2019 New York Auto Show: The SUVs

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePopularity Contest
SUVs and crossovers play a big part in the American automotive landscape. Since they are among the most popular vehicles nationwide, it’s no surprise that these versatile vehicles made up most of the debuts at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. A broad spectrum of SUVs had world premieres under the bright lights of the Jacob Javits Center in the heart of the Greatest City on Earth, with models appearing from Alfa Romeo, Subaru, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz as well as a few concept models. Take a quick glance at SUV highlights from this year’s New York Auto Show.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAlfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio NRING
As a high-performance Italian SUV, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio already stands out from the crowd as a unique SUV offering. Here at the New York Auto Show Alfa Romeo introduced a special edition of the Stelvio that adds a much higher level of exclusivity – the NRING Edition. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio NRING Edition honors the Italian marque’s success at Germany’s Nurburgring racetrack, as well as the Stelvio’s impressive performance at this legendary circuit where it set a record time for SUVs. The NRING edition differentiates itself from the standard Stelvio with Circuito Gray matte paint, carbon fiber trim, red brake calipers, dark 20-inch wheels, a carbon fiber steering wheel, two-tone red/black leather interior and a serial-number inlay on the dashboard.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAlfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio NRING
The Stelvio Quadrifoglio has the power to match its sporting looks. Under the hood is lurks a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that churns out 505 horsepower. That’s enough oomph to push this crossover to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds with a top speed of 176 mph. “Alfa Romeo has always been something truly special in the automotive world, whether on the race circuit or the open road,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Alfa Romeo. “Today, we honor not only what Alfa Romeo represents to the automotive community, but what it stands for as a storied brand with historic racing victories and record-setting laps at the Nurburgring,” Kuniskis exclaimed. The Stelvio NRING edition will be sold alongside the Giulia NRING edition. Only 110 of these special models (Stelvio and Giulia combined) will be sold in North America.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceFord Escape
Although Ford has announced the end of its entire passenger car lineup, the company’s crossover investment is stronger than ever. Case in point: Ford’s introduction of the all-new 2020 Escape, which was on display in New York. The 2020 Ford Escape is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor with a look that is quite a departure from the current generation. The front end features an all-new grille that is surprisingly similar to those on the Focus or Fusion passenger cars, rather than the new Explorer SUV. The sloping roofline provides a sleeker silhouette that not only looks good but also contributes to making the 2020 model the most aerodynamic Escape ever, further aided by a liftgate spoiler.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceFord Escape
The new 2020 Escape will be available with a choice of four engines. The standard will be a 1.5-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder expected to produce 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque; impressive numbers for such a small unit. For a higher level of performance, the 2020 Escape also offers Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine rated at 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, the Escape with this powerplant can tow up to 3,500 pounds. Ford has also revived the Escape Hybrid —for the 2020 model there will be the standard hybrid as well as a plug-in version. Escape is expected to arrive in showrooms this fall.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHyundai Venue
The SUV lineup at Hyundai continues to grow. Having recently revealed the Palisade as its largest SUV, Hyundai introduced its smallest utility vehicle here in New York: the brand-new Venue. The Venue joins a growing number of front-wheel-drive-only small crossovers on the U.S. market, and while it will be Hyundai’s entry-level SUV, the Venue brings a unique style as well as healthy list of standard features that includes popular items such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. “The all-new Venue might be small in size, but it’s big on practicality and personality,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning at Hyundai Motor America.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHyundai Venue
The small crossover is powered by a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that can be teamed with either a 6-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. Hyundai expects the Venue to return up to 33 mpg combined. The new Venue will be made available with the latest in safety tech, including automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot collision warning. Interior space is slightly smaller than Hyundai’s Kona, and there’s still a decent amount of cargo space — especially with the rear seats folded flat. The new Hyundai Venue is expected to arrive in showrooms near the end of 2019.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceKia HabaNiro Concept
