Hooniversal Opinion – 2016 New York International Auto Show

nyias16 The 2016 New York International Auto Show is one of the biggest and wildest auto shows of the circuit and it’s in full swing this week. Around two dozen new cars were shown to the world for the first time, ranging from affordable compacts and outrageous exotics to continuation models and concepts. As always, I’ll bring you a mostly factual recap of the auto show’s biggest reveals in the Hooniverse News this Friday – but today, we’re not too concerned about the press releases. This is the part where some of the brilliant minds behind Hooniverse get together and make fun of carefully and fairly evaluate most of the new cars at the New York International Auto Show (leaving out the few cars that have already been covered in detail here before). Only Kamil was brave enough to don his boxing gloves and cast himself into the media frenzy on the show floor this time; the rest of us normal people have instead chosen to save ourselves and judge all the new cars from the comfort of our own keyboards. Attack orders were given, so click past the jump to see what we have to say. As always, feel free to join in on the conversation yourself.

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF


It’s like a new ND Miata, but the folding cloth top is ditched in favor of a power folding metal roof panel. RF stands for retractable fastback, so think of it as the Miata Targa.

  I mean, it’s pretty fucking awesome right? This is way better than a power-folding metal convertible roof. I still wish they’d add a dash of power, flatten out the body roll, and …that’s it. The ND Miata is great. -Jeff Glucker   Perhaps I’ll be the pessimist of the group but I’m sure Brad will have much more to say about it. I keep hearing “cheaper Ferrari” and “what’s the weight penalty” and blah blah blah. What keeps occupying my mind is, why build this? There is nothing wrong with the soft top, it’s simple and one of the easiest to use in the market. I just wish the styling could have been left to more of the fastback design ideals and they made it a proper Coupé. -Jason Connor   There are so many things wrong with this. How quickly we forget about the awfulness the NC PRHT was. The MX-5 is supposed to be a lightweight roadster, and this has got to add 150 pounds to the top of the car, right? Shameful. If Mazda had created a real-deal coupe, or even a lift-out targa, I’d be much happier. The weird rear buttresses are a contrived design which don’t fit in with the rest of the car’s edgy styling. The mechanism is overly complicated, and essentially lifted from Porsche’s Targa. If there was anything wrong with the Miata, it certainly wasn’t its top. Greg expected me to have another 911R-style rant about this car [I totally did – Ed], but I don’t have nearly as much hate in my heart for this. I don’t like it, and I cannot fathom why they built this instead of a traditional hardtop coupe, but it exists, so whatever… -Bradley Brownell   Why shouldn’t I wear comfy, stout walking boots with my lightweight sports apparel? Why shouldn’t I have walnut veneer on the dash and tufted velvet seats on in my Lotus Elise? Why not have a full-fat Coke with my green salad? The RF is offered so that people who don’t really want an MX-5 can enjoy an MX-5. -Chris Haining   I have a thing for roadsters turned hard tops. Check out the BMW Z4 M Coupe if you want to know why. I’m a little conflicted on the MX-5 RF only because I think they could’ve made it simpler and avoid the extra weight and controversy this power targa top will likely add (though the weight hasn’t been confirmed). If the C7 Corvette can get away with a manual targa top and cost three times as much, so can the Miata. That being said, I love it and you can’t make me not love it, Bradley. -Greg Kachadurian   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that… it is spectacular! Of course you would already know this if you followed us on Facebook and/or twitter. So what’s going on here? Mazda took its hardtop retractable MX-5 and some Porsche Targa inspiration, but they simplified it, and created this coupe/t-roof thing. And they styled it perfectly, too. Looks closely and you will inspirations from BMW Z3 M-Coupe, Toyota Supra, and Mazda’s own RX-8. And as to why, Bradley… because it will sell and it will probably outsell the roadster version. -Kamil Kaluski  

Acura NSX GT3

Acura NSX GT3 Race Car

The FIA GT3-spec racing version of the NSX we all deserve. Coming to a race track near you next year, sans hybrid system.

