Review: 2011 New York International Auto Show

24 Apr

By Matt McCarron

Press days at major automotive events such as the New York International Auto Show have plenty of perks for media and company personnel alike. From the free water, espressos, lattes, sandwiches, and smoothies to the hordes of industry professionals to network and talk with, you might think one can easily lose sight of one’s primary mission. However, despite these added creature comforts, the world and North American premieres, newly redesigned vehicles and concept cars still took center stage.

The four major high-end German automotive manufacturers all had plenty to admire and ask questions about. Mercedes-Benz had by far the most impressive and expansive display of new and face lifted vehicles. From the world premiere of the Concept A-Class, the North American debuts of the C63 AMG coupe and MY2012 SLK350 and the MY2012 E63 AMG with a new 5.5-liter twin turbocharged engine, Mercedes seemed to have all the bases covered at this years show. Now before I go any further, don’t get the idea that Mercedes was the only German manufacturer to have exciting and intriguing automotive eye candy.

Porsche also had premieres including the world premiere of its top-of-the-line four-door super sedan, the Panamera Turbo S. Along with the Turbo S Porsche also had the North American debut of the Turbo S’ green, eco-friendly sister, the Panamera S Hybrid. Porsche also a good sized display area that featured everything from a Cayman with a bike rack and bicycle on the roof, to a recreation of the world’s first hybrid car, the “Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus”, which was developed 111 years ago by Prof. Ferdinand Porsche.

BMW had two significant vehicles that it showed off for the first time on U.S. soil. The MY2012 650i and the Z4 with the all-new inline four-cylinder engine featuring TwinPower turbo technology. In addition to being fitted with BMW’s newest engine, this particular Z4 was also equipped with the optional citrus yellow package. This package make the vehicle as bright as the sun and definitely will attract attention from your local police department. Finished in Atacama Yellow, the citrus yellow package also adds the M Sport package, giving the Z4 an aggressive stance and special wheels, shifter, steering wheel and foot rest, all of which have the BMW M logo on them.

Last but definitely not least in the four major German manufacturers was Audi. Audi unveiled its A7 Sportback for the first time in the United States and had the most expansive display area of the four manufacturers. This gave Audi the opportunity to spread its lineup out across the showroom floor and to exhibit many of its vehicles. Included in this mass of Audi’s finest was the ultra exclusive and mind-blowing Audi R8 GT. The special edition of the R8 V10 was drenched in carbon fiber from head to toe. Along with the weight-saving carbon fiber the R8 GT had an interior that was nothing short of a masterpiece.

The 2011 New York International Auto Show was GermanAutoNews’ first time at the press days of a major automotive show. However, after being around the finest engineering Germany has to offer, you can be assured it will not be the last.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

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