Top 10 Ways to Have a Good Friday at the New York Auto Show

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

It’s the Easter long weekend and if you’re a car junkie living in or around the New York City area, there’s probably a good chance you’re planning to visit the Javits Center.

If that isn’t already nestled somewhere between chocolate bunnies and Easter egg hunts, you should really make the time. After all, this is also a once-a-year affair that is never the same twice.

In any case, these are the 10 things you need to see and do even if there isn’t time for anything else at the show.

Car shows can be a little bit of a tease. You’re allowed to take a look and if you’re sneaky even touch. But the goods, the real thing, the chance to drive is off-limits.

That’s where the wide world of video entertainment comes into play. Of course, we’re talking about video games. What were you thinking of?

In any case, there are several simulation stations dotting the show floor this year varying in complexity. To name a few, the Crystal Palace is featuring a Toyota FT-1 Concept demo, Hyundai has a couple of setups as does Dodge. Mazda has the most mechanically complex and impressive option we spotted with a seat that moves according to how you’re driving.

If you’re old enough to remember penny arcades, super high tech driving simulators might seem like a little bit much. Never to worry because Ford has your back.

Waxing nostalgic one last time before its retro-design Mustang makes way for the more sophisticated 2015 model, Ford brought the same pinball machines to New York that it also showcased in Chicago.

If you really can’t stand being teased by a video game, there is one other option. There are driving demonstrations at your disposal in front of the Javits Center. Toyota will actually let you drive its fuel fell vehicle while Jeep will give you a shotgun seat riding over a massive obstacle arch.

With world-class concession stands, who needs a home cooked meal? Gourmet and affordable, it’s a wonder that people aren’t breaking own the doors to pay $20 for a pizza, $10 and for a “salad.” There will be more giant pretzels and plastic cheese than your lower intestine can handle.

OK maybe paying a day’s wage to eat greasy garbage isn’t so great. Make sure to find somewhere else to eat. You’re in Manhattan, after all…

Sure the Guggenheim is great, the Met is magnificent and the Museum of Natural History has scantly clad prehistoric manikins. Tempting as all that is, there’s also plenty of artwork to see at the auto show.

Concept cars are dreamed up by some of the world’s most brilliant designers. They usually serve as a hint of what’s to come. Even if they never reach production, there’s no denying how exciting they are to look at.

For example, Land Rover’s Discovery Vision concept seems like it was plucked directly from a science fiction novel. It uses Smart Glass to display information on the windows and can use laser beams and infrared rays to sense how deep water is before crossing it while trial driving.

There’s also Kia’s GT4 Stinger sports car concept. It previews what a sports coupe might look like if Kia ever built one.

There’s a Bugatti Veyron, Koenigsegg Agera, Maseratis and so much more to find and ogle. Make sure to stop by the North Hall because that’s where the Chevrolet booth is. There you’ll see the 2015 Corvette Z06 convertible, a supercharged monster of a car with “at least” 625 hp and 635 lb-ft of torque.

There’s also a limited edition version of the SRT Viper on display with metallic matte black paint and a monstrous scowl.

Mazda’s got a mob of Miatas in its display this year. If you’re a fan of the Japanese small sports car this display is reason enough to make the trip.

For example, you can see Miatas with milestone VIN numbers. There are also concept versions from past auto shows including the M Coupe. No, not the BMW. Mazda actually pondered the possibility of offering a coupe version long before the retractable hard top was sold.

You might assume the contingent of cute girls paid to keep the otherwise cold cars company are there for looks alone, but that’s a mistake. They’re usually well versed in specifications and details. In fact, they’re a valuable resource if you’re uncertain about whatever the car is that you’re looking at.

Of course, it’s no coincidence that quite a few of them are also especially *ahem attractive.

In the automotive world, it just doesn’t get any more thrilling than race cars. Bred to be the fastest among their respective classes, much of the performance technology developed for the potent people movers pops up in production cars somewhere down the line.

Besides, seeing a Le Mans or Formula 1 racer in person is sort of like bumping into a TV celebrity. Sort of…

It sort of goes without saying, but there isn’t a better place to be than an auto show if you’re shopping for a new car. There isn’t a physical dealership in the world that can claim the same staggering assembly of new vehicles.

Toyota picked New York to reveal its new Camry, which is sure to be a hot seller. Competing directly with that car, Hyundai’s Sonata is also all-new and on display. There’s a special version of the Scion FR-S to poke and prod as well as the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang just to name a few.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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