Big-name cars like the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept and Mercedes S63 AMG coupe help to prove the significance of this US show
Mark Tisshaw
16 April 2014

The 2014 running of the New York motor show was one for remembering legends, reinventing them, and perhaps creating new ones.

The story of the show was undoubtedly the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept. Like all great concept cars, the Discovery Vision stirred debate. Does it look too similar to the Range Rover? Is it too much of a departure from the current Discovery, already an acclaimed design?

Whatever people thought about the concept, they still spent the whole show talking about it, which is the sign of true star quality.

Nostalgic nods to legends still in production today came courtesy of the Ford Mustang, which celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special edition, and the Mazda MX-5, which celebrated its 25th with a new special and brought along a whole host of classic MX-5s with it in a special display. 

While we’ve already seen the future of the Ford Mustang with the next-generation Mustang, Mazda has so-far kept quiet on the next MX-5. Until New York that is where it showed off the car’s completed chassis and suspension systems, a masterpiece in compact packaging and the first glimpse of how the innovative firm will look to get the roadster under 1000kg. We’ll see the results before the year is out.

Another compact sports car heading to the US is the Alfa Romeo 4C, marking the return to the US for Alfa after two decades away and the best part of another decade full of promises it was coming back.

The brand still holds great kudos in the US after the Alfa Spider’s starring role in 1960s film The Graduate, despite quality issues that forced its most recent exit. The 4C will look to leverage that and raise awareness ahead of Alfa’s relaunch proper next year when the talking and false dawns will surely finally stop with a new range of rear-wheel drive models made in Italy.

While Alfa bids to use its history to get a leg-up in the competitive US market, European rivals BMW and Mercedes can point to good products for runaway successes there and show the forces Alfa has to compete with. 

Both BMW and Mercedes are on for record sales again this year, and brought new models with star quality to New York, BMW with the M4 convertible and controversial X6-inspired X4 SUV and Mercedes the stunning S63 AMG coupe

AMG boss Tobias Moers reckons the car is better to drive than it looks; and some model that’s going to be if he’s proved correct.

Other worthy models at the show included Hyundai’s sharp new Sonata saloon that we’ll see as the next i40, Kia’s new Sedona MPV that fully draws the curtain on the ugly old-school Kia design that’s been eradicated by Peter Schreyer, and the Nissan Murano, a big new SUV that could come to the UK and tempt buyers out of their BMW X3s and Audi Q5s.

New York is never the biggest motor show on the circuit, but it is still significant, as the amount of big world debuts shows in a week where there’s also the small matter of another motor show in Beijing reveals.

The New York motor show 2014 as it happened

2011hrs That's it from Autocar's live coverage of the New York motor show for today. Check back tomorrow for more show news and post-show analysis, and have a look through the gallery above to pick your show stars.

2010hrs The production-ready Acura TLX saloon has been revealed in New York. It's the follow-up model to the Detroit concept of the same name, seen earlier this year.

2000hrs Confirmation that Land Rover's Freelander replacement will be badged Discovery Sport. The new model will go on sale in 2015.

1955hrs Speaking of the new Discovery family, we already know Land Rover is working on a new, more rugged seven-seat SUV to become the fourth member in the range.

1945hrs Speth also indicated that all members of the new Discovery family will have "versatility" to differentiate them for the current Range Rover family. That also suggests the new baby Discovery is likely to have the option of seven seats. 

1935hrs Jaguar Land Rover is eventually expected to produce an SUV which sits between the Freelander replacement - tipped to be called Discovery Sport - and the next full-size Discovery. That means the company is likely aiming for a continued premium position in the market.

1930hrs Speaking to Autocar at the New York motor show, Speth said: "We want to stay exclusive and we’re not going to be able to compete against mass volumes. We’re going to focus on really special customers driving a Land Rover."

1925hrs Land Rover says it has "no interest" in competing with the likes of the Toyota Land Cruiser or with Korean SUVs. Company boss Ralf Speth told Autocar that going along the mass-market route was not the mission of the new Discovery family.

1920hrs Among the cars set to receive the Ingenium engines is Jaguar's BMW 3-series rival, the XE.

1915hrs The new JLR engine family was given the Ingenium name at the Geneva motor show last month. The range will be built at a new engine facility near to Wolverhampton.

