US and overseas automakers have been unveiling new products on the first press day of the New York International Auto Show, which opens to the public on April 2.

Volkswagen introduced its first-ever hybrid, the second-generation Touareg, to the media on March 31. The new Touareg Hybrid SUV will deliver performance of around 21 mpg (11.2 l/100km) in the city, although traditional V6 gasoline or diesel models will also be available when the vehicle goes on sale in the fall. Reports suggest that it will be priced at around $100,000, although pricing has not been confirmed.

Kia also announced a revamped model, the 2011 Sportage crossover. The new Sportage features a 2.4 liter four cylinder engine, which the company says will offer better fuel economy and more power than the previous 2.7 liter V6. Kia says that its redesign gives the Sportage a "sleek, modern and bold style with new proportions and a completely new look". The price is unconfirmed but the vehicle will hit US dealers later this year.

Slated for a similar fall release, the new Acura 2011 TSX Sport Wagon showcases Honda's determination to bring its successful European products to the US market. The sporty family wagon is designed with the growing family in mind - the 2.4 liter engine offers relatively low 30 mpg (7.84 l/100km) fuel consumption, whilst the trunk has removable side panels and underfloor bins for extra storage.

Whilst top-end family models dominated much of the product introductions on the first press day, Scion drew considerable interest with its new iQ microcompact, the "world's smallest four passenger vehicle". Another import from Europe, the tiny three-door model features a 1.3 liter engine and the world's first rear-window curtain airbag. It will hit showrooms in early 2011.

The show is open to the public April 2-11 at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center in New York.


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