Full disclosure: While my business-class compatriots were living it up in Geneva, I was sitting at home in Ohio, waiting anxiously for the Fed-Ex-mishap-delayed arrival of something called a "Modern Eagle NOS Brazilian" and letting my three-year-old son watch The Lost World in HD. I'd forgotten that there was a part where the T. Rex bites a hapless civilian in half. "There's meat inside people, if you're a hungry dinosaur and you can't find a 'ceratops to eat," the boy opined upon seeing the scene. Oh, well. Nature, red in tooth and claw, and all that. It's reasonable, therefore, that I might be personally bitter about the latest auto show and my failure to snag a seat on a charter flight to same. No surprise there. What is surprising is this: the people who went weren't excited about the product either. Sure, they took Facebook pictures of their triple-seven sleeping pods and eighty-euro mystery dinners, but when it came to the actual rolling stock, the lack of enthusiasm among the professional enthusiasts could be viewed from space. Assuming, of course, you have an Internet connection in space and are willing to use it to read auto blogs. The closest thing to a universally acclaimed car at the show was a diesel version of a sporty hatchback. That's like getting worked up over Diet Dr. Pepper. The responsibility for this dismal state of affairs can be clearly laid at the feet of three companies. Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini were given a chance to render automotive equivalents of Miss Alex Morgan in steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. Instead, they chose to give us Honey Boo-Boo's mother, Snooki, and Janet Reno in a Predator mask, respectively. Start with the reprehensible new 991-generation 911 GT3. The press is experiencing a collective aneurysm regarding the mandatory PDK, and well they should. The excuse given by the truck-builders at Stuttgart that PDK is faster around a racetrack doesn't wash. Nobody buys a GT3 to go quickly around a racetrack, unless they are suffering from dementia. The list of cars that will handily embarrass a GT3 around a racetrack includes:
- Pretty much every $15,000 dedicated race car ever, including those ones with the V-twin snowmobile engines
- Fox Mustangs with big wings on them
- The Nissan GT-R
- A little thing that Americans like to call the CORVETTE Z06
- and many more!