Toyota Hako Concept

Toyota Hako Concept (AP)

The New York International Auto Show held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan marks the fourth and final U.S. automotive press debut of the year (previous shows being Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago). Although New York is the city that never sleeps, and few of its residents drive, around 25 cars were paraded for the national media while many had already made a "world" debut at the recent Geneva Motor Show in March.

American car companies rallied to show strength in a down market with splashy announcements, including an SRT8 version of the Dodge Challenger and three new Pontiacs – the 2009 hard-top Pontiac Solstice coupe and two Australian-made vehicles, the G8 GXP and 2010 G8 Sport Truck (a retro-looking throwback to the Chevrolet El Camino).

Upscale and sporty entries included Maserati's GranTurismo S, a new Porsche Boxster RS60 Spyder and Bentley's huge Brooklands coupe, which both launched in Geneva. Also featured were several redesigned versions of established cars, including the Nissan Maxima, Infiniti FX, Honda Fit and Acura TSX.

Concept cars that promised better things to come from lesser-brand players seemed to dominate the New York stage. Kia introduced a future of better styling with its sleek KOUP concept and Suzuki uncovered a concept called Kizashi 3, branded "not for the elite few, but the passionate many."