NY motor show: 5 SA-bound cars you need to see

<b>NEW R8 SPYDER FOR SA:</b> The new Audi R8 Spyder should arrive locally in 2017. <i>Image: Supplied</i>
<b>NEW R8 SPYDER FOR SA:</b> The new Audi R8 Spyder should arrive locally in 2017. <i>Image: Supplied</i>

New York-  From hot-selling SUVs to cool new small cars to electric vehicles and hybrids, the 2016 New York International Auto Show features a diverse line-up of new models.

The show officially opens to the public on Friday (March 25) and,  according to organisers, about 1000 vehicles will be on display.

Here are some of the buzz-worthy new cars at the show:

Mazda MX-5 RF:

If you want to ride cruise along South African mountain passes with the wind in your hair, Mazda has a car for you. The RF stands for "retractable fastback," and is a new version of the MX-5 sports car with smooth mechanics that fold the roof panel above the seating area into a spot behind the passenger compartment.

Masa Moro, Mazda's North American CEO, says the RF is a sibling to the MX-5 "but dressed in a little more sophisticated stylish suit." No price was given for the new version which is set to arrive SA in 2017.

A photo posted by Wheels24 (@wheels24_sa) on

2 Nissan GT-R:

Godzilla, as it's known to fans, gets its first big makeover in a decade. The 2017 GT-R has a bigger grille for engine cooling, and the car has a higher line below the windows in the rear to make it look wider and more aggressive. Its handling and suspension has been improved.

Under the hood, the 3.8-litre V6 twin-turbocharged engine has been tweaked to deliver 421kW, a 15kW improvement over the outgoing GT-R. The new  models receives an improved six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The interior is simplified, with fewer switches and paddle-shifters. The familiar GT-R tone also has been upgraded with an engine that, Nissan says, "has never sounded better" courtesy of new titanium mufflers and Active Sound Enhancement (ASE).

Nissan South Africa will introduce the new GT-R later this in 2016 with exact timing and specifications to be confirmed closer to the local launch. Graeme Birch, general manager marketing communications of Nissan SA, said: “The Nissan GT-R is certainly one of our halo products and we are excited to welcome the new GT-R to South Africa. We will be announcing more details in the not so distant future.” 

A photo posted by Nissan USA (@nissanusa) on

3 Subaru Impreza:

Subaru debuts two Imprezas at the New York show - its four-door sedan and a new hatchback. Both are slightly longer and wider than the outgoing models, which gives them more interior space. The pair also rides lower to improve aerodynamics.

The Impreza is built on a new, stiffer platform for improved handling and improved safety.

Inside, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard. One new safety option is "reverse automatic braking" which can halt the car if the system detects a passion object. When will the Impreza arrive locally? According to Subaru SA, it depends on whether there's "enough interest in SA". Subaru says the earliest the new Impreza could arrive is 2018.


Do you think Subaru should launch it's new Impreza in South Africa? Email usand we'll publish your thoughts.

4 Audi R8 Spyder:

Ingolstadt's hardtop supercar is due in South Africa in 2016, and Audi used the New York Motor Show to unveil the new Spyder version.

The Spyder uses the same 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 found in the R8 hardtop. Power is a massive 397kW/540Nm. As per normal, Quattro all-wheel drive is standard and the Spyder rockets from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, while 0 to 200 km/h is dealt with in 11.8 seconds. Top speed is 318 km/h.

The V10 is also mated to the same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission from the hardtop.

Aside from the normal driving modes (comfort, auto and dynamic) it adds three more driving programs - dry, wet and snow. The Spyder should arrive locally in 2017.


A photo posted by Audi (@audi) on

5 Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet:

The BMW M4 and Audi RS5 cabriolet have so far had the high-performance drop-top segment to themselves. Well that's about to change with the unveiling of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet.

It borrows the sedan's 4.0-litre forced-induction V8 engine to develop 350kW in normal guise (an S version pushes power to 375kW), storms to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds (4.1 secs for S) with a top speed limited to 250km/h.

A mechanical limited-slip differential is standard on the normal version while an electronic version is found on the S. Merc's seven-speed DCT 'box is fitted to in both variants.

But the real reason (we hope) buyers are keen on the cabriolet version is to enjoy the aural delight of the V8.

The car uses a multi-layer cloth soft top (available i: black, dark brown, dark blue or dark red) and it can be opened or closed at speeds up to 50km/h.

Mercedes’ Airscarf technology, which wafts warm air into your neck via air ducts, is standard and allow topless driving even when there's a chill in the air.

Expect the C63 cabriolet to reach SA shores later in 2016.

A photo posted by Mercedes-AMG (@mercedesamg) on

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