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Discussion Starter #1
North American International...or as we call it...the Detroit Auto Show.

VW announced yesterday that it WILL sell the R32 240hp AWD Golf in the US.

Mazda showed the MX-Micro Sport concept...a pint sized 5 door that looks awful production intent...kinda like the MX Sportif looked near identical to the new Mazda3. The Micro still has a 2 liter...not a weasely 1.6.

Suzuki Reno looks like a promising little FWD econobox. Anybody got a proposal in to Suzuki?

Stay tuned or go to www.naias.com
 

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More importantly, can I run the new Shelby Cobra in Production? 605 HP...mmmmmmmm...

Kent Gardam
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A jaded eye on the auto show

Finally got down to Cobo Hall yesterday for the show. Forgive me if I seem harsh on some things. First of all, show cars suck. I tend to walk right past the majority of them. Perhaps its the long hours of scraping clay, sanding bondo, or creating digital surface for them, but I KNOW what those things are. And most of them are so far from anything that could possibly be produced that its disgusting. Besides that, this year it seems the quality of the showcars hits an all time low. I saw wings wavier than Lake Huron, paint with more orange peel than Sunkist, and interiors that looked stitched together in an 8th grade home-ec class. And we haven't even gotten to the actual designs, yet. Pew.

Here are the few concept cars that stuck out as pretty darn cool.

-Dodge had a little thing called the Sling Shot that was a small coupe. Looked like a fun runabout with balls.

-The Ford Shelby Cobra was pretty cool, I guess, even though I've been looking at it here in the studio for quite a while. Very Viper. It just makes me wonder how long we are going to rely on this nostalgia theme and when will we get some fresh ideas for car design. The Mustang GT showcar is a beaut, too, but I've seen enough street cars running around Dearborn to know that they screwed up the stance of that one enough (with the smaller wheels tucked in and different side sections) to take away most of its testosterone. Pity.

-Mazda had an econobox showcar called the MX Micro Sport. Think Super1600 rally car as far as looks and proportions go. It had a 2.0L engine and a 6spd. gearbox. This is the kind of concept car I like because if it looks about a month away from production, it will likely see production. Remember the MX Sportif was shown last year...10 months later the Mazda3 is on the market with near exact styling and specs. Crossing my fingers this car makes it to the US. My guess is that this will be the Mazda2. Look out G2.

Thats about all the concept things I could get behind. Of course there were a ton of cookie cutter mid engine "supercars" that mimic the McLaren F1/Saleen/NSX etc. (really a formula lifted from Ferrari long, long ago), but most of them just screw it up in an effort to be unique.

Production and prod. intent cars are what I primarily go for. Here are the notables.

-Chevy Cobalt. Probably more excited for this car just out of elation for something to be replacing the Cavalier. The SS version is 2.4L 170hp and they made mention of a SS Superchaged version with a blown 2.0 engine...no HP rating. Keep your fingers crossed that the General may wake up.

-Mazda3. This is going to steal a lot of VW buyers away from their dealerships. A lot of car for the money.

-VW R32. Yup, its coming to America. 3.2L VR6 turbo with 240hp, 6spds, and AWD. Coming in at 29,000. Much less outwardly flashy than the STI or EVO, but should respond well to way more boost because of the large capacity.

-Minis are the same, but still get a mention in my book. Yum. the John Cooper version with the studly bumpers and schtuff makes me smile.

-Chrysler Crossfire. Something about this car intrigues me. I really don't like the flow lines down the hood and trunk...looks a bit nautical to me, but the side proportions are pretty nice with a long hood and the cockpit well back...and those oversized wheels.

-Porsche Carrera GT. Absolute star of the show. Okay, yes at 400-500,000, it probably costs more than Kia's concept car, but what a piece of machinery. I'll take one without the body please. The naked version showed the beautiful carbon spaceframe encompassing all the jewelry of the suspension and drivetrain in a way that made me wish you could drive it that way. Ever seen a Ducati Monster? Porsche has.

-Audi A8L. As I eased behind the wheel the seat molested me. Ostentacious sedans has a new name. A8. Also tried on the Phaeton... "$70,000" and "Volkswagen" (peoples' car) seems like a contradiction in terms to me, but whatever. Of course invitation to sample a Maybach, Rolls or other penis extension was by invitation only...and I wasn't invited.

