A few days ago Greg dropped his post on the New York International Auto Show. He broke it down with precision that would make the most meticulous German Engineer proud. Here are just a few of my thoughts on the NYIAS.
First off I’d like to thank the good folks at NYAIS for allowing us to partake in their Press Days. It was truly two of the best automotive days in my life. Now that the niceties are out of the way, we can move on with the rest of the post.
New Toyota Camry Reveal
I’m not 100% certain of this, but if you look up “automotive boredom” in the dictionary you’ll see a picture of a Camry. Yes the new one looks better than the old one, but it’s still boring, still dull still not worth anyone with a personalitys time. Yawn.
Yayyyyy the new Audi A3 E-Tron is here and its brought its cousin the A3 Sportback Diesel. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I’ll be honest I went into this one excited. I foolishly believed that I just might get a glimpse of the awe inspiring new M2. Wrong again. The M4 convertible was kind of cool, if you are the sort of person who likes ruining the best luxury sports car by cutting the roof off. But this alone was not the biggest disappointment of BMW’s reveal as I shall now explain.
Lately BMW has a weird habit of creating cars that compete with other BMW’s. For example the 6 Series Sedan competes with the 5 Series for example. And now they give us the 4 Series Sedan. To those of you who aren’t aware, for 2014 the 3 series coupe is dead. In its place BMW gives us the 4 series which is now the coupe variant of the 3 series sedan. Look for the new 4 Series sedan to be highly competitive with its rivals in its class, chiefly the 3 series. Confused yet? Wait there’s more. Introducing the new BMW Alpina B6 Bi turbo, a car which is the absolute worst offender of BMW’s obsession of competing directly with itself. It starts out life as a 6 Series Sedan and then they up the power with 2 turbos and when they’re all done they have a car that can compete very well with the BMW M5 annnnnd M6 Sedan. My head hurts. Moving on.
Best of the Rest.
This was pretty bland, it was only entertaining because the F-Type Coupe is so fantastically good looking and the new disco is crammed full of new and interesting off road tech that rich soccer moms will never even remotely consider using.
Just when you thought Toyota’s business plan was to lead the industry in boring they come up with this. Finally a Supra Successor after years of being promised one. This car will be heavily featured in The Fast and Furious 28. Ok so it isn’t a production car nor does it actually have an engine, but spiritually it’s related to the Supra. For this it deserves some recognition. Build an engine for it, and then I’ll get excited.
Small fun RWD Sports Cars are in right now. So to Kia I say, make this car, make it right now. I’ll wait.
Merc used a little star power to boost their otherwise uneventful S63 AMG Coupe reveal by bringing out Jon Hamm.
How can you not love a Mustang? It exudes automotive American-ness . Big Throaty V8, Check. Loud in your face styling, Check. Independent Rear Suspension, Check. As we all know the live rear axle is gone, and thank God for it. The Mustang has always handled pretty well despite its turn of the century technology. Add some modern-ish tech and the Mustang should go back to its Giant Killer roots. I am really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of one and giving it a proper test.
Now I’m not the biggest fan of the new Challengers and Chargers. They have been long on show, but pretty short on go. Striking cars to behold, but lacking the performance you’d expect. They’ve been less powerful than you would hope and their handling was slightly worse than a barge. So I went to the new Challenger/Charger Reveal to kill some time until the next reveal I was actually anticipating. Well turns out this was one of the best decisions of the entire show. Say what you will about Dodge, they certainly know how to put on a show. Smoke, Laser Light show and a dash of gratuitous rock, I was thoroughly entertained. As for the cars, Charger looks better and the Challenger gets a shaker hood. As for their performance I’ll reserve judgment until I drive them. But for now, well done Dodge.
This might be the most Italian thing on 4 wheels. It is woefully impractical. Insanely difficult to get in and out of, and the trunk lid on the front of the car doesn’t even open. I love that. It’s beautiful to look at, it’s small, it’s light, it has naked carbon fiber and it gives people an alternative to the Porshe Cayman. At some point in the future I will go into greater detail on why I loathe the Cayman. For now any car that causes people to not buy a Cayman gets my stamp of approval.
Best of the Best
Right off the bat I don’t like big luxury cruisers. At this stage in my life I want to buy a car to drive, not to be driven in. Which is the reason why I’ve typically never been big on Bentley or its equally pompous British cousin Rolls Royce. Which brings me to their Reveal. They didn’t beat me over the head with pure adrenaline pumping Red White and Blue-ness like Dodge Did. Nor was there car as historically significant as the Mustang. What Bentley had was an honest to goodness GT3 Race car. 4.0 Liters of Turbocharged V8 Thunder. In addition they brought American Sports Car Racing royalty in the form of Dyson Racing. As many of our more loyal readers will know, I am a HUGE fan of Sports Car racing. I’ve grown up on watching Dyson race everything from Porsche 962s to Mazda Prototypes. And if their mere presence wasn’t enough, I got to spend a solid 30 minutes talking racing with one of the drivers Chris Dyson. This was awesome wrapped in amazing with a side of more awesome. Big thanks to Chris for spending some of his valuable time to talk. Oh and they were giving away booze.
If you were a car manufacturer and you were going to bring only one car to North America’s largest auto show well then you couldn’t do much better than the Agera R. Carbon Fiber galore, 5 Liter twin turbo charged V8 and just about 1200 Horsepower. Take a second to drink that in for a moment. 1200 Horsepower, and just to make sure it sunk in, they turned the beast on and fed her some throttle. GOOD GOD. At this point I was in heaven, no way this gets better. Turns out I was wrong again. Like Chris Dyson, Christian von Koenigsegg the creator and founder of Koenigsegg took time to talk with us. This blew me away. I mean it’s like getting a chance to talk with Ferruccio Lamborghini during the early days of his company. We discussed everything from the spectacular-ness of the engine to their projected North American sales numbers. And just in case you were wondering, 4 Agera r’s are making their way to the USA this year. Though, at $1.6 mil a piece I doubt they will be left wanting for cash. Thank you Christian, should I ever have a spare $1.6 Million lying around I will definitely be purchasing one of your cars.
It is no surprise to most that I am a rather large fan of the Corvette. Two of them stood out at the NYIAS. First the C7-R. I love this car. It is the race variant of the new Z06. It has Carbon Fiber galore, an enormous splitter and rear wing. Plus the car is now winning in the Tudor United Sportscar Championship so that’s a plus. Then there was the Z06 itself. This car is bold, brash, loud and beats you over the head with a Red White and Blue sledgehammer. More on this car to come in the future, stay tuned.
So there you have it, my take on Press Days at the New York International Auto Show. ShiftingLanes.com isn’t done with the show just yet. Stay tuned for the coveted ShiftingLanes.com NYIAS Best in Show.