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Hybrids, plug-ins, and reincarnations rule NY Auto Show

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

NEW YORK — Some of the world’s largest automakers gathered in this city this week to roll out their latest models, many of which build upon hybrid, electric and plug-in technologies.

Included in that segment are Toyota, with its Prius Prime, and Hyundai Motor America which today unveiled the Ioniq hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric models for the U.S. market at the New York International Auto Show.

Kicking off the event that opens to the public Friday was Bill Fay, group vice president of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S., who said as part of the company’s strategy to keep its “eyes firmly affixed on the future,” it has launched the 2017 Prius Prime, the fourth generation of the vehicle.

“We gave it a striking new exterior design, impressive driving dynamics, and of course…we couldn’t call it a Prius if we didn’t give it the world’s most thermally efficient engine,” he said during the presentation of the vehicle and three other models: the 2017 Toyota 86, which will go on sale in Puerto Rico in August and is the reincarnation of the now phased-out Scion FR-S; the C-HR, an entry-level small SUV; and the 2017 Toyota Highlander, which is also available in a hybrid, which will be available in Puerto Rico toward the end of the year.

The Lexus division also exhibited two previously revealed luxury models: the LC and the LC 500, which features a Multi Stage Hybrid System, the next generation of hybrid powertrains specifically designed for performance vehicles.

Meanwhile, Hyundai’s line of Ioniq eco-focused vehicles is the first in the world to offer three distinct electrified powertrains on a single, dedicated vehicle platform.

“Ioniq will attract an entirely new group of eco- and efficiency-oriented buyers in the U.S. market,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Corporate and Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “With outstanding powertrain flexibility, design, connectivity, and advanced technologies, Ioniq meets the needs of a large and growing group of buyers needing a highly efficient, low-emissions vehicle without compromise to their daily lifestyles.”

Hyundai’s Ioniq line-up calls upon two key factors, efficiency and technology, in its design, which combine to create both a unique and forward-looking appearance. The vehicles also integrate connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as wireless charging of smartphones, in response to customer demands, O’Brien said.

Chevrolet also rolled out two electric models, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Volt, which features a sleeker, sportier design.

A number of sportscars were also presented Wednesday during the preview event attended by some 1,500 members of the international press corp.



Acura took the wraps off a NSX GT3 racecar, announcing its intention to campaign the twin-turbocharged supercar in North America starting in 2017. The NSX is currently undergoing testing and slated for renaming as an FIA GT3 class racecar this fall.

The NSX GT3 will be powered by a 3.5-liter, 75-degree, twin turbocharged DOHC V-6 engine using the same design specifications as the engine in the production 2017 Acura NSX, including the block, heads, valve train, crankshaft, pistons and dry sump lubrication system, the company said.

Mazda Motor Corp. revealed the Mazda MX-5 RF, the latest addition to the family that “fully embodies the model’s 26-year-old tradition of ‘lots of fun’,” company executives said.

The NYIAS is expected to inject some $300 million into the New York economy from Mar. 25 to April 3, event officials said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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