Other notable things:

-Dodge did an excellent job marketing Mopar. They had coilover struts, wheels, turbo mods, injectors, aluminum flywheels, exhaust systems, etc. all on display, both on the main floor with the SRT-4, the Viper and the SRT-10 truck, and also downstairs in their own Mopar area. Much better than showing hats and sunglasses like the rest of the companies show. Good job Dodge!

-Ferrari showed their new car proudly on display with the absolute worst body work and paint of anything in the show. Come on guys. I shoot better paint in dad's shop on my rally car. There is no excuse for waves like that down the sides of something you wanna sell. Most people noticed it and talked about it, too.

-The Mercedes SLR was again a stunner of a rolling phallic symbol. What a car.

-I didn't see a single STI on the Subaru stand, just a plain silver WRX. Mitsu also just had a low wing Evo on their booth, but they did have a Dakar replica on display. Subaru did have a Solberg ex-rallycar/replica on their SPT booth downstairs.

-The Saabaru (9-2?) was just that.

-Cadillac had their CTS-V World Challenge GT car on display. They chopped the front end pretty good to make it lower/move the wheel arches up quite a bit higher and it looks pretty mean. Allowing sedans in GT class, eh SCCA?

-Volvo had the new S40, built on the same platform as the Mazda3. No AWD version on display, though.

-Not sure if Lotus was there, but if they were, I'm sorry I missed them. The Elise coming to the US is a good thing.

Disclaimer. All opinions are exactly that, opinions. Deal with it.}>
 

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Need ride. Please send money.
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RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

Cobalt-
Being a son of GM, I am trying to get anyone to listen to me regarding a Cobalt G2/G5 2 car answer to the Mopar boy's schtuff.

Probly wont happen, but that'd be cool...

JC
#595
www.gnimotorsports.com
 

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RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

I will add my layman, first time to the show, counterpoint;)


>Finally got down to Cobo Hall yesterday for the show.
>Forgive me if I seem harsh on some things. First of all,
>show cars suck. I tend to walk right past the majority of
>them. Perhaps its the long hours of scraping clay, sanding
>bondo, or creating digital surface for them, but I KNOW what
>those things are. And most of them are so far from anything
>that could possibly be produced that its disgusting.
>Besides that, this year it seems the quality of the showcars
>hits an all time low. I saw wings wavier than Lake Huron,
>paint with more orange peel than Sunkist, and interiors that
>looked stitched together in an 8th grade home-ec class. And
>we haven't even gotten to the actual designs, yet. Pew.


I think your opinion stems from being around them, just as I am more likely to be critical of photos. I was most impressed with the concept cars, and did not notice the flaws you talk about, again that is just because I am not around them all the time.
I found the concept cars far more interesting than the production cars because they were so outragous
Quite liked the Hyundai

http://www.subaru.net/events/2004/detroit/misc/images/DSC_7940.jpg

And the Suzuki

http://www.subaru.net/events/2004/detroit/misc/images/DSC_8016.jpg



>
>Here are the few concept cars that stuck out as pretty darn
>cool.
>
>-Dodge had a little thing called the Sling Shot that was a
>small coupe. Looked like a fun runabout with balls.


Looked fun but I thought it had no balls, wasn't it powered by a 3 cylinder 80hp 0-60 in 10 seconds thing?


>
>-The Ford Shelby Cobra was pretty cool, I guess, even though
>I've been looking at it here in the studio for quite a
>while. Very Viper. It just makes me wonder how long we are
>going to rely on this nostalgia theme and when will we get
>some fresh ideas for car design. The Mustang GT showcar is
>a beaut, too, but I've seen enough street cars running
>around Dearborn to know that they screwed up the stance of
>that one enough (with the smaller wheels tucked in and
>different side sections) to take away most of its
>testosterone. Pity.


Must have missed the Cobra but did see a photo, didn't do much for me. Love the Ford GT, quite like the Mustang. I think it is sad that Ford has to resurect it's past to make something exciting
>

>
>Production and prod. intent cars are what I primarily go
>for. Here are the notables.
>

>
>-Mazda3. This is going to steal a lot of VW buyers away
>from their dealerships. A lot of car for the money.


