Our primary focus at Hemmings Motor News is on classic cars, but once each year a few staffers venture down to the Big Apple to visit the New York Auto Show’s press days and see what’s happening in the new-car world. While some may question the future of the automobile (and even auto shows themselves), the size and scope of this year’s New York show seems to indicate that such radical change won’t happen anytime soon. That said, there’s no denying that the new-car world is evolving — and evolving rapidly.
Rivian’s four-door SUV.
As a Rivian staffer demonstrates, the trunk lids are stout enough to stand upon. Production could begin as early as this summer.
Consider this: Some of the most interesting vehicles at the show were battery-powered. The booth of upstart electric automaker Rivian was crowded throughout the day, as staffers showed off the features of the brand’s upcoming pickup and SUV. Without limitations like fuel tanks and a conventional driveline, the Rivian pickup offers a unique pass-through trunk below the bed and behind the cab, providing lockable and out-of-sight storage for valuables. The compartment lids double as a seat or step, adding to the functionality of the design.
Volkswagen’s battery-powered I.D. Buggy concept. The near-universal reaction has been, “Build this. Please.”
Then there was the much-beloved Volkswagen I.D. Buggy concept, which originally appeared at this year’s Geneva Auto Show. Built to highlight the versatility of VW’s electric MEB platform, the reaction to the retro-styled dune buggy has been overwhelming positive, and we can’t help wondering if VW is reconsidering production. If it’s not, someone else needs to grab this idea and run with it, as the market certainly seems to want something of this nature again, perhaps with a removable top and side curtains.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup. To build it, Jeep stretched the Wrangler Unlimited’s wheelbase by 19.4 inches, and its overall length by 31 inches.
Pickups, predictably, were all the rage — but not necessarily fullsize models. Jeep’s Gladiator, a stretched four-door Wrangler with a compact 5-foot bed was a popular draw, and the lifestyle brand seemed to emphasize the truck’s versatility in its displays. We’re betting that Jeep sells all the Gladiators it can build — and then some — regardless of the sticker price.
VW’s Tarok compact pickup concept. Ford is said to be working on a similar vehicle, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see this enter production.
Volkswagen senses the need for a compact pickup in the U.S. market, so it dusted off the Tarok pickup that debuted at last year’s Sao Paulo International Auto Show and shipped it to New York. As with Jeep’s Gladiator, the bed is too small to haul sheets of drywall or plywood, but today how many consumers really do so on a regular basis? Even a small bed is big enough for runs to the dump or warehouse store, while roof rails offer up a place to carry things like mountain bikes and kayaks. VW hasn’t committed to building the Tarok just yet, and officially it’s just displayed to gauge interest, but we certainly would be surprised to see the model in showrooms within the next few years.
For those unable to attend this year’s New York Auto Show, we hope you enjoy the gallery of photos below.
Cadillac celebrated its heritage with a 1959 Eldorado Biarritz. Sadly, there are no plans to put the model back into production.
To honor the GT-R’s 50th anniversary, Nissan emphasized the car’s heritage and racing history.
The 50th Anniversary Edition Nissan GT-R.
Italdesign’s take on a 50th Anniversary Nissan GT-R.
The Ford GT supercar, in throwback Gulf livery. Sadly, the automaker will end factory support of its GT racing program after the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The new Toyota Supra, which shares a platform and mechanicals with BMW’s latest Z4.
The 2020 Shelby GT500, Ford’s latest salvo in the horsepower wars. Specs are still pending, but word is the supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 will produce over 700 hp.
The SVO, reborn: Ford’s newest performance Mustang gets a 330-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter four from the Focus RS. Look for more on this car in an upcoming article.
The Qiantu K50 by Mullen, a Chinese designed, 400-hp electric sports car to be built by Mullen Technologies in California.
This 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta was a very expensive divider, used to separate the Rolls-Royce and Bentley stands. It was largely overlooked by passers-by.
Suzuki’s Jimny was voted World Urban Car of the Year, but it’s forbidden fruit on these shores.
Here’s something you don’t see everyday — a fullsize Chevy Silverado, with working lights, built from 334,544 Lego bricks.