2003 Autoshow

I was not feeling well at all today. Feeling so bad that I considered going to Franklin and asking to stay home. In the end, decided not to and worked on. At any rate, I felt better by the end of the day and so was able to go to the 2003 Canadian International Autoshow. Wow – what an eye opener. First – this is one of the events that I’d go to once, simply so that I can experience what its all about. I wouldn’t necessarily go to one again – simply because I’m not a car buff and although I can appreciate cars, I can’t really _appreciate_ them. You know what I mean. There are many people who like computers, but unless you understand what’s going on underneath the hood you can’t really _appreciate_ them. You can’t look at the technology and marvel at the fact that a number of engineers and scientists came together and created a new concept, a new way of looking at the same problem and coming up witth a totally new solution. There is a big difference between casual appreciation and true “I have seen the light” appreciation. At any rate, it was quite the show. For those who don’t know, the autoshow is held at the North and South Metro Toronto Convention Centre as well as the Skydome. I got the opportunity to see cars that I’ve only seen (and lusted after) in piictures. First, some thoughts. I would never consider buying a BMW/Lexus. The people on the floor locked up every single car (even those that cost 30K or so) and you’d have to be in the company of a salesperson to try one. I understand that your cars are expensive – but when Mercedes Benz, Cadillac, Lincoln and Infiniti are letting people sit in and experience their cars you come off as snobbish. Secondly, I fully understood the source of all the car salesman jokes/angry comments. While the majority of the GM reps that I talked to were friendly corteous and made me _like_ being in the GM area, there was one salesman who soured my experience. When I was trying out a car he started asking me a lot of questions, making uncalled for comments, asking specifically what I wanted to buy (come on – I simply wanted to know when a modelcame out) and in the end pressing his business cards on me. Note to this individual. You suggested that I direct other people to buy from you. My answer to this is NEVER. You are the embodiment of the high pressure sales tactics that I despise. I would not subject any of my friends or family to a buying experience with you because I am sure you would try to railroad them. Well – what can I say. First, I got to see Lamborghinis, Aston Martins and Ferraris. Wow. I mean – wow. There’s a reason why those machines are expensive. They exude raw power and I’ll never own one ;) I got to see a lot of Toyota cars. I’ve got to say one thing – the Camry just keeps getting better. The interior quality is like that of an upscale car. No wonder Toyota is posting 30%+ gains in market sales in Canada while the Big Three stumble. Toyota quality and reliability is unmatched by any other car in their respective class (just check out the stats if you don’t believe me). Got to see the new Honda Element. I remember when the Aztec came out – people criticized its plastic undercladding. Well, if you thought that was too much – the Honda is _way_ over the top. Am I the only one who thinks matching grey plastic with sheet metal on the exterior is a stupid idea? At any rate, it will still sell because its a Honda. And you know what I know lots of people who would buy this _just_ because its a Honda and therefore must be good. Note – I personally hate the exterior design of this thing. I think the interior is much better laid out. I got to sit in the M-B cars. Well, I’ll say this much – holy smokes do they have excellent interior designers at Mercedes Benz. Even in their C series class, everything inside reeks of quality. The fit and finish is excellent an the cars simply cocoon you. If I had the money when I was much older I would consider a Mercedes Benz. Seriously. And you know what? I liek the exterior styling. The Beemer’s styling is agressive (something I like in those cars) but the Mercedes Benz styling is sleek and elegant. I’ve got to say that I like that too ;) Hmm..what else? Ah yes – the new Ford Mustang. I like it. I think the styling is quite good and it looks like a muscle car. Perhaps its that particular shape to the nose? I don’t know, but it evokes memories of older cars with horsepower to spare… But I jest – I would not buy a Mustang because although I love the sensation of speed and raw power I would like to be environmentally friendly (and use transit if possible). And that’s where I come to the Smart. I’d never seen a Smart before today and it was paradoxically, smaller than I expected and yet bigger than I expected. First, that car is dinky on the exterior. I saw a _lot_ of Hummers at the Autoshow (I think GM is promoting them in a big way – I’ve always been fascinated with them simply because of their raw capabilities and army genes – although having tried a few SUV’s I can’t tell why The wheels are really small! Yet the interior room was much larger than I expected. There was quite a bit of headroom and legspace as well! Surprising. I would not mind buying and travelling in one of these if I lived and worked in the city. Much more fuel efficient and much better use of parking spaces ;) Maybe they should make only cars fitting these dimensions be allowed into Toronto… Good old M-B engineers! What else – ah yes. GM. I was _very_ interested in GM because a lot of the cars I like happen to come from GM’s stables. Which is quite different from my friends. A lot of the cars they like come straight from Hond’as stables. I’m bucking (get it!) the trend I guess. So I’ll mention a few highlights. I got to see the Corvettes. Must admit – I’m a fan of the Corvette’s looks… I also got to see the Autnomy. Now wow, that’s a car. Hydrogen fuel cell in a skateboard chassis, four independent motors for each wheel and the ability to simply drop a new exterior on the skateboard chassis. plus driver by wire and lots of composites. This car was designed from scratch and it’s refreshing. To be quite honest I would be excited if the future of the automobile was something like this! Got to see the Cadillac Cien. Oh my…I like (no…love!) the new angular stylings of the Cadillacs and the Cien is the perfect embodiment of this. It simply looks like a razor (and with a Northstar V12 in the back – probably cuts through the air like one too). Do you believe that a car can look better in real life than in a picture? Then that’s how I felt when I saw the Pontiac Solstice.. Oh my. That car is so curvy (which contrasts to my angular leanings) but it looks so good. So…clean. And the interior looked very well designed to – smooth curves and light colors. I want one. Finally I got to look at the Cadillac CTS and XLR. The XLR looks shweet….really shweet. I’ve _always_ been partial to the CTS and up close the exterior styling did not disappoint. What I was disappointed in was the interior styling. I think that if the CTS wants to go up against M-B or BMW or Audi or Lexus thay have to examine those cars and see what they did with the interior. The M-B’s interior feels open and to reiterate – not congested. Knobs are discrete and well positioned/designed. In contrast, the interior styling of the CTS was not what I expected. First, I would like the sterring whel to feel more thicker and solid. Also, I would like the interior designer who suggested the styling for the AC vents be summarily relgated to a junior post. It looks horrible those vents – must be designed better. Third, improve the layout of the center only and the buttons on the sterring wheel. For some reason the buttons tactile response is not up to par – they feel cheapish. The center console could have been redone in a much more efficient way… Anyways, I like the CTS but if they fixed these I would seriously consider it.. All in all a fun day. Back, feet and shoulders were sore…

Comments

  1. Tammie - November 7, 2007 @ 09:43

    WOW im the first to leave a comment!!!! Kick Ass!! ok so uh!!!…this pretty kewl!!!

  2. Tammie - November 7, 2007 @ 09:44

    whoops wrong site!! i want corvettes!!!

  3. Allen George - November 7, 2007 @ 13:01

    Well, I’ve no idea how you ended up here, but you’re definitely in the wrong place – try the official site.

    I believe the Z06, introduced in ’05 is the current generation Corvette, so if you do some searches on that you’ll find much more relevant links.

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