2015 New York Auto Show: Green Car Preview


New York City skyline

New York City skyline

Auto-show season continues in the Big Apple next week with the 2015 New York Auto Show, and we're getting ready to bring you all of the latest green concept and production car debuts.

Before the doors open at the Javits Center, here's our list of new mass-market models we're expecting to be unveiled at the show so far. It includes a handful of hybrids, plus some fuel-efficient gasoline models.

Of course, more new green cars could be confirmed over the next week, and we'll bring you the details on those as they become available.

We'll also have live coverage from the show floor during press days, which run April 1-2.

To stay up to date, head over to our dedicated New York Auto Show news page.

2016 Chevrolet Spark teaser

2016 Chevrolet Spark teaser

2016 Chevrolet Spark

The Spark minicar has been a somewhat surprising sales success for Chevy, and the brand hopes to keep up this momentum with the next-generation model.

Updates will likely include more expressive exterior styling and a revised interior that disposes of some of the current version's quirks in pursuit of a more upscale feel.

The new Spark will also have a slightly longer nose, to meet new global safety requirements for crash testing and pedestrian protection.

DON'T MISS: 2016 Chevrolet Spark Teaser Photo Previews New York Auto Show Debut

Powertrains will be drawn from General Motors' new family of Ecotec efficiency-focused engines, which so far includes three- and four-cylinder versions ranging in size from 1.0 to 1.5 liters.

Absent from the lineup will be a new version of the Spark EV electric car.

The current version will likely continue in production for about 18 months, and then be replaced by a production version of the Bolt concept from January's Detroit Auto Show.

2016 Lexus RX teaser image

2016 Lexus RX teaser image

2016 Lexus RX

A new, fourth-generation version of the Lexus RX crossover is already confirmed for New York, and we expect it to feature a hybrid powertrain option like the current model.

The 2016 RX will likely be based on the current-generation Toyota Highlander, and may offer a seven-seat option for the first time.

Since its debut before the turn of the century, the RX has defined the segment of luxury mid-size crossover utilities.

RELATED: 2013 Lexus RX 450h: 750-Mile Gas Mileage Test (Jul 2012)

Lexus will be aiming to hang onto its strong position in that growing category.

But now that Lexus sells the compact NX--which is in fact close in size to the first-generation RX--there's room for the larger crossover to grow.

However, Lexus will reportedly attempt to keep weight in check by using significant amounts of aluminum in the chassis.

Teaser for 2016 Kia Optima debuting at 2015 New York Auto Show

Teaser for 2016 Kia Optima debuting at 2015 New York Auto Show

2016 Kia Optima Hybrid & Plug-In Hybrid

The next-generation Kia Optima will get updated styling, as well as new green powertrains shared with its mechanical twin, the Hyundai Sonata.

The two Sonata hybrid models were shown earlier this year at February's Chicago Auto Show, but the Optima will unveil all-new styling as well as the anticipated hybrids.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid & Plug-In Hybrid Debut At 2015 Detroit Auto Show

That means a revised hybrid powertrain with a new 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder gasoline engine and six-speed automatic transmission.

An integrated electric motor, powered by a slightly larger lithium-ion battery pack, sits between engine and transmission.

Like the Sonata, expect the 2016 Optima to also feature a plug-in hybrid option based on the same powertrain as the standard hybrid, but with an enlarged battery pack and a more powerful electric motor.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander front teaser

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander front teaser

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

The updated Outlander crossover Mitsubishi announced it would unveil in New York will form the basis for the U.S.-spec Outlander Plug-In Hybrid, when that model goes on sale here next year.

The plug-in Outlander has been on sale in Europe and Japan for some time, but various delays mean U.S. buyers won't get it until after this refresh of the model line.

MORE: Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid: Major Refinements Planned

That's expected to include new styling based on the PHEV Concept-S from last fall's Paris Motor Show, and possibly some refinement-focused mechanical changes as well.

Straight gasoline versions of the restyled 2016 Outlander could go on sale before the end of the year, but the Outlander Plug-In hybrid isn't expected until next year, and may be labeled a 2017 model.

Scion iA teaser image

Scion iA teaser image

2016 Scion iA

Scion is badly in need of new mainstream models, which may be why it's unveiling not one, but two production small cars in New York.

The first is the 2016 iA, Scion's first-ever sedan.

READ MORE: New Scion iA Sedan To Join iM Hatchback At New York Auto Show

It's expected to be based on the 2016 Mazda 2 subcompact, launched as a hatchback last year although not yet arrived on the U.S. market.

The new Mazda 2 will also form the foundation for the next Toyota Yaris, which will be offered only in three- and five-door hatchback models to avoid conflict with the new Scion.

Scion iM concept, 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

Scion iM concept, 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

2016 Scion iM

Scion's second New York debut is a production version of the iM compact hatchback.

This car was first seen, in lightly-disguised concept form, at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The iM is based on the European-market Toyota Auris and--judging from what we've seen of the concept so far--doesn't depart much from the Toyota in design.

CHECK OUT: Scion iM Concept Previews New Compact Five-Door Hatchback

You can think of the Auris as essentially a hatchback version of the very popular Toyota Corolla compact sedan--somewhat like the now departed Toyota Matrix five-door.

The U.S.-market Scion iM won't have the variety of powertrains offered on the Auris in Europe though.

While the Auris is available with diesel and hybrid options, the iM will likely be gasoline only, with engines borrowed from U.S.-market Toyota models.

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