New York Auto Show: Best Foreign brands on spotlight image

The New York International Auto Show is under way and will be open through April 15. And if most of the attention focused on US-born vehicles like the Lincoln MKZ and SRT Viper or the new Chevrolet Impala, foreign-based brands served up some tasty morsels.

Here’s a short list:

New BMW X1 and i8 spyder – A true BMW featuring the brand’s trademark kidney grille and distinctive headlights, the American X1 it’s powered by a turbo 4-cylinder engine that’s sporty yet economical in its fuel consumption. With a starting point just under $32,000, it will be the least expensive BMW in the United States when it hits the streets.
The sDrive28i and xDrive35i will be offered exclusively in the U.S. market. The BMW X1 sDrive28i starts at $31,545, the X1 xDrive28i at $33,245 and the X1 xDrive35i at $39,345.

The new Hyundai Santa Fe – The new crossovers (yes because there are two models), introduced this week at the New York International Auto Show, are aimed at people with two or more children and need storage space and other capabilities of an SUV.

Front styling features the tall, angular grille of the 2013 Genesis coupe while the rest of the SUV’s exterior should look familiar to Tucson owners.
The 2013 Santa Fe Sport will go on sale later this summer, and the larger Santa Fe will hit dealerships in January 2013.

A diesel Porsche – yes the diesel Cayenne now in America – The diesel Cayenne should go on sale as a 2013 model later this fall. The 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine develops just 240 horsepower, but its 406 pound-feet of torque from just 1,750 r.p.m. promise strong acceleration, including 0-60 times of 7.2 seconds.

Unlike other Cayenne variants that are equipped with an eight-speed gearbox, the diesel won’t have an optional engine stop-start system. EPA fuel-economy ratings aren’t available yet for the Cayenne, but the German automaker estimates it will score 20 mpg city and 28 highway.

Acura’s new flagship – While Acura calls the RLX a concept, the production version likely will look nearly identical when it goes on sale in early 2013. The V6 engine works on gasoline and displaces 3.5 liters. Together with the electric engine some 370 horse are developed. Acura is hoping for performance levels on par with a V8 and a fuel economy figure of 30 mpg on a combined cycle.

Acura will also offer a less powerful, and most likely cheaper, front-wheel-drive version, using just the gas engine, with 310 horsepower.

Advanced safety technologies on the new RLX include Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning.

The new Avalon redesigned – The new Toyota Avalon will fight for sales in the relatively narrow market niche of full-size sedans that, despite being less than 5 percent of car sales, has been getting crowded with new models, including a new Impala, a redesigned Hyundai Azera and a coming refreshing of Ford Taurus for 2013.

Toyota hasn’t mentioned powertrains for the new Avalon, but since it will still be built alongside the Camry at the automaker’s plant in Kentucky the familiar 3.5-liter V-6 with 268 horsepower and six-speed automatic will most likely be fitted.

Toyota will build the 2013 Avalon at its Georgetown, Ky., factory. It is slated to arrive in dealerships late this year.