New York City prides itself on having the biggest and best of everything. From stage shows and sports choices to financial districts and skyscrapers, the Big Apple doesn't do anything halfway. The same thinking goes into putting on the city's annual automotive expo.
The New York Auto Show is on the short list of must-see events by car enthusiasts. It starts just before Easter each year, and it's been going strong for 114 years now. Attendees are treated to a glimpse of the 2015 model-year vehicles as well as concept cars and vehicles priced for the ultra-rich. The offerings are so amazing that people have to carry handkerchiefs with them so that they don't slobber on the cars.
Of all the vehicles on display at the 2014 Auto Show, here are the ten most spine-tingling, panty-dropping entries:
10 Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition
Happy 50th to America's original pony car. Introduced just down the road at the World's Fair in Queens, the 1964 Mustang can be seen in elements of the anniversary edition that will hit showrooms later this year. First, the car is available only in Kona Blue or Wimbledon White. Eye-catching accents include summer performance tires, cashmere interior accents and chrome touches everywhere along the Mustang body. And the car will still tear up the streets with its 5-liter 440-horsepower V-8 engine, Brembo brakes, limited slip-differential and six-speed automatic or manual transmission.
9 Dodge Challenger
Speaking of retro-throwbacks, here's a vehicle that's been pulling that off well for the past several years. And the 2015 edition continues this approach with a slimmed-down split grille slot, slightly larger hood power bulge, and redesigned rear fascia with LED taillights. But the inside is all high-tech, with driver-selector operating modes, a backup camera and a massive 8.4-inch console touch-screen that syncs up with Chrysler's Uconnect system. Upscale seat options include Nappa leather, heating and cooling controls, and a "performance" choice with bolstered torso and thigh areas.
8 Chevrolet Corvette z06 Convertible
Want a drop-top convertible and a rubber-burning racecar? Wait no longer: the 2015 Vette z06 boasts the best of both worlds. The aluminum chassis is purportedly 20% stiffer with the top down than last year's z06 - and the top can be opened or closed while traveling up to 30 mph. But if you want to go faster than that, the Corvette's supercharged 625-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 will get you to 60 from a standing start in just 3 1/2 seconds. Chevy's impressive option packages include such goodies as 15+-inch Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors, though lightweight spin-case aluminum wheels (19-inch front, 20-inch rear) are standard.
7 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe
Some Beemer lovers may be wondering why the automaker even needs a 4-series sedan given that there's already a trio of 3 series models and a 4-series coupe in BMW showrooms. One major advantage of the Gran Coupe is its sizable 45.9 cubic feet of cargo space, and its low lift bumper and high-clearance rear glass make it ideal for luggage transport. What's inside the hood is impressive as well, with a choice of turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder with 240 hp or 3-liter, six-cylinder with 300 hp. Choose the xDrive all-wheel drive system or an M Sport trim package for extra performance, and you'll be ready for your next road trip without having to watch what you pack in your suitcases.
6 Alfa Romeo 4C
It's been almost two decades since a new Alfa Romeo has been sold in the U.S., but after being delayed twice, the base 4C will roar into dealers sometime this summer (the Limited Edition models are already here). Placed in the middle of the car rather than the front, the turbocharged 1.75-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder all-aluminum engine will churn out 237 horsepower and feature four different driving modes to go with its six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Drivers will be surrounded with a sleek, lightweight carbon body design, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, paddle-shift controls, and a a leather-wrapped dashboard. Expect the base model to start at around $54,000.
5 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT
Believe it or not, this is the "discount" version of an Aston Martin, with a starting price of only $102,725 for the coupe (the roadster is $14,500 more). But the Vantage GT doesn't feel at all like an entry-level vehicle, given that many of exterior accents are the same ones found on its pricier Vantage S model. The engine is comparable as well, with its 4.7-liter quad-cam dry-sump V-8 delivering 361 lb-ft of torque and 430 horsepower. The Vantage GT is available either with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed single-clutch SportShift II automated manual version. And when you purchase one, you'll be treated to a dual-color paint-and-trim package as well as Aston Martin's unique glass key.
4 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe
Do you want to drive a luxury vehicle or one that just looks bad-ass? You don't have to choose with Mercedes-Benz's newest offering. It's ultra-sleek design is put together using a body made of steel-aluminum hybrid material. That along with the light wheels and lightweight braking system make this an exceptionally weightless car. And since you can get 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque from the M157 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, you'll understand why the speedometer goes up to 200mph.
3 Maserati GranTurismo MC Centennial Edition
This was one of the biggest surprises of the 2014 show. Without any fanfare, Maserati revealed its lastest crop of GranTurismos coupes and convertibles, with mix-and-match packages featuring triple-layer paint schemes, numerous interior selections, and a variety of wheel choices. Even the medal-shaped centenary logo is available in two finishes (Charcoal grey or matte Smoke grey). No matter which package you opt for, all of these cars will be outfitted with Maserati's ZF six-speed transmission, dual-cast Brembo brakes, sport-tuned MC suspension, and 454 horsepower 4.7-liter V-8 engine with a top speed of 185 mph.
2 McLaren 650S
Swing-up doors never looked so beautiful. Supercar aficionados can think of the 650S as the new-and-improved 12C with better aerodynamics, a tweaked carbon fiber Monocell spine and a boost in torque. The result is a stunning driving machine that can reach 60mph in less than three seconds, climb to 124 mph in just 8.4 seconds, and top out at a hair-on-fire 207 mph. The interior has been bettered as well, with a narrow center console, a faux suede-trimmed cabin, and a steering wheel with polished carbon-fiber and contrast stitching. The estimated sticker price will start at around $265,500.
1 Koenigsegg Agera R
It's been several years since the Swedish automaker returned to North America, but it's making a splashy comeback with this seven-figure opulent supercar. There's carbon fiber everywhere, and its handmade 5-liter V-8 bi-turbo engine produces a jaw-dropping 1140 horsepower - all while weighing less than 435 pounds. It only takes 14.53 seconds to go from a standing start to 186 miles per hour, and can brake completely from that speed in less than 6 2/3 seconds. Combine all this power and agility with a multi-function steering wheel, a high-definition touch screen, and leather-upholstered bucket seats, and you may never want to leave the Agera R when you get home.