1910hrs Jaguar Land Rover's research and development chief tells us to expect full technical details of its new range of four-cylinder 'Ingenium' engines in September.

1905hrs The Mercedes-Benz G-class won't be axed like the Land Rover Defender due to legislation. It's still very much legal, and enjoyed its best ever year for sales last year as it now enters its 35th year. The 6x6 AMG variant is also selling well, according to Andreas Zygan, who didn't go into specifics. 

1900hrs The upcoming Mercedes Concept Coupe SUV is a coupe with SUV ability rather than an SUV turned into a coupe, according to Mercedes-Benz SUV boss Andreas Zygan. He points out that the car's chief rival, the BMW X6, is the other way around and is an SUV with a coupe profile. The Concept Coupe SUV is already confirmed for production, where it is set to take the MLC name.

1855hrs Digital editor Stuart Milne says: "My show star isn’t even a car. Well, not yet. The new MX-5’s chassis teases a front-mid engine/rear drive layout that, says Mazda, will provide 50:50 weight distribution. For all the noise about the Toyota GT86’s handling purity, it’s easy to forget the brilliance of the MX-5’s chassis. And the next one could be even better."

1850hrs Digital reporter Darren Moss likes the look of the 50th anniversary special-edition Ford Mustang. Although it's unlikely to come to the UK any time soon, the added chrome exterior trim and upgraded interior will make this a very special car to own.

1847hrs Deputy digital editor Lewis Kingston has chosen the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible, which should have at least 625bhp available when it goes on sale, powered by a 6.2-litre V8 engine.

1843hrs Here in the Autocar office we've been deciding which cars we like the look of so far. Deputy editor Matt Burt says he likes the way Kia has put its stamp on the MPV sector with the new eight-seat Sedona.

1840hrs The Alpina B6 GranCoupe xDrive is also making its US debut. The B6 BiTurbo GranCoupe made its world debut at the Geneva motor show.

1834hrs We've now put better pictures of the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept live. Click here to take a look.

1830hrs It may only be an early preview, but we're still impressed with the underpinnings for the new Mazda MX-5. It's due to go on sale next year with a familiar front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout.

1824hrs Another US debut here for the BMW 4-series Gran Coupe. The optional xDrive model could come in handy after any overnight snow in New York. It'll go on sale in the UK in June.

1820hrs The Discovery name will return to the USA when the production version of the Discovery Concept arrives. The third and fourth-generation Discovery dropped the name, adapting the LR3 and LR4 badge. This was due to poor quality of the early Discovery models and their related reputation. The Land Rover brand is far stronger now than it was in ten years ago, hence the return of the Discovery badge.

1815hrs Our US writer Marc Noordeloos reports: "The new Mercedes S63 AMG coupe is impressive. The interior is gorgeous, with subtle details that set it apart from the S-Class saloon. One special note is in regards to the steering wheel. One of my contacts at Mercedes refers to the two-spoke steering wheel fitted to the S-class saloon as “the clown wheel”, meaning it’s not too attractive. The new three-spoke wheel in the S-class coupe will trickle into the S-class saloon for 2015, at least in the USA."

1812hrs What do you think of Mini's fan-inspired art car? We like its funky Tron-style graphics, but buyers will have to be quick as only 56 units will be put up for sale.

1804hrs In other non-New York news, MG has revealed its new Dynamo electric car concept. It's been designed to assess demand for a small electric model from the brand, and is said to encompass "the latest in design and engineering technology".

1800hrs BMW officials have confirmed a production version of its plug-in hybrid X5 eDrive concept will be built. The prototype version we drove was able to return over 74.3mpg.

1755hrs The revised Toyota Camry gets new equipment and significantly sharper styling. It'll go on sale in the US this autumn at Toyota's plant in Kentucky.

1750hrs Mazda is celebrating 25 years of its MX-5 in New York with a new special edition. The new model comes with an upgraded engine, but there's no word on whether the model will come to the UK.

1745hrs There are plenty of pictures from the New York show floor now live. Take a look at our updated stories, here

1742hrs On the new BMW X4, board member Ian Robertson says: "The X4 is extrovert and the first of its kind in segment. It follows the trail blazed by the X6, a proven winner after 240,000 sales. It has a generous sense of space despite low roof."

