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Hot models at 2014 New York Int'l Auto Show

NEW YORK--With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the U.S. auto industry. Here are some of the vehicles debuting this year. The show opens to the public Friday.

Nissan Murano: Nissan has given the third generation of the Murano midsize crossover SUV a more modern design, nicer interior and better fuel economy than the previous version. The company says the exterior runs counter to the typical “heaviness and chunkiness” of SUVs, with sculpted sides, new lighting and a jet-inspired roof. Inside, the 2015 Murano gets three-cushion seats and a low center console that makes conversations easier between the front and rear occupants. The SUV, available in the fall, comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that will get about 24 mpg (9.8 liters per 100 kilometers) in combined city-highway driving. That's 20-percent better than the current version. Price wasn't announced.

Acura TLX: Honda's luxury Acura brand calls the new TLX midsize sedan a “red carpet athlete” for its blend of elegance and sportiness. The TLX — which replaces the TL and the TSX for the 2015 model year — has two new engine options: A 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 206 horsepower mated to a new 8-speed transmission and a 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower that's paired with a 9-speed. Acura estimates the four-cylinder will get up to 35 mpg (6.9 liters per 100 kms) on the highway, which is 4 mpg better than the TSX. The V6 will get an estimated 34 mpg on the highway, or 5 mpg better than the TL. The TLX has a sharper, sculpted look and Acura's signature jeweled headlights. Acura made the TLX around 4 inches shorter than the TL to give it a tighter, sportier feel. It's also around 145 pounds (65 kilograms) lighter, thanks to more use of high-strength steel and other lightweight materials. The TLX goes on sale later this year. Pricing wasn't announced, but the current TL starts at US$36,000.

Mercedes S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe: The high performance version of the two-door S63 coupe burns up the road with a 5.5-liter V8 that gets 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The car can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (100 kph) in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 186 mph (299 kph). Mercedes shaved 140 pounds (63 kilograms) off the previous model by using more lightweight materials, including a lightweight lithium-ion battery and a composite braking system. That will help fuel economy. For the first time, the S63 AMG will come standard with an all-wheel-drive system. The system sends two-thirds of the engine torque to the rear wheels, for better performance, but gives drivers more control on wet or icy roads. The S63 AMG goes on sale this fall in the U.S. Pricing wasn't announced, but it will top US$100,000.

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