Living, Tips & Techniques

How to enjoy the return of the New York Auto Show

What to see and do.

words by: Matt Peng
Apr 14, 2022

After two years, the New York International Auto Show returns this weekend to the Javits Center on Manhattan’s west side. To say I was excited to see the newest and shiniest cars in person is an understatement. However, reality soon hit me as I realized numerous big name manufacturers didn’t even bother to show up. The media room was also a shell of its former self — no breakfast or drinks, no swag, and a lot of empty chairs.


What’s going on?

I can understand the lower media attendance, with some people still not willing to travel. However, I couldn’t come to terms with the show floor missing big names like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Honda from its ranks. The failure or rather disregard or these manufacturers to show up proves that the pandemic has given corporations an excuse to not have to attend these sort of events and to cut costs by not flying out crews, cars and equipment. All the while, having car demand and sales increase at an outrageous pace.


The last time I was in Javits for the 2019 NYIAS, the space was utilized on all levels. This time around, although Javits has expanded its space, the show itself didn’t require more than two levels — quite sad if you ask me.


So who does this hurt the most? Us. The car enthusiasts and consumers. If you’re looking to purchase a vehicle from those European brands or even old reliable Honda, you may want to skip the show altogether.


However, that’s not to say there isn’t a handful of other enjoyable manufacturers that have made the effort to show up and entice new buyers and old diehards alike.


Instead of sulking at what was, here’s what you can do and what you can check out to make the best out of your trip to the auto show.


What to see

While attending the auto show gives you a glimpse of the future and what’s to come, I love looking for classics and show cars that people and brands bring out. This year, there’s a handful of gems you can see in person.


Elvis Presley’s 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II

This car is absolutely beautiful and that’s why Lincoln gets the entry hall doorway to level 3. With a clean white paint job to match the old school white wall tires, this classic takes us back to a time of riding on heavy steel frames in luxury. I stood in front of this one for a good 10 minutes taking in all the lines and glancing into the simply yet elegant dash.


Lamborghini Hurácan Tecnica

Anyone can spot the beautiful Verde of an Italian bull from down the street and everyone wants to own one someday. The latest beast is a beauty to marvel at with its sexy lines and aggressive stance.


GTO Engineering 1959 Ferrari 250 SWB Revival

Real petrol heads will know that seeing a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione in person is like seeing a unicorn. Thanks to the geniuses over at GTO Engineering, they created an identical version using CAD and even threw in a V12 for authenticity. If you have $1.5 million to spare, you can grab this exact car from Manhattan Motors. Everyone else can brag they looked at a 7-figure car at the auto show.


Kia Concept EV9

EV (electric vehicle) models are all the rage at this year’s show (more on that later) and this concept vehicle from Kia absolutely looks stunning. Not only are the rims fire, but the lines make it look like a car straight out of a futuristic sci-fi flick. Also that blue just hits.


1985 Renault 5 Turbo 2

With less than 5,000 ever built, this is a seriously rare car. Sporting a fat rear, the rear-mid-engine is a cult classic car that few have ever seen in real life. Take a chance to gaze upon this beautiful boxy beast.


1991 Jaguar XJR-15 Chassis #025

Hands down the rarest car at this year’s auto show. There are only 28 road-going examples of this car and this is 1 of 3 finished in Yellow. You will almost never see these sold at auction and if/when they are, they hit nearly $2 million easily. Take it all in, you are in the presence of greatness, the world’s first fully carbon fiber road car to be exact.


2023 Toyota GR Corolla

Taking hot hatch to the next level is the all-new Toyota GR Corolla. The first-ever GR Corolla has AWD and 300 horsepower. A “turbocharged track-tested” beast as Toyota calls it, you can see it in person before it goes on sale later this year. I’ve never wanted a Corolla so badly in my life.


Gymkhana 2022 Subaru 1983 GL Wagon

I went into the auto show not knowing what cars would be there and this one, took me absolutely by surprise. I’ve been a huge fan of the Gymkhana series since episode one back in 2008 and to see the latest car in the series is breathtaking. Although Ken Block passed the baton to Travis Pastrana in 2020, the series still has amazing content. The 2020 Gymkhana WRX STI is right behind this too.


2023 Nissan Z

The next generation in the Nissan Z family will offer a 400 horsepower 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbocharged engine and will finally give Z fans launch control for the first time. Both the green and blue renditions are hard to miss and consistently attracted media attention throughout the day so make this your first and last stop to ensure you see it (multiple times).


Crown SpeedLab Voltex Honda S2000

Crown SpeedLab based out of Flushing, New York, first took their Voltex Honda S2000 to the NYIAS back in 2019. The car’s $30,000 Voltex Circuit Version III setup is one of two in the United States and founder of Voltex Racing, Akihiro Nakajima, installed it himself. If form meets function is in your alley, check out this beast at the entrance to level 1. You can read about the build here.


What to do

As I mentioned earlier, this year, the auto show is heavily pushing EVs. In order to experience EV vehicles from brands like Chevy, INDI EV, Kia, Nissan, VinFast, Volvo and VW, a large EV test track is located on level 1. Let me warn you, I talked a lot of smack about EVs and their quiet nature but you will feel how fast they can get off the line with drivers taking you for a ride down the track.



In the same area, you can also shop and test the latest electronic scooters, bikes and hoverboards as well as learn about historic EVs.



For those of you who are animal lovers, specifically dogs, Subaru created an area where you can play with dogs called the “Subaru Loves Pets” area. This is definitely a new feature and I’m all about this one.



Additionally, Subaru also teamed up with the National Park Foundation and their entire display area is meant to stimulate being in a jungle environment.




There’s also immersive racing experiences on simulators for fans at booths like Hyundai and Toyota.



Lastly, check out the Jeep experience track outside. You can ride in a variety of Jeep vehicles which take you over an obstacle course showing off just how well they perform in various terrain with traction, articulation, off-chamber, and more — that 40 degree drop is no joke by the way.



The experience

The New York International Auto Show will run from April 15 to April 24. Tickets are required for entry and can be purchased from the NYIAS website. Adults are $17 and children (ages 12 and younger) are $7. The show is taking place at the Javits Center located at 429 11th Ave. New York, NY 10001 and attendees are not required to show proof of vaccination or wear a mask. You can visit between the hours of 10 A.M. – 10 P.M. Monday-Saturday and 10 A.M. – 7 P.M. on Sundays.


We recommend bringing snacks and your own water because convention pricing is expensive and few options for food and beverage are available in that area. Wear comfortable footwear too as you’ll be standing for prolonged periods of time and walking around a lot. Hope this helps and enjoy the auto show, it’s great to have conventions returning!


If you’re into cars and coffee, read about Khalil Malamug, who took his passion for both and started gathering like-minded individuals around New Jersey for local meetups.


Photos via Matt Peng/ULTRA NYC