Recap: 2012 New York Auto Show

New York Auto Show II
Much of the buzz of the show in New York dealt with the strong March industry sales numbers. Everyone seemed to be cautiously optimistic, and maybe that's why there was so much energy floating around the halls of the Javitz Convention Center during the media preview.

For us, the only real news was the introduction of the 2013 Ram 1500, which was quite impressive, but a few other interesting attractions caught our eye. If you're interested in all the car news, our friends at have recaps from day 1 and day 2 of the New York auto show.


Terrafugia Transition

NY Flying car II
Where else would you introduce a flying car than at the only auto show in the country where most of the city dwellers deal with awful traffic? What could be better than overcoming the force of gravity to soar above the congested masses? This certainly isn't the first attempt at a flying car — in fact, this is the second-generation Transition — but this model from Terrafugia always drew a crowd around its booth, especially when they showed how the wings collapse and extend. This street-legal airplane still has several testing phases to complete before any sales can be made. Some are reporting the vehicle could cost around $280,000.


2013 Ram 1500

NY Ram rear susp II
Considering that Chrysler showed off the SRT Viper on one day and then a significantly remodified and reinvigorated Ram 1500 the next, I think it's safe to say Chrysler was pretty happy with its part in the New York auto show. Ram Truck chief Fred Diaz gave a presentation that was filled with drama and special effects, as well a good future-tech story. I'm pretty sure local Ram dealers were half-expecting Sam Elliot to come out from behind the screen with a 2013 short-bed RamBox SLT crew cab. For the most part, the big improvements are under the skin, so most of the attention centered on the interior upgrades. We spent most of our time at a cutaway of the new Ram to see all the important parts.


New Chevy Face

NY Chevy face II
NY Chevy Int II
You may remember the new face of GMC was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show with the appearance of the 2013 GMC Acadia. The New York auto show brought us the 2013 Chevy Traverse, and the new face it is sporting (and possibly the interior) could hint at the next-generation full-size pickup trucks. Still no word about the 2014 GMT platforms, but we'd expect to start hearing about some kind of concept truck for the Detroit Auto Show or possibly at SEMA.


Porsche Turbo-Diesel

NY Porsche Cayenne diesel II
Porsche is certainly not a pickup truck maker, but some say the Cayenne handles like one, and its curb weight is quite similar to a half-ton. In fact, at over 5,000 pounds, the Cayenne weighs more than some full-size regular pickups. In New York, Porsche introduced its new 3.0-liter direct-injection V-6 turbo-diesel that is expected to get 20/28 mpg city/highway. That would give the SUV more than 700 miles of range, but those numbers don't seem impressive. The new Cayenne does have a smart eight-speed transmission and uses AdBlue (stored in a warmed tank where the spare tire would be) for selective catalytic reduction. The turbo-diesel is a $7,000 premium over the 3.6-liter V-6 gas model. If diesels are going to get more popular in this country, it won't be because of an option like this.


Honda Rearview

Honda recently announced it will equip all its cars with backup cameras to keep drivers as fully aware as possible with what's going on around them. Apparently, that already was a high priority for the larger, more truck-like vehicles in Honda's fleet, as all of its "truck" models — the Ridgeline, CR-V, Odyssey and Pilot — did offer the backup camera option on all of it's models; however, for 2013 it will be a standard feature. Good to see trucks can provide some good safety leadership for the car side of the business.


Smart Tailgate

NY Smart trunk II
We usually don't spend much time at the Smart car stand, but this caught our eye. No question this is a drop tailgate on the microcar, but it looks like it could be a good idea for an interested pickup truck maker. When you consider that the RamBox storage system was born from the simple question about why don't use all the wasted space in the bed wall, why doesn't someone come up with a smarter (and lighter) tailgate that will hold some of our tools and gear as well? Leave it to the little guys to come up with the next big idea.


Excessive Tailgate

NY Bentley EXP 2 II
On the subject of tailgates — especially when you consider there seems to be a race to produce the most outlandish premium-level option package — we saw this setup on the Bentley EXP concept vehicle. Originally shown at last month at the Geneva International Motor Show, this sliding, movable tailgate holds and cradles all sorts of delicate silverware and various upper-crust picnic accessories. Maybe this is a little far fetched, even for Bentley, but we like the idea of taking what is typically wasted space and trying to be creative with storage.



The ram and the Porsche diesel are great
News the rest garbage.

Didn't the Porsche dude died like 2 days ago?

Once I took apart the tailgate on my 06 Frontier. There was a big metal slab inside of it weighing, heck, I don't know, 50 pounds. I thought, "why? What's the point of this big piece of steel that makes the gate on my midsize truck heavier than the gates on most fullsize trucks?"

Haha. Anyway, I hope the tailgate storage idea catches on. It could have clamps for simple tools such as crescent wrenches and ratchets. All you'd need is about 2.5-3" of room inside.


Probably to balance the truck man!

