Is He Supposed To Be Here?- NY Auto Show 2023

By Cory who went to the NY Auto Show April 7-16, 2023: Disclaimer: I have bought one new car in my life in 2001. Short of hitting the lottery will not be another anytime soon.  My strategy to save the environment involves buying used and keeping a fleet of pre-Y2K Mercedes soldiering along.  By some clerical error or lack of proper oversight, I was issued DT press credentials again even though I had last attended the show back in 2018. Two cars that I was looking forward to seeing in person were not there- Honda Civic Type R and Toyota Corolla GR (there was a rally concept on display). To be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for what I was about to see beforehand but did manage to take a ton of pictures and make some mental notes of the things that stood out one way or the other.

Toyota 4 Runner retro graphics

Trends:

  • Might as well mention the monkey in the room right off the bat- Electrification!
  • The sheer quantity of SUV’s and trucks has dwarfed the amount of cars shown
  • In 2018, I made mention of busy interior and exterior designs. Things have only deteriorated since then. Very few successfully pull it off. Grill designs are almost a subgenre here. Similar to Covid 19, ugly looking grills have spread between automakers.
  • Huge wheel/tire packages and corresponding brakes. I did a double take on the Toyota 86 GR 18” wheels as they looked tiny compared to everything else I had just seen.
  • Vehicles in general seemed to have grown by 20% to my eye. We jokingly write about Malaise era land yachts, but cars of today don’t seem to be a hell of a lot smaller. The new Honda Accord could pass for a front wheel drive Town Car.

Hits:

  • I mentioned the Lexus RC500 back in 2018 and it is still for sale. Despite the ghastly looking grill, it was my favorite car on the main floor. The interior is fantastic as well.
  • Nissan 350Z is very well done. The rearward visibility was horrible though.
  • Toyota 86 GR is also very appealing. The rearward visibility was worse than the 350Z and reminded me of the long departed Chrysler Crossfire lack of view out the back.
  • I have no doubt if Alfa Romeo got into the toaster business, they could design a sexy toaster. Alfa’s styling point of view is always on point and have some of the coolest wheel designs out there.
  • There were a handful of cars still sporting manual transmissions! The ones that did were very proud of it as well. Long live the stick shift
  • Toyota Prius went to away to summer camp and returned a lot better looking.
  • Honda Civic is simply a very nice car in and out. Very disappointed to not see the Type R in the flesh.
  • Hyundai styling dept seems to be firing on all cylinders. A lot of very cool retro/modern detail on a lot of their vehicles.
early 1990's Nissan GTR

Misses:

  • BMW seems to have completely jumped the shark. They had very few cars there and the ones on display were a caricature of how they used to design their cars.
  • Hyundai Genesis GV80 Coupe was a four door SUV. How or why does this vehicle receive a “coupe” designation?
  • Very few interesting color options on any car/truck/suv
  • Subaru WRX front and rear bumper covers were an abomination that gave off a cheap cyborg look. The interior massive touch screen looked like someone had hacked the dash and just stuck it there. Lastly, the trunk lid had a very poorly executed heckblende panel.
Rolls Royce wheel

WTF. I never thought I would see the return of a white wall tire much less in this steam roller size.

Hyundai Genesis face

Lexus and BMW do not have a monopoly on ugly front ends

Nissan 350Z


Striking car and color

Nissan GTR t-spec


Very appealing olive-ish paint color

Nissan GTR


Such a large coupe and very busy details

Corvette ZR1


Equally busy details as the GTR

Ford Mustang dark horse


Dark horse Mustang shod with some very serious tires and super mean looking intake

Dodge Hornet GLH concept


Quien es mas macho- K-car GLH or SUV GLH?

VW ID Buzz

This was the design theme that got the VW guy ousted? I don’t mind it.

VW ID Buzz interior

I swear this interior designer originally did the BMW I3. A lot of similarities between the two.

Toyota Prius

Someone at Toyota should get a raise for this design. The previous generation Prius exterior was
downright hideous. This car is a beauty queen by comparison to the old car.

Toyota Corolla 16" wheel

This was the smallest size wheel that I noticed on any car. Very refreshing to see a 205/55/16 tire. You
will not have to take out a mortgage to replace these.

Porsche 911 targa

The brushed metal trim is a theoretically cool vintage detail, but looks out of proportion in practice. It
reminds me of a heavy set person wearing a thong.

Lexus LC500

This angle captures the good and bad at the same time!

Lexus LC500 door panel

Bravo Lexus!

Fiat 500 Kartell wheel

This must be the most elaborate hubcap design in recent memory. Is this a fancy hubcap?

Fiat 500 Kartell interior

Not to be outdone the Fiat 500 Kartell interior has similar detail

Alfa Romeo Tonale

Lovely shade of green on this Alfa Romeo Tonale.

Alfa Romeo Tonale wheel

These guys know how what they are doing.

Alfa Romeo Tonale interior

Tonale interior.

Kia SUV

One of the best paint colors at the show on this Kia CUV.

Hyundai Ioniq 6

Very awkward angle for this award winning car from Hyundai.

Kia GT EV

You would have to take out a mortgage to do tires and a brake job on this.

Honda Accord

Wondering if the new Accord is longer than the old BMW E38 7 series?

Toyota 86 GR interior

Really liked the design of the Toyota 86 GR.

Toyota 86 tiny rear glass

Jumped in the drivers seat and had to squint to see anything out the tiny back rear glass of the 86GR.

Subaru WRX

Shame on you Subaru for this horrible attempt at the heckblende and the ugly bumper cover.

Subaru WRX interior

The WRX interior seems equally awkward with the giant screen.

Dodge Challenger EV

Very nice looking shape, but this car is massive in person.

Dodge Challenger EV wheel

Can I get these wheels in 17” Dodge?

VW GTI

Another car that seems to keep growing.

VW GTI interior

Kudos to VW for this micro plaid seating on the GTI.

Finale: On a whim, I made my way down to the lower level to see modified tuner cars. There were a ton of noteworthy and interesting cars shown there. However, the apple of my eye was this cherry 1995 Mercedes E320 or E420 W124 special edition in a very rare color- moonstone grey. It was far and away the car of the show for yours truly.

1995 Mercedes W124 E class


For the last three plus years, I have been busy creating a Radwood inspired business in the golf world which is where my background lies. My Mercedes fleet is down to two cars and within the next month should be down to one. A cargo van to haul around the sets of golf clubs is in my near future. www.retrogolfclub.com

-Cory, DT Contributing Writer & NY Auto Show Specialist

DT E-i-c Vince: Big thanks to Cory for his NY Auto Show feature and his resilience in the face of the automotive debauchery that we call “new” cars these days. Be sure to check out RetroGolfClub and give him a like/share on thefacebook or instagram and go golfing if you’ve got the right retro threads.