Payne: Here’s the 10 best new cars of the 2022 New York auto show

Posted by Talbot Payne on April 15, 2022

New York — The Big Apple’s auto show is a smaller bite this year as manufactures like Honda, BMW, GMC, Cadillac, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche and Mazda are missing. The main floor is a hybrid of legacy automakers, startups and shrubbery to fill in the empty spaces.

To draw you in, there’s eye candy like Elvis’s 1956 Lincoln Continental (to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary). Radwood is a show-within-a-show celebrating cars of the ’80s and ’90s, and there is New York’s signature display of exotics. My favorite? The jaw-dropping Ford GT, turning heads since 2015.

But our focus here is on the newest hardware, and they crave attention as shows reopen post-pandemic. New York state will ban the sale of new gas-powered cars sales by 2035, so there’s an emphasis on EVs here — but America is a vast, diverse market and there are drivetrains aplenty on offer. My Top 10 most significant new cars of the 2022 New York Auto Show:

The 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06's 670-horsepower V-8 is a show-stopper.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06. The king is here. The first performance variant of the first mid-engine Corvette, the Z06 doesn’t disappoint. Like Simba on Pride Rock, Z06 introduces the Chevy display. Its flanks are swollen by air ducts to feed the V-8 monster within: the most powerful normally-aspirated production engine to date with 670 horsepower at 8,600 RPM. When Chevy fired it up on Wednesday, the whole place stopped in its tracks to listen.

The 2023 Ford Bronco Raptor is a mountain goat with lots of grunt.

Ford Bronco Raptor. Showgoers can get a ride in a Mustang Mach-E or F-150 Lightning, but Bronco Raptor looks like it could climb Mt. Everest. With expanded fenders engorged with yuge, 37-inch all-terrain tires, Raptor is so wide it needs three amber lights like a heavy-duty truck. Its twin-turbo V-6 engine spits out more than 400 horsepower, and its $68,500 price tag is just south of big brother F-150 Raptor.

The 2023 Nissan Z combines power, sleek looks, modern tech and a proud sports-car heritage.

Nissan Z. Like Ford, Nissan is going electric, but it’s not ditching its two-door legends on the way. Like the Mustang coupe, Nissan Z is an icon and gets remade for 2023 with sleek looks and a 400-horse twin-turbo V-6. The interior gains all the latest electronics since the Z’s last remake a decade ago. Catnip for enthusiasts: you can row that powerful engine with a six-speed manual.

The 2024 Chevy Silverado RST EV goes fast and charges fast.

Chevy Silverado RST EV. GMC didn’t make it to this year’s show, which will disappoint Hummer EV fans. They should check out the Silverado EV instead. Chevy’s first electric truck sits on the same Ultium battery platform as Hummer, also costs north of six figures, and boasts the same all-wheel-steer. Its 664 horsepower will get you to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and its 800-volt battery system can add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes at a fast charger.

Toyota gets into the hot hatch segment with the 2023 GR Corolla.

Toyota GR Corolla. Gonna’ sell like hot cakes. The Corolla (finally) enters the hot hatch market with this muscle-bound, 300-horsepower, turbo-3 cylinder, all-wheel-drive, manual-shift-only hellion developed by Toyota’s Gazoo Racing arm. On display here is the special-trim Circuit model with big spoiler, domed hood, and dual limited-slip differentials. At night it probably slips out to New York streets to eat Priuses.

The 2023 Kia Telluride is a refreshed version of the Korean brand's hot-selling halo vehicle.

Kia Telluride. Kia hopes to attract upscale EV customers with its swoopy EV6 and sci-fi EV9 concept on display. If they are successful, it will be in no small part due to the Kia Telluride, the brand’s 2020 mega-hit that brought premium style to mainstream SUVs. Loaded with standard features and an exterior as elegant as a Caddy, the Telluride flew off shelves, hitting nearly triple-digit sales within its first two years of production. For its ’23 refresh, Kia doesn’t mess with success, but the interior gains bigger screens and the lineup grows to include more rugged X-Line and X-Pro trims.

The 2023 VW ID. Buzz draws its inspiration from the German brand's original Type 2 Microbus, but this electric van is more maxi than mini.

VW ID.Buzz. The VW Microbus is back as the electric ID. Buzz (Buzz is the latest Bus, get it?). Riding on ’60s nostalgia, the $45k ID. Buzz is a three-row minivan with a longer wheelbase than the Atlas SUV (heck, it’s even longer, at 127.5 inches, than a Chevy Tahoe). It’s hard to believe it’ll fit in Europe’s narrow city streets. But the Germans will get it first later next year before it jumps the pond in 2024.

The 2023 VinFast VF 8 will be one of a Vietnamese EV startup's first U.S. products.

VinFast VF 8. EV startups stole the show with impressive debuts from INDI One, Deus Vayanne hypercar, and VinFast VF 8 and VF 9. But it’s the latter that are likeliest to make the biggest U.S. splash. The compact VF 8 and three-row VF 9 look ready for prime time with mature looks and big-screen interiors. They are also backed by big money from Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup with an eye on building a North Carolina production facility. Ask about their plan to sell you the car, lease you the battery.

The 2023 Alfa Tonale gives the Italian luxury brand an entry in the subcompact ute class.

Alfa Tonale. Alfa wowed with the Tonale concept at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, and the production version is finally here. The 2023 model carries through on the concept’s sleek looks, and Tonale should challenge the BMW X1 for best-handling subcompact luxury ute. Tonale also features best-in-class, 272-horsepower, thanks to twin electric motors mated to a 1.3-liter turbocharged engine. The entry-level ute is likely the last new, gas-powered Alfa model introduced before the brand goes all-electric in 2028.

The 2023 Subaru Outback gets fresh looks and a fresh engine option targeted at price-conscious buyers.

Subaru Outback. Is it the display or the car? The Subie sits in the coolest stand in show — a throwback to the days when manufacturers built $5 million displays. The brand’s icon, Outback gets a cool facelift that matches its off-road vibe along with a second, cheaper, 2.5-liter Boxer-4 engine option.

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at hpayne@detroitnews.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne.

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