The Hooniversal Opinion: 2015 New York Auto Show

The New York Auto Show is on this week and it’s given some of the world’s top marquees the chance to reveal some awesome new metal that’s coming our way. As always, I’ll bring you a mostly factual recap of the auto show’s biggest reveals in the Hooniverse News this Friday; but today, we’re not too concerned about the press releases.
Until we have the budget to storm the major auto shows with the entire Hooniverse gang on site, we’re just going to judge them from the comfort of our desks on the other side of the country. The only exception is Kamil, who wandered around the Javits Center on day 1 and provided some of the shots you’re going to see. All other shots are provided by the manufacturers.
But nevertheless, we’ve worked around our limitations to bring you unrivaled coverage any way we can. These are our first impressions, our fully-informed assessments, and our completely unbiased opinions of the cars of the 2015 New York Auto Show.
Nope… couldn’t keep a straight face.

McLaren 570S

I’ve always loved the idea of McLaren’s Sport Series, and now that we finally know what the first one will be like, I love it even more. It’s relatively affordable for the kind of performance it’s surely capable of – McLaren won’t build a slow car.
But one thing that I can’t get out of my mind is the styling… particularly the face, which resembles the face a kid makes during a sex scene in a movie.
-Greg Kachadrian
A more affordable (relatively speaking) McLaren that will spread the brand to a greater audience? How is this anything but awesome. The rear is toned-down P1, the profile is distinguishable from a 650 (it is, look at them side-by-side), and the front is further changed compared to the other cars.
So why would you buy that 911 Turbo S again?
-Jeff Glucker
I just had to visit McLaren’s website to sort their cars out. They join Aston in the “make a lot of expensive, fast cars that all look alike” bucket. Nonetheless, when you make the jump from R&D director to VP of R&D, they’re obviously the guys you talk to for a new track weapon after trading in your Lotus.
-Tim Odell
It’s a face that screams “I’M SOOOO HAPPY!” louder than anything Mazda has made in the last decade.
– Bradley Brownell

Porsche Boxster Spyder

This has been an interesting year for Porsche enthusiasts. First it was the Cayman GT4 that won everyone’s hearts, followed by the 911 GT3 RS and now the return of the Boxster Spyder. How could anyone choose between the three (price difference aside)? Porsche’s going to need to release a new special edition Cayenne or something to settle us down…
-Greg Kachadurian
With apologies to Bradley, I hated the original Boxster. I completely removed from my radar until 2009 when I drove the Spyder. It was instant love. The GT-like look, the implied simplicity, the carbon-fiber seats, the lightweight top. To me, a Honda boooiiii y0, this was the Boxster Type R and it was perfect. It wasn’t for everyone, many people just didn’t get it. The same people won’t get model either. I’ll take mine in silver.
-Kamil Kaluski
Omigod, omigod, omigod, omigod, omigod, omigod, omigod, omigod, omigod. *Hyperventilating*
In all seriousness, though, this is amazing. We’re getting truly sporting mid-engine Porsches. This is awesome. This is the first time since the 944 Turbo that Porsche has built a performance version of their entry level sports car that actually rivals the 911. It’s just so cool. I want one. Really badly.
– Bradley Brownell

Lincoln Continental Concept

The first Lincoln that I’ve seen in many years at which I instantly enjoy staring. Yes, I can totally see the Bentley Flying Spur in the design, and I don’t really care. That interior looks excellent, and I love that it was inspired by the Eames Lounge Chair. Now… will they actually make this thing? Maybe… but I fear they’ll find a way to ruin it as well.
-Jeff Glucker
Remember the Ford Interceptor Concept? If you didn’t, you will now. And you won’t be able to unsee it when you look at the Continental Concept.
-Greg Kachadurian
I appreciate the effort and wish Ford could extend the roll of asskicking their other cars have delivered into the luxury space. However, if this thing does the job right, it’ll out-LS400 the LS400 (or maybe ES350?)…neither of which is particularly pulse-quickening.
-Tim Odell

Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Edition

-Jeff Glucker
At the Chicago Auto Show, I couldn’t fit in the ND Miata they had there, even though I learned to drive stick in an original NA Miata. So even though I can’t fit in the new one, it doesn’t impact my desire to own one at all.
-Greg Kachadurian, 6’1” and not morbidly obese, thank you very much.
I sat in. They nailed it. It’s still the answer to everything.
-Kamil Kaluski
For 25 grand it’s competing directly with the FRS/BRZ, and a few performance turbo hot hatches. It’s gotta be good to take those guys on. Having driven, raced, and hooned a whole lot of Miatas, this one will probably be excellent.
– Bradley Brownell