Very nice, but lost the sportiness of the Protege IMO

>
>-VW R32. Yup, its coming to America. 3.2L VR6 turbo with
>240hp, 6spds, and AWD. Coming in at 29,000. Much less
>outwardly flashy than the STI or EVO, but should respond
>well to way more boost because of the large capacity.


This was spectacular! I am pretty sure it is normally aspirated though.

>
>-Minis are the same, but still get a mention in my book.
>Yum. the John Cooper version with the studly bumpers and
>schtuff makes me smile.


There display was a lot of fun
>

>
>-Porsche Carrera GT. Absolute star of the show. Okay, yes
>at 400-500,000, it probably costs more than Kia's concept
>car, but what a piece of machinery. I'll take one without
>the body please. The naked version showed the beautiful
>carbon spaceframe encompassing all the jewelry of the
>suspension and drivetrain in a way that made me wish you
>could drive it that way. Ever seen a Ducati Monster?
>Porsche has.


I agree the naked version was very sexy!

http://www.subaru.net/events/2004/detroit/misc/images/DSC_7948.jpg

http://www.subaru.net/events/2004/detroit/misc/images/DSC_7950.jpg


>
>Other notable things:
>

>
>-Ferrari showed their new car proudly on display with the
>absolute worst body work and paint of anything in the show.
>Come on guys. I shoot better paint in dad's shop on my
>rally car. There is no excuse for waves like that down the
>sides of something you wanna sell. Most people noticed it
>and talked about it, too.


I did not notice the paint but did not look at the car that much as I hated the design.

http://www.subaru.net/events/2004/detroit/misc/images/DSC_7924.jpg



>-The Mercedes SLR was again a stunner of a rolling phallic
>symbol. What a car.


Oh Yeah!

http://www.subaru.net/events/2004/detroit/misc/images/DSC_8021.jpg


>
>-I didn't see a single STI on the Subaru stand, just a plain
>silver WRX. Mitsu also just had a low wing Evo on their
>booth, but they did have a Dakar replica on display. Subaru
>did have a Solberg ex-rallycar/replica on their SPT booth
>downstairs.


Several STI's in the SPT booth

I was there for the Legacy release, car was pretty impressive

>
>-The Saabaru (9-2?) was just that.


Actually, it was a lot better than I expected

>
>-Cadillac had their CTS-V World Challenge GT car on display.
> They chopped the front end pretty good to make it
>lower/move the wheel arches up quite a bit higher and it
>looks pretty mean. Allowing sedans in GT class, eh SCCA?


Nice! There has been an Audi A6 running for a while
>

>
>-Not sure if Lotus was there, but if they were, I'm sorry I
>missed them. The Elise coming to the US is a good thing.


No Lotus (very bummed)they did the LA autoshow, why both shows were going on at teh same time is beyond me, but a big mistake on Lotus's part not doing Detroit as the show made national news

>
>Disclaimer. All opinions are exactly that, opinions. Deal
>with it.}>


Ditto
 

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RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

Why? California is a much more important market to Lotus... it is really stupid that the shows are only a week apart, but I suspect some kind of story behind this...
 

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RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

>Why? California is a much more important market to Lotus...
>it is really stupid that the shows are only a week apart,
>but I suspect some kind of story behind this...


The Detroit show got much more media coverage, it was on every national news show and then some, we saw nothing of the LA show on this side of the country (unless you were following the Elise). There is a lot of potential customers that are outside CA
Lotus has no money to be at both shows at the same time which is too bad because they needed to be at both shows
 

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Discussion Starter #8
RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

>Quite liked the Hyundai
>
Got a profile or rear quarter shot? It looks like somebody sat on the back end. Somebody fat. It squats on the rear wheels. Again, just my opinion.

>And the Suzuki

The pic you showed was the Kia. This was the exact origination of the "Lake Huron Wing" comment. The car looked a bit thick, but kinda cool proportions.

>>-Dodge had a little thing called the Sling Shot that was a
>>small coupe. Looked like a fun runabout with balls. [/i]
>
>Looked fun but I thought it had no balls, wasn't it powered
>by a 3 cylinder 80hp 0-60 in 10 seconds thing?
>

I don't know. I rarely read "specs" on concept cars as they rarely even run in the first place. Many don't even have engines.

