I'm currently on a whistle-stop 30-hour visit to the New York International Auto Show, which will be kicking off in earnest later today.

Compared to Frankfurt, Paris and the rising Asian shows, New York isn't a massive event in terms of physical size, but for manufacturers it is hugely significant in terms of 'being seen' in the right places and in front of the right people.

The show's taking place against a backdrop of cautious buoyancy. The Washington Post reported yesterday that 1.4 million new cars were sold in America last month. That's up 13 per cent year-on-year, and is also the highest sales month in nearly five years. So I'm expecting to see a spring in the step of many manufacturers when the show doors open.

I'm keen to see how the US automotive opinion-formers take to the Land Rover DC100 concept, although it's latest 'Urban Jungle' appearance sounds more like the music you'd expect to be blaring out of the speakers rather a car concept.

It's also going to be interesting to see how the Bentley EXP 9F goes down over here. By and large the reaction to the hulking SUV was, shall we say, less than positive when the covers came off it at last month's Geneva show. But what was evident from an hour's stroll around the streets of New York on Tuesday afternoon is that most Americans still like their motors to be big and bold, not elegant and subdued. So maybe the Bentley's cocktail of sublime interior luxury and brash styling might garner a more favourable reaction here.

I'm also intrigued to see what Toyota is going to unveil. It is promising an all-new US-designed saloon as a global premiere. We've seen a teaser drawing of a striking looking rear end and a photograph of the shrouded car being winched into the Jacob Javits Centre, home of the NY show, but the rest is a mystery.

Toyota has said it features an 'elegant yet athletic' look, which suggests at least a modicum of sportiness and attitude about thedesign. Could it be the car that proves the Japanese giant is moving away from 'safe' styling towards more edgy, exciting vehicles?

Autocar.co.uk will bring you all the show news, gossip and car unveilings as they happen throughout Wednesday and Thursday.