3/31/08

The New York Auto Show

We love cars and we love New York, but with the auto show circuit coming to a close, the New York event didn’t seem to produce the buzz of other shows earlier in the season. Yet there were still some interesting vehicles that caught our eye.

A couple of manufacturers not known for attractive or sporting designs broke the mold and came up with a pair of worthwhile concept cars.

The first of these is Kia with its Koup concept. While the design breaks no new ground in the industry, it does point a better direction for Kia’s design language. Hints are of a production version in a little over a year.

The second company with a surprise infusion of style was Suzuki with its Kizashi 3 concept. This sedan also appears to be slated for production in the near future.

Hyundai’s upcoming Genesis Coupe debuted in production ready form with an eye-catching shape and the promise of excellent performance with over 300 horsepower. Due in the spring of ’09, we will drive this coupe and let you know if it is Connoisseur worthy as this company continues its up-market aspirations.

For pure design merits, we like the new Pontiac Solstice Coupe. Yeah, I know it’s a Pontiac, but take a look and see what you think. With a removable targa roof and 260 horsepower on tap, it looks to be a winner.

And finally, the Connoisseur’s favorite debut in the “Top of the Heap” category…the Saleen S5S Raptor.

Widely known for their Ford Mustang conversions, Saleen has come up with this mid-engine 650 horsepower monster that surely means business. It even runs on E85 Ethanol – fast and green! Look for the Raptor to hit the streets in two years at an approximate $185,000 price tag.

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