Bark's Bites: New York's Greatest Misses

barks bites new yorks greatest misses

It seems like only last year that the star of the New York International Auto Show was an 840 horsepower, zero you-know-whats-given, single-seated rocketship that did a 9 second 1/4 mile and literally lit things on fire. That’s probably because it was last year. This year, I found myself enthralled by … an in-car audio system.

That’s right — the very best part of the 2018 NYIAS was enjoying Art Pepper and Bonnie Raitt on the ELS surround sound system in the Acura RDX A-Spec (no kidding, it’s freakin’ amazing and it’s worth buying the RDX just because of it).

Yes, there was a yellow Porsche thing and there was a very Lamborghini Orange Corvette, but there was little else for this journosaur to get excited about other than the fact Honda ordered some extra wine for their social hour (see pic at the top, featuring my security detail: our own Bozi Tatarevic), due in no small part to the fact that I drank six glasses of red wine all by myself in less than 60 minutes.

So rather than do what every other autoblog on the planet does, I’m not gonna give you my greatest hits of the auto show. Rather, I’m going to tell you what should have premiered on this year’s show circuit.

Greatest Miss 2019 Honda S2000

Come on, Honda. We all want it. The used car market proves it, with 18-year-old examples of the AP1 still fetching five figures. Yes, it would be super cool to have some new design language and maybe an interior that doesn’t resemble something out of the Playskool catalog, but in reality, all you have to do is bring the 2008 car back. Do it. There’s no reason not to. You’ll sell every one you can make.

Greatest Miss 2019 Shelby GT500 Mustang

Why wasn’t this car at the show? We all know it’s coming. Yes, the Bullitt (pictured above, with the lovely Luisa in the pilot seat) is cool, and maybe you wanna spread out the Mustang love, but just show us the damn car already, would you?

Greatest Miss 2019 Ford Falcon

Shove the Coyote in a sedan on the new Ford RWD platform and let’s have a 440 hp grocery getter. Why not? You have the motor, you have the platform, you have the IRS. Give it to us!

Greatest Miss Some M Car that doesn’t weigh 4,000 lbs

Please, please, please, BMW. Stop pissing all over the legacy of the M brand by slapping it on lame-o crossovers. Make an E30 M3 for the new generation. It doesn’t have to have a zillion horsepower, and it doesn’t have to have heated seats and infotainment. Hell, I’d settle for an E36 Lightweight M3 for the new generation.

Greatest Miss The Quality Control on the Ford EcoSport

Unfortunately, this car was there, but I think somebody forgot to do any QC. At all. The plastic creaked, the seats felt like a subway bench, and the brake calipers looked like they were congealed rather than molded. Even Luisa couldn’t help this one. Kill this thing with fire.

Greatest Miss 2019 Porsche 944

Yes, they should. Porsche should make an affordable sporting car that handles well, has about 200 hp, and costs less then $40,000. If the Macan didn’t dilute the brand, a car that would instantly become a favorite of real motorsports enthusiasts everywhere (and not just the trackday bro crowd that currently owns most 718 Caymans) could only help Porsche, not hurt it.

Greatest Miss 2018 Chevrolet Sonic SS

Why doesn’t Chevrolet have a hot hatch? They should and they could make a hot version of the Sonic, which is a well-sorted little car with a good suspension in RS trim. Find a way to extract 200 hp from that 1.4-liter turbo four and you’ll have yourself a contender.

Greatest Miss Anything good from Mini

That booth just hurt to walk by. Either do something with it or shut the brand down, already.

Greatest Miss 2019 Toyota Something Exciting

The new Corolla hatch looks interesting until you realize that it would have trouble outdragging a Prius. Why is it that as Lexus gets more interesting, Toyota gets less interesting? I mean, kudos to them for having a 300 hp Camry XSE, but we all know the brand can do better. The impending Supra better be amazing, because Toyota’s performance legacy depends on it.

Greatest Miss Manual Transmissions

I walked the show floor. I’m sure that I missed some, but I counted less than a half-dozen manuals, and most of them were in the Blue Oval pavilion. Listen, I firmly believe that modern automatics are better at shifting than I am, but I still want to be able to do it for myself if I choose to do so.

Bonus Content: Things to NOT miss in NYC

If you’re in NYC for the show, do yourself a favor and go see the Mingus Big Band on Monday nights at Jazz Standard, and if you can, snag a ticket for Sleep No More on the West Side. These are two artistic experiences that aren’t coming to Peoria anytime soon.

Bark Out.

[Images: Mark “Bark M.” Baruth/TTAC]

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  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Apr 01, 2018

    11. Coyote powered Ranger Raptor 12. Bronco Raptor 13. Solid front axle Bronco 14. Coyote powered Bronco

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Apr 02, 2018

    The best thing I see here is Luisa. But seriously, #4? That ship has sailed. I've completely given up on BMW as a brand. They'd rather build crap like the X6, and the X1. Have you seen the latest commercial for the X1? Pathetic. Somebody should take over BMW, and hang all the current upper management from lamp posts.

  • Islander800 That is the best 20-year-on update of the Honda Element that I've ever seen. Strip out the extraneous modern electronic crap that adds tens of thousands to the price and the completely unnecessary 400 pd/ft torque and horse power, and you have a 2022 Honda Element - right down to the neoprene interior "elements" of the Element - minus the very useful rear-hinged rear doors. The proportions and dimensions are identical.Call me biased, but I still drive my west coast 2004 Element, at 65K miles. Properly maintained, it will last another 20 years....Great job, Range Rover!
  • Dennis Howerton Nice article, Corey. Makes me wish I had bought Festivas when they were being produced. Kia made them until the line was discontinued, but Kia evidently used some of the technology to make the Rio. Pictures of the interior look a lot like my Rio's interior, and the 1.5 liter engine is from Mazda while Ford made the automatic transmission in the used 2002 Rio I've been driving since 2006. I might add the Rio is also an excellent subcompact people mover.
  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.