First Look: 2012 New York International Auto Show

When the 113th-annual New York International Auto Show opens to the public on April 6-15, virtually every car on the market today and more than a dozen never-before-seen autos will be on display. That means hundreds of cars open to poke around in, plus dozens more that are eyes-only.

From the everyday Chevrolet Impala sedan to an Infiniti electric luxury car to the high-performance Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG convertible, automakers are preparing to stuff the Jacob K. Javits Center with the latest new models.

2013 viper srt official photo vdp1 First Look: 2012 New York International Auto Show

2013 Viper SRT - Official Teaser Photo (credit: SRT)

Sports Cars
One of the most highly anticipated new cars at the 2012 show is the 2013 Viper, the eye-catching performance machine that was the priciest Chrysler-made automobile from 1992 through 2010. The reborn Viper will sit atop a new “SRT” (Street and Racing Technology) brand rather than returning to Dodge, and is rumored to feature a 600-horsepower V10 engine.

Competing for the sports car spotlight will be the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG, the top-of-the-line version of the brand’s new high-end convertible. Base versions – if such a term applies to a vehicle priced above $100,000 – of the SL were shown in January at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. The AMG model will have a 621-horsepower V12 and more aggressive styling touches.

2013 mercedes benz sl65 amg official photo vdp1 First Look: 2012 New York International Auto Show

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG - Official Photo (credit: Mercedes-Benz)

Luxury Models
Several important luxury models will also debut, including the redesigned 2013 Lexus ES and 2013 Lincoln MKZ – two close competitors in the “entry-luxury” segment that prioritize smooth rides and comfort rather than zippy handling. Derived from the Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion respectively, these models typically have higher-end features, upgraded interiors and more eye-catching styling to justify their higher prices.

2013 bmw 6 series gran coupe official photo from the 2012 geneva motor show vdp2 First Look: 2012 New York International Auto Show

2013 BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe - Official Photo from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show (credit: BMW)

Two more luxury cars that are coming to the show will wear the recently developed “four-door coupe” designation, which means they’re lower and sleeker than a typical sedan. The New York show will feature the world debut of the Mercedes-Benz CLC and the U.S. debut of the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe.

terrafugia flying car official photo vdp1 First Look: 2012 New York International Auto Show

Terrafugia Flying Car - Official Photo (credit: Terrafugia)

Flying Cars
The future has finally arrived. The Terrafugia flying car, an airplane with folding wings that can be legally driven on streets and parked in a garage, is debuting at this year’s NYIAS. The $194,000 vehicle has been previously shown in aviation circles, but not alongside conventional automobiles until now.

Best Selling Models
In addition to the dream cars you’ll want to ogle, the show will also feature some cars the rest of us may actually be able to afford.  Redesigns of the best-selling Chevrolet Impala and Nissan Altima sedans are also coming to New York, and Toyota has announced it will show a new sedan as well.

The 2013 Altima will face off against the recently redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, as well as the upcoming 2013 Ford Fusion. The competing Honda Accord, also due for a redesign, may make a New York International Auto Show appearance as well, though so far only its Crosstour crossover variant has been confirmed to make an appearance.

The 2014 Impala, meanwhile, is expected to re-establish itself as Chevrolet’s flagship sedan, placing itself more decisively above the smaller Malibu. Now an old-school design selling based on its size for the money, the Impala will likely jump up in quality – and price – to better compete against such models as the Dodge Charger and Ford Taurus.

Crossover SUVs
Automakers are bringing several popular crossover SUVs to New York, including a fully redesigned 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, General Motors’ updated 2013 Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, and Toyota’s face-lifted 2013 Venza. A high-riding version of the Subaru Impreza all-wheel-drive compact hatchback will also make its U.S. debut wearing the “XV Crosstrek” moniker, offering a more fuel-efficient alternative to the best-selling Ford Escape and Honda CR-V.

Fuel Efficient Options
Speaking of fuel efficiency, eco-friendly luxury will also be on display. Infiniti will unveil a concept luxury version of the Nissan Leaf electric car, and exotic carmaker Fisker will show off the new Nina plug-in hybrid that will slot below the $100,000+ Karma that’s now on sale.

The Classics
Besides the new models, the LeMay automotive museum from Tacoma, WA. will have an exhibit of classic cars on display at the auto show. Other activities include ride-alongs in Jeep SUVs on an off-road course and in electric cars indoors.

Tickets cost $15 for adults and $5 for children and can be purchased at

For more great, firsthand coverage of the 2012 New York International Auto Show, visit

Brady Holt, a Washington D.C. newspaper reporter, has had a lifelong interest in cars in the automotive world, and he’ll share his thoughts at every available opportunity. Brady has written for since 2008, and covered the ’08 New York International Auto Show with’s Inside Line team as a student journalist. His work can be found on

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