April 5, 2012
The 2012 New York Auto Show was sedan heavy this year with 6 major releases or concepts. Some of the releases were impressive, some not so much.
Fisker Atlantic - A smaller, lighter, and less expensive entry from Fisker, the Atlantic hopes to slot in at the high end of the BMW 3-series price range. This luxury extended range electric vehicle is one of the curviest sedans shown at the show. Despite the low roof in the rear, Fisker promises the Atlantic will have similar interior room to the 3-series as well. Fisker had some problems with the launch of the Karma earlier this year, but if a similar issue can be avoided on the Atlantic, we think Fisker can pull this one off after all of the funding they've recently secured. While electric vehicles aren't to everyone's taste, we think that any domestic manufacturer trying to put sexy cars into production should be applauded.
2013 Lincoln MKZ – As we had essentially seen this car in concept form at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, so the overall look isn't a surprise. This Fusion based Lincoln is a transitional product for Lincoln (hopefully the last such) and Lincoln continues to stress that they have 7 new or refreshed vehicles coming. While the MKZ has some interesting engine options and technology, not to mention the huge sunroof, I think this still isn't enough to bring Lincoln back to prime time. It still doesn't have the interior of the ES and doesn't have the presence of a 2008 CTS. Lincoln needs more, a lot more, if they ever want to be relevant in this class again.
Acura RLX concept – This thing is just a mess. It looks like a big, bloated Honda Accord. All that complexity of the hybrid and it only gets 30mpg highway? The V6 Chrysler 300 can do that today. Sure the RLX has 370 horsepower, but that is irrelevant to the target market of this car. A more targeted horsepower number and a blow-your-mind fuel economy number would be more likely to get customers to overlook the dull and dated style.
2013 Toyota Avalon – The Avalon managed to stay unleaked right up until the reveal, probably because no one could be bothered to click send. Described by Toyota as “bold and sporty”, the Avalon adopts the new corporate face that we know from the Camry. Moving to the new Camry platform, the Avalon boasts better structural rigidity and a re-calibrated suspension. Styling wise, we're not so sure about “Bold and Sporty”. It's a conservative Toyota sedan... burgundy is about as bold as you get here. The let down is how we were teased last week with a drawing from Toyota that showed a car much more rakish.
Sedans aren't everyone's cup of tea, but if nothing else, the variety of these entries is interesting. What do you think? Are we spot on? Off our rocker? Leave your comments below. Of course, once they visit the C&G garage, you'll get to take part in the review.