The New York International Auto Show is back!

The New York International Auto Show strikes again! With approximately 1,000 vehicles on display contained under 950,000 sq. ft., the show is one of the world’s biggest and greatest automotive shows for over one million car enthusiasts to check out the newest cars, trucks and SUV’s.

A few dozen, new for 2016, cars made their big debuts at the show. Some of these were the all-new Audi A4 with a power boost up to 252hp, the sixth generation BMW 7 series, the 365hp BMW M2, an all-wheel-drive Ford Fusion V6 Sport and Hyundai’s new flagship brand, Genesis, showed us the new G90. Other debuts include the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Fiat 124 Spider, Cadillac CT6, the 5.0-liter V8 Lexus LX500, Lincoln Continental, Mercedes E-Class with a new 2.0-liter, 241hp four cylinder and the Volvo S90 luxury sedan.

New concept vehicles were also revealed at the show, including the Buick Avista coupe grand tourer, Volkswagen BUDD-e, the Kia A1A Optima and the Kia Telluride.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the New York International Auto Show over the next few days.

Serial One: The First Honda in the US

In 1969, Honda debuted the N600, the first Honda car that was imported to the US. Designed to combat bad fuel economy and high emissions, the N600 was roughly three feet shorter and half the weight of the average American car at the time.


Mechanic and restorer Tim Mings is the only full-time Honda N600 mechanic in the world – having worked on over 1,000 throughout the past 20 years. From the first 50 produced (serial #1 through 50), only 3 survived. After sitting under five decades of dust and dirt, Tim recently found this N600, purchasing it sight unseen, unaware of its’ pedigree. Now, it’s Tim’s mission to restore Serial One, the very first N600 that rolled off the line. Mings says it’s “humbling that I get to be the guy that does it. I’m the first person to take it apart since it was put together in 1967”. Once the restoration is complete, it will be going to the Honda Museum.


During the 12- to 18-month rebuild, Honda will be documenting the restoration of this special car at – follow along, both with Honda and us, as we keep a close eye on the progress!

Images from: Honda Motor Co.

Ford opens doors for law enforcement

Ford has always been a staple in law enforcement vehicle history – going all the way back to 1919 when departments used Model T police trucks. Then, came the infamous Crown Victoria era in the early 90s and late 2000s. Now, we have the new Explorers and Tauruses we see most departments using on the roads today.

Ford is taking their dedication to law enforcement one step further, and will now be offering doors that protect against armor-piercing bullets. Since 2008, they’ve offered factory-installed ballistic panels on their police car doors, but they only protect against handgun fire and non-armor piercing bullets. Only about 5 to 10 percent of police vehicles sold by Ford have the optional ballistic protection, which costs about $1,500 per door.

Controlling 60 percent of the US police vehicle market in 2015, Ford will be the first in the US to meet the Justice Department’s highest standard for body armor, which is the equivalent of a bulky SWAT team vest.

The ballistic panels, which cover the majority of the door, have two layers. The first layer is made from ballistic-grade ceramic tile, which disperses the energy and starts to break the bullet into pieces on impact. The inner layer is made from aramid fiber, which is the same material used for Kevlar, and catches the shrapnel from the bullet.

Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations said that “any kind of protection that can be added into the vehicles that officers are driving in is a great idea”, since officers are frequently targeted when they are in their patrol cars.

Unavailable to the public, the doors are destroyed when police cars are scrapped so they don’t wind up in the bad guys’ hands.

Engineering the doors proved to be a challenge since the added weight of the ballistic protection had to be supported by the hinges of the door, though they made it happen. Ford will continue to offer both non-armor piercing and armor-piercing protection doors for departments with different needs. Pricing for upgraded protection has not been announced.

Photo Credit: Ford

How do you like your Mercedes?

Armored or unarmored? Mercedes-Maybach just recently announced their newest armored vehicle – the S600 Guard. Based on the Maybach S600, the S600 Guard features armor upgrades to keep heads-of-state, celebrities and the world’s elite protected.  Mercedes says the car features “innovative voice amplification”, so you can still yell at your attackers while being protected from steel-core ammo from an assault rifle.


Powering the gargantuan vehicle is the S600’s twin-turbocharged V12 with 523 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque. Armor protection includes special steel that is inserted between the unibody and outer body panels, which overlap at crucial points for “comprehensive ballistic protection”. Thicker windows are coated with polycarbonate to help the car achieve a VR10 armor rating.

Fun Fact:  VR10 armor protects occupants from all soft core bullets and most armor piercing and armor piercing incendiary bullets.

