passengers and cargo. The infotainment system features an 8-inch touchscreen display, which is a noticeable improvement over the previous generation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard. Powering Crosstrek is a revised 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine shared with the Impreza, producing 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque — a slight increase compared to the outgoing model. A 6-speed manual transmission is available on base and Premium trims, as well as the updated Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission that includes a 7-speed manual mode with preset ratios and paddle shifters. As expected, all Crosstreks come standard with full-time all-wheel drive.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru Outback
Subaru just completed its 64th month of record sales and this is largely due to the brand’s bestselling model, the Outback. In hopes of keeping the records coming, Subaru introduced an updated 2018 Outback at this year’s New York Auto Show. The Outback’s styling has been revised with a wider, lower grille opening, new bumper and stylish headlights that feature “Konoji” daytime running lights. Also available are Steering Responsive Headlights that aim the light in the direction the driver steers as well as High Beam Assist which will automatically switch between low and high beams when an oncoming car is detected.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru Outback
Subaru has made a number of enhancements below the skin as well, designed to make the Outback run quieter and smoother. Suspension dampers, steering and braking systems have all been retuned and reshaped exterior mirrors should reduce wind noise. Surface materials inside have been upgraded and a new premium multimedia system is available, now with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The updated 2018 Subaru Outback is expected to arrive in showrooms this summer.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota FT-4X concept
It’s been a few years since Toyota discontinued its iconic FJ Cruiser and this new FT-4X concept looks like the perfect successor. Styled like a mini FJ, the FT-4X (Future Toyota 4WD Crossover) was designed by Toyota’s Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, CA. With a long list of unique, highly functional features, the designers referred to the FT-4X as a four-wheel drive toolbox. “You can really tell that we had a blast designing the FT-4X because it looks fun to use and fun to drive,” said Calty Studio Chief Designer, Ian Cartabiano. “I love this idea of mechanical satisfaction because while we’re living in today’s digital world, we took something that’s based on physical movements and made that a large part of what this vehicle is. We want everyone to interact with this car and feel a sense of delight and excitement.”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota FT-4X concept
There are many stand-out features on this fun little concept. At the rear is the Multi-Hatch feature with a large turning handle that allows it to be opened either as dual side-hinged doors for easy cargo access or as one large hatch that opens up to provide a shelter from the rain. On the inside of the hatch are warm and cold storage – you can keep your gloves warm and beverages cold. Interior lighting can be removed and used as a flashlight, the audio system can be pulled out and act as a boom box while rear door handles double as water bottles. A GoPro camera is built into the driver’s side rearview mirror to capture video of whatever there is out in front of the FT-4X. Toyota has not announced any plans to build a vehicle like this, but we hope some of the unique functionality does eventually make it to production.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolvo XC60
The Swedish car company seems to be on a roll — shortly after coming to market with an all-new XC90, S90 and V90, Volvo has introduced the next-generation of the versatile XC60. After its initial debut last month in Geneva, the XC60 made its first appearance in North America at this year’s New York Auto Show. Representing about 30 percent of Volvo’s global sales, the XC60 is quite important for the company. “We have a strong heritage in designing stylish and dynamic SUVs that offer the latest in technology. The new XC60 will be no exception. It’s the perfect car for an active lifestyle, and it represents the next step in our transformation plan,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of the Volvo Car Group.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolvo XC60
Three different engines will be available for the XC60 in the American market, including the T8 plug-in hybrid that produces an impressive 400 horsepower. Billed as one of the safest cars ever made, the new XC60 features all of the latest high-tech safety equipment, including a new system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which can autonomously steer out of the way to avoid a head-on collision. Production of the new Volvo XC60 will began in April at the Torslanda Plant in Sweden, almost exactly 90 years since the first Volvo was produced in 1927.

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