Jeep reveals the world's fastest SUV at the 2017 New York auto show

From brutal V8s to four-cylinders looking to step in where a six-cylinder previously ruled, the race for excitement was alive and well at one of North America's premiere showcases of fresh metal.

But among the go-fast pace were smatterings of innovation and practicality covering everything from SUVs to supercars.

Here are the highlights of the latest major international motor show.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Those yearning for the supercharged V8 feeling can sample plenty of it in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

As the name suggests, it's a track ready version of the Grand Cherokee – but race tracks, not dirt tracks.

With 527kW it's anything but underpowered and makes the Trackhawk the fastest SUV on the planet, at least when it comes to acceleration.

The benchmark 0-100km/h time takes 3.6 seconds courtesy of a traction control system.

Just don't expect to take it off-road; Jeep engineers say it's simply not designed for that.

Besides, with a six-figure price tag most buyers won't want to get it all dirty.

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Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

That the front passenger seat is an option gives you an idea of what the fastest, most powerful American muscle car is all about: think weight saving and race tracks.

The sticky (and wide) rear tyres are in stark contrast to the skinny front ones, each carefully chosen to go fast down a drag strip for about 9.65 seconds – the time it takes to cover the milestone quarter mile.

To put that in perspective, it's more than a second quicker than the fastest Porsche on the market, the 911 Turbo S.

Indeed, that's straight-line pace is the Demon's main reason for being. It's claimed to be the first production car that will lift its front wheels off the ground when accelerating.

The 6.2-litre supercharged V8 has been pumped up to crank out 626kW (more than any car on the market.

The bad news? None of the 3300 SRT Demons are planned to make it to Australia.

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Genesis GV80 Concept

It'd be easy to dismiss the GV80 Concept as just another luxury SUV.

But that would be overlooking the significance of the first SUV from Hyundai-owned luxury brand Genesis.

The GV80 debuts the future look for Genesis, a brand that launches in Australia late in 2017 with aspirations of muscling in on the territory currently dominated by Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.

Quad headlights and tail lights are among the highlights on what is a clean yet bold design.

Under the bonnet is a plug-in hybrid fuel cell, which can run purely on home-charged electricity before reverting to clean hydrogen to generate more electrons.

While Genesis is only months away, the production version of the GV80 won't arrive until 2019.

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Mercedes-Benz GLC63 AMG

There's not many market segments Mercedes-Benz's performance division, AMG, doesn't lob a V8 at.

The latest to benefit from the 4.0-litre twin turbocharged V8 that stretches from the C-Class to the GT supercar is the GLC SUV.

In the GLC63 – available as both the regular SUV and the swoopier Coupe – it pumps out up to 375kW, setting a new performance benchmark for luxury SUVs.

The GLC63 also picks up the distinctive Panamericana grille, with its vertical chrome bars that change the design character of the car.

Expect the GLC63 AMG in dealerships late in 2017.

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Subaru Ascent concept

Remember the Subaru Tribeca? The seven-seat SUV was loved by many Australians, and the Ascent concept is its spiritual successor.

A sizeable SUV body and distinctively Subaru styling – including LED headlights and smooth shapes with a hint of chunkiness - define the model, which will be toned down slightly for production and built in the US.

But don't get too excited in Australia. Despite the local distributor desperately wanting it, the Ascent has been designed purely for America and is unlikely to head down under.

However, the 2.4-litre direct injection horizontally-opposed engine will likely make its way elsewhere within the Subaru range.

The new generation engine delivers six-cylinder performance but from a compact four-cylinder package.

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Infiniti QX80 concept

It wasn't difficult to improve on the bulbous 'look-at-moi' styling of the outrageously big and bold Infiniti QX80.

But what's more surprising with the QX80 concept is how designers have managed to take what was a very, err, adventurous-looking Nissan Patrol-based off-roader and turn it into something far more elegant.

The key is in newfound Infiniti design restraint and ditching some of the sharp lines and shapes that have characterised the ambitious luxury brand.

The bold arched grille is still in place but the cleaner look elsewhere makes it a more appealing machine.

Expect to see the more elegant look rolled out in future years, including on an updated QX80 production car.

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Jaguar F-Type

Sports coupes typically have big engines, but the latest addition to the Jaguar family gets the smallest engine in the sports car lineup.

A new 221kW tune of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo (known as Ingenium) is said to propel the two-seater to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds.

Teamed to an eight-speed auto, the key to the four-pot F-Type's snappy acceleration is a 52kg weight reduction compared with the supercharged V6 that makes a little over 10 percent more power (250kW).

As for spotting the four-pot from the V6 and V8? The centrally mounted oval exhaust is unique to the entry-level model.

Priced from $107,300 the new F-Type arrives in dealerships late in 2017.

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Toyota FT-4X

Adventurous millennials are the target for Toyota's latest off-roader, which blends some retro FJ Cruiser-esque styling with the frugal mechanicals of the C-HR.

The four-cylinder turbocharged concept has a chunky look and some innovative engineering, including the tailgate that can be opened horizontally or vertically, depending on where you park it and how you want to use it.

The centre arm rest is a North Face sleeping bag for those impromptu camping trips.

All the major controls can be operated with ski gloves on and there are warm and cool boxes built in for everything from an afternoon snack to an evening drink.

Plus, there's a smartphone mounting point to ensure Gen X is never too far from their favourite electronic accessory.

The FT-4X – which denotes Future Toyota 4-Wheel-Drive – is a concept for now, but early interest suggests a slightly less adventurous version could grace showrooms within a couple of years.

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Scroll through the gallery at the top to see the highlights of the 2017 New York motor show.