The Korean automaker added a bit of spice to the New York Auto Show press preview with the introduction of the HabaNiro concept vehicle. Not a typical crossover, the HabaNiro was designed to be “The Everything Car.” “We wanted this concept to be comfortable navigating city streets, carving turns on a coastal road and off-roading with confidence to remote wilderness adventures,” said Tom Kearns, vice president of design for Kia Design Center America. “We imagined a car for everyone and nearly everything,” Kearns noted. HabaNiro easily stands out from the crowd with “butterfly wing” doors, short overhangs with large 20-inch wheels and protective metallic-gray cladding up front that flows back to the aero panel in Lava Red.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceKia HabaNiro Concept
Not only does the HabaNiro feature an exciting design, the small concept is extremely advanced. HabaNiro is fully electric with a motor on the front and rear axle so power gets sent to all four wheels. The advanced battery system would provide more than 300 miles of range between charges. HabaNiro is also features a level-5 autonomous driving mode that takes all controls away from the driver; when this mode is engaged the steering wheel and gauges retract to provide more interior space. Other advanced features include Kia’s new Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) System that can personalize the HabaNiro’s cabin space by analyzing a driver’s emotional state in real-time through artificial intelligence-based bio-signal recognition technology.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLand Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
This British marque has developed a reputation over its long lifetime for creating luxurious SUVs with extreme off-road capability. Periodically Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations will create something extra special, and at this year’s New York Auto Show, the brand introduced the latest model to come from SVO: the Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition. This special Velar gets exterior updates that are both stylish and functional. Up front sits a unique grille and bumper that provide better airflow to the supercharged V8 engine, as well as cooling for the larger brakes. The rear bumper has also been revised to integrate quad exhaust outlets.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLand Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
This will be the most powerful Velar to date, boasting a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine that produces 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is incredibly strong — the big SUV will sprint to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. Complementing this power upgrade is a high-performance calibration for the 8-speed automatic transmission as well as steering and suspension. The SVAutobiography also gets lightweight 21-inch wheels and high-performance brakes. The interior also evokes exclusivity with special quilted, perforated and double-stitched Windsor leather upholstery, a unique sport steering wheel and special trim.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLincoln Corsair
Lincoln has been introducing new sport-utility vehicles at a frenzied pace, and apparently the company isn’t finished. Joining the new Navigator, Nautilus and Aviator is an all-new luxury 2-row crossover, the Corsair. Loaded with the latest in safety and convenience technology as well as a luxurious interior, the Corsair should make a big splash in the competitive small luxury crossover market. The new Corsair will be easily recognizable as a Lincoln thanks to styling cues borrowed from the larger Nautilus and Aviator models — specifically a very similar grille and headlight treatment. However, the Corsair does have an overall style of its own with deep contouring along the side panels, which adds depth to the overall design.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLincoln Corsair
The Corsair may be an entry-level model in the Lincoln lineup, but inside it is still all Lincoln. Upscale materials create a premium feeling within the cabin, and a dual-wall dashboard with composite sound insulation provides a quiet interior. Corsair also features Active Noise Control, and sounds that occupants do hear are chimes recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Two engine options will be available for the Corsair — and both are turbocharged. The standard powerplant is a 2.0-liter turbo that will deliver an estimated 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. Customers looking for a bit more oomph can opt for a 2.3-liter turbo that produces an expected 280 horsepower with 310 lb-ft of torque. The Corsair will be built at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, with vehicles arriving in showrooms this fall.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz EQC 1886 Edition
Mercedes-Benz introduced the EQ brand at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, announcing there would be a line of electric vehicles in the coming years that would appear under this new brand. The first of these vehicles is the all-new Mercedes-Benz EQC crossover SUV, and at this year’s New York Auto Show Mercedes-Benz introduced the special 1886 Edition of the EQC. Commemorating the year of the first automobile — patented by Carl Benz — the 1886 Edition looks to the future with a nod to the past. The EQC 1886 Edition will come exclusively in metallic high-tech silver, accented with a black-panel radiator grille and high-gloss black trim.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz EQC 1886 Edition
