New York: Top five

5 Apr, 2012 11:12am Steve Fowler

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler picks his five highlights from the New York Motor Show

The New York Motor Show is growing to become a major event on the annual show calendar - the number of important launches and announcements from the show floor are testament to that. Here are the top five New York highlights from Auto Express editor-in-chief, Steve Fowler:

What’s not to like about the new SRT (not Dodge anymore) Viper? There’s 631bhp from an 8.4-litre V10 with carbon-fibre bodywork, luxury interior and seats from the same company that supplies Ferrari – this is a real American muscle car, with just a little bit of help from Dodge’s parent company Fiat. Zero to 62mph might have to be measured in gallons rather than seconds, while we’re unlikely to get any official imports in the UK.

The existing Santa Fe is still a bit of an Auto Express favourite and a big seller, which makes replacing it a very tricky. The signs are good, though – the new model is a great looker with more space, more kit and a super efficient 2.2-litre diesel engine. There will still be a seven-seat option, although space in the third row is still tight. Hyundai surprised show goers with a long-wheelbase version which has even more space. Let’s hope Hyundai chooses to bring it to the UK.

While the SRT Viper takes a more old-school approach to performance, the new M6 Convertible is all hi-tech with a 552bhp twin turbo engine (which even features a stop-start system) and a seven-speed double-clutch gearbox. It has a 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds, while the ugly duckling looks of the old car have been replaced with something altogether more glamorous.

This must be a first – a car that wasn’t even revealed at the show making it into the top five list. But such was the hype surrounding the reveal of the F-type name, plus the release of images of a disguised prototype, that the no-show Jaguar almost became star of the show. The most exciting part wasn’t the clever camouflage, but the sound of the engine in the preview video – spine tingling doesn’t do it justice. Even Martin Brundle was impressed.

Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln revealed its latest model, the sleek new MKZ complete with a Porsche 911 Targa-style glass roof. But it wasn’t the car that caught our attention, more Lincoln’s attempts to reinvent the sales process. There’ll be a 24/7 online concierge service to help you choose and build your car, and smooth the transition from Internet to dealer. We rather like the idea of a 48 hour test drive, with Lincoln throwing in dinner for two at the same time!

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