Only a fraction of New Yorkers and an even smaller percentage of Manhattanites own a car, but the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) is a key stop on the circuit. In the recent past, the NYIAS has moved towards attaining a similar status to the Geneva Motor Show—both cities attract people from around the world and, sometimes, those people want to look at cars.
This year’s New York show, which kicked off on April 18 and continues until April 27, played host to all manner of vehicles from all segments (expected), but the cars that made the biggest impact were those from the upper echelons (perhaps unexpected). In particular, British brands made waves with the latest versions of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Bentley Continental Flying Spur, and Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The latest Vantage, dubbed the GT, is a more driver-focused model that is offered in both coupe and roadster form. The car is powered by a 4.7-litre V8 that produces the same power as the V8 Vantage S; this engine produces 430 horsepower and enables a top speed of 305 km/h. But the most appealing aspect of the V8 Vantage GT could be its stellar starting price—at $99,900 (U.S.), it’s the least expensive new Aston Martin on the market.
Over at the Bentley stand, the carmaker unveiled the Flying Spur V8, a new version of its luxury sedan that’s designed to bring even more new customers to the brand. While the regular Flying Spur employs a twin-turbocharged W12 engine, this new version features a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8. If the Flying Spur V8 can muster the same level of performance as the Continental GT V8, then it should be a very compelling sedan, offering similar speed to the W12 version and greater fuel efficiency.
Behind the velvet rope at Rolls-Royce, the staunchly British manufacturer brought a revision to the Ghost, the Series II, which features a new exterior design punctuated by LED lights and a resculpted hood. Sales for Rolls-Royce around the world are on a major upswing in the first quarter of 2014, showing improvements over last year. Much of this improvement is being propelled by the Wraith, as many buyers of this dynamite fastback are new to the brand. The Ghost Series II is designed to keep the momentum going and to give those buyers an attractive alternative to other sedans.
While the Brits made a strong showing in New York, they didn’t corner the market on exclusive reveals. One of the biggest splashes was created by the Alfa Romeo 4C, the two-seater sports car that will mark the brand’s return to North America for the first time in some 20 years. The 4C was, understandably, the focus of a lot of attention and deservedly so. But right next door, on the Maserati stand, two other new cars proved that the Italians still lead the field when it comes to stunning design.
As we know, Maserati celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2014 and they’ve decided to honour the occasion with Centennial Editions of two of their most beautiful models, the GranTurismo MC and the GranTurismo MC Convertible. The coupe was covered in a gorgeous red paint scheme, while the convertible was equally jaw-dropping in royal blue. The paint on both cars looked about 100 layers deep.
While the denizens of New York may not embrace the idea of the automobile en masse, be assured that well-heeled Manhattanites have already placed their orders for one or more of these fantastic vehicles.