New Crossovers and Small Cars Come to New York Auto Show

The 2009 New York International Auto Show presented several new and refreshed vehicles for consumers to eye their next possible vehicle purchase. Automakers also unveiled some concept and prototype vehicles to test consumers’ reactions and get a sense of whether their latest design efforts would bode well for future buyers.

While attending the press days that led up to the show, the unveiling put forth by automakers revealed a continued shift towards small cars and crossovers.

2010 Acura ZDX prototype

Going on sale in the fall of this year, the Acura ZDX prototype packs an all-aluminum V6, six-speed sequential automatic transmission and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive under its metal. The vehicle’s wheelbase is only 108.2 inches, with a total length of 192.4 inches, slightly more than six inches longer than the Acura TSX.

2010 BMW X6 M

BMW also took the wraps off its latest crossover, the 2010 BMW X6 M, a high-performance version of its “Sport Activity Coupe” released last year. It sports a twin-turbocharged, direct-injection 4.4L V8 that pushes out 555 hp. While not likely to attract budget-minded car buyers, these two premium CUVs will most likely lend themselves to wheel and tire upgrades by enthusiasts looking to add a little “bling” to their luxury-vehicle purchase.

Mitsubishi Outlander GT Prototype

Mitsubishi unveiled its Outlander GT prototype, which was given a less restrictive intake that adds 10 hp to its 3.0L V6, totaling 230 hp. In addition to stiffer springs and Brembo brakes, the Mitsubishi topped off its GT prototype with a polished clear-coat aluminum roof. With its wide stance and “EVO-inspired” styling, the Outlander GT could attract EVO-buying enthusiasts looking for a family hauler with some added performance.

Another concept revealed at the New York International Auto Show was a more futuristic design put forth by Hyundai. The automaker’s Nuvis concept is its eleventh concept car designed at its California Design Center in Irvine, California.

Hyundai Nuvis Concept

Nuvis is powered by Hyundai's Hybrid Blue Drive architecture, a parallel hybrid drive system that mates the company’s 2.4L Theta II engine to a six-speed automatic transmission, a 30kW electric motor and lithium polymer batteries.

In addition to crossovers, several small cars were also shown to the public. Volkswagen unveiled its sixth-generation Golf and GTi, which will hit U.S. dealerships this fall. The enthusiast-favorite GTi comes with a 2.0L FSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pumps out 200 hp.

2010 Volkswagen GT

A new small car was also unveiled that will likely come with a price tag sure to attract enthusiasts looking to save a little money at the pump. Kia announced that its latest small car, the Forte, will also have a two-door version known as the Koup. The Koup comes with a 2.0L and 2.4L four-cylinder engine, both achieving more than 30 mpg on the highway while delivering up to 173 hp. With its small size (an overall length of 176.4 inches), Kia says that the new two-door version of the Forte will be “easy to personalize."

2010 Kia Forte Koup

Scion unveiled a concept of its own, testing the waters for a microcar to enter its product line. The iQ concept has a 78.7-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 126.9 inches. Powering the iQ concept is a 1.3L, four-cylinder, VVT-I that pushes out 93 hp.

To demonstrate the customization potential of this possible subcompact entrant, the iQ was fitted with a Five Axis widebody conversion, TEIN Super Street coilover suspension, a Five Axis custom stainless exhaust and Five:AD S6:F custom wheels with a nickel finish, prototyped by MetalFX.

Scion iQ concept

Scion claimed that the iQ would be a perfect fit for young urban trendsetters, but its small size (and probable small price tag) and fuel-sipping fuel-economy rating will likely also appeal to frugal enthusiasts looking to add their personal touch to a daily commuter car. — SEMA Research & Information