Jaguar and Mercedes tried the hardest, but the New York motor show was about just one car, the Range Rover Sport.
Sure, having James Bond behind the wheel helped generate the sort of global headlines to make marketing mean leap for joy, but that shouldnt be allowed to overshadow the triumph of the all-new Sport. Like it or loathe it, the off-roader that owners love to drive in sprawling cities is a car that demands attention.
Whats remarkable is just how far Land Rover has pushed the Sport. Lighter, faster, more efficient, stiffer, more agile ...the list of improvements is long and the margin of the improvements, on paper at least, hugely significant. Make no mistake, Land Rover could have done less and earned more, but this is a thriving company that can smell an even brighter future; taking liberties with its halo products isnt something its about to do.
Jaguar's presence was minor by comparison, but you had to admire the way it went about generating a buzz with its small selling but high impact XJR and XKR-S GT Here, you sense, is a company biding its time, putting in the groundwork for an explosive future. For now, projects that push the boundaries of existing cars are fine, but once the F-Type is bedded in, we should expect the upcoming small saloon and SUV to deliver booming sales. In New York, though, it was probably satisfying enough to have cash buyers on the stand demanding immediate delivery of the GT.
Of the rest, the Mercedes CLA45 AMG provided an amusing diversion, dampened slightly by the slightly muted drive verdicts of the standard car, the new Kia Soul looked great but seems likely to continue to mystify European buyers slightly, and the Subaru WRX's potential impact was muted by its makers insistence on keeping it under wraps until the second day of the show.
Elsewhere on the show floor, it was a case of where your tastes took you. Not even Daniel Craig got the crowds whooping and hollering as loudly as the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, while the new Jeep Cherokee, Chrysler 200, SRT Viper TA and Shelby Mustang GT500 S/C 1000 all had their fair share of homegrown chutzpah.
No matter. Every show only needs one star to shine. And in New York that star was straight from the A-list.
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