New York International Auto Show, Concepts and Off-Road Shenanigans

There’s a great deal of allure in the unknown. And the annual New York International Auto Show is the hub for industry professionals and enthusiasts to gather and witness official unveiling of some of the world’s most spectacular vehicle concepts and production models. Likewise, arguably no greater breeding ground exists to gauge consumer interest and collect constructive feedback. The industry is abuzz with this year’s showstoppers, as automakers truly outdid themselves for the 2017 calendar year.

Unfortunately (or fortunately if looking for an excuse to purchase new), data released by Morgan Stanley confirms a possible tank in used-car values. In fact, they could fall by 25-50 percent in the next four to five years. Perhaps it’s time to start saving those pennies for a brand spankin’ new dream car, or to lease. We’ve included some of the latest concept cars to whet your appetite, courtesy of the New York International Auto Show.


“Mopar-or-no-car fan” or not, only a diagnosis of pure ignorance could result in the denial of Demon dominance. At 840 horsepower, the Dodge Demon is the fastest production car from 0-100 mph. “Every feature was chosen to optimize drag strip performance. The Dodge Challenger SRT® Demon is built to be an elite performance machine. That’s why it’s powered by a Supercharged 6.2L HEMI® SRT Demon V8 engine and armed with a functional Air-Grabber™ hood scoop and Torque Reserve Launch System,” said Dodge. Understandably, it’s been the talk of the town at this year’s New York International Auto Show.

Trackhawk is Track Ready

Also a big hit, Jeep officially released images and information about the 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk ahead of the highly-anticipated event. “Calling it the most powerful and quickest SUV ever, Jeep’s newest offering is powered by a supercharged 6.2L V8 producing 707 hp and 645 lb-ft, with an estimated 0-60 mph time of just 3.5 seconds. We’ve seen it, we’ve heard it, and now it’s official,” said Truck Trend.

Genesis Luxury

Hyundai stepped up its presence with the Genesis GV80 Fuel Cell SUV concept. “The brand says the design language on the GV80 concept provides ‘subtle glimpses’ into the ‘bold future‘ of Genesis design. Although the concept is presented as having a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, we expect the production model to offer a range of conventional internal-combustion powertrains, as well as plug-in hybrid model and possibly an all-electric model,” continued Truck Trend.

Toyota FT-4X

All eyes are on the off-road market; thus, it’s prime real estate for automaker R&D. Jeep continues to get squeezed off pavement; a reputable competitor long known for its ability to build off road-capable rigs is at it once again. This time with a FT-4X concept. Toyota’s unibody crossover features low-range four-wheel drive. And its “proper mechanical transfer case helps give the FT-4X some theoretical off-road chops, making it a spiritual successor to the likewise-compact Land Cruiser FJ40 or first-generation 4Runner. Its overall shape is squat and functional, with wheels pushed to the corners to improve approach and departure angles, as well as provide additional on-road stability,” added Truck Trend. First the Bronco, now the FT-4X. It’s a good thing Jeep sees the writing on the wall and plans to invest heavily in its Compass crossover platform.

The Road Less Traveled

We venture further off road this week with news that Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s Bronco, Brocky, is outfitted with well-respected aftermarket manufacturer Brandmotion at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari. “In addition to showcasing its vision and safety products, the company’s off-road-ready SummitView camera line will brave the trails along with drifter-turned-crawler Vaughn Gittin Jr. The legendary driver has equipped Brocky—a highly modified classic Ford Bronco capable of more than 600 horsepower—with a quartet of element-proof cameras to provide a continuous view from the fairlead, the undercarriage and each front tire,” reported The SHOP. Looking for daily updates on the Moab trails? Check in with our friends at Four Wheeler Network!

’79 Jeep CJ-7

Speaking of roads less traveled, there’s something humbling and almost patriotic about a classic Jeep. Stock appeal and tasteful upgrades. At times desensitized by rowdy, jacked-up JK’s on 37’s+, it’s refreshing to see Brian Jacobson and his modest ’79 Jeep CJ-7. It’s “a pristine example of the ’round fender’ species,” said Four Wheeler Network.

“Upon closer inspection, the CJ-7’s overall clean build and details such as the American flag grille, hot-rodded V8, down-to-earth drivetrain specs, and simple, but ample, interior amenities made us grab our cameras. Underneath that screaming yellow hood sits a ’79 AMC 304ci V8 that has been rebuilt, balanced, and blueprinted, and all the internal rotating components are Edelbrock, from the low-end torque cam right down to the crank. Edelbrock heads and valve covers, an Edelbrock Performer intake manifold, Edelbrock 500 cfm carb, and an Edelbrock air cleaner are stacked on top the block,” continued Four Wheeler Network.

“Beneath it are Hooker 1 5/8-inch headers and a Gibson 2 3/4-inch exhaust system that dumps just past the rear axle. An MSD distributor and ACCEL plug wires fire the mill. Behind that AMC V-8 is a Borg Warner T-18 four-speed manual transmission that was sourced from a ’62 Ford pickup (which means it has that 6.32 granny-low First gear), and via Novak’s adapter, it is hooked up to a Dana 300 twin-stick transfer case with a 4:1 TeraFlex gear kit installed,” reported Four Wheeler Network. So if this old-school rebuild has your attention, then read additional details here.

All Good Things Come to an End

We shift from breathing new life into the automotive industry to bidding adieu. Though disheartening, all good things must come to an end; it’s true, and you know it. Sadly, production on the Dodge Viper ends this year. But Pennzoil, the classy brand that it is, couldn’t bear to say goodbye without a proper farewell, according to The SHOP. “The latest video from Pennzoil, The Last Viper, features a signature yellow Dodge Viper ACR slithering through the streets of Miami. Famed precision driver, Rhys Millen shows off the 8.4L V10 engine under the hood, proving this ride eats V8’s for breakfast,” wrote Anthony Bowe of The SHOP.

Until next week’s auto industry news, sound the trumpets; it’s on this note that we say crawl the final days at Easter Jeep Safari; enjoy the Spring Carlisle Swap Meet and Auction; and prep for NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, TX.

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