Cadillac CT6

Everytime I read that “name”, I cringe. Yes the car looks fine… but I have zero desire to learn more about it.
-Jeff Glucker
“Dare greatly” – to move out of Detroit, change to a more conventional naming scheme, and build different sizes of the same car.
-Greg Kachadurian
How many times have we heard that Cadillac or Lincoln is/will finally be Back with the latest _____? The previous _______ was a step in the right direction, but ultimately uncompetitive in the segment. Here we go again…
-Tim Odell
It looks great in person, except from certain front 3/4 angles. It’s got presence, it’s unmistakably American and therefore it will sell in China like hot McDonald’s French fries. If Cadillac really loved America they’d put 650hp+ small block V8 in it and smoke the Germans.
-Kamil Kaluski

Jaguar XF

Now that the XE is here, that’s the one I care a bit more about.
-Jeff Glucker
It looks great in both styling and substance. I’d say Jaguar has another winner here.
-Greg Kachadurian
In the late ‘90s/early ‘00s, we came to appreciate Audi as the replacement for BMW in terms of building attainable awesome performance luxury cars. A half generation later, I think we’re seeing Jag do something similar, but this time the target’s Mercedes Benz.
-Tim Odell
Pictures don’t do it justice as it looks like a smaller XF. In person it’s much sexier. Nice interior with a very cool infotainment center. I don’t think BMW should worry about it.
-Kamil Kaluski

Subaru STI Performance Concept

Subaru… if you don’t make this, you’re fucking insane.
-Jeff Glucker
I like the Subaru BRZ as-is. It’s a fun little car that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. But I also love this with all its wings and fender flares. It’s silly but in the right ways, and it finally has that turbocharger that seemingly everyone has been begging for. The real question is “will they build it?” As of now, nope. Probably because it’s using a full-fledged racing engine which is already on its way out. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see a faster BRZ any time soon. Or maybe it does. Just buy a used BRZ and send it to Cosworth or anyone else and they can give you a car like this without the wait.
-Greg Kachadurian
This is just some miscellaneous parts slapped together, no more a production concept than Jeeps Moab specials with $10k in Mopar aftermarket stuff thrown at them. Subaru’s clearly working on some kind of BRZ plus plus, but this ain’t it.
-Tim Odell
Showed on April 1st. Cruelest joke yet. Good one, Subaru. Too bad, as I would totally buy a used one in five years.
-Kamil Kaluski

Honda Civic Concept

Minus the “Ken Block’s Wheels Green” paint, I think this is the single most exciting and appealing car Honda has shown in America. Maybe they still know how to have fun after all?
-Greg Kachadurian
Was it that F#$&*#ing hard, Honda? Seriously, you have some of the best mechanical engineering on the planet; how hard is it to make a decently fast Civic? Compared to something like a WRX or STI, this is a vehicle you know you could do a put 300k miles on and still autocross every weekend.
-Tim Odell

Nissan Maxima

I may be the only one to say it, but I actually like what they’ve done here. It’s a high-volume car that looks radically different than most others. They could have played it safe with the styling and still move units, but they instead worked to make it interesting. And I like that.
-Greg Kachadurian
Maxima! Y u no AWD? The existence of Maxima has puzzled me for the last few years. The Altima is as big and is available with nearly the same engine for less money. Why wouldn’t anyone just buy that? And if I wanted a fancier Nissan, why wouldn’t I just buy the Infinti Q50?

-Kamil Kaluski
The new Mazda6 looks great. Oh, that’s not a Mazda6? Oh… Nevermind.
– Bradley Brownell

Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack

Unlike the last super awesome car Volkswagen debuted in America, this one will actually be sold here. Now all we have to do is buy it… right guys?….. guiz?
-Greg Kachadurian
Sigh…fine, put on the flares and lift if you must. If they offer the good turbo motor and someone makes a lowering kit to undo this madness, let’s call it a win.
-Tim Odell
Whatever, there is still the regular wagon available with diesel and stick. The new Outback is truly an excellent vehicle, competing with it won’t be easy.
-Kamil Kaluski

Lexus RX

-Jeff Glucker
I don’t know what I was expecting. All I do know is that I’ll soon be seeing these riding my ass in traffic and that disturbs me.
-Greg Kachadurian
It seems Toyota’s responded to criticisms of blandness with design dripping with anger. Unfortunately, all that anger wrapped around a Lexus reminds me a bit of Michael Bolton from Office Space. Keep an eye on your copiers.
-Tim Odell
Where are they going with this? Part of Lexus’ success comes from conservative styling. I guess their typical customers are dying out. Perhaps looking into new models from BMW and MB would be a better mean of getting younger people into the dealership. Also, Lexus needed a three-row CUV like ten years ago. Opportunity missed.
-Kamil Kaluski
C-pillar looks like it was swiped directly from BMW. Why can’t anything be an original design anymore?
– Bradley Brownell

