New York City is an interesting place when it comes to transportation. Yellow cabs as far as the eye can see, one of the world’s oldest subway systems and very few people actually driving themselves. Even the wealthy will often take a cab instead of their own car.
Thing is, when it comes to NYC, arriving in style is often the order of the day. Think of the theatre district in its big-band-era heyday and the cars pop off the canvas of the mind: yellow Cadillac V16s, black Packards, cream-coloured Hupmobiles all ferrying around women with feathers in their hair and furs on their shoulders, and men in paper-cut-crisp suits and pencil ’staches, all going somewhere – yes, to see a show and drink champagne, but just to be seen, too.
The cars may have changed today, but if the New York International Auto Show is any indication, there’s plenty of tantalizing stuff in which to ball down Broadway.
There is very little else on this list that has quite the presence of the latest version of the Linc that many credit with starting the whole luxury SUV craze. The concept has been stealing shows for almost two years now, and aside from the gullwing doors, the production model revealed at this year’s show does a darn good job of echoing that crazy concept. Big grille, big wheels, big seats, big screens – it’s all here, and it’s spectacular.
Certain aspects of the latest Genesis do take some getting used to – we’re still not sure about those headlamp slits, though they’re unlikely to make production – but other details are right on the money. The pleasingly ribbed spokes of the wheels, the aluminum mesh grille and aggressively tapered window line are all pretty swish. You gotta love that red interior, too, as well as the display screen that covers the length of the dash ahead of the front passenger.
Yes; it’s somewhat lower-fi than the Navigator, but that quiet presence just serves to add to the mystery, the Gotham-ness of it all. Underneath those smooth body panels and above those blacked-out wheels stands the same 392 HEMI found under the hood of the Challenger/Charger Scat Pack twins, good for 475 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. You’ll get to the Barclays Center on time, that’s for sure.
Decidedly more in-yer-face (like any good New Yorker, right?) than its Durango cousin, the latest hi-po Grand Cherokee will tear your face off (as well as the tarmac below you) if you’ll let it. 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque from a 6.2L supercharged HEMI mill is what you’re working with, and those quad-outlet exhausts are sure going to announce your arrival.
Matte black paint? Gold wheels? Il Tricolore on the wing mirrors? How could you go wrong?
If anything can steal the luxo-SUV thunder from the Navigator, it’s this. Actually, in anything can steal the Navi’s thunder it’s those wheels, which stand a massive 24-inches and get one of the glitziest two-tone paintjobs you’ll ever see on a wheel, this side of some examples in the aftermarket hall in the bowels of New York’s Javits Center. It’s just a concept for now, but that doesn’t stop it from trouncing all over the show floor. Yowza.
Not to be outdone by its American and Japanese contemporaries, Porsche came to New York with arguably its most controversial model ever: a station wagon. That being said, it is distinctive, and there’s room in the back for your long-legged supermodel date, and room in the trunk for all her Louis Vuitton luggage.
Firebird SD-455 Revival
“Hey! Wait a minute!” I hear you saying. “This belongs on a country road in Nebraska or a drag strip in North Carolina (where its NASCAR-derived engine is built). Not in the valet box at Tao!!!” Well, you’re wrong. If you want to stand out – I mean really stand out – an S-Class simply won’t do it. Much too pedestrian. A 1,000 hp muscle car in candy blue paint, on the other hand…
Koenigsegg, Spyker, more
Shiny silver and blue paintwork, dihedral doors, as-near-as-makes-no-difference million horsepower, exposed gear linkage, diamond print leather – perfect for a trip through the Park Avenue tunnel, but for a weekend getaway to the Adirondacks, too.
As much of a world city that it is, NYC is not known to have particularly smooth roads. After all, what does it matter if you’re riding in a cab or livery SUV? Or, as it happens, a pickup with massive lift and almost 600 horsepower?