The New York International Auto Show is the strange bookend to car show season, a hodgepodge of forgettable crossover releases and niche go-fast models for enthusiasts. But it has its charms, including these 6 vehicles you should know from the 2019 show floor.
Let us take a moment to praise one of the greatest auto show traditions—nay, the greatest tradition. And that is bizarre concept cars automakers have no intention of actually making.
The best of New York 2019 might be the (the Hyundai car became its own brand a few years ago). This bright green design exercise has everything you could want: electric power, weird sunken door button, a charging port curiously located on the back of the car, gullwing back doors, and a sci-fi daydream interior.
Genesis won't actually build this car, but it's smart to imagine a design direction for city dwellers who want a vehicle that barely resembles today's anonymous crossovers.
We said the Genesis Mint Concept "might" be the best weird concept car of the show, and that's because it's got strong competition from the VW I.D. Buggy. Volkswagen made a chipper, open-top electric vehicle inspired by the dune buggies of the 1960s. The electric motor makes 201 hp and the top speed is limited to 99 mph.
If the I.D. Buggy's name and aesthetic feel familiar, it's because Volkwsagen's concept show car of 2017 was the I.D. Buzz, a similarly shocking green ride that was an electric take on the classic VW bus.
Disappointingly, the Subaru Outback and Forester have long since shed their quirky looks of the 1990s in favor or ordinary crossover guises. But to my eye at least, the 2020 Outback revealed in New York looks a bit more like the squat O.G. wagon that inspired a million camping trips—and that's a good thing.
Also welcome is a tech upgrade. The Outback gets the turbo engine it has lacked for a decade. That powerplant goes in the Outback XT, which has 260 hp and a 3,500-lb. towing capacity, which base models get 182 horses from a 2.5-liter flat four.
Not for nothing, Subaru also wins the award for best show floor display, unveiling the Outback in a mock national park and releasing fake snow when Denali appeared on screen. You've got to know your customers, and Subie knows its customers are taking the dog hiking this weekend.
This model amounts to one small tweak to a car that already existed. But it's a strange one and the car comes in a special shade of flaming orange, so I'll bite.
The Stinger GTS's superpower is a drift-focused mode called D-AWD that allows to the drive to select how much of the torque goes to the real wheels: 60 percent (Comfort mode), 80 percent (Sport mode), or 100 percent (Drift mode, for the truly insane). , the ordinary Kia Stinger is a perfectly good drift car, so this vehicle has no real reason to exist. But let's reward the weird and the muscular while we have the chance.
"Let's talk about cars. I said cars. Remember them?" So said Sangyup Lee of Hyundai design during the introduction of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata. The line scored a laugh among the assembled car pros who've seen the industry careen toward caring almost exclusively about crossovers, SUVs, and trucks. Yes, Hyundai announced a youth-focused small ride called the Venue to join its crowded family of crossovers, but it also came to New York to proclaim the power of the passenger car, of which five million sold in the U.S. last year.
The new Sonata's angry fish look may polarize car buyers, but it's certainly nice to come to a car show and see an actual new car.
It's red. It's . It costs $275,000 and they're only making 2,000 of them. But it sure is nice to look at.