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2015 New York Auto Show Highlights

By John Stewart
Photos by Warren Kosikov

A pair of sporty, entry-level sedans were among the highlights of the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Aimed at enthusiast buyers and manufactured in significant volumes, these ’16 cars may offer significant raw material for tuners and customizers.

Scion iA

All-New Scion iA

The Scion iA, shown here at its New York International Auto Show debut, is one of two new Scion vehicles expected for the ’16 model year. The iA is powered by a 106-hp, 1.5L engine mated to either a six-speed stick shift or an optional six-speed automatic, to deliver an estimated fuel economy rating of 42 mpg highway. The suspension is a MacPherson strut front with torsion beam rear, tuned to be on the sporty side.

The interior incorporates technology features consistent with the Scion brand. A standard low-speed pre-collision safety system is based on laser sensor technology, and other standard equipment includes a 7-in. touchscreen display with voice activation, power windows, mirrors and door locks, two USB ports and Bluetooth capability. A six-speaker audio system and rear-view cameras are available.

The iA, which shares its platform with the Mazda2, will start at around $16,000; the hatchback version, called the iM, will start at around $20,000 and hit the showrooms in September. The SEMA Garage will have both the iA and iM available for SEMA members during a Measuring Session, May 27–28, 2015.

Honda Type-R Civic Concept

Honda Type-R Civic Concept

Honda unveiled its ultra-sporty Type-R Civic Concept at the New York International Auto Show, indicating a sharper focus on spirited performance for the Civic line. The Type-R is part of the new Civic lineup, which will include Civic Sedan, Coupe and Si models along with the return of the Civic hatchback; the Type-R will be the performance flagship of the Civic lineup. The new Civic will be the first U.S. model to be powered by new VTEC Turbo engines from the company's Earth Dreams Technology powertrain series. Word is the new Type-R “concept” is very close to what will appear on showroom floors, if not identical.

Featuring a longer wheelbase and lower, wider stance, the new Civic emphasizes its aggressive personality and targets buyers seeking an engaging driving experience. A longer hood, a shorter front overhang and a more set-back greenhouse with a shorter rear deck
are underscored by its more aggressive wheel-to-body relationship and pronounced fender arches. Its sporty face is highlighted by LED headlights, the "Flying H" Honda grille and deeply sculpted lower air intakes.

The North American version of the Civic Sedan will be produced in Greensburg, Indiana, and in Alliston, Ontario. The Civic Coupe and Si models will also be manufactured in Alliston. The VTEC Turbo engine will be produced in Anna, Ohio, with engines also produced in Alliston. The CVT will be produced in Russells Point, Ohio. Together, these four Honda plants have invested in new equipment, processes and training to prepare for new Civic production, which will use domestic and globally sourced parts.

The current-generation Civic has been the best-selling small car in America with individual retail car buyers every year since its launch as a ’12 model in calendar year 2011, with sales in excess of 300,000 units in each of the past three years.