I probably picked the best day possible to attend this year's show. First, being the day after MLK day, I avoided a good portion of the auto workers. Secondly, a forecast of snow/ice/winter advisory conditions likely kept a great number away, at least till later in the day. Lastly, I got there minutes after the doors were opened. The show was very desolate at this time of the day, and taking pictures, sitting in cars, and and seeing all there is to see was a breeze!
First impression? This year's show was proof that things have turned the corner for the industry, as the smell of death no longer lingered in the air. That said, there really wasn't much ground breaking product, but there was a lot of nice cars displayed ready to be bought.
Perhaps my favorite of the show, even with 2 too many doors, was the newly revised Dodge Charger. While a 4 door family car, it has 100% muscle car flowing through the veins. The new retro body lines combined with the sweet-as-I've seen tail lights for a modern car give it the best of show award in my opinion. So, without further delay, here are the cars that caught my eye.
Rice 2.0? The small 2-4 seat sub-compact cars leave me scratching my head. Is there really much of a market for them? Perhaps a fresh college grad would be interested, but once the family starts to grow, they become a very impractical car. Yet with the fuel efficient/hybrid push, we keep seeing more and more of these super small/high mileage cars coming to production.
The return of the Boss 302. While I'm a Chevy fan at heart, I could just as easily slide behind a blue oval or Ma Mopar pony car without giving it a second thought. While I can't say I'm real big fan of the gawdy color scheme they displayed at the show, the overall package is long over due.
Another amazing product on display was this American made super car, the Falcon. Start saving your pennies though, it'll set you back nearly $200K. One final note, this car is designed and will be built in Michigan.
The Camaro convertible is arguably better looking than the hard top. The lines just flow oh so nicely. Can't wait to see these cars hit the roads with their tops off.
Cadillac was once THE car in which all others strived to be in regards to luxury. Today, Cadillac has taken back that crown, and is arguably amongst the best lurury cars money can buy. I sat in one of the Cadillacs on display, and I have to admit, the interiors are without a doubt the most comfortable and best looking that I have ever seen.
Ok, ok, I'll post an import car pictures. While not usually my cup of tea, there is no denying that this Lexus super car has all the right things.
The new Scion, super sub-compact car. At what point does a car qualify as a go-cart?
The new Chrysler 300 looks to build upon the success the current 300 had. I think it'll be a very successful car, as it still retains what made the 300 a smash hit, while refining that styling enough to make it feel new.
A stretched Mini.
Lastly, I would just like to say, try as they may, Mini Vans are not, and will not, EVER be cool. They put an attractive model in front of one, stuff a decked out road bike in the back, and another maker filled the back with a full drum set. Newsflash, ya can't polish a turd. Man van will never catch on, and being caught behind the wheel of one of these 4 wheeled boxes is nothing to be proud of. Are they practical? Sure. Are they necessary? Sometimes. But market them as practical family transportation, as your level of coolness you are trying to achieve will never happen.
For more pictures, check them out below. Stay tuned for my upcoming show coverage from the 2011 Detroit Autorama, which yours truly will be both attending and working at 3 days straight.
2011 North American International Auto Show