The stage is set for a busy week as the New York International Auto Show opens. A slew of important models are expected to make their debut -- and as you'd expect in the current market, the list runs heavily to crossover SUVs. But it's not all crossovers: In between the SUVs and trucks, there's a car-shaped surprise from a global giant.
Here's a look at the vehicles we know we'll be seeing -- most for the first time -- in New York this week.
Lincoln Aviator SUV concept
Ford Motor Company's (NYSE:F) Lincoln luxury brand will have a "concept" version of its upcoming all-new Aviator on display in New York. We don't know much about the new Aviator yet, but it's believed to be a three-row, seven-passenger crossover SUV based on the underpinnings of the next-generation Ford Explorer. If so, it'll replace the slow-selling MKT when it arrives.
But the Aviator may not arrive for a while. Ford often uses concepts -- show cars -- to give a close preview of a future product's styling. If the Aviator follows Ford's usual pattern, we'll see the final, production version about a year from now, suggesting that the new Aviator will arrive at dealers late in 2019 as a 2020 model.
Yep, it's another all-new crossover SUV from an American luxury brand. But this one isn't a "concept": The Cadillac XT4 is a 5 passenger crossover that's a size smaller than the brand's hot-selling XT5. It's for real, it'll be revealed at Cadillac's New York headquarters on Tuesday night, and it's coming soon: We've been told to expect it in the second half of 2018.
Speaking of crossovers, an all-new version of Subaru's (NASDAQOTH:FUJHY) big-selling Forester will be revealed at the show on Wednesday. The new Forester will be based on a new platform, first used for last year's all-new Impreza, that should make it lighter, nimbler, and a little bit bigger and roomier than the well-regarded current model. Expect the latest versions of Subaru's four-cylinder "boxer" engines and an updated edition of the company's EyeSight driver-assistance suite.
You won't have to wait too long to buy one: The new Forester is expected to hit U.S. showrooms before the end of 2018.
The current edition of Toyota's (NYSE:TM) RAV4 compact SUV continues to rack up eye-popping sales numbers even though it dates all the way back to 2013. The all-new RAV4 that Toyota plans to reveal in New York will be built on Toyota's new TNGA architecture, so it'll probably share quite a bit under the skin with the smaller C-HR. It's also expected to be much more rugged-looking than the current model, in a bid to draw more enthusiasts to Toyota showrooms.
When will it go on sale? We don't know for sure yet, but "this fall" is probably a good bet. Expect demand to be very brisk.
Nissan (NASDAQOTH:NSANY) will make its bid to stay near the top of the brutally competitive midsize sedan segment with an all-new version of its mainstay Altima. It's in for a tough fight: Toyota's Camry and Honda's (NYSE:HMC) Accord were both redesigned for 2018 with edgier looks and a ton of advanced features. The design sketch released by Nissan, above, suggests that the new Altima's styling will riff that of last year's VMotion 2.0 show car. Expect a striking design and a long list of high-tech goodies, all priced to sell.
We think the new Altima will begin arriving at U.S. dealers this fall.
GMC Sierra and Sierra Denali
GM's super-important, and super-profitable, full-size pickups are all new for 2019. We've already seen the Sierra's all-new Chevrolet Silverado sibling, and we've seen some photos of the new Sierra, but we'll get the full download on the new GMC in New York on Monday night. Expect luxury, utility -- and at the high end, pricing -- all to get boosts in the all-new model.
We've also been told to expect more differentiation between the "regular" Sierra and the upscale Sierra Denali. The new Sierra is expected to go into production late this year.
Toyota Corolla hatchback
The one car on our list is a new hatchback version of the compact Toyota Corolla sedan that will make its official debut in New York. Toyota promises a "high-function, dynamic design." It's powered by the company's perky 2.0 liter four-cylinder, with choice of continuously variable transmission or a six-speed manual.
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has been pushing his engineers to bring more passion to the company's products. I think the Corolla hatchback has the potential to be a fun, affordable ride with a bit of throwback cool. It'll arrive at U.S. dealers this summer.
Volkswagen Atlas 5-passenger
Volkswagen AG (NASDAQOTH:VLKAY) was late to catch on to the crossover SUV trend, but it's determined to catch up. It'll show a two-row, five-passenger version of its successful three-row Atlas SUV in New York. It's a new model that, like the Atlas, was designed for the U.S. market and is based on VW's modular MQB platform.
We know that the new VW will be built at the company's big plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But it's not yet clear when production will start: VW is describing the show vehicle as a concept, so we may not see it at dealers until late in 2019.