Sedans galore at New York Auto Show
2013 Lexus ES
Much like the Avalon, the new ES offers a full-frontal visual assault — it has the now-standard Lexus spindle grill, in all its grimacing glory — followed by a sedan sameness. The real news for this model is the 300h hybrid version, expected to get 40 mpg combined, with a low-speed electric mode that runs gasless. The 350h has a 3.5-liter V6 engine, and both models are slightly bigger than the last ES, with an additional inch to length and 1.8 inches to the wheelbase carving out 2.8 inches of extra knee room.
2013 Nissan Altima
Enough with the design half-measures — from here on out, we're talking about sedan-styling home runs, or at the very least, brave outings. The 2013 Altima drags this also-ran model into the spotlight, with snarling front wheel flares and raised, sinewy lines throughout, bucking the current tradition of slabbed menace with an equally ominous fluidity. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is expected to get 38 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined, while the 3.5-liter V6 should get 25 combined. We'll have to wait for the summer to test those fatigue-free, NASA-derived seats, but the interiors are classier than expected for a $21,500 midsize sedan.
2014 Chevrolet Impala
There were prettier cars at the New York Auto Show, and faster, more innovative ones. But somehow, the radically overhauled Impala was one of the most talked-about new models. Why? Because it's a bold splicing of the archetypical family car and a modern Camaro. It has interesting features such as the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder eAssist version (one of three powerplant options, along with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V6), and the first-for-Chevrolet Collision Braking Mitigation system. The design, though, is what dumps the stodgy baggage of past Impalas and implodes the myth that sedans should play it safe.
2013 BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe
What do you call a coupe with four doors? We call it a sedan, and in the case of BMW's new 6-Series Gran Coupe, one so show-stopping that we'll take any excuse to cover it. The stretched-out, souped-up spin on the 6 coupe was unveiled at Geneva, but this is its North American debut. Outlandishly long and lean, this matte gunmetal sculpture demonstrates just how bold a sedan can be. All three versions will hit stores this summer, ranging from $76,000 for the twin-turbo 3-liter V6 to $90,000 for the all-wheel-drive twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8, which goes from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.
Infiniti LE Concept
Like the best concepts, Infiniti's LE — a 100-mile luxury electric sedan — makes you want to believe. Trust in the ultralightweight aluminum body panels and wireless inducting charging system. Infiniti says both will make it to production, though inductive charging, a less-efficient, pricier alternative to cabled systems, will be available only in select regions. Skepticism lurks (inductive is still experimental, and aluminum is expensive), but this sedan is a stunner, with its jagged headlights, extruded body lines and backlit grille and logo. We're guessing the front end's energy-sucking glow will dim by the time this concept hits showrooms — Infiniti says it's 85 percent accurate — but in the growing all-electric category, this might be the design to beat.
Based out of the Boston area, Erik Sofge is frequent contributor to Popular Mechanics and Slate.com. He specializes in everything scientific and technical.
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Please Lexus, that grill, not again.As for the Lincoln its nice.Will agree though that since the 80s Taurases all these cars look alike. Maybe thats why the 300 stands out.