  I cannot wait to see this on the track next season. It looks wonderful and I hope this opens the door for a more hardcore NSX street car – possibly the NSX R? If it was offered without the hybrid system and was RWD like the race car, it would break the internet. -Greg Kachadurian   I’ve been saying for 5 years that GT3 racing is the best racing anywhere in the world right now. Acura currently runs a non-homologated sedan with a giant turbo engine in PWC, so chances are they’ll replace that with this next year. Can’t wait to see it in RealTime Racing livery. Either way, this gasoline-engine only car is the one that Acura should have built anyway. -Bradley Brownell   It probably won’t sound very good, and that’s a shame. -Jason Connor   Even the tamest engines can sound like monsters when they’re set free. You might be surprised. -Greg Kachadurian   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that… it is pretty. It’s a racecar version of the NSX and it looks exactly like anyone imagined it would. Kamil Kaluski  

2017 Nissan GT-R


Another update to a long-serving supercar killer. The ‘17 GT-R gets up to 565 horsepower, a more premium cabin, and a new nose.

  It may not look like it, but this is actually the biggest update the standard GT-R has gotten since it was introduced in 2007. Yes, this car is already 9 years old. Even the Mustang has progressed more in the last 9 years than the GT-R has – more proof that Nissan insists on having the oldest lineup of any car manufacturer. At least it still looks cool and doesn’t afraid of anything. -Greg Kachadurian   To the excitement of keyboard warriors and airstrip roll racing drivers, Nissan released a new GT-R. The GT-R is becoming so long in the tooth that the Aventador’s replacement is already getting antsy. That’s not saying it won’t be properly amazing to drive and surely to shift a few internal organs at the track. I first drove a GT-R in 2010 and I was properly mind blown, but that was 6 years ago. Friend of Hooniverse Jonathon Klein made an analogy about the Acura NSX and I feel it’s pretty fitting here. The entirety of McLaren’s new product line (Not counting the F1) has been released since the R35 was put into production. This doesn’t need a refresh, we need some next level shit. -Jason Connor   I don’t think you can compare it to the NSX. That car has been in development hell, while the GT-R at least as been out running and being slightly upgraded as it moves forward. Still, and I say this as a GT-R fanboy, the car needs a new evolution. It’s more than due. -Jeff Glucker   Meet the new GT-R, same as the old GT-R. -Bradley Brownell   It wasn’t broke, so they ain’t fixed it. The basic ingredients have been left largely alone. Not much you can improve on a blue steak, anyway. -Chris Haining   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that… it is the same as the old car. Well, I like the steering wheel better. But seriously, everyone should STFU and here is why: we always wanted a Skyline GT-R. When Nissan finally delivered it to the world they made no secrets that it will live a long life and that it will be a living project. So please, be happy that it’s here, go buy one if you can, it’s still an amazing machine. -Kamil Kaluski  

2017 Audi R8 Spyder


Audi rolled into New York with a very yellow and very gorgeous R8 Spyder. Those fortunate enough to afford one will have a much easier time hearing that glorious V10 resting behind them.

  Continues to be awesome. It’s the thinking man’s Lamborghini Huracan and that’s fine. -Jeff Glucker   The R8’s styling has never engendered passion within my heart. The Huracan looks better. The 488 looks better. The R8 looks like a stretched TT. The V10 sounds great, but I’m still milquetoast about the idea of a V6 Turbo. I’m not really the demo for this anyway… -Bradley Brownell     This was almost the most predictable car of the show, but still one of the prettiest. The new R8 looks stunning in person and the thought of having unrestricted V10 aural pleasure from a car far less obnoxious than a Lamborghini makes me smile. -Greg Kachadurian   I spent some time with an R8 4.2 with a six speed manual a few years back. I figured it wouldn’t get better and when they released the V10 Plus, things changed. I love the new R8, it’s evolved quite well but it isn’t quite as pretty as the original. I’m excited to drive the new Coupé, but I can’t be excited for the Spyder. It just doesn’t work well for the design. -Jason Connor   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that… its interior is amazing! It’s simple and elegant, but everything is easy to use. And everything is of high quality. And unlike some mid-engined cars it is easy to get in and out of. It’s just fantastic, even if I don’t love the front-end that much. Kamil Kaluski  

2016 Ford Shelby GT-H

Shelby GT-H

Ford, Shelby American, and Hertz team up to build another “Rent-A-Racer” 50 years after the original. It’s a rental car with a 5.0-liter V8, an expensive wheel and tire package, and carbon fiber splitters limited to 140 units and available only at Hertz.

