The Truth About The New York Auto Show
There are some amongst us who hate auto shows in general and any given auto show in specific. They see the pistonhead conclaves as a soulless smorgasbord of automobiles in aspic, with side tables filled with deep fried hype. I don't share the antipathy. Where else can you go and see PR flacks spinning each other? It's like Paris after 911, when French café waiters were forced to be rude to each other. Oh yeah, and there are lots of cars for dissing, dismissing and, occasionally, drooling. Live, from New York! It's Here's What You Missed!
After years of W-THIST (Where the Hell is it?), Volkswagen is bringing a 50-state compliant diesel engine to the US, nestled into the snouts of the Rabbit and Jetta. Even better, VW has married the brawny diesel (140hp and 230 lb-ft of torque) with their world beating six speed DSG transmission. Best of all, the parsimonious granola eater's oil burner (40 mpg) is an ideal alternative to the thirsty AND anemic 2.5 liter buzz-box currently infesting the U.S. model range. So why not the Passat?
The CX-F is a drop-dead gorgeous concept car from a Ford subsidiary on the brink of dropping dead. This four-wheeled Hail Mary pass is a radical departure from Jaguar's recent design heritage; it's got about as much to do with the S-Type as American car buyers. Ian Callum was at the New York auto show to talk the talk about how his company's new look can pull it back from the brink. Again. Still. But the CX-F concept car wasn't there to walk the talk. This led to some talk: why does someone want the CX-F to disappear? Or has Jag's ballroom budget been busted?
Surprise! Kia didn't have the most exciting cars on display at the New York auto show. I wanted to ask a flackling a few questions, but their display was all about Pink Floyd. Is there anybody out there? out there? out there? Nope. The Kia Rondo taxi cab concept spoke for itself. As the Ford Crown Vic dies, the taxi fleet market is looking for the next cheap thing. With no upmarket retail image to sully, Kia would be happy to oblige.
Last but least, Toyota showed the ugliest car Toyota has built in recent memory. Whereas the new Camry and RAV4 sit somewhere between bland, sharp looking and modern, the new Highlander runs the gamut from vile to noxious to Nosferatu. Not to put too fine a point on it, it's a rolling emetic.
Strange to say, Toyota's becoming more American every day. Think about it: too many overlapping products (Highlander, RAV4, 4Runner), expecting ugly cars to sell on their strong brand name (Highlander) and investing in new SUVs while gas prices ascend to the heavens (Highlander). See? Another great reason to go to the show: you can watch assimilation in action. Or is that inaction?
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- Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
- Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
- Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
- Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.
- Inside Looking Out I did not notice, did they mention climate change? How they are going to fight climate change, racism and gender discrimination. I mean collective Big 3.