1737hrs The revised Mini Countryman gets a more aggressive look, but the biggest changes come with improvements to its engine range. 

1733hrs In other BMW industry news, the firm's Spartanburg plant will become its largest following new investment and the launch of the X4 and X7 models. One in every four BMWs solf is an X model, with around 3.3 million X models sold since the launch of the original X5.

1730hrs BMW had a record first quarter at the start of this year, delivering 487,000 cars worldwide. The firm is aiming for a group sales record this year, aiming to deliver two million units.

1728hrs BMW says the US is the largest market for its X and M-badged models. Just as well, then, that both the new M4 convertible and X4 SUV are here to make their public debuts.

1724hrs Jeep's global sales goal was 800,000 units for 2014, but its updated sales target is now one million units. It's on track to reach that, with Jeep sales up 44 per cent so far in 2014. March 2014 was its best month ever, with China, Brazil, and Europe being key markets.

1720hrs Our US correspondent Marc Noordeloos is eagerly awaiting official confirmation of prices for Volkswagen's latest Golf. He says: "Volkswagen is announcing Golf and GTI pricing for the USA market later today. The Golf Mk7 still hasn’t landed at dealers in America, but it will soon. Leaked prices for the GTI peg it below $25,000 USD. On a like-for-like currency conversion, that's under £15,000." 

1715hrs Having seen the 50th anniversary special-edition Ford Mustang in the metal, Autocar editor Chas Hallett says: "It looks lovely, with great touches including the original paint and extra chrome flourishes. I can't wait for it to come to Europe".

1712hrs Mercedes also says the S63 AMG coupe has more torque than a Nascar engine, with 664lb ft compared to the racer's 627lb ft. The car's All-wheel drive option also has a 67 per cent rear bias, according to officials.

1710hrs The new Mercedes S63 AMG coupe "drives even better than it looks", according to AMG boss Tobias Moers. It's our "ultimate statement car".

1707hrs AMG looks to have had a record year in 2013, selling 32,200 cars. Officials report sales are already up 50 per cent year on year in the first quarter of this year. Take a look at our history of AMG picture special, here.

1704hrs Editor Chas Hallett has been looking at the new BMW X4. "It looks better than an X6 in the metal," he says "Although that's feint praise as the rear space could be a bit tight for tall adults".

1700hrs Autocar's Mark Tisshaw also reports that, "the project to replace the Land Rover Defender is progressing very well, according to Land Rover design studio director Richard Woolley. He declined to put a launch date on it, but expect to see it once a family of Discovery models is established.

1657hrs The upcoming Land Rover Discovery family won't adopt a 'cookie cutter' approach, Land Rover design studio director Richard Woolley has told Autocar's Mark Tisshaw in a New York motor show interview. "Instead it's a tool box approach - within the toolbox are different tools for different jobs with appropriate size, technology and design. It's the same for Land Rover," reports our man on the show floor.

1653hrs The New York motor show is about more than four-wheel modes of transport. US correspondent Marc Noordeloos says: "I’m a car guy but I love motorcycles. The new, retro BMW R nineT looks especially fabulous on the stand at the show. It’s hidden away a bit, just to not take away from the cars..."

1648hrs The new Jeep Renegade launches in the States at New York. It should sell well in the USA. It’s interesting that Jeep is offering the 1.4-litre turbo with a manual gearbox and all-wheel drive, says Marc Noordeloos. They won’t sell more than a handful but it’s cool they are going to try. My guess is the “enthusiast" configuration will be dropped after the first model year. 

1644hrs Another interesting snippet of news from Land Rover design studio director Richard Woolley is an expectation that the 'leisure' side of the new car market Land Rover is pitching its new Discovery family into is expected to grow to 20 million units by 2020. This shows just how much opportunity for innovative products within it, according to Woolley.

1640hrs Our senior editor for news and features, Mark Tisshaw, has conducted an interview with Land Rover design studio director Richard Woolley. Unsurprisingly, the stunning new Discovery Vision concept was the main topic of conversation. Tisshaw says: "Woolley, in the context of the perceived similarities of the Discovery Vision concept and the Range Rover, told me that Range Rover and Discovery are bought by very different people. The Discovery is bought by those with others in mind due to its versatility and 'social space', while the Range Rover is more a personal choice bought by an individual for themselves."