  Pray for these cars. -Greg Kachadurian   I will only say this once…carbon fiber splitter on a rental car. -Jason Connor   Those poor splitters. Also, I really want to know which Michelins these will be running. Pilot Super Sports would be fine. Pilot Sport Cups… that’s going to be a problem. Jeff Glucker   Jeff, the PR literature says “Michelin Pilot Sport A/S”, but the car in the photos is clearly wearing BF Goodrich G-Force Comp-2. Either one should be fine for a rental car driver. I want to go rent one now… -Bradley Brownell   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that… it is… no, wait, I didn’t see it. I missed it. -Kamil Kaluski  

Jaguar XKSS continuation model


No, Jaguar didn’t miss the “new cars only” memo. Jaguar Classic is building nine “new” XKSS continuation models by hand to the exact specification of those made in 1957.

  If you have the means… I highly suggest you stop fucking around and go buy it. These look amazing. -Jeff Glucker   It’s like the continuation series Nissan did with the 240Z back in the late 90’s. Now it’s costing an arm, leg, kidney, lungs and heart to get one. I’d gladly live on whatever dialysis, prosthetic limb or cybernetic mechanism possible just to have one. -Jason Connor   Except Nissan could barely sell the whole run of its Z-car revival, which is crazy to think about today. They actually started with an asking price in the $25k range and some fell as low as into the mid-to-high teens! Ugh, we all deserve flogging for not buying those cars when they went on sale. I’ve driven one and it’s as great as you think it would be. -Jeff Glucker   This is everything that is right with the world. If I had brazillions of dolllars, I’d buy two. -Bradley Brownell   Tim Hannig, the Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, has a surname eerily similar to my own. That gives me a valid reason to put myself forward for any evaluative duties that Hooniverse needs to undertake. -Chris Haining   Being the only hoon to have been on the press conference for this, I can tell you that JLR representative himself told us that the costs will be obscenely high. Still, awesome. Jaguar keeps evolving and I love it for that. -Kamil Kaluski   They’re about $1.4 million each. According to Hagerty, an original one can go for as high as $8.3 million or [much] more. It’s practically a bargain! Show these numbers to your significant other and they couldn’t possibly say no! And one cool fact about this car – a factory fire destroyed nine XKSSs in 1957, so think of this continuation run as a replacement for those lost 59 years ago. -Greg Kachadurian  

2017 Subaru Impreza


The latest ScoobieRoo Impreza is built on a new global platform as a four and five door, sports all-new styling, and is assembled in the US. It retains the 2.0-liter Boxer engine and all-wheel drive.

  With every new iteration of the Impreza, I think it starts to look more and more like a “normal” economy car. The sedan and especially the wagon look miles better than others in its class, but it almost seems “too normal”, if that makes any sense. That being said, bring on the WRX STI. -Greg Kachadurian   It’s a Ford Focus, a Volvo S40 and a Dodge Caliber all rolled into one. Of course, ever it will be divided into the regular versions which are doomed to be forgotten / never bought by anybody in the first place, and the STI which will be coveted by fanbois the world over.   It’s comforting how some things never change. -Chris Haining   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that… I honestly couldn’t see the difference between the old one and the new one. I tried, I really did. Whatever, it will help Subaru set new sales records, at least in Vermont and Colorado. Kamil Kaluski  

2017 Toyota 86


Even though Scion is dying at the end of the year, the FR-S will live on as the facelifted and slightly upscaled Toyota 86.

  The 86 proves that Toyota is really good at making cars uglier. -Greg Kachadurian   I hope that the death of Scion means that everyone will start selling them for much less than they currently sell for. Like when Saturn died. Or Saab. I want an FR-S for pennies. Where can I get that? -Bradley Brownell   If I was Toyota I’d show two fingers to the “needs more power” brigade and launch a decontented, lower-cost version with even less grunt. “My First Sporty Car”. Sell it to kids and clean up. Teach the world about Slow Car Fast. Every driving school should have one. -Chris Haining   Yo dawg, I heard you like waves. So I put waves upon waves in your front fascia. It just looks bloated and unfinished. (Shops for a Subaru BR-Z) -Jason Connor   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that… no, wait… I walked by and forgot to look. A shame, as I think that this still is a terrific automobile. -Kamil Kaluski  

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack


It’s a five-door all-terrain Golf, or a SportWagen with a lift kit.

