We hope you appreciate the time, thought and care that goes into an Editors' Choice list like this. If you think the debate that will follow in Comments is contentious, you should see us arguing over the merits of each car. We take these picks anything but lightly, as we know you do the results.
Our Editors' Choice picks for the 2013 New York Auto Show were voted on this time around by the entire team of Autoblog editors, and we used a points-based scoring system instead of voting for a single favorite vehicle. Each editor was given 25 points to assign to their five favorite vehicles. The points could be distributed among the chosen five any which way, with a limit of 10 points for any one car and all 25 points having to be assigned.
There was no criteria to guide our choices other than picking our favorite vehicles that debuted at the show – not significance, not technology, nuttin'. So without further delay, we present to you our 2013 NY Editors' Choice list. Now go forth, and tell us why we're right or wrong in Comments.
#5: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S Wagon
Consider this one the Auto Journo Special. It's no secret that scribes in this industry have a penchant for wagons, and we're no exception. If you're Mercedes and you stuff a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 into that wagon, you've got our vote. If you then make an even more hardcore S model, increasing output by 27 horsepower and 59 pound-feet to 577 hp and 590 lb-ft, you've got us *this close* to pooling our money and drafting a joint custody schedule. The E63 AMG S Wagon is really everything we could ask for in a real-world vehicle (except fuel economy, but you can't have everything), and so it sneaks on our list in the last spot.
#4: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG
The CLA is the first in a new class of very small, entry-level German luxury sedans, and it's set the bar high with the introduction of its highest-performing model, the CLA45 AMG. The fact that its engine produces 355 horsepower and 322 pound-feet of torque may not surprise you (AMG models, after all, are gratuitously powerful). The fact that all this power comes from a four-cylinder engine just 2.0-liters large should shock you to your core, though. Mercedes claims it's the most powerful production four-cylinder in the world, and with 178 horsepower per liter, and aside from some small-volume Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution models overseas that barely qualify as "production," we can't think any other car with that kind of power density.
#3: Subaru WRX Concept
With the possible exception of Honda's new vacuum cleaner, nothing generated more buzz out of New York this year than this conceptual look at the next generation of Subaru WRX. The automaker captured lightning in a bottle with the new design, drawing praise from pundits and the public for the muscular shape and low-slung silhouette. After growing up with ugly-yet-loveable Subies in the main, something as performance-oriented and striking as this WRX Concept is almost unbelievable. We're hoping (as are you, judging by the weight of your commentary) that Subaru keeps a lot of this intact when it comes time to put together the real-deal next-gen WRX. Fingers crossed.
#2: 2014 Cadillac CTS
With plenty of momentum from ATS and XTS coming into this year, Cadillac may be hitting its stride with the introduction of the third-generation CTS here in New York. With styling that is equal parts edgy and elegant, and an impressive new turbocharged V6 engine option, America's luxury brand seems poised to take its best shot in years at the hegemony of the German premium marques. If buyers can get behind Caddy's suite of underhood and in-car technologies, we think the CTS could be a major hit.
#1: 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
Winner winner, chicken dinner. At a surprisingly performance-oriented show this year, the return of the Z/28 nameplate to the Camaro lineup was arguably the highest-profile story out there. If the new Chevy featured a badge and a meaner face alone, we wouldn't have cared half so much. But with the Z/28 pounding out at least 500 horsepower, while shedding some 300 pounds, our inclination is to believe that this Camaro will be special. With blood-rival Mustang Boss 302 getting loads of praise and special racing editions over the last year, Chevy seems to have counterpunched with a haymaker here. The new golden age for American muscle continues – enjoy it while it's here.
So... how'd we arrive at this list? Funny you asked – we have a brand-new point system this time around. In case you missed it in our introduction, here's how it works: All Autoblog editors picked their favorites of the show, with each editor having a total of 25 points to distribute amongst their picks. All 25 points had to be used, and no more than 10 points could be awarded to any one car. Basically, instead of just lining them up one-through-five, this allows us to put more weight on the cars that we think were really special. And in case you were wondering, here's how the points broke down for each of the top five:
Camaro Z/28 –
- CTS – 59 points
- WRX Concept – 49 points
- CLA45 AMG – 30 points
- E63 AMG S Wagon – 23 points
Part of the fun of doing this list is seeing what each individual staff member votes for. And since this is a point-based list, there are always a good number of cars that don't quite make the Top Five cut. Here's a look at the other things we liked from New York.
- 2014 Audi S3 – 14 points
- 2014 SRT Viper Time Attack – 12 points
- 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive – 10 points
- 2014 Jeep Cherokee – 9 points
- 2014 Jaguar XKR-S GT – 8 points
- 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid – 7 points
- 2014 Shelby Raptor – 7 points
- 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport – 6 points
- 2014 BMW 328d – 5 points
- 2014 Honda Odyssey – 4 points
- 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid – 3 points
- 2014 Kia Soul – 2 points
- 2014 Audi A3 – 1 point
UPDATE: Due to a small amount of human error (we're writers, not mathematicians), there was a small snafu in our vote-tallying process. The Camaro Z/28 actually garnered 76 votes, not 69. Still, that doesn't change the order of our top-five listing, and only further cements the Chevy's Number One spot in our list.