>Must have missed the Cobra but did see a photo, didn't do
>much for me. Love the Ford GT, quite like the Mustang. I
>think it is sad that Ford has to resurect it's past to make
>something exciting

While everyone else gains corporate identity through their trademark shapes (Volvo's rect. grill with slash, BMW's double square grille, even Dodge is carrying through their big four section "cross" or "plus sign" grill even though it isn't that old), Ford only pulls together product identity by looking through history books. I think they do a very nice job of making old shapes look current and exciting, but I admit it isn't that original.

http://www.motortrend.com/motor/autoshows/coverage/112_0401_detroit_ford_br_z.jpg

http://www.motortrend.com/motor/autoshows/coverage/112_0401_detroit_ford_mus_z.jpg

http://www.autonews.com/files/2004NAIAS/ford/cobra/images/1.jpg

>>
>>-Mazda3. This is going to steal a lot of VW buyers away
>>from their dealerships. A lot of car for the money. [/i]
>
>Very nice, but lost the sportiness of the Protege IMO

I disagree (but then, you'd expect ME to say that :) ). I think the muscular fender lines give it a nice stance, even if the front end looks a little thick and overhung. The largish front openings look adequate for an intercooler, eh? Hmmmm...

>>
>>-VW R32. Yup, its coming to America. 3.2L VR6 turbo with
>>240hp, 6spds, and AWD. Coming in at 29,000. Much less
>>outwardly flashy than the STI or EVO, but should respond
>>well to way more boost because of the large capacity.

>
>This was spectacular! I am pretty sure it is normally
>aspirated though.

Oh. It might be.

edit...Oh yeah. The Pontiac Miata...ahem...Solstice was pretty cool. Glad to see them stick to their guns and release this close to prod. version of the showcar from last year.

http://www.autonews.com/files/2004NAIAS/pontiac/solstice/images/DSCN3297.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

Can't see the poor paint, but at least this shot shows some of the bodywork on the Scaglietti. I hate to associated the name of such a well respected coachbuilder with this kind of work, though...maybe Pininfarina's guys got ahold of the doors before they went out for paint and took a couple swipes with the DA sander?:+

http://www.autonews.com/files/2004NAIAS/ferrari/images/DSCN3510.jpg
 

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RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

>>Quite liked the Hyundai
>
Got a profile or rear quarter shot? It looks like somebody sat on the back end. Somebody fat. It squats on the rear wheels. Again, just my opinion.>


Hey Lurchus!

Can I chime in? Only for a shortie, though as I haven't had a drink or two to get my mouth running about design :)

On your comment above, you mean like the Fiat formula one car Schumacher drove to the title?

Other comments remain silent to protect the innocent.

steve
 

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Discussion Starter #11
RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

Steve-oh! C'mon, man..out with it. Maybe I'll have to pour some beers down your throat and sit nearby with a tape recorder so's I can quote you. You still have my OBDII codereader, anyway. You KNOW you want to comment.

With respect, I looked up pics on the net of the Hyundai showcar and the fendergap is okay (it wasn't when I walked by), but the 4" rear decklid that looks like a broken vertebrae still bothers me.

Did your guys do the Solstice? Looks like an ASC type of job. I like it.
 

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RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

Lurch said

[font color=red]<Did your guys do the Solstice? Looks like an ASC type of
>job. I like it.
[/font]


No. I like it too. Saw Ramana and Lance Smith there, and the Subaru rep. Nice guys, but 2004 appears the year of Independence.
 

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RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

>-Not sure if Lotus was there, but if they were, I'm sorry I
>missed them. The Elise coming to the US is a good thing.

Lotus should not have been there. The LA show has always been a bigger deal for them and that is where they did the Elise launch this time around.

alan
 

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RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

>>-Not sure if Lotus was there, but if they were, I'm sorry I
>>missed them. The Elise coming to the US is a good thing. [/i]
>
>No Lotus (very bummed)they did the LA autoshow, why both
>shows were going on at teh same time is beyond me, but a big
>mistake on Lotus's part not doing Detroit as the show made
>national news

Why do they go to LA over Detroit? Big fish in a small pond. There is so much going on at Detroit that it is easy for them to get lost in the shuffle.