1635hrs One of the largest stands at the show belongs to Maserati. "It’s clear Maserati wants to really grow sales of the brand in the States, and the east coast of America is a key battleground in the luxury/sports saloon world. Maserati offering all-wheel drive is a key part of that potential for success in the USA," says Marc Noordeloos.

1632hrs In contrast with some of the vast stands in New York, Mitsubishi's presence is rather humble. "The Mitsubishi stand is especially sad in New York. We’ll see how long it lasts in the States," says Marc Noodeloos.

1627hrs Although the Ford Mustang is regarded as an icon of the American motor industry, the Blue Oval is going out of its way to ensure the latest version is seen as a global vehicle. "It was interesting that Mark Fields talked for more than a split second about Europe during the Mustang 50th press conference," notes Marc Noordeloos. "One in six Mustang Facebook fans are based in Europe. He confirmed what we already knew: the Mustang goes on sale in Europe in 2015." 

1622hrs There's plenty of interest in Alfa Romeo's potential resurgence in the USA. Our US-based correspondent Marc Noordeloos says: "It’s nice to see the Alfa Romeo 4C finally on the ground in the USA. All we need now is some new Alfa products to back up the gorgeous two-seater".

1617hrs Marc Noordeloos has already picked up on one of the themes of this year’s New York motor show. He says: "An ongoing theme is advanced safety features being added to more and more cars. Features like rear cross-traffic alert, blind-sport detection, and collision warning systems are all being incorporated".

1613hrs The JLR ETO division encompasses special order cars, as well as heritage and performance models. "It's like a cross between AMG and Mulliner", says Hallett.

1610hrs Autocar editor Chas Hallett has just finished talking to Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth about the company's Engineered To Order division. Hallett says: "I didn't realise how far reaching ETO would be".

1604hrs Nissan says the Murano uses premium materials inside and comes with NASA-inspired seats.

1600hrs We've had our first look at the new Nissan Murano in the metal. It'll go on sale in the US later this year.

1554hrs To find out more about the history of the Ford Mustang, take a look at our picture special.

1550hrs Perhaps the most famous Mustang model, the Fastback, was introduced in 1965.

1548hrs So how many units of the Mustang did Ford sell during its first year on sale? That would be 126,538.

1545hrs It's been said the Mustang inspired what became known as the 'pony car' class. Initially just five engines were offered, raningfrom 105bhp to 271bhp.

1543hrs The Mustang was first shown to the public on April 17 1964 as part of the New York World's fair, with the compact sports coupe quickly winning affection from the crowd.

1542hrs With Ford celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mustang in New York at the moment, here's some trivia on the iconic muscle car. 

1538hrs The new Sonata will be built at Hyundai's factory in Alabama, and reportedly has the lowest drag coefficient of any non-hybrid car in its class.

1535hrs The Hyundai Sonata is the US version of the i40, and this new model gets a signficant styling upgrade alongside an updated range of engines.

1530hrs And what of the current Land Rover Freelander? It'll become the basis for a new Tata SUV, codenamed Q5.

1527hrs Finally on the Vision Concept, we wonder if its large central touchscreen, which controls almost all infotainment functions, will make it to the production family.

1524hrs We've been learning about the technology used on the Discovery Vision Concept, including so-called Smart Glass, which changes the amount of light allowed to enter the cabin with a simple hand gesture. 

1518hrs In other Subaru news, we've driven the new WRX STI, which will be coming to the UK hand has 296bhp available. To find out what it's like, read our first drive.

1515hrs We already know the new Subaru Outback will be heavily influenced by the new Legacy, and we'll get our first look at the new model tomorrow in New York. 

1510hrs New York isn't the only motor show happening this week, as the action moves to the Beijing motor show at the end of this week. Catch up on all the latest news in the run up to the show, here.

1507hrs Marc Noordeloos has had the chance to drive the new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 in New York. He wonders if GM is focusing too much on its performance division in his latest blog.

1504hrs We've also spotted the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS testing at the Nurburgring. Reports suggest it'll get around 500bhp when it goes on sale next year.

1500hrs Outside of New York, Toyota has confirmed its hydrogen-powered FCV concept will go on sale in production form next year. It'll be coming to Europe, too.

