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The Good, The Bad and The Infuriating From The 2015 New York International Auto Show

The 2015 New York International Auto Show has come and gone.  There was some good and some bad.  Here is my short(ish) list on the best and worst of the show.

Biggest disappointment:

Subaru STI Performance Concept. 



Subaru announced the introduction of more STI and Japan Spec Performance models in the US.  It is at this point you might be thinking, “Why is this a disappointment?”  Let me explain.  When Greg and I arrived at the show early Wednesday we didn’t listen to the key note speaker or grab a quick breakfast, we went straight to the Subaru booth.  Sitting on stage was a BRZ.  A BRZ with flared wheel arches, an enormous rear wing and an engine straight out of their GT300 race car.  We thought, like any rational person would, “FINALLY, a BRZ STI!!!”  As it turned out Greg and I were both wrong.  They showed us a BRZ STI and then announced that it isn’t real.  Nor will it be real in the foreseeable future, HUGE DISAPOINTMENT!  The STI Performance Concept (as Subaru actually called it) was in their words, “showcase for the engineering prowess and tuning capability of STI”. Great, but don’t tease us with BRZ STI and then announce something completely different.  Here’s a brief summation of the Subaru Press Conference.  A well-dressed businessman gets up on stage and says, “Look a BRZ STI.”  The businessman gets off stage and proceeds to kick every auto enthusiast in attendance in the crotch.


Biggest Surprise:

Porsche Boxster Spyder.


When I first got the assignment to cover the Porsche Press Conference I was stoaked.  Porsche is the world standard for making blatant stubbornness work.  See engine placement in the 911.  I mean rear engine cars shouldn’t work.  But due to their fantastic engineering prowess and refusal to bend to congenital wisdom the 911 is just about the perfect sports car.   Admittedly I was considerably less stoaked when I learned that what Porsche was actually revealing was a new Boxster.  For those of you who don’t know I am not a fan of the Boxster, never have been.  I never thought it was particularly good looking and it screamed “I bought this because I could not afford a 911!”  The new Spyder has changed my stance.  I like this car.  It is, by a wide margin, the best looking Boxster ever.   The Boxster Spyder seems pure and puts the driving experience above all else.  Typical Hot Porsche weight savings have been applied to the new Spyder.  Amentities like AC and stereo system have been removed in the name of saving weight.  Porsche will gladly charge you more money to put back those comforts they removed.  Though Porsche says that the only AC you need is the wind in your hair.  The only stereo you need is the 375 horsepower flat 6.   Lastly, and joy of joys, the ONLY transmission option is a 6 speed manual.  If you have read any of my posts you will undoubtedly know a car gets higher marks in my mind if it only comes with 3 pedals.  This is my favorite Boxster, and the only Boxster that Porsche should make.


Biggest Waste of Time:

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander.


The new Outlander is more refined than its predecessors.  Mitsubishi boasted that the new Outlander is in contention for quietest interior of any car.  Yawn.  Sure it has all new features that will suit it nicely in its class but my God is this car dull.  This cars exterior is quite boring and I have a sneaking suspicion that Mitsubishi had the same thought.  I can just hear the conversation in the design meeting.  “Gents, the car is too bland, too dull; we must do something to fix this.  I know let’s give it a crazy unique grill as it’s all the rage right now.”  And if crazy and unique were their goal they accomplished it at the cost of aesthetics and good taste.  The 2016 Outlander is 90% dreary 10% hideous.  Mitsubishi is bordering on irrelevancy and nothing short of a new Evo can fix it.


Best Car that was supposed to be awesome and actually was awesome:

All of McLaren.


Specifically the 3.8 Liter turbocharged V8, 562 Horsepower 570S.  This may be the baby McLaren, but it’s still crammed with technology.  McLaren claims this is their best looking car to date.  The 570S is styled after the Black Swan which I can only assume is the most badass bird on planet.