In addition to the VR10 armor rating, the S600 Guard also protects form explosives along the side of the car and under the passenger compartment – earning itself an ERV 2010 rating, which protects the passengers from a 15kg TNT explosive blast from 2 meters. With armored protection normally reserved for military vehicles, the S600 Guard is billed to offer the highest level of protection available on non-military vehicles.

No surprise here – you’re going to have to cough up quite a bit of dough to stay protected: about $518,000. The S600 Guard joins Mercedes’ G500, GLE and S-Class armored vehicle lineup.


Photos from Mercedes-Benz.

Dealer Spotlight: Lamborghini Paramus

Introducing Dealer Spotlights – a new thing we’re going to be doing at The Autocracy,  where we go to premium brand dealers or locations that have a unique variety of vehicles and share information about them and the products and services they provide. Here is our first Dealer Spotlight, Lamborghini of Paramus.

As the only authorized Lamborghini dealer in New Jersey, Lamborghini of Paramus proudly offers a vast selection of new and selected pre-owned cars as well as service, parts and merchandise. Established in 1969, Lamborghini of Paramus has been around just 6 years less than the Lamborghini brand itself. Lamborghini was founded in Sant’Agata Bolognese Italy in 1963, and since then, they’ve produced some of the greatest looking, most highly detailed sports cars over the last century.

Some select models in their inventory include an Arancio Argos Pearl 2013  Aventador with under 5,000 miles, a Nero Noctis 2012 Gallardo with 6,000 miles and the pièce de résistance, a white 1990 25th Anniversary Edition Countach with just over 12,000 original miles. Renowned for their excellent customer service and close proximity to New York City, Lamborghini of Paramus invites you to stop in – located on Route 17 South in Paramus, New Jersey – and check them out online.

Jaguar F-Type Project 7

Jaguar has one of the most famous racing pedigrees of automative manufacturer history – so, it’s only fitting they give us something true to their roots: the F-Type Project 7.

We took a visit to Prestige Jaguar of Paramus to see what that was all about. Reminiscent of Jaguar’s D-Type race car, the F-Type Project 7 has the same tail fin that adorned the car that won the 1955 and 1956 Le Mans races.

Limited to only 250 units (and only 50 in the US), the F-Type Project 7 features the same 5.0-liter supercharged V8 from the regular F-Type, though this one has a bit of a power boost to the tune of 575 hp. That makes it the most powerful and fastest production car Jaguar has offered. Other accoutrements include carbon-ceramic brakes and a fixed rear spoiler. Check out Jaguar’s video above and make sure you turn up that volume!

Quick Facts:

Price: $165,995

Powertrain: 5.0-liter supercharged V-8, 575 hp, 516 lb-ft; RWD, 8-speed automatic

Weight: 3550 lb

The Superbowl Commercials — Our Top Picks

What a game last night!! For some people, however, the commercials were more attention-grabbing. In fact, in a 2011 study done by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), over 25% of people said that the most important part of the Super Bowl are the infamous commercials. (At $4 million for a 30-sec. spot, these commercials had better be good, right?) Here’s our ranking of the top 3 automotive Super Bowl commercials (and the rest of them for your viewing pleasure). What was your favorite commercial from last night’s Big Game? Let us know in the comments below or tell us on Twitter (@autocracyblog). 

1. Kia K900 (“The Truth”)

What could be better than Morpheus singing Nessun Dorma? Kia gets in the game, big time, with this commercial for the all-new premium luxury sedan from Kia and asks people to “Challenge the luxury you know™”. Honestly, one of the best commercials of the night, hands down. 


2. Toyota Highlander (“Terry Crews and the Muppets”)

There’s no room for boring with Toyota’s commercial for the all-new Highlander. Featuring Terry Crews and the Muppets, it gets you laughing. 


3. Jaguar F-Type Coupe (“Rendezvous”)

Getting three British powerhouses — The Avengers’ Loki, Iron Man’s Trevor Slattery, and Green Lantern’s Sinestro — Jaguar proves it’s #GoodToBeBad. 


Check out the other commercials for these brands: 

Chevy – “Life” || Jeep – “Restless” || Volkswagen – “Wings” || Maserati – “Strike” 

CarMax – “Slow Clap” || Hyundai – “Dad’s Sixth Sense” || Chevy – “Romance”

Chrysler – “America’s Import” || Honda – “Hugfest” || Hyundai – “Nice” 

Audi – “Doberhuahua” || Weathertech – “You Can’t Do That”