2017 Nissan GT-R, Titan Crew Cab and Mazda MX-5 RF Debut at New York International Auto Show

By John Stewart

Photos by Warren Kosikov

Nissan Introduces ’17 GT-R

The new ’17 Nissan GT-R, which debuted Wednesday at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, received what the manufacturer calls its “most significant makeover since its launch in 2007,” now offering 565 hp—an increase of 20 hp versus the ’16 model.

The new ’17 Nissan GT-R made its global debut Wednesday at the 2016 New York International Auto Show.

The new ’17 GT-R received what the manufacturer calls its “most significant makeover since its launch in 2007,” now offering 565 hp—an increase of 20 hp versus the ’16 model—with a flatter torque curve for improved acceleration. Among the powertrain changes is a new titanium exhaust system—standard on GT-R Premium models—which combines with new active noise cancellation and active sound enhancement technologies. Acoustic glass and targeted sound dampening help reduce the intrusion of wind and road noise into the GT-R cabin.

The GT-R’s new styling update incorporates the new V-motion grille—one of Nissan’s latest design signatures. The grille has been slightly enlarged to provide better engine cooling, and now features a matte chrome finish and an updated mesh pattern. A new hood, featuring pronounced character lines flowing flawlessly from the grille, has been reinforced to enhance stability during high-speed driving. One new four-coat premium exterior paint color, Blaze Metallic, has been added to the exterior paint palette.

Inside the cabin, the new premium interior design features an instrument panel wrapped in hand-selected Nappa leather and a revised front-seat design. A simplified switch layout reduces the number of switches from 27 in the previous design to just 11, while an 8-in. capacitive touch-panel monitor replaces the previous 7-in. design. In addition, the paddle shifters are now mounted on the steering wheel, allowing drivers to make mid-turn gear changes without taking their hands off the wheel. The interior of the Premium Edition, featuring semi-aniline leather, offers three different options: the newly added Rakuda Tan, as well as Amber Red and Ivory.

The GT-R Premium—the first of four ’17 GT-R grade levels—goes on sale at select GT-R Certified Nissan retailers in summer 2016.

In presenting the ’17 GT-R to an assembly of international automotive and business media Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president, global marketing & sales, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., stated: “This new GT-R is the most advanced, most refined and most progressive sports car that Nissan has ever built. And that is saying a lot.”

Powered by Nissan's 5.6L Endurance V8 gasoline engine, the half-ton Titan will be available in 4x2 or 4x4 drive configurations and three bed lengths—5.5, 6.5 and 8 ft.

Nissan Unveils ’17 Titan Crew Cab

Nissan officially unveiled the half-ton version of its family of Titan pickups—the ’17 Titan Crew Cab, powered by Nissan's 5.6L Endurance V8 gasoline engine.

With the all-new flagship XD model of Nissan's reimagined Titan family of pickups already in dealer lots, this volume model, half-ton Titan will go on sale in the late summer of 2016. Titan will initially launch as a Crew Cab model with Single and King Cab variants planned for later in the model year.

“Titan shares its aggressive style with the Titan XD, but the two vehicles are completely different underneath the skin,” said Fred Diaz, division vice president and general manager, North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America Inc. “Titan will compete in the heart of the fullsize pickup segment—the half-ton—while the Titan XD provides a unique solution for customers by bridging the cost and capability gap between traditional half-ton and full heavy-duty pickups. Between Titan and Titan XD, we will cover about 85% of the fullsize truck market.”

Titan is built on a separate chassis from Titan XD, and is approximately 228.1 in. long (14.7 in. less than XD) and 79.5 in. wide (same as XD), with the cab size shared between the two vehicles.

“We’ve said before that even the lug nuts are different from Titan to Titan XD,” added Diaz. “What’s important is that these two trucks are serving a completely different type of customer. As the head of Nissan’s light commercial vehicle program in the U.S, I’m thrilled to be getting this truck into the lineup as an option for fleets as well as for the personal-use buyer.”

The half-ton Titan will be available in 4x2 or 4x4 drive configurations and three bed lengths—5.5, 6.5 and 8 ft. Similar to Titan XD, the half-ton will be available in five trim levels—S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve.

The Titan will be powered by Nissan's 5.6L Endurance V8 gasoline engine, producing 390 hp. This engine, which will also be featured in the Titan XD V8 Gas and the all-new ’17 Armada, will be mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. A V6 gasoline engine will also be available (details to be announced at a later date).

The Nissan Titan will be assembled in Canton, Mississippi, with the 5.6L V8 gasoline assembled in Decherd, Tennessee. The truck goes on sale in summer 2016, and pricing will be available closer to its on-sale date.

The Mazda MX-5 RF’s retractable hardtop consists of a front roof, middle roof, rear roof and back window glass.

Mazda MX-5 RF with Retractable Hardtop Makes Global Debut

Also at the New York Auto Show, Mazda revealed the MX-5 RF—a Miata successor with a retractable hardtop and fastback lines.

The MX-5 RF’s retractable hardtop consists of a front roof, middle roof, rear roof and back window glass. The model’s unique design features back window glass that retracts when the top is down to enable the driver to fully enjoy the exhaust note. A large acrylic aero board wind blocker helps prevent air from the rear blowing back into the cabin.

According to Mazda spokesmen, synchronizing and overlapping the various movements of the roof sections enables MX-5 RF to achieve one of the fastest opening/closing times of any retractable hardtop. When the roof is open, the front and middle roof sections are stowed together with the back window glass in the space behind the seats. A new power top lock makes it possible to open and close the roof with the flip of a switch.

A new control system enables the roof to be opened or closed, even when in motion at speeds of 6 mph or less, useful if it suddenly begins to rain. At 4.6 cu. ft., trunk capacity is the same as the soft-top model, even when the roof is stowed behind the seats, and can accommodate two carry-on bags.

The suspension and Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system have been tuned specifically for the MX-5 RF, delivering the kind of driving performance MX-5 owners have come to expect, while also delivering a more comfortable and refined ride.

A sound-absorbing headliner used on the inside of the front and middle roof panels combines with sound insulation around the rear-wheel housings to result in a significantly quieter ride when the roof is closed.

The powertrain lineup consists of the 2.0L and 1.5L SKYACTIV-G gasoline engines paired with either a six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission. Availability will depend on the market.

The i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety technologies employed by MX-5 RF include Mazda’s Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (ABSM) system and High Beam Control System (HBC), which automatically switches between high and low beam. MAZDA CONNECT allows drivers to take advantage of phone and Internet connectivity services.

The MX-5 RF is scheduled to become available “before the end of this year.”