If you wanted a quick overview of the New York Auto Show, we posted one yesterday; but what of the lighter side, the fun and games?
Subaru had two little gaffes. One was having the wrong image up. This lady chatted silently while an executive, unseen by those of us in the back, went through his speech. After about two minutes someone must have figured it out, and she disappeared from the screen. We never found out who she was.
Subaru and Mazda had exciting news to reveal — well, at least Mazda did — but sometimes executives aren’t the best spokesmen. Lee Iacocca had stage presence and acting ability; some of these men, though, one has to respect, as one falls gently asleep, lulled by the droning of their voices. The Maserati launch came from former Dodge leader Tim Kunsikis, whose delivery was good — but I’m not believing Maserati invented the big-motored European sport sedan in the mid-1960s. After all, Bristol used Chrysler V8s starting in 1961. I vaguely recall Rolls-Royce making some powerful cars, too. I guess we can’t count the V8-powered 1962 Jensen C-V8. Regardless, Tim was smart enough to use loud thunder-and-lightning effects as the new Levante Trofeo was driven into view, waking up anyone who had drifted off and setting the stage for Something Big.
Speaking of which, it sure helps to have stadium seating. Here’s the view from the back of the Maserati presentation — but three or four feet up in the air, thanks to a selfie stick. Don’t mind the Cadillac logo in the background!
Speaking of selfies, here I am trying my very first car show selfie… I tried a few in different places and each time, it was washed out by a spotlight. Lesson learned: get a lens hood for my cellphone. (I actually have a polarizing filter for the phone but always forget to bring it.)
Later, Toyota decided to move a RAV4 into their display area from the back of Javits, as Subaru was unveiling the next-generation Forester. Imagine, if you will, the poor sap who has to drive a car at one mile per hour through a crowd of journalists who, and this shouldn’t be surprising, won’t get out the way.
We can have a little laugh at the pretentiousness of some of the cars, like the “rattle can primer gray” painted Lexus. Is matte paint still a fad? Could they have chosen a better color, perhaps?
We had fun with the Volkswagen Track Challenge. I was up against a competitor who crashed at least six times… and still beat me to the finish by a slight margin; there’s not much penalty for hitting the guardrail and spinning out of control in the game. Something to remember for next year!
In the real world outside, you could go at 45° side angles and 35° lateral angles in your choice of Jeeps. This driver forgot to put the Offroad Pages onto the center screen, but at least he had them on the gauge cluster.
What happens when you realize nobody’s buying your “bespoke” luxury car because it looks too much like your mass-produced version? Slap on a Lincoln grille, use two-tone paint, and you’ve got attention! (The inside is luxurious and unusual, even if the outside is a bit derivative of, well, everyone).
Some brands, like Volvo and Alfa Romeo, crowded into tiny spaces. Volvo didn’t have room for a conference room, but they figured something out…
Maybe Volvo had to go to two stories because Cadillac was hogging all the space?
Sorry, we didn’t have room for police cars. Here’s street-sweeper to make it up to you.
These Karma Reveros look like they’re chuckling at something… why do they need such big grilles, without an engine?
Finally, it’s only fair you get to laugh at me for a while, so here’s another attempt at a selfie. For the life of me, I can’t remember which brand belongs to “find new roads.” I think I should find a career that doesn’t involve selfies, don’t you?
The author of Dodge Viper, Jeep’s Go-Anywhere Vehicles, and The Rise and Reinvention of Chrysler Minivans, David Zatz has been writing about cars and trucks since the early 1990s; he also writes on organizational development and business at toolpack.info and covers Mac statistics software at macstats.org. His latest book, for kids, is Meet the Jeep.
David has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. You can reach him by using our contact form (preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304.