What Fashion Week and Restaurant Week are to New York’s consumers of cutting-edge clothing and cuisine, respectively, the upcoming 2014 New York International Auto Show is to local car enthusiasts.
Each year, show-goers can expect to see the newest models bound for production –an intentional move designed to get these same car-loving attendees to a vehicle showroom.
But what we love most about the NYIAS, and all auto shows, are the concept cars: the pie-in-the-sky fantasy-mobiles intended to stretch the realm of possibilities in the automotive world.
We’re not yet sure about all the concepts headed to New York in mid-April, but 2014 has already been a banner year. Credit renewed confidence in the automotive industry –and a desire to reignite consumer interest –for the spike in cars at the Detroit and Geneva auto shows that made us stop and say, “wow!”
Leading up to this year’s 2014 New York Auto Show, which opens to the public on April 18, we’ve chosen eight of our favorite concept cars that have already debuted in 2014:
Toyota FT-1: At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, conservative automaker Toyota shocked members of the media with its fiery-red FT-1 Concept. Eye-catching and sharply styled, the FT-1 is supposed to evoke the discontinued Supra sports car. The hope is that a production car will follow, to compete with the upcoming Acura NSX.
Volvo Concept XC Coupe
This stunning Volvo looks nothing like the vehicles currently sitting in Volvo’s showrooms. The Concept XC Coupe, shown in Detroit, previews styling elements for upcoming models from the Swedish automaker. These will presumably retain the concept’s eccentric rear end, while gaining an even stronger front fascia and relatively flat sides (for that safety-conscious, broad-shouldered Volvo stance).
Nissan Sports Sedan
Nissan utilized a tried-and-true technique for its Sports Sedan concept in Detroit: provide some not-so-subtle hints at an upcoming production car. Imagine this concept car without the dazzling orange paint, or the oversized wheels, and you might be looking at the next Maxima or Altima sedan. Hint: We’d bet on it being the next-generation Maxima!
Audi Allroad Shooting Brake
Intended to preview the styling direction of the 2015 Audi TT, Audi’s Allroad Shooting Brake, shown in Detroit, is also a wellspring of innovation and technology. Not only is it a sleek three-door wagon, it’s also a plug-in hybrid. The classy, production-ready interior is a nice touch.
The Mazda Hazumi concept hatchback, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, is a thinly veiled look at the next Mazda2, the smallest and least expensive model in the automaker’s lineup. Given the concept car’s expensive-looking front fascia, alloy wheels, and elaborate side mirrors, that might seem hardto believe. But take off some of the show-car frills, and this Mazda is very close to what we’ll see on production models.
Honda Civic Type R Concept
In Geneva, Honda took the wraps off the hot Civic Type R Concept, which –in Honda tradition –is essentially the brand’s next compact performance car. Unfortunately, it’s also not coming to the U.S. anytime soon. As much as we like the Civic that’s currently sold in the U.S., our inner enthusiast prefers this hot-blooded hatch. Fingers are crossed Honda finally brings the revered Type R badge back stateside.
Perhaps our favorite concept car yet of 2014, the Maserati Alfieri (not to be confused with a California chef with similarly wacky styling) that debuted in Geneva is the automotive equivalent of a supermodel. Its slinky, low-slung styling previews the next GranTurismo coupe, and you don’t see us complaining about that.
A surprise in Geneva was the Volkswagen T-Roc concept: a production-ready pseudo-SUV that has convertible versatility and a fuel-sipping turbo diesel engine. It makes the most sense as a styling exercise, because we’re not sure the U.S. (or any market, for that matter) is ready for this high-riding, Tiguan-sized convertible.
Have we whetted your appetite? Check back to New York Daily News Autos in the lead-up to the 2014 New York International Auto Show for a full listing of the concept and production cars anticipated to debut!