1458hrs The third-generation Nissan Murano gets its styling from the firm's Resonance concept, but also receives a new upmarket interior. Nissan is currently deciding whether to bring the new Murano to the UK.

1455hrs Priced from £60,730, the new M4 converible will be priced closely to the old M3 cabriolet, which ended production late last year.

1452hrs Another big public debut for New York will come in the form of the new BMW M4 convertible. With 425bhp available the new M-car should pack quite a punch, and will go on sale in the UK this September.

1450hrs As well as the revised Countryman, Mini is also bringing along a blacklight-inspired fan-designed hatchback called "DeLux". The winning entry in a competition to design the look of the 2014 Mini Cooper, the car features Tron-inspired graphics. It'll go into very limited production for the US.

1447hrs The idea of a Z06 convertible will be familiar to Covette fans, as the Z06 package was first offered on Corvettes in 1963 for use in endurance racing.

1445hrs One of the star cars of this New York show is expected to be the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible. We've already seen its coupe sibling, but this open-top Corvette comes with at least 625bhp and will be coming to the UK next year.

1443hrs The new Chevrolet Cruze is brimming with new connected tech, including an on-board wireless hotspot as well as Apple's Siri 'Eyes Free'. Like the Kia Sedona it won't be coming to the UK, however. 

1440hrs Interestingly, the new Sedona will also be the first Kia model to offer the firm's next-generation infotainment system, which comes with Apple's Siri 'Eyes Free' iPhone integration system.

1438hrs Kia's new Sedona MPV won't go on sale in the UK, but the new MPV will offer space for up to eight passengers in the US. It also represents the "final chapter" in the firm's design transformation.

1435hrs Of course, if you've missed any of our coverage in the run up to the New York show, you can catch up with our preview, here.

1433hrs We already know that most models in the new Discovery family will take their design inspiration from the Vision Concept. The new family is expected to appear next year. 

1428hrs Among the big announcements expected today is the name of Land Rover's Freelander replacement, which is strongly tipped to be called Discovery Sport.

1425hrs The revised Mini Countryman will go on sale following its debut in New York. The car gets a minor redesign and improvements to its fuel economy, plus a small power increase.

1423hrs Elsewhere at the show, Infiniti is also showing a revised version of its Q70. Just months after being renamed, the Q70 gets an updated exterior design and a new LWB version.

1420hrs Infiniti's new QX80 is based on the Nissan Patrol, and comes with a 5.6-litre V8 engine. It'll only be offered in left-hand drive and only in markets like the US, Russia, China and the Middle East.

1416hrs As well as previewing the all-new MX-5, Mazda has also revealed a special 25th anniversary edition of its famous roadster, complete with an upgraded engine and interior.

1414hrs Mazda is giving us a close preview of the new MX-5 sports car by showing a completed transmission and suspension setup at the show. 

1412hrs Ford has also revealed a 50th anniversary edition of the new Mustang. Celebrating the launch of the original car, just 1,964 units will be available. The model probably won't come to the UK for some time, though, as US sales only start later this year.

1410hrs Another car which has already made its debut in New York is the Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe, which features Mercedes' corner tilting technology and can reach 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds.

1407hrs Plus, as always, you can keep up to date with all our New York motor show news both here and by using our dedicated page, here.

1406hrs We've also taken the chance to do some driving in and around New York in the new BMW X3. Read Mark Tisshaw's first drive to find out if this updated X3 is a significant improvement on the old model.

1404hrs In fact, Autocar editor Chas Hallett thinks New York is quickly taking its place among the world's largest motor shows. To find out why, read his blog.

1403hrs Alongside its new concept car, Land Rover also announced a new tie-in with Virgin Galactic, which will see its cars deliver paying astronauts to their shuttle in the first commericalised space travel business.

1402hrs While there have already been plenty of exciting new car reveals, including the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept, there'll be plenty more to come throughout the day.

1400hrs (UK) / 0900hrs (US) Welcome to Autocar's New York motor show live blog. Throughout today we'll be bringing you the very latest news from the New York motor show, as our team of reporters and photographers hit the show floor.

Live blog by Darren Moss

Our Verdict

Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery has an unbeatable combination of practicality, off-road ability and on-road manners

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Comments
1

19 April 2014
It would be nice to see some photos of new mainstream cars that real people buy and not just the flashy crap of the yuppy and CEO lot.

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