Friday, March 21, 2008

What caught my eye at the New York International Auto show.

First I want to mention the shuffling of FoMoCo brands on the floor. Jaguar and Range Rover were moved to the back of the room. I'm sure this has nothing to do with FoMoCo selling those brands to Tata. I've been going to the New York show since 1977, when it was still over by Columbus Circle in the Colessium. I've missed the show less than 4 times in the intervening 31 years. This is my Haj, my pilgimage if you will. And I remember when Hyundai was downstairs with the trucks, where Kia is today. And I also remember when that's where Hyundai deserved to be. Well, now they're upstairs with the big boys, very close to FoMoCo, where they deserve to be.
The Genesis Coupe is amazing in person. I've read the specs, seen the videos at AutoBlog and seen all the images online. But walking around it, touching it and crawling all over the outside, because the doors were locked, left me wanting one very badly. I saw the Mustangs, sure, every flavor of them. The new Bullit, the Shelby GT500KR, the Saleen and the Pink Warrior. But I'd buy the Hyundai.

Sure the styling is derivative and maybe not too inspiring. Without getting inside, it's hard to say if the interior will feel cheep. Haven't driven it yet, that's for sure. But it's handsome, the prices being talked about are right on the money and without a doubt the IRS and 2.0 Turbo Direct Injection putting 212 hp to the ground through a 6 speed manual speak to my soul and my wallet.

The Dodge Challenger was getting a lot of attention. Not just the 2 Hemi versions. The V6 SE was getting a lot of looks and why not, it looks great. The V6 is a 3.5 putting out 250 hp and 250 lb ft. The bad news for Dodge is that a 4 speed auto should not be the only transmission for the base. And what price for the SE? Hardly seems smart to bring this out against the Hyundai. But compared to the Mustang? What the hell. At least this has an IRS.

News of the Transit Connect Taxi all over the net, but no mention of the 2 other Transit Connects on the floor. This one loaded with musical instruments and the other fitted out for a contractor. I sat in it and was very impressed. I was dismayed to overhear somebody saying that because it was built in Turkey they were sure the quality would be poor. Ignorance abounds. I personally think that if they put the Hybrid drivetrain in this it would be the best Taxi ever and even the non-Hybrid version would be great for small commercial duty.

Seeing the Verve Sedan concept was inspiring, and people seemed interested. Nobody was tripping over themselves to get to it, but there was good traffic.

I'm sure FoMoCo would love to say the same about this, the Explorer America concept.
Yep, another CUV. Ford was loaded with CUV and SUV, Edge, Escape, Flex, Taurus X and the Lincoln MKT. This is the explorer that may use the 2.0 EcoBoost as it's base. The spokesmodel was saying that the EcoBoost was going to put out 275 hp. And why can't that go to the Mustang?? And the Explorer has an IRS, why can't a Mustang?

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