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This year I attended the North American International Auto Show a little differently than previous years. First, I was solo. Then because of that, I decided to park the car in Windsor and take the tunnel bus over to Detroit. I've got to say that I think this will be my default approach from now on. So much easier to just catch the bus to the Cobo center than hunt for parking in downtown Detroit.
I'll get this right out of the way: the Toyota FT-1 is awesome, and the Corvette Stingray is equally awesome. There, I've said it, everyone else has said it, now moving along...
Looking at Ford's little 3 cylinder Ecoboost engine and reading all the efficiency improvements was a bit like a blast from the past for me. I couldn't help when reading things like "offset crankshaft for efficiency" to think "Huh, my Insight did that 13 years ago...good on Ford for catching up". Still an impressive piece of engine and shockingly tiny to see in person. Just a shame about North America in general having an aversion to small engines in commuter vehicles.
I spent quite a bit of time at the Bosch and Asin displays looking at the components OEMs are using to build their vehicles. Probably because trying to think like an OEM while building my '76 Cosmo has changed the way I look at these things. Looking at an electric A/C compressor and thinking "Hm, that looks like it will bolt directly in place of a Sanden SD-7" might mean I'm weird. Seeing as I probably spent more time comparatively at these displays than others.
Volvo had a weird twin-charged 4 cylinder engine off in the corner with no explanation as to what it actually was. I think someone should have sent the Volvo engineers the memo about twin charging not working very well.
I get a good long look at the Leaf (finally) and must say that if I needed another vehicle, it would be a contender.
Everyone loves a bloody great snakeskin green