Best Concept

Lincoln Navigator

EW: Has to be the Lincoln Navigator. The whole side of the truck opens up. It’s so over the top ridiculous that I love it. Continental doors for the 21st century. The styling was great, but I just love that giant gull-wing door. Think of all the side benefits from it too. Too much trash on the floor? Don’t want to clean it up? Park sideways on a hill, open the door and give it a shake. Instant clean interior. Come to think of it, you might have to park on a hill, because there’s no way you’re getting that door open in a parking lot.

DH: I know some of my colleagues will roast me for this, but of all the sports car and luxury concepts that made their way to various manufacturers’ stands, the Lincoln Navigator Concept stands out. Not because of how big it is (and it is HUGE), not because it has a blue interior and not because Matthew McConaughey was on-hand to introduce it. It stands out because it’s such a departure for a brand that’s really struggled as of late, and there are some fantastic design flourishes that really draw the eye. The 24-inch turbine wheels, for example, or the deep, proud chrome grille, or the interior’s floating console and widescreen displays. So the gullwing doors probably won’t make production. Big deal; they look awesomely futuristic and more than I would ever have expected from Lincoln. It is a spectacular, grandiose thing and the fact it fits the NYC vibe so well is just icing on the cake.

Genesis New York Concept

PB: I’m giving this to the Genesis New York Concept. Peter Schreyer and Luc Donckerwolfe (whose combined CVs are as lengthy as the day is long) have created a bad-ass full-size luxury sedan that, if not a production car, signals the design direction of this new standalone brand. These guys are serious, and the Germans should be more than a bit jittery.

SH: Photos don’t do this thing justice. We can only hope that Genesis really does build an undiluted production version this rear-drive, 3.3L V6 powered beauty.

Best Production Car

Mazda MX-5 RF

EW: Oh wow. Mazda MX-5 RF. I love the new retractable hard top because it’s a little crazy. The rear window goes down, the top goes into the trunk, but the buttresses stay there. Sort of. They have to move up and out of the way, let the small roof section stow, then come back to where they were. It seems so unnecessary, and the hard-core Miata guys hate it because it isn’t a fixed top coupe, but I bet they move a ton of them.

PB: Mazda broadsided the show with the surprise reveal of its 2017 MX-5 Miata Retractable Fastback. Mazda proved long ago they can’t draw an ugly car, but here took an all ready pretty roadster and knocked it out of the park with an extremely clever retractable hardtop that works in 12 seconds, stowing a two-piece targa panel and rear window while retaining the fastback flying buttresses. A true siren, especially in Mazda’s new Machine Grey finish that uses a thin layer of aluminum flakes to great effect.

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