  I’m okay with all the different Golf variants out there. This one is mildly interesting. It would be great if it actually had some off-road prowess, but no one will really use it that way so who cares. I mean, we’re never getting a GTD now, so might as well give us every single other type of Golf you can think of. Jeff Glucker   VAG is certainly getting their money’s worth out of the MQB platform. I just wish as they would have put in the 2.0T rather than the 1.8T. Or even better the Golf Alltrack-R! I can dream, but I can say with all certainty it will never happen. -Jason Connor   For a split second I saw an AMC Eagle Wagon when I saw that picture. Now I want an AMC Eagle Wagon. -Chris Haining  

Genesis New York Concept


This unimaginatively named concept car previews what will be the first Korean car to target the lucrative mid-size luxury sedan market dominated by the BMW 3 Series.

  The latest Samsung Galaxy doesn’t really feel massively less premium than an iPhone, and it certainly doesn’t offer less functionality. It sells well to people who value competence above credibility. Yet, up to now the market for Korean hi-end phones doesn’t quite mirror that of Korean hi-end cars. -Unidentified Hoon A   The astoundingly attractive Genesis New York certainly looks like it could lead to a compelling product which deserves to sell on its own merits. Nobody needs care about who it’s built by. I’d like to see the Germans squirm a bit having had the market sewn up for so long. -Unidentified Hoon B   Genesis has never felt like a more appropriate name. -Chris Haining   The production version will NEVER look anything like this. Mark my words. -Jason Connor   Oh it totally won’t. If they keep the basic shape and at least some of the concept’s styling around, it could be quite a looker though. And as someone holding on desperately to their naturally-aspirated straight-six-powered 3 Series with its “old” hydraulic power steering, Genesis will need a lot more than a pretty face to take on the 3 Series and win. So far the only 3 Series competitor that would convert me is the Jaguar XE. -Greg Kachadurian   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that… no… I didn’t see it. I saw autojourno butts. Kamil Kaluski  

2017 Kia Cadenza

2017 Cadenza

Kia’s parent company may have spun off their luxury cars into their own sub brand, but that doesn’t mean Kia can’t make their second-generation Cadenza a more premium offering too. It’s all-new from the ground up.

  It looks like a revised Korean Ford Fusion. The “ice-cube” fog lights look like they were turned sideways from the 2017 Sportage I drove. Kia is taking a more risky approach with their styling I’m just afraid their competition is a few steps ahead of them. -Jason Connor   This is the first Kia to elicit a “this is a KIA?” reaction out of me. I wouldn’t call it the most attractive car in the class, but it looks like it could be a tremendous value. What Kia/Hyundai have managed to accomplish in the last half decade is incredible. -Greg Kachadurian  

Lincoln Navigator Concept

Lincoln Navigator Concept front

Although just a concept, this big gull-winged behemoth previews what will be the first actually all-new Navigator since 2007. It oozes opulence, is crammed with tech, and runs on 400 EcoBoosted horsepower.

  I personally love Lincoln’s brand new designs. The Continental they debuted it with is truly stunning in person and in photos and I can’t give them enough credit for it. This though, I’m not so sure. Nevermind the hilariously huge gullwing doors, but from some angles I find it a bit… odd. It looks undeniably better than the last “refresh” they did and the Navigator is in dire need of a real update, so I’m glad this exists regardless. And remember how everyone accused Lincoln of copying Bentley for the new Continental? I feel like they’re going to get the same accusations from Land Rover for this one. -Greg Kachadurian   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that…Between that color, those doors, questionable build quality, a fucking staircase on the side, and a trunk filled with crap that no one ever carries in their car, this is a proper concept car. Even Matthew McConaughey was there to collect what is probably a huge paycheck introduce it. Kamil Kaluski  

2017 Chevrolet Sonic

2017 Chevrolet Sonic

Everyone’s favorite Chevrolet subcompact gets an all-new design borrowed from its siblings and some new hardware.

  Buyer: “I need a car.” Salesperson: “What kind of car?” Buyer: “A car that I can car with.” Salesperson: “May I introduce you to the Chevrolet Sonic?” -Greg Kachadurian   The 2017 Chevrolet Sonic: The car for people who spend a weekend researching what kind of dishwasher to buy, but then go to a car dealership and say “I want a red one for less than $300 a month”. -Bradley Brownell   …Meh -Jason Connor  

2017 Hyundai Ioniq


Hyundai’s all-new Ioniq is available in three flavors – hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric – and all were shown in New York for the first time. No matter how you spec it, it’s another green car option for the masses.