Two electric motors will power the new Mercedes-Benz EQC — one at each axle. The unique electric all-wheel-drive system uses the two motors in different ways. The front motor is configured for efficiency in the low to medium load range, while the rear motor adds a level of sport. Total output from the two motors is 402 horsepower and 564 lb-ft of torque. As with other electric vehicles, the torque is available almost instantaneously, so the EQC will sprint to 60 mph in an estimated 4.9 seconds. Total range is expected to be as high as 293 miles between charges. It’s not surprising that — like Jaguar and Audi — the first Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle will be a crossover SUV. Exterior styling is similar in overall shape to the current GLC; however, the new EV has sleeker lines with a flush grille and headlights. An LED strip runs across the top of the grille, lining up with the signature LED lights surrounding the headlights. The Mercedes-Benz EQC 1886 edition will go on sale next year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz GLC Coupe
Following the introduction of the all-new 2020 GLC SUV in Geneva a few weeks ago, Mercedes-Benz has now taken the wraps off the SUV’s sibling, the GLC Coupe. The GLC Coupe stands apart from the typical SUV with its coupelike roofline that slopes downward to the rear decklid spoiler. Combined with the contoured diamond-block grille with an integrated star up front and bold fender flares the GLC Coupe has a sporty stance. The new GLC Coupe is equipped with the latest generation MBUX infotainment system which offers standard touchscreen multimedia display, standard intelligent voice control and optional augmented video for navigation. The new GLC Coupe also features driver assistance systems that include active distance assist DISTRONIC and active steering assist.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz GLC Coupe
Powering the GLC 300 is a new 2.0-liter engine producing 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. But for those looking for a bit more power there’s the all-new Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and GLC 63 S Coupes. These AMG GLCs are powered by an AMG 4.0-liter biturbo V8 that puts out 469 horsepower in the GLC 63 or 503 horses in the GLC 63 S. Both AMG GLC versions can sprint to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds with a top speed of 155 (174 in the 63 S). The AMG GLC Coupes get unique, more aggressive styling with a large front splitter, wide rear bumper and trapezoidal twin tailpipes.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz GLS
SUVs were big news for Mercedes-Benz in New York, but the biggest splash was created by the S-Class of SUVs — the all-new GLS. The front-end design of the 2020 GLS is an evolution of the previous model, now falling in line as a larger version of the current design of the midsize GLE. The flat front end has an upright octagonal grille with standard MULTIBEAM LED headlights featuring 112 LEDs per headlight. Inside, the new GLS features a dual widescreen display with 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen multimedia display, anew-generation steering wheel with touch control buttons and a new-generation touchpad in the tall, wide center console that has integrated grab handles. GLS is equipped with MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) to manage the infotainment system and other vehicle controls.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-Benz GLS
The new Mercedes-Benz GLS will be offered in two version for the U.S. market: GLS 450 4MATIC and GLS 580 4MATIC, both powered by new engines with EQ Boost and 48-volt electrical systems. This is a world debut for the new engine powering the GLS 580 4MATIC — a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo that produces 483 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque with an Integrated starter generator. The integrated starter system assists the gasoline engine and can add up to 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque for short periods of time. The GLS 450 4MATIC is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine that produces 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, also assisted by EQ Boost. The new GLS is scheduled to arrive in showrooms later this year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru Outback
Following the introduction of the next-generation Legacy earlier this year, Subaru chose New York as the venue to showcase the all-new 2020 Outback. To celebrate Subaru’s dedication to supporting America’s national parks, the company created a beautiful 360-degree park-like setting in the middle of Jacob Javits Convention Center at this year’s show. The 2020 Outback is built on Subaru’s new global platform which features a much stiffer structure as well as an all-new suspension that is lighter and more responsive. These changes should result in an Outback with better drivability as well as a more comfortable, engaged ride.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru Outback
For the first time since 2009, Subaru puts a turbocharged powerplant back in the Outback. Powering the XT trims is a 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine that produces 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque at a low 2000 rpm. This turbocharged engine gives the Outback its best towing rating ever — 3,500 pounds. Other trims will be equipped with a 2.5-liter engine that delivers 182 horsepower. Both engines are teamed with Subaru’s Lineartronic continuously-variable transmission. All Outbacks will come standard with Subaru’s EyeSight suite of safety systems that includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control wit lane centering and a new DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System. The 2020 Subaru Outback will arrive in showrooms this fall.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota Highlander
