Big Ap­ple tempts buy­ers

The Big Ap­ple show has plenty to catch the eye — here are the ex­hibits you’re most likely to see on the road

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

If you can make it in New York, you can make it any­where. The adage ex­plains why car mak­ers like to launch their lat­est and great­est at the an­nual New York mo­tor show.

Many of the cars un­veiled there won’t make it here in the near fu­ture, if at all. Carsguide casts an eye over the mod­els that will. The Chevy Spark ar­rives wear­ing a Holden badge in early 2016.

The com­pany has ad­dressed crit­i­cisms of the pre­vi­ous model by up­grad­ing the fab­rics, im­prov­ing the fit and fin­ish and stiff­en­ing the chas­sis to im­prove road­hold­ing.

The new Spark’s looks have been stream­lined with a longer wheel­base and lower body and there’s a new more pow­er­ful 1.4litre en­gine.

Holden ve­hi­cle per­for­mance direc­tor Ian But­ler says lo­cal en­gi­neers will give the car a lo­cal sus­pen­sion and steer­ing tune. “We made sure the car re­mains fun and ag­ile but will now de­liver even more so­phis­ti­ca­tion,” But­ler says. The Civic coupe con­cept pre­views the 10th gen­er­a­tion small car that will reach show­rooms late this year.

De­signed by Honda’s US stu­dio along with the sedan — Europe will shape the hatch­back — the Civic uses shorter over­hangs and sharper lines to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it­self from the unloved pre­vi­ous model.

The new model will have a 1.5-litre turbo en­gine matched to a six-speed auto or con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion.

Honda Australia head Steve Collins says the Civic is a cru­cial model.

“Be­cause it is a global car, ours will share some of the styling char­ac­ter­is­tics with the car just launched in New York and it will also have de­sign fea­tures spe­cific to our re­gion.” More in­te­rior space and more up­mar­ket in­te­ri­ors mark the new Op­tima. A big hit in the US — Kia sold 160,000 last year — the Op­tima hasn’t en­joyed such suc­cess lo­cally.

Kia Australia spokesman Kevin Hep­worth says the new car is a more re­fined pack­age, head­lined by a 2.0-litre turbo en­gine that pushes the car to 100km/h in just on seven sec­onds. “(It has) im­proved ride, more rear space and an en­gine that will be a class bench­mark for power and econ­omy,” Hep­worth says.

Top-spec US mod­els use a 360 de­gree cam­era, adap­tive cruise con­trol, au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing and blindspot alert. The car is due in Australia late this year. 420kW/600Nm. That’s good for a 100km/h sprint time of 3.2 sec­onds.

Its Aus­tralian launch is early 2016 — ex­pect a price in the high $300,000s. The facelifted Out­lander’s most ob­vi­ous change is the “dy­namic shield” front end, to be worn by fu­ture Mit­subishis.

Mit­subishi Mo­tors Australia mar­ket­ing head Tony Principe says the up­date in­cludes re­vi­sions to the Out­lander’s sus­pen­sion, steer­ing and driv­e­train.

“Out­lander will con­tinue to of­fer great SUV func­tion­al­ity, ter­rific fuel econ­omy and low run­ning costs,” he says, “but it will now be sig­nif­i­cantly qui­eter, more re­spon­sive and even more en­joy­able to drive, mak­ing it a real stand out in the medium SUV class.”

The Out­lander is launched lo­cally next week. The mas­sive Lexus spin­dle grille and flared fend­ers make the new RX hard to miss. The SUV also gets a 50mm in­crease in wheel­base to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it from its NX stable­mate, but the ex­tra length doesn’t in­clude an an­tic­i­pated third row of seats.

The ve­hi­cle will be sold with both a 3.5-litre V6 and a petrol­elec­tric hy­brid pow­er­train, each good for 221kW.

The RX will have head-up dis­play, 12.3-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen, heated rear seats, and op­tional 11.6-inch rear en­ter­tain­ment screens. Op­tional safety gear in­cludes lane de­par­ture and blind spot warn­ing, lane keep­ing as­sist and adap­tive cruise con­trol.

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