2015 New York International Auto Show: Big, little and in between, part 1

It’s a hard show for a car to get noticed, even for carmakers bringing out their latest at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, whether it’s the Cadillac CT6, Cadillac’s new range topper built to take on the world’s automotive power brokers. Can you say Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series? And Lincoln is back into it as well, dropping the alphanumeric name for a classic name from the marque’s past, and something to bookmark the MKC that’s running the table at Lincoln. Chevy Malibu aims at America heart and heartland, while McLaren comes out with a cheap model. Well, more attainable. Well, take a look at new stuff at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. (We’ve broken it into two parts because, well, we did).

2016 Cadillac CT6

2016 Cadillac CT6

Cadillac CT6: The Cadillac CT6 is not only all-new, it’s playing in a segment is hasn’t frequented in years. With the same external measurements as a BMW 7-Series, the new aluminum and high-strength steel chassis—11 different materials in all—lets the CT6 weigh in the same as the BMW 5-Series. That’s less than 3700 pounds. What’s more, the CT6 is powered by an all-new 3.0L twin-turbo engine makes 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. A base engine will be a two-liter four rated at 265 horsepower. Among other features, the CT6 offers four-zone climate control and a reclining back seat with more than three inches of adjustment. The Cadillac signature styling theme continues but with a new fine-line horizontal grille. Look for the 2016 Cadillac CT6 late this year.

2016 Hyundai Tucson

2016 Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson: The 2016 edition of the Hyundai Tucson will sport an impressive three-bar grille along with a further step away from truck-like contours, adding a greater availability of advanced technology as well. Hyundai has taken the interior further upscale with more extensive soft-touch surfaces and a five-inch LCD multi-information as standard equipment, plus optional ventilated front seats. The Tucson gets bigger inside by getting longer and wider with a longer wheelbase than before. The Tucson will arrive in dealer showrooms this summer.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet Malibu: The Chevrolet Malibu, Chevy’s mid-size sedan, becomes even more mid-size with its all-new 2016 next generation. In addition to a new look with a striking new grille—like it or not—and newly sculpted sides, the Malibu has grown by almost four inches in length to become almost as big as big brother Impala. Longer doesn’t mean heavier, however. The Malibu loses more than 300 pounds in the process. An all-new hybrid version will get 48 mpg city, 45 mpg highway – and 47 mpg combined, using technology borrowed from the Chevrolet Volt. The Malibu will satisfy your Wi-Fi needs with OnStar 4G LTE in-vehicle connectivity, and adds features including wireless cellphone charging, And did you ever think you’d see a Malibu with a choice between a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter engines, even if turbocharged? The Malibu arrives about a year from now.

2016 Chevrolet Spark

2016 Chevrolet Spark

Chevrolet Spark: Built on an all-new platform, the Chevrolet Spark is a bit longer and a couple of inches lower, adding room and reducing wind resistance for better fuel economy. Built on a new platform, the world-car Spark—it’s sold in 40 countries—is powered by a new 1.4-liter engine that, with a continuously variable transmission, should get 40 mpg on the highway. Not necessarily bare-boned as many urban cars can be, the Spark has 4G LTE data connection and onboard Wi-Fi optional. The Spark can have safety options including blind spot warning, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert. A rear-vision camera system is standard. Chevrolet calls the Spark the maturation of the global minicar market—though with new colors including Toasted Marshmallow, Kalamata and Splash will be offered when the 2016 Spark goes on sale at the end of the year.

2016 Jaguar XF

2016 Jaguar XF

Jaguar XF: After we just took a look at the Jaguar XF, the British carmaker chose New York to introduce its successor. The new XF will weigh in some 400 pounds lighter (that’s right, 190 kilos X 2.2 pounds/kilo) than the car we tested. The new aluminum-intensive body is not only lighter but its 116.5 inch wheelbase is two inches longer with the front overhang reduced about the same amount. Interior room has been increased, particularly the back seat. Overall the aerodynamics have been improved to an impressive 0.26 coefficient of drag. Mechanically, the all-wheel drive system now has proactive torque-on-demand. The XF adds a once-concept car feature, “Dual View” technology which simultaneously allows the driver to see information such as navigation, while the front seat passenger watches TV or a DVD on the 10.2 inch screen. You’ll have to wait a year to get your hands…and your dual view…on one, however.

2016 Lincoln Continental concept

2016 Lincoln Continental concept

Lincoln Continental concept: It’s officially a concept but it shows where Lincoln is going. The split wing grille is gone, replaced by a giant Braun electric razor, and the alphanumeric model designation, well, we can hope, can’t we. And we’ve hoped for a new Lincoln flagship model, and this, with a shape some say cribbed from Bentley’s Flying Spur, should be it. It’s impressive, with a first-class back seat, with 30-way adjustability for the seats and “tablet-supporting lap tray,” which should keep the kids busy for a while. Or at least keeping the “clients,” as Lincoln calls its customers, happy. As should the “E-Latch” door handles. The concept has a new Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter V6 EcoBoost engine. No word on when the production version will arrive, but it won’t be soon enough for Lincoln, for which the hottest model right now is the Lincoln MKC compact crossover.

2016 Kia Optima

2016 Kia Optima

Kia Optima: Take the 2015 Kia Optima, turn loose a can of sleekness on it, and you have the all-new 2016 Optima. More than just a pretty grille, however, the new Optima’s chassis is stiffer as well, with 50 percent of the body constructed from advanced high strength steel. Engine mounts, body panels and even the wheels were stiffened to reduce vibrations, and engine and road noise. Even the seat frames are more rigid to make the seating itself more comfortable. The restyled interior has more of a horizontal theme with a wider center console for a greater sense of room, and of course there are more soft-touch surfaces. A new 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine joins the powertrain lineup, available only on the LX trim. It’s rated at 178 horsepower, makes 195 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1,500 rpm for easy driving around town. It comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, a first for the Kia. Look for it in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Honda Civic Coupe concept

Honda Civic Coupe concept

Honda Civic Concept: “This is the return of the sporty Civic,” according to John Mendel, Honda’s executive vice president in the U.S. Abandoning the recent stuffy profile, Honda showed a potential Civic probably not too far from the production model in a luminescent lime green intense as the new shape. With a longer hood and a wedgier profile, the Civic is dressed to kill. Figuratively speaking, of course. But Honda plans to add a hatchback and a performance model to the lineup. A new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with a six-speed automatic transmission—or CVT (continuously variable)—are slated for the Civic when it appears next fall as a sedan. The coupe, as shown in concept form, will come later, as will the R-type boy racer model that’s been available over there but not over here.

More New York International introductions? Click here for Part 2.