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January 02, 2005

Conventional Wisdom

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I made it out to the auto show in DC this year. The new Convention Center is ginormous -I seriously doubt the manufacturers used all of the square footage.

Mercedes had a strong display with nearly AMG-everything. The new CLS is ugly, I guess D-C had to dumb down the styling to compete with Bangle's 6-Series. Their dark green almost black paint on the E55 was a nice change from the typical German silver. The SLR McLaren is just as ugly in person as it is in pictures. The 300SL Gullwings were elegant and sexy, SLR swings and misses. I also believe that a supercar should have a V10 or V12 these days, a blown eight seems crude by today's standards, especially when the company has a 700+ ft-lb V12TT in lesser cars.

Porsche had ceramic brakes on damn-near every car there from the red 996 convertible to the silver 997 coupe. The blue 996 Turbo S with color-matched wheels was hawt. I wonder if the spokes look green when the car is moving, what with the yellow calipers and blue wheels. The Carrera GT definitely looks better in person, carbon everywhere. I still think Zuffenhausen should have differentiated the CGT from the rest of the line, it still resembles a stretched 911.

Carlos Ghosn is the best thing that has happened to Nissan in recent memory and the new M45 is the newest proof. The global FM platform underpins some excellent vehicles from the 350Z to the Cedric/Gloria replacement. I think the M45 is going to ruffle some feathers in the mid-range sport lux segment. Look out E60 and horribly restyled GS.

It is a sad sad day in Toyota history when it's sporty offering is the Tacoma X-Runner. WTF. It handles well and all (0.86g IIRC), but dayum can we get a true sports car from the world's fourth largest automaker? No, the MR-S does not count. I really hope TMC doesn't mess up the MKV Supra.

Scion probably had the best freebies. The had another mix CD and a thick magazine/brochure printed on thick stock with a bonus DVD.

I was disappointed with the lack of Lotus (Loti?), Gallardos, and especially Ferraris. There was a Challenge Stradale with some ridiculously large brakes, but with Scuderia Ferrari of Washington just down the road, I expected more.

Celebrity sighting: former Washington Redskin Ken Harvey.

Posted by hungwin at January 2, 2005 04:23 PM