Chevrolet Malibu

This is the first modern Malibu that I would actually call good-looking. They’re of course going to sell a bunch of these no matter how it looks, but it’s another good-looking, high-volume car headed our way. Was that so hard, Chevy?
-Greg Kachadurian
When a Chevy Malibu does it, it’s mainstream. And thus we see the mainstreamificition of the sedan-but-almost-a-hatch trend where the back of the greenhouse stretches well into typical trunk lid territory (the Model S also comes to mind). Somewhat related, from ages eight to about ten I thought the five door Escort was pretty cool looking too.
-Tim Odell

Kia Optima

Both Kia and Hyundai are on a quest to tone down their style a bit, when compared to the last few years of new looks. It could attract some new buyers who were previously on the fence, but I worry it loses a bit of the spunk that each brand was bringing to the table.
-Jeff Glucker
If by “tone down their style a bit” you mean “make it look nearly identical to the last one”, then yes, they’ve succeeded in their quest.
-Greg Kachadurian

Chevy Spark

It looks better than it used to, but it’s still not enough to win me over. That being said, GM has really stepped up their compact car game lately. Remember the Aveo? Actually… sorry I even brought it up.
-Greg Kachadurian

Scion iA

The price is right and the target market will surely snatch these up faster than they can make them. Should be a winner… but I just can’t get over how it looks like a melted Mazda.
-Greg Kachadurian
This is the new car that a doing-well but not “well-to-do” family buys for their daughter when she graduates high school and goes off to college. First it’ll get some gewgaws hanging from the rearview mirror and a UCSD sticker on the back window. A year later, it’ll have a few dings from the student parking lots. Two years later it’ll have and unfortunate stain on the rear interior door panel courtesy of a drunk friend. Three years later, the sand begins accumulating in the trunk and floor after moving down to Pacific Beach. Four years later it’ll have numerous dings and a small issue-based bumper sticker on the back glass. Five and a half years later, she’ll sell it with 110k a couple worn-out tie rods when she gets her first non-hourly job. Unfortunately, there won’t be a next-level Scion to upgrade to, so she’ll buy a Hyundai.
(see, there was a point here)
-Tim Odell

Scion iM

I hate the name. Very much. I hate it more than “CT6” because millennial jargon and get off my lawn.
-Greg Kachadurian, a 23-year-old
I recently spend a few weeks driving a first-gen xB. If only Toyota/Scion could’ve focused on making more of what made that car so special Scion would be so much more relevant today. The parallels between Scion and Saturn’s treatment hint at the GMification of Toyota. That said, I’m glad to see the Matrix will still be sold in the US. It’s a good little car (but still no xB).
-Tim Odell

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  1. Kiefmo Avatar

    McLaren – It’s Orange!
    Boxster – I can’t wait to rescue one from someone’s back yard in 25 years and turn it into an autocross hero. Note to self: might have to convert it to run off of ethanol produced in my basement, as I anticipate explodey fuels will have been outlawed by then.
    Continental – My new aspirational car. I’d love to get freaky with the missus in the back seat while Jeeves drives us to the Country Club.
    Miata – See entry for “Boxster”, but with half the budget and one-quarter the mechanical nightmare.
    Cadillac – Sorry, but the Continental now exists.
    Jaaaaaaag – Jaguar has consistently produced the sexiest executive q-ships, and this is no exception. If I’m driving myself, this might get the nod over the Continental, but luckily my fantasy garage can accomodate both.
    Subie Breeze STi – This needed to be released at the same time as the original as the hero car. As it is, it may be too little, too late. Or perhaps I’m just bitter because I still haven’t driven one.
    Civic Concept – Full disclosure: I’m a longsuffering Honda fanboy. I will defend any of their products until I’m blue in the face, including the little-loved Ridgeline and Accord Crosstour. Honda hasn’t made my job easy as of late, with evolutionary rather than revolutionary products. Thank the engineering gods for this new Civic. If the production model looks anything like this and has the moves to match, I will no longer be defending, just agreeing. And like any fan that suffers through down seasons, judging all of the bandwagoners that suddenly profess a love for the big H.
    Maxima – Next.
    Golf Sportwagon Alltrack – I first read it as “Attack” and thought “That’s awesome, I hope it makes it to production with that badass name!” then I read again and lost interest.
    Lexus RX – Next.
    Malibu – Even if a brand new model costs the same as an equally-equipped, 3-year-old Accord with 50k on the ticker… I’ll still have the Honda. Sorry, Chevy. It looks great, but I have a problem, you see.
    Optima – Is that a new model? Why’s it in this list. I’m confused now.
    Spark – I just want to roll it on its side so I can tickle its tummy. So cute!
    iA – That schnozz says “$2000 under invoice!” to me. Also, I’m still having a hard time accepting that a company with Toyota’s portfolio needed to badge-engineer a Mazda. I mean, the 2 seems like a great little car, but where’s the honor, Toyota? I’d be curious to see what Mazda gets out of this deal, if it’s anything other than a fat paycheck.
    iM – That’s just a Matrix, right? It’s like in high school where the geeky girl, Jennifer, got contacts and a new haircut and started asking people to call her Jenn. We know it’s still you, Jennifer. You can’t hide that 4.0 GPA and snorty laugh behind some makeup and a new name. You’re not going to make new friends, you’re just going to confuse your old ones.