  This is why we aren’t getting an Elantra hatchback. Or an Elantra Hybrid. -Bradley Brownell   I don’t plan on buying one ever, but I’d never take a Prius over this. The Ioniq looks so much better inside and out. Most importantly, it doesn’t have that stupid center-mounted gauge cluster like the Prius. I don’t love it, but I respect it. -Greg Kachadurian  

2017 Toyota Prius Prime


The Prius Prime is like a Prius, but with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain designed to deliver über efficiency. Toyota estimates 120 MPGe, the highest of any plug-in hybrid.

  If you’re looking at buying a new Prius, get this one. I only say that because it no longer looks like an anime character took a shovel to the face. Greg Kachadurian   More sedate styling. More range. More Prius. I kinda don’t hate it. If I were buying a PHEV, however, I’d want enough range to commute without using gasoline. Is 50 miles too much to ask? -Bradley Brownell   The Optimus becomes the only Prius worth buying. But as Brad also stated earlier, I’m not in the demo. -Jason Connor  

2017 Acura MDX

2017 Acura MDX

It’s a fresh new take on Acura’s bread-and-butter SUV and it’s also the first production car to feature Acura’s all-new design language. It also sports a new hybrid powertrain as an option.

  Acura’s new styling looked phenomenal on the Acura Precision Concept when I saw it in Chicago. I took more pictures of that than I did of the NSX parked next to it. Acura’s new styling does not look phenomenal on this. -Greg Kachadurian   How many headlights do you need? 10, no more, no less. -Jason Connor   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that…It’s got no competition. No, really, there are no other cars in its class. There are no premium three-row hybrid CUVs on the market, yet. The Highlander is a step lower and Volvo XC90 is will be priced much higher. Regarding the styling, it’s an improvement, but that badge is a tad too big. -Kamil Kaluski  

2017 Buick Encore

2017 Buick Encore

Buick updates its best-selling model (seriously) with some new stuff.

  I told you all (by way of Twitter) that there was no chance Buick would build that Avista concept. Enjoy your Encore instead… -Jeff Glucker   Ready for all the mall parking lots (if they really exist) outside Shanghai here very soon. -Jason Connor   I can see the next round of Buick commercials now. >Scene opens with shot of a trendy New York night club. >Fashionable lady points to 2017 Buick Encore parked up front – “That’s a Buick!” >Fashionable man looks where she’s pointing – *barfs*. -Greg Kachadurian  

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth


It’s America’s 124 Spider Abarth, but with a name that’s harder to pronounce and ten less horsepower.

  I know it’s odd, but I haven’t yet been excited about this car in any form. -Jeff Glucker   Different from the ND is so many ways that it kind of makes me happy. Yes the headlights look goofy and who knows how questionable the Italian sourced engine will be in the terms of reliability. At least it has some flair and character that I can get behind and because of that I’m looking forward to driving one. -Jason Connor   Gimme, Gimme, Gimme! -Bradley Brownell   If it had a retractable hard-top I’d be all over this. -Chris Haining   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that… it looks better in pictures. Kamil Kaluski  

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé, C253, 2016.

Mercedes-Benz’s answer to the wildly successful* BMW X4.

*slight exaggeration

  Sigh… I need to finish my wagon, and wipe things like this from my memory. -Jeff Glucker   Consumers have spoken and to explain this I will quote one of my favorite Indiana Jones movies, “You have chosen…poorly.” -Jason Connor   Oh this is awful. I might hate this more than the GLE, and that’s really saying something. -Bradley Brownell   This thing will absorb a massive share of the idiot market overnight. This is actually a good thing. It makes the task of identifying idiots on the road that much easier. -Chris Haining   This is why I no longer love Mercedes-Benz. When they have new variants of the C63 or the AMG GTS, I’ll listen. Until then, they’re dead to me. -Greg Kachadurian   Being the only hoon to have seen this in person I can tell you that… I didn’t like it. I can also tell you that I didn’t love any other model in the MB stand. Ok, I loved one. I don’t know, I just… I… maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s me. There is no spark, no connection… Kamil Kaluski   [All images © their respective manufacturer]

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