In the interest of balance, I would like to point out a minor annoyance courtesy of the boys from Woking.  Whilst ogling a 675 Long Tail, P1 GTR, and an F1 Long tail I noticed McLaren was playing a video.  A video about the P1 and their quest for a “Sub 7 minute lap of the Nurburgring Nordschleife.”  I asked one of the well-dressed McLaren Men if they were ever going to reveal the actual time.  The man said, “they will in 7 minutes.”  I thought this was huge news, epic news, why weren’t there more people here?  Well turns out when he said “they will” what he actually meant was they will say it achieved a sub 7 minute lap.  Again, no news, no huge story.  First the gigantic teasing over at Subaru, then this… God Damnit!!!


Years ago there was an old adage about Ferrari.  When their F1 cars sucked their road cars were at their best.  Clearly McLaren has taken this to heart.  They are completely and totally crap in F1 this year, but they don’t make a bad car.  Not one.  Well done McLaren.


Car that really needs to go away:

New Smart ForTwo.

The new Smart ForTwo now with a new engine, newish styling, is still a boring deathtrap purchased exclusively by idiots.  I’d go on but I’ll save that for another day.  Stay tuned.


Car that promised a lot but delivered nothing…. Literally.

Lyons Motor Cars LM2 Streamliner.


1700+ Horsepower, 290 mph top speed, yes please.  Sadly Lyons Motor Cars (yeah I had never heard of them prior to the NYIAS either) was a no show on press days for their ridiculous creation.  Sure they showed up later in the show but too little too late.  The Streamliner was long on horsepower and short on everything else.


Car that gives me hope for the future:

Cadillac CT6.


Cadillac used the CT6 to announce their new direction.  The Lightweight Caddy is the same size as a BMW 7 Series but is lighter than the current Caddy CTS.  Powered by a brand spanking new 400 horsepower 3.0 liter twin turbocharged V6.  Cadillac says they will be replacing every car in their lineup by the end of the decade.  And it’s THAT fact that gives me hope. TS is already completely and totally awesome.   The ATS and CTS V models are scaring the pants off of BMW.  Combine that with this new lightweight tech driven direction, I am expecting some HUGE things in the coming years for Cadillac.


Stupidest thing that has ever been said by anyone ever:

If you’ll indulge me, I need to get something off my chest.  (Warning this may contain angry ranting)  Unfortunately I was off covering some other car and I did not get a prime spot for the McLaren 570S reveal.  This meant I was lucky enough to be behind a woman who had no business being anywhere near the car show.  Seriously, she had no business being in the same borough as the car show.  At the end of the 570S reveal she turned around, looked me straight in the eyes and said the following:  “Sure that’s nice but I like the cars that bounce up and down in the back and have the Gucci interiors.”  I turned around to see if anyone else heard this but everyone had begun to scatter.  This is a sentence you can’t un-hear.  I repeat, “Sure that’s nice but I like the cars that bounce up and down in the back and have the Gucci interiors.”  What???  Are you fucking shitting me?  This is the McLaren reveal you dimwitted asshelmet.  What about those low, sleek, racecar inspired automobiles up there made you think that any bouncing would occur?   What could possibly lead you to believe there would be a gaudy tactless Gucci interior?  Were you not paying any attention to what they just said literally 10 seconds ago?  What on Earth possessed you to utter that complete and total insanity mere moments after the best car in the entire show was revealed?  I don’t know who this woman was or how she managed to swindle her way into the car show but I sincerely hope she doesn’t have children.  Whatever gene she has that compelled her to speak those idiotic words need not make it to the next generation.


So that’s it for now. Stay tuned for my esteemed colleagues take on the show.  Including but not exclusively limited to our 2015 New York International Auto Show Best In Show.

Written by Chad Kennedy

Chad burst from the womb wearing a racing suit and a helmet. Chad's passion for cars is in his very DNA. His father was a gear head and passed on the tradition through owning such classics as a '66 Mustang and a '59 Corvette all while taking him to various race tracks in the area. Chad likes to wrench on his rides whenever possible, forgoing the stealership. Chad is an avid motorsports fan with particular interest in endurance/sports car racing. When not online writing for Shifting Lanes, you can find him working at the local golf course teaching people how to swing or hooning a golf cart at impossible speeds.


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