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New York Motor Show 2013

By raccars Published

The 113th New York Motor Show is underway this week, featuring 1000 vehicles, including new Jeep, Range Rover and Jaguar models plus numerous other major new car launches.

While the event is less prestigious than the Geneva Motor Show, it has been going since 1900. There are fewer big international vehicle launches than at its European counterpart, but heavy footfall and substantial money flowing though the city makes New York an ideal venue for manufacturers to increase publicity for new projects.

This year Kia has shown its latest Soul, Mercedes the upmarket CLA45 and Volvo is displaying R-Design versions of its S60, V69 and XC60, while Range Rover launched its new Sport model, with a celebrity-heavy publicity extravaganza.

Other highlights have come from Cadillac, with the world debut of its 2014 CTS – a car the American giant is hoping will challenge German dominance in Europe and a controversial Jeep Cherokee, whose looks have provoked a 'Marmite' reaction in critics, but which is expected to be a rival to the Land Rover Freelander.

Probably the most exciting displays so far have come from Jaguar, with two new performance models. The XJR is a 5.0 litre supercharged V8 offering 543bhp and should get you from standstill to 60mph in 4.4 seconds. It's a sleek, aluminium-shelled limousine type car that manages to look both fairly racy and relatively sophisticated. Priced close to £100,000, this car isn't likely to be a flagship model for Jaguar but could be a useful cherry on the top of the XJ cake.

Meanwhile, the fierce-looking XKR-GT is all about the driving rather than being driven. Height-adjustable Eibach shocks and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes have taken the original XKR-S's power and focused instead on handling and downforce, for maximum fun and a more rewarding driving experience. At the moment it is being produced in a limited run of 30 examples – 25 for the USA and the rest for Canada, but priced at around £130,000, this would most likely be a welcome edition to the UK market and pundits are hoping Jaguar will be tempted to expand production to right-hand drive models.

This is made all the more possible as the XKR-GT is a product of Jaguar's special Engineered to Order division, which focuses on hot versions of existing vehicles. At the moment, these include various Range Rovers such as the Evoque, but with any luck, the XKR-GT could be the start of an interesting venture.

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