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  • By John R. Quain

The Best of the New York Auto Show 2024

The New York International Auto Show kicked off with the requisite Jeep track outside the Javits Center and a panoply of electric vehicles on display. There are plenty of collectibles and aspirables on display, as well, from historic Porsche 911's (1966 was a good year) to exotics like the carbon fiber-sheathed, 180-mph Karma Kaveya.

What are the takeaway trends from the show? Electrics (of course) and gray, gray, and more gray. If we never see another gray (or grey, for that matter) car it will be too soon. Also, while just about everyone now is showing and highlighting their all-electric models, gone is all the hype about--or at least emphasis on--battery range. Presentations for the press often mentioned that a given vehicle had a 270 or 300 mile range, but almost sotto voce, as if to say, "we don't talk about that any more."

Nevertheless, there's plenty to gawk at on the show floor and plenty for buyers to consider this coming year. Here is the best of the New York Auto Show for 2024:

2024 Mustang Dark Horse

Originally introduced at the New York Auto Show 60 years ago, the Ford Mustang has experienced something of a rebirth over the past few years, culminating in the Mustang Dark Horse (which is anything but). Its throaty growl and prancing performance will please Mustang fans and muscle car aficionados. Ford promises to unleash an even more intimidating 60th anniversary edition at the NASCAR race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway later this year. Models start at $58,185.

Porsche Macan Electric

It's been a decade since Porsche debuted the Macan. At the show it's now introducing the new all-electric Macan EV to the U.S. It boasts up to 630 hp and 800-volt charging. That charging capability puts it ahead of most EVs and can get it powered from 10 to 80 percent capacity in less than 20 minutes. Starts at $78,800.

Acura ZDX

The swoopy saloon-styled Acura ZDX is the company's first EV (the Cadillac Lyric is built on the same platform). Looking like one of the best of the Hot Wheels cars, the Type S model features the latest technology, from a self-driving system like GM's Super Cruise to self-parking and a dreamy Bang & Olufsen sound system. Also on the features list, 500 hp of power, a height-adjustable air suspension system, and 15.6-inch Brembo front brakes. Models start at $64,500.

Honda Prologue Elite

Honda's first EV SUV is something of a beast. It looks bulky and is in fact 8 inches longer and 5 inches wider than a CRV. And my, what big side view mirrors it has. Honda is going all-in on Google, so you can push a button on the steering wheel to put Google maps on the car's main screen. The SUV has a rated range of 296 miles. The Elite model starts at $59,295.

Gutsiest Move at the Auto Show: Polestar 4 Coupe

The Polestar 4 Coupe is definitely a tech and performance showcase for EVs. Its roof goes from transparent to opaque with the push of a button, its interior is wrapped in recycled PET upholstery, you choose the ambient lighting you want by selecting your favorite planet, and with 544 hp it can rocket from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds. But the truly bold move here is the radical aero package with a sloping roof line that eliminates the rear window. Instead, the Polesar 4 features a rear view mirror camera, eliminating all blind spots from behind. The base model starts at $54,900.

Most Forward-Looking Car: Polestar 3

Polestar 3 will appear on the streets this year. The Nvidia-powered vehicle can not drive itself yet, but unlike other vehicles that don't have the hardware necessary to go autonomous (yeah, we're talking about you, Tesla), the Polestar 3 has lidar built into the roof line, in addition to cameras and radar and ultrasonsic sensors. Polestar is also emphasizing its tech-forward design, calling its front fascia a "smart bar" and including a stamp on the car declaring its environmental impact stats. And there's a 25-speaker Bowers and Wilkins sound system that supports Dolby Atmos. Models start at $78,900.

Best Performance Car: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Edition 2025

Arguably the best EV on the market (still!), Hyundai has beefed up the Ioniq 5 with 641 hp, bigger, stickier wheels, bigger brakes, bigger fenders, and a large rear diffuser to create the N edition. The N won the World Performance Car award at the NY Auto Show. And if you have time, Hyundai is squealing it around an oval indoor track behind the company's booth. Kind of silly, but kind of fun. N models start at $66,100.

Best Eye Candy: Genesis X Gran Berlinetta

Sure, it's just a concept car, which means it may never see the light of day, and it's not the first time it's been shown, but the Genesis X Gran Berlinetta is gorgeous. It was originally created for the Gran Turismo video game series and boasts over 1,000 hp, an F1 style steering system, and some of the widest, smoothest lines we've ever seen. Will it ever hit the road? Probably not, but its outrageous orange was a relief in a sea of gray cars.

What else to look for at the show:

Hyundai Tucson 2025

Available in all varieties of power train except fully electric, the revamped and enhanced Tucson is "similarly sized to an Ioniq 5." What buyers should notice here is the side view cameras that eliminate blind spots and the safe exit warning system (so you don't door any bicyclists). It also includes Hyundai Pay, a mobile competitor to the likes of Apple Pay.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz 2024

In the "finally!" category, the reincarnation of the hippie, surfer dude VW microbus comes out this year in the U.S. The new generation is an EV and comes in a 335-hp all-wheel-drive version with an augmented reality head-up display and room for seven. You'll have to supply your own board. Starting around $40,000.


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