The 2008 N.Y. Auto show has wrapped up and it is our custom to pick the Top 5 new vehicle introductions from gay-friendly manufacturers. We walked the halls, watched the debuts, drank the booze and suffered through incredibly painful hangovers just for you, our readers.
Nissan redeemed themselves in Manhattan this year with the introduction of the 2009 Maxima. Once one of the most revered nameplates in the automotive industry, Maxima used to be synonymous with fun-to-drive practicality. Unfortunately, the last iteration of the Maxima was a bit of an aberration and and will be quickly forgotten in the logs of history. The new 2009 Nissan Maxima promises to regain the glory of the “4DSC – 4-door sports car”, a moniker earned in the past for high horsepower and spirited handling. The new 4DSC features a 290 horsepower V6 and handling that was developed to compete with the best from the Old World. Radical new styling allows it to stand out in a crowd, although some might comment on its aquatic-inspired front end as less than attractive. Compared to the last Maxima, it is a Michelangelo – fitting for Nissan’s flagship renaissance. On sale early summer of 2009.
Pontiac Solstice Coupe
Pontiac expanded the Solstice lineup with the introduction of a sexy new coupe. Now sports car drivers that live in less-than perfect climates can enjoy the sleek lines and sporty handling of the Solstice more than a few months out of the year. A classic fastback design with a glass hatch and a removable roof panel over the cockpit replaces the convertible top of the roadster. It is a very sexy look and actually increases the usable space for “stuff” behind the seats. The Solstice Coupe will be available with the standard 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine that generates 173 horsepower while the GXP version is equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged Ecotec engine with 260 horsepower . The Coupe is expected in dealerships in early 2009.
BMW M3 Convertible
Convertibles are a purchased for a myriad of reasons; to be closer to nature while driving, to get a mobile suntan and/or to get attention. Well, the new 2008 BMW M3 Convertible will do all that and raise your heart rate. It is the next step in the evolution of the M3 lineup and joins the sedan and coupe as the Bavarian solution for boredom. Featuring the same beefy styling, 414 horsepower V8 and chassis as its siblings, the 2008 M3 Convertible promises to be one of the most exhilarating top-down driving experiences available. Owners can opt for either a 6-speed manual or BMW’s new 7-speed double clutch transmission. The 2008 BMW M3 Convertible goes on sale in early Spring 2008.
Volvo, known for their roomy wagons and advanced safety systems, finally joined the fastest growing segment in the luxury market – the Small Luxury Crossover – with the Volvo XC60. Smaller than the XC70 wagon by 7.9 inches and lower than the XC90, the XC60 should appeal to the younger consumer looking for a sporty crossover. It will be available with Volvo’s six-cylinder turbocharged T6 engine producing 281 horsepower and All Wheel Drive (AWD) with Instant Traction is fitted as standard. It is one of the best looking vehicles to come from Volvo and is arguably the most attractive in its class. The interior is pure Scandinavian simplicity with a focus on creating a light, airy, luxurious environment. The new 2009 Volvo XC60 goes on sale in early 2009.
Pontiac G8 Sport Truck
The new G8 sport truck blurs the lines of cars and trucks right down the middle. Halfway back, down its sides, a pickup bed replaces where you’d expect to see another set of doors. And the pickup bed’s a useful, real one: Pontiac says it can tote 1000 pounds of payload and that the truck can tow 3500 pounds, while the bed’s long enough for some serious wood. It’s based on the G8 sedan (a version of Australia’s Holden sedans) but the sport truck gets a longer wheelbase and longer overall body than the four-door version. And under the hood it gets a big V-8 that puts out 361 horsepower through a six-speed automatic. Pontiac sayst hat’s good enough for a run to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, faster than any truck we’ve driven lately. Wanna help name it? Go to www.pontiac.com/namethatcar