Tuesday, November 23, 2010

LA Auto Show

I finally made it to the LA Auto Show ! I wasn't too enthusiastic about going this year; most of the previews were of either production debuts or cars from the Paris show, but there were a few cars I wanted to check out:
Jeep Grand Cherokee
     I have seen the commercial so many times, the nostalgic American industrialization one about how America was once a country that built things, and how they were returning to that tradition by bringing back the American built Cherokee. Assuming its built here and not just assembled, I was still disappointed. I expected a feeling that this vehicle was handcrafted, some rugged stitching, maybe a few exposed quality fasteners, but more Chrysler plastic and thin chrome trim.I overheard a guy in the driver seat grumble that a 40 grand car should have electric steering adjustment. Aside from quality, it just lacked the character I wanted the returning Cherokee to have. 
Ford Fiesta/ Raptor
I really enjoyed the Ford displays, with a live dyno to test the new Boss302, an arm wrestle the Raptor machine, and other video games and pretty girls. It had a fun vibe. The cars themselves were refreshing for Ford. 
The Fiesta's interior had so much to look at, with chunky bezels and and generous offsets, it felt substantial and surprisingly roomy for a compact car. The Raptor is pure awesomeness!! Its so purposeful and seems ready for offroading. If I was in the market for a truck this would be my pick. 

Jaguar CX75

Nissan Ellure Concept

The spokeman kept repeating "that's innovation" like he was an OCD Howard Hughes. I guess it could be called innovation, but I was pretty confused by the Juke. It was like that kid in elementary school whose face you hated for no specific reason. The star of their display was the Ellure concept, which seemed too outlandish for a car that stuck to what looked like a stretched Maxima. I did like the rear view but as the turntable revealed its oversized shoulder-line all interest was lost.

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 will finally be sold in the states! This car is so incredibly charming. Very Italian, full of character, and overall a great little car. I really hope Chrysler doesn't water down the brand in the future, seeing the new Cherokee and Challenger has me worried. 

Subaru Impreza Concept
Lotus Esprit

Lotus Elan

I spent so much time and took the most pictures at the Lotus display. Their concepts had the best execution of surface language I saw at the show. I know there is a lot of controversy about it lightness; Colin Chapman rolling in his grave, ect, which is generally true. In theory, Lotus should be building Ariel Atoms sized cars, but if they are to move away from that tradition, these have the character to half them move on.

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