PetrolBlog is in New York, New York for the 117th New York International Auto Show, which just happens to be in New York.*
We wandered along Sunset Boulevard **note: check this is in New York** and spent a few dollars in NY’s Hall of America **again, check this is in New York**, before making our way to the Lenny Kravitz Convention Center to check out the hottest metal and aluminium. Yes, aluminium, and not aluminum.
Here’s what we saw.^
The ‘Car most likely to be appear in Pixar’s Cars 3 movie’ award
The best Genesis since Peter Gabriel left the band has been unveiled in New York. Actually, that’s a lie, because some of the post-Gabriel music was OK. Furthermore, PetrolBlog has a soft spot for the super-expensive – and thankfully super-depreciating – Hyundai Genesis.
But hey, this is the age of the internet, in which powerful intros do the business. So, the GV80 Concept is the best ever Genesis.
It’s yet another SUV – yawn – and it rolls on 23-inch rims and features many exciting things that probably won’t make production. It would be good to highlight these features here, but it’s almost impossible to cut through the marketing waffle and hype in the press release.
Instead, PetrolBlog is going to name the Genesis GV80 Concept SUV as the car most likely to appear in Pixar’s Cars 3 movie. Simply add Sally’s eyes and Mater’s teeth for a ready-made movie star.
Tonight, tonight, tonight, it will be be lying down on Broadway as it makes its first public appearance. Unless there’s been some misunderstanding.
The ‘Best Demon since the Ford Festiva’ award
People of the internet are getting very excited about the new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. To be fair, it does sound awfully quick – first-this, fastest-that, most-powerful, yada, yada, yada…
But, from a PetrolBlog perspective, it’s little more than the best Demon since the second generation Ford Festiva. Looking every inch the love child of the Mk2 Vauxhall Astra and Daewoo Nexia – an incestuous relationship if ever there was one – the Festiva Demon is about as scary as a Labrador wearing a tea cosy and as potent as a lukewarm cup of vending machine soup.
The ‘Horrendous Shatchback’ award
Its an American auto show, so a bevy of compact sedans – aka Shatchbacks – is to be expected. This is the latest horror show sent to bring terror to children’s bedtimes. It’s the Kia Rio Sedan and it’s quite telling that Kia didn’t use any shots of the rear end to accompany the press release.
Which is why we’ve used a Newspress photo as our lead image. To quote Nick Ross: “Please, don’t have nightmares.”
The ‘Trying desperately hard to look fascinated by a touchscreen’ award
Look carefully at Ellie Goulding eyes and you’ll see a strange mix of bewilderment and disinterest. She’s being paid enough dough to sit there long enough for the photographer to take a few snaps, but there’s no disguising the fact that she’s yearning for a dashboard with the simplicity of a Daihatsu Terios.
“I have always been a big Range Rover fan,” said Ms Goulding, before continuing: “But I’d much prefer to be cruising the streets of Hereford in a Terios. Without a Touch Pro Duo infotainment screen to distract me, I’m free to head to the Maylord Shopping Centre to buy Harry Potter Cluedo from Hawkin’s Bazaar.”
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s chief of all things design, said: “I have always been a big Ellie Goulding fan.”
Having spent a few seconds frantically typing stuff into his iPhone, he continued: “I’ve downloaded all her hits, including Heaven, Next to Me and Clown.” Following a quick nudge from a PR person, he was shocked to discover that he was looking under Emily and not Ellie.
At the end of the photoshoot, Ellie Goulding’s head was turned by an immaculate Nissan Sentra SE-R.
The ‘Press release flowery nonsense overload’ award
The Toyota FT-4X Concept is a “modern 4×4 toolbox for the most intrepid urbanites.” Jeez, enough already.
Sadly, it gets worse.
“It’s only natural. In the busyness of city-based work life there emerges a growing urge to ‘get away’. For the millennial-aged professionals confined to city limits, oftentimes these getaways are unplanned, and are of the casual, less extreme kind. (No time for submitting a mountain – a drive to the scenic point will do!)”
Toyota doesn’t stop there…
“A shift from multiday, extreme, high-effort excursions to brief, unplanned, casual adventures is an overwhelming reality for Generation Y. Millennials are fond of the outdoors, but operate almost always indoors. They enjoy venturing into to new neighbourhoods and national parks, but hardly plan ahead. Their countless interactions on social media bring inspiration. It is the busyness of their nonstop daily lives that pushes them past the precipice of ‘liking’ a digital snapshot into the realm of creating their own, in reality. Their adventures begin curbside, in a parking structure, or in the depths of an underground garage.
“Dinner on the beach during a beautiful evening; tailgating with friends while listening to music; visiting a favourite trailhead for a run or dog walk; settling next to a campfire for an overnight desert stay – these are the types of quick escapes that an increasing number of young, career-minded urbanites hold dear.
Always ready to go? They are – and so is the Toyota FT-4X.”
Good Lord. Truth is, the FT-4X is packed with some rather neat features, but it’s almost impossible to cut through the PR speak. If you’re a millennial-aged professional, why not try a Pontiac Aztek? Or, better still, a Matra Rancho.
The ‘Car of the show’ award
It has to be the 360: Subaru’s first automobile and Japan’s answer to the ‘people’s car’. It’s so small and neat you could probably squeeze it into one of the cupholders in the all-new Lincoln Navigator.
The ‘Best photo of a photographer taking a photo of the inside of a Hyundai Sonata’ award
It has to be this gem from Newspress.
The ‘Best motor show impression of a McDonald’s car park’ award
“Check out my turbocharged VTEC, yo.” Add some happening tunes, some under-dressed ladies, a few ‘tastefully modified’ Corsas and some discarded McDonald’s wrappers and you’ve got an authentic Friday night scene.
We hope you enjoyed this exclusive coverage from the New York Auto Show. Look out for our report from the Wincanton Wheels Festival, coming soon.
*Full disclosure: PetrolBlog is reporting from a desk, not in New York.
^From a desk.