Economy, Auto

Small Luxury SUVs Darlings at New York Show

Volvo XC40Volvo XC40

Although this will come as no surprise to industry insiders, after dozens of debuts at this year’s New York Auto Show, small luxury SUVs, especially hybrids, are the darlings of the bunch.

Cadillac showed an all-new XT4; Maserati debuted a Trofeo version of its solid Levante; Lincoln flaunted an Aviator hybrid; Lexus introduced the UX; and Volvo showed a handsome XC40. All of them will compete against each other, in some form or another, in that increasingly important segment, Bloomberg reported.

That is not to say there was not pure flash as well. Genesis’s all-electric concept coupe, the Essentia, came complete with butterfly doors, while Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS showed off in speedy green. And Mercedes-Benz showed its heavy hitter, an AMG version of its iconic G-Class wagon. The show started on March 30 and will run through April 8.

Cadillac XT4 - The Cadillac XT4 was unveiled during an event on Tuesday in New York. The XT4 has a lot resting on its pretty shoulders as GM tries to bring Cadillac back into the upper echelon of luxury. Targeted directly at valuable affluent and young consumers, the XT4 must prove to be just as good as Germany’s best small SUVs.  

Mercedes-Benz AMG C63- The updated version of Mercedes-Benz’s excellent AMG C63 sedan has a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine that gets up to 503 horsepower. Inside, it has all the progressive technology options Mercedes makes.

Audi TT RS - The Audi TT RS and RS3 both received heavy updates and cosmetic refreshers for the 2019 model year. But as consumers continue to switch to SUVs, Audi’s brand-new Q8 and Q6 will be more important from an earnings-growth perspective. Audi also showed the RS5 Sportback “coupe,” which is meant to help it capture even more of the sport-sedan pie in the United States.

Genesis Essentia Concept - In recent years, Hyundai Motor Co.’s Genesis brand has used the New York show to launch a string of concepts aimed at luxury competitors. This time around, the company revealed the Essentia, an all-electric coupe that is made from a super-lightweight, carbon-fiber monocoque body and sports a battery-powered motor that it says will get it to 60 mph in 3 seconds.

Lincoln Aviator - The Lincoln Aviator sports utility vehicle is the latest in a series of new or updated SUVs from Ford’s premium vehicle line. With a design inspired by the downward slope of an airplane wing it is styled to woo moneyed millennials turned off by aggressively sculpted alternatives.

Toyota RAV4 - Toyota took the wraps off its first top-to-bottom overhaul of the best-selling RAV4 crossover since 2013, with updates that include better aerodynamics and the ability to read road signs. In 2017, a long-in-the-tooth RAV4 managed to outsell every vehicle in the U.S., except for a few pickups.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS - Klaus Zellmer, president and chief executive officer of Porsche Cars North America, introduced the 2019 911 GT3 RS with special “Weissach Package.” This has a 4.0-liter, flat-six engine that gets 520 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque, improvements of 20 and 7, respectively, over the regular GT3. It is 0.1-second quicker to reach 60 mph, too, with a sprint time of three seconds flat.

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63S - The Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63S is among the Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker’s finest. It has a top speed of 196 mph and operational dynamics that make driving even the most challenging roads almost effortless.

Hyundai Tucson - The new Hyundai Tucson is redesigned to enter the highly competitive compact crossover market. It has upgrades inside and out, including a large, new grille, a new center stack and seating designs, additional advanced safety features, a seven-inch audio display, and available wireless charging.

Volvo XC40 - The Volvo XC40 is the company’s third model in its excellent SUV line that’s designed to appeal to younger audiences seeking such things as big, 20-inch wheels, center control console screen, and capable all-wheel drive. It also comes with Volvo’s turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox.

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