Never owned a frontier myself

Where does it say a 1500 diesel is coming or confirmed?

@Mark Williams the Porsche Diesel and it's cost are on another planet compared to 3 Litre Diesel Pickups you can buy in Australia.

The only real highlights were from Dodge - a Viper and the 1500.

I hope the picture "The New Chevy Face" isn't the new face of the 1500. If it is please put a paper bag over its head.

My wife and I actually attended this show. Our daughter lives nearby and we were there to visit. I had no idea it was going on until I read the paper so we went. Very fun event! I've never been to an auto show before. It was vey nice seeing the Dodge products even though I'm not much of a Dodge guy. I was still very impressed. I'm dumbfounded as to why the Viper and Ram are not still called Dodge though. It makes no sense to me. Yet ther was this new Dart there, kind of like a modern Neon I suppose and it was still called Dodge. Very confusing to me. Not much from Ford really. We bought our F-150 platinum and my understanding is the trucks will remain the same for awhile yet. The new Fusion we bought so the car itself was not new to me. I was impressed by the Impala from Chevrolet. I think the only thing I didn't like was it had that dash pod 'hood' as I call it. I never cared for those. I think it would be a pita to clean. The car itself was stunning though. A few dash fixes and I think I like it even more than our Fusion. I just like the Fusion's dash better. We always bought the Malibu and I don't like this new one as well as the Fusion. The Traverse is much improved. Far better interior materials which has been a real turn off of Chevrolet products for me for years and one of the reasons I left their trucks. Maybe there's hope for the next Silverado yet. Some King Ranch and Platinum types interiors would get people into Chevrolet showrooms again.

As for the Traverse face, it matched the Impala. It could still be better but I don't think there's much that can be done outside of changing the entire vehicle design. This alone however was a big improvement. I never cared for the truck split bar on the car's and cuv's. That should stay for trucks if anything. There was a grey/silver Traverse there that looked very classy in person from the outside. That was really all that stuck out for me from the Big 3. Not a ton of new stuff but plenty to make it enjoyable. The was some interesting concepts and such from foreign makes. That's not really my thing though.

I never cared for the truck split bar on the car's and cuv's. That should stay for trucks if anything.

@Ron, I agree. I hated the truck grill on their car's and crossovers. It made them look cheap and tacky. I saw that new Impala too. All I can say is Wow! What a sexy machine... I wonder if the trucks will continue to use that split bar or if they'll do something else this time? When I look back at the Chevy trucks I've owned, I can honestly cay the only truck that has the split bar and Looked awesome with it was my 98. All of those 88-98 trucks looked fantastic. I had a 72 which was my other favorite though and it didn't have a split bar. It was more of a crosspattern grille with the Bowtie in the center. My 76 Chevy was the same way. No crossbar. My 85 had it though and looked awesome as well. I think it works great with or without it on trucks. Cars though, I don't like it at all. Unless it's an old Chevelle.

How much is completely irrelevant but admission

@Lou, They know better than put a soccer mom front fasia on a real truck.
The crossbar/bowtie grill has become a trademark now. Love it or leave it on that one.
They better have clamps, straps, etc. if they plan to use the tailgate for a toolbox. It better not pop open when rear-ended and some electric hinges will be nessisary to open/close all the weight in there. Other than that, I think any added weight back there will help with deadhead traction issues. That will make the latch and lock unnessisary, but the back-up camera will need a new home.

I didn't see it here, but GM has developed left and right driver seat viberators to warn drivers when they drift out of their lane. How it will know you aren't just changing lanes they didn't say but I hope you will be able to shut it off!

@RonAndersen. Globally Fiat is phasing out Dodge. It will be Chrysler and Jeep . Jeep being the main brand for most people outside NA.
Here in Australia, Chrysler dealerships will takeover the Fiat/Alfa Romeo dealerships.Fiat and Alfa Romeo are not going away it makes more sense to put all makes under one franchise.
Fiat Industrial on the other hand is separate manufacturing the unique to Australia,
Powerstar, coming as a Roadtrain version
ACCO, Waste Desposal and Construction.


The reason the Viper and Ram are not called "Dodge" will has to do with the upcoming fuel standards which each branch must meet.

By taking the thirsty ram and viper out of "dodge" they can meet the required 35 mgp average that the new cafe standards will require each automakers line

Thats why they created the Ram and SRT brands

Given that the viper sells so little and the ram will be in a different class, they have some exemptions.


Dodge is focused solely on affordable sporty cars, SUVs and minivans, probably to go after Mazda and the "zoom-zoom" factor. The Viper is a premium sport car and the Ram is a truck that will never fit the sports car bill, though I'm crossing fingers for a Ram SRT8 6.4 that will turn the Ford-Harley Davidson F150 over on its side. This is why Madza dropped the B-Series, that and the B was an old 100-year-old Ranger.

@Lonnie - that post makes perfect sense. Thanks.

You have to be absolutely have one. Was a beautiful exhibition

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