Hey, would you rather go to Detroit or Los Angeles in January?

alan
 

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RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

>>Why? California is a much more important market to Lotus...
>>it is really stupid that the shows are only a week apart,
>>but I suspect some kind of story behind this...
>
>
>The Detroit show got much more media coverage, it was on
>every national news show and then some, we saw nothing of
>the LA show on this side of the country (unless you were
>following the Elise). There is a lot of potential customers
>that are outside CA
>Lotus has no money to be at both shows at the same time
>which is too bad because they needed to be at both shows

Yeah, but national coverage doesn't really matter for the Elise. Pretty much every car that Lotus can make for the first 18 months to two years is sold.

They will need the coverage in a couple of years.

Actually, Lotus appears to have marketing money for this launch. They had a very nice display area in LA. You wouldn't believe how much it cost. They have 5 production line test run cars and these cars show the various option packages. The display will be doing the car show tour (will definitely be at the NYIAS in April). If not for the schedule conflict, they would have been in Detroit. They bought out Roger Becker (US Elise Champion and the guy who defines what a Lotus drives like these days), Tony Shute (project lead on the original Elise), Nick Adams (project lead on this car), Russell Carr (stylist for the M250), Steven ??? (some Dutch name, stylist for this Elise), plus most of the guys at the US distributor in Georgia, but two or three marketing folks from England. This was a huge deal for Lotus.

alan
 

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RE: A jaded eye on the auto show

Good points, Alan, in retrospect I have to agree that LA was probably the right choice.

But, if I had not been following the progress of the Elise, I would likely never even known about the LA show, on the other hand, the Detroit show has been in the news for nearly three days straight!
Maybe they already have too many orders for the car...

If the events were not on top of each other they could have done both


Cliffnote: I'm pissed because I wanted to see the car!!!:9
 

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RE: questions for the jaded eye

>>>-Mazda3. This is going to steal a lot of VW buyers away
>>>from their dealerships. A lot of car for the money. [/i]
>>
>>Very nice, but lost the sportiness of the Protege IMO
>
>I disagree (but then, you'd expect ME to say that :) ). I
>think the muscular fender lines give it a nice stance, even
>if the front end looks a little thick and overhung. The
>largish front openings look adequate for an intercooler, eh?
> Hmmmm...
>
Lurch,
From a rallycar-building standpoint, what are your opinions on the new C1 platform?

http://www.connectexpress.com/~hawkinson/gallery/mazda3.jpg

http://www.connectexpress.com/~hawkinson/gallery/s40.jpg

Of course, we haven't seen the Focus on this platform yet, but with the Volvo AWD, proposed 6-speed gearboxes, and the choice between the Volvo 2.5L T5 or the super-sweet Duratec engine, it would seem like we are being presented with some appealing prospects here. To me, this looks like a potential "next big thing".

Could this picture from the S40 website be some kind of hint about what we might see in the future?

http://www.connectexpress.com/~hawkinson/gallery/screenshot.jpg

BTW, I was hot for the Mazda3 when it came out, but since I saw it in person, I think the nose on the S40 looks soooo much better.
 

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The Ferrari

According to the something I saw somewhere on the net (just as good as making it up, right?) here was some kind of horrible mixup with the suspension plans at the coachbuilder and they ended up trying to contain the backside of the front suspension in the rear and the frontside of the rear suspension in the front, or something like that. Hence the horrible overhangs in the early artwork and possibly, possibly, a hasty last-minute Monster Garage job on the showcars.

andy
--
Viva la ProleRalliat!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
RE: questions for the jaded eye

I think it definitely could be built. Heck, anything can be built, even a Hyundai Accent, right? The word is the shell is a lot stiffer than the Protege. It is a little longer wheelbase (3/4"?) and, like the Protege, has a long front overhang, but not a major problem. The rear susp. is very similar to the 6. Seperate shock and spring, but you can fab anything back there, really.

Got a proposal in to Volvo? A 4wd S40 would be hot.

As for the picture, I wouldn't base anything off a screen dump from a video game.
 
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