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
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.