Consistently one of the best-selling SUVs in America, the Toyota Highlander is all new for the 2020 model year. Introduced in New York in both gas and hybrid versions, the 2020 Toyota Highlander enters its fourth generation as the latest model to utilize the Toyota New Global Architecture. The Highlander gets fresh styling with a bold black grille, available premium projector headlights and — for the first time — Highlander can be fitted with 20-inch wheels. The new Highlander is a bit more than 2 inches longer than its predecessor, most of it in the cargo area for even greater versatility. The second row can be slid farther forward than before, providing a bit more legroom for third-row passengers.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota Highlander
The standard Highlander is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces a plentiful 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque — enough power to provide a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. Buyers also have the option of going with the Highlander Hybrid, which uses Toyota’s latest hybrid system: a high-efficiency 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed with two electric motors for a combined output of 240 horsepower. Toyota estimates the Highlander Hybrid will achieve 34 mpg combined — a 17 percent improvement over the previous generation. The 2020 Toyota Highlander will arrive in showrooms at the end of 2019; the Highlander Hybrid is expected in February of next year.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolkswagen Atlas Basecamp Concept
The Atlas is the largest SUV in the Volkswagen lineup, and for the New York Auto Show the company showcased the possibilities of this new SUV with the debut of the Atlas Basecamp Concept. “The Basecamp Concept brings a go-anywhere attitude to the brand that is already synonymous with road-trip culture,” said Alex Earle, the exterior design manager at the Volkswagen Design Center California. “Whether you are taking on a series of challenging single-tracks with your favorite mountain bike or enjoying a relaxing evening under the night sky, the versatility of the Basecamp Concept provides ideal mobile solutions for just about any adventure,” said Earle.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolkswagen Atlas Basecamp Concept
Based on the Atlas SEL, the Basecamp Concept stands out as something special with Platinum Gray and Black Uni paint treated with a matte finish and orange accents, as well as 17-inch MX Concept wheels fitted with all-terrain tires. Basecamp also has a custom body kit by Air Design, an H&R lift kit with coilover shock absorbers that raise the ride height about 1.5 inches, a Front Runner Slimline II roof rack system with bike carriers and off-road LED light bars on the front and rear. Although the Basecamp is a concept vehicle, the accessories are available for consumers to build their own custom Volkswagen Atlas.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolkswagen ID. BUGGY
Volkswagen has been very clear that its future vehicle portfolio will be electric, and to hammer this idea home the company has introduced a variety of electric concept vehicles as part of the ID. lineup. However, the latest in the ID. concept car lineup is arguably the most fun: the ID. BUGGY. Both retro and modern, the ID.BUGGY concept takes inspiration from classic California dune buggies of the 1960s. There’s no mistaking the dune buggy look in this concept — hood, fenders and tail are all raised, with fat fenders surrounding big 18-inch wheels shod with all-terrain tires. In true beach-buggy fashion, the concept has no doors and no roof.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolkswagen ID. BUGGY
Built on VW’s new MEB modular electric drive platform, the ID. BUGGY features a rear-mounted 201-horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels. With a 62-kWh lithium-ion battery integrated into the floor, the ID. BUGGY has an estimated range of 155 miles on a single charge. This layout mimics the 1960s Beetle-based dune buggies with engines mounted in back. Given the versatility of the MEB platform, the ID.BUGGY possesses considerable potential for customization. While the concept is a pure 2-seater, it could easily be converted to a 2+2 with an additional seat installed in the rear. An additional electric motor could be added to the front axle for 4-wheel-drive capability. There’s no denying the infectious joy of the ID. BUGGY concept, and while Volkswagen has no plans to produce this vehicle in the near future, we’re hopeful it will eventually become that crazy cousin of the ID. family.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolkswagen Tarok Pickup Concept
Pickup trucks are among the most popular vehicles in America, so it makes sense that any automaker would examine the viability of bringing a new pickup to market. Volkswagen is doing that with the debut of the Tarok Pickup Concept at this year’s New York Auto Show. The company already has plans for a production version of this pickup, but only for the South American market. Volkswagen is showing the concept in America to gauge reaction from consumers, which helps determine if there is a market for such a vehicle in America.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceVolkswagen Tarok Pickup Concept
The Tarok Pickup Concept is a compact truck; however, it features a unique design that allows the bed to extend into the cabin by folding down the bottom of the passenger cabin’s rear panel, giving the truck the ability to carry loads as long as six feet. The Tarok also has 4Motion Active Control, which employs a multi-functional rotary knob to control the all-wheel-drive functions and associated driving modes. Built to handle rough terrain as well as it handles cargo, the Tarok has an approach angle of 23.8 degrees, a departure angle of 26.4 degrees and ground clearance of 9.6 inches.

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