    1. mad_science Avatar

      It’s the global Auris, which is kind of a Corolla wagon, which is what the Matrix was…but it’s a little different.
      Just as Saturn became badged Opels, such is Scion.

      1. Kiefmo Avatar

        Close enough. Is it :effectively: different, or pedantically different?

  2. engineerd Avatar

    I can see where you’re going with the comparison to the Ford Interceptor concept car. Though, the Lincoln is definitely sexier. Probably because the grill doesn’t look like it wants to eat me and my family.

  3. CraigSu Avatar

    That Scion iM is a sharp looking car. No, seriously, that thing could cut somebody. How did that manage to make it past the new pedestrian safety design rules?

  4. Stu_Rock Avatar

    The Cadillac and the Lincoln are the only two that I have any thoughts on. I have no doubt that the CT6 is a fine car and possibly even the best in its class (and yes, the name sucks). Even though it will probably sell at a small discount relative to its competitors, I expect sales figures will still be small compared to the Escalade. It’s a niche market these days for full-size cars, and adding engaging driving character makes it a niche within a niche.
    But I hope GM will have the commitment to keep the car on the market and keep on improving it, because products like that (if they are that good) will grow their niche and also start appealing outside the original niche. That will be how they grow the brand.
    The Lincoln amounts to much less. Intended to be built on an unimpressive platform, it just feels like an exercise in styling and luxury. It’s pretty derivative on the former measure, but it does look good. It would necessarily be priced much lower than that high-tech Cadillac, so I could imagine it being a success with livery fleet buyers. I am mildly surprised at how much media attention it has received–I think that’s a sign that a lot of writers and readers are yearning for a world-class Lincoln. I do to, but we still need to wait.

  5. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    The Lincoln’s resemblance to the Bentley Continental four door, the Flying Spur didn’t go un-noticed by the designers at Bentley.
    “According to Bentley’s chief designer Luc Donckerwolke, (who designed, among other cars, the Lamborghini Murcielago), Ford has crossed that line with its new Lincoln Continental concept,
    a full-size sedan concept which launched at the New York auto show. He wasted
    no time pointing out the similarities. “I would have called it Flying
    Spur concept and kept the four round lights,” he sarcastically noted on
    his Facebook page. The statement set off a flurry of supportive comments
    – such as this one by another professional designer: “I thought this
    was only done in China? Finally a ‘Bentley for the masses’ though…”
    On the Facebook page of Lincoln chief designer David Woodhouse,
    Donckerwolke asked rhetorically: “Do you want us to send the product
    tooling?” The comment was deleted swiftly.
    Speaking with Car Design News,
    Donckerwolke elaborates: “This behavior is not respectable. Building a
    copy like this is giving a bad name to the car design world.” And his
    exterior design chief, Sangyup Lee, describing the Lincoln as “a joke,”
    adding: “It is very disappointing, especially for an exclusive brand
    like Lincoln.”

    1. CraigSu Avatar

      Apparently the good folks at Bentley don’t subscribe to imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.

    2. Vairship Avatar

      So far the styling folks at Ford have ripped off Range Rover (with their trucks & Explorer), Aston Martin (with their cars) and now Bentley. When is Ford going to hire some stylists with an original thought? Or do they truly see Geely/Chery as their main competition?

  6. JayP Avatar

    Kid thinks the 1.5 turbo vtec yo will make 270lbfoots.
    I’m guessing 200.

  7. crank_case Avatar

    The Scion looks like a melted version of a Mazda 2 because apparently it is a Mazda 2 “Shatchback” which is odd.
    Edit – someone noted this already, my bad.

  8. Stephen Avatar

    Lincoln cannot possibly build that car because it actually looks desirable. Lincoln hasn’t built a desirable car since about 1969.

    1. Maymar Avatar
      Well, I can’t just agree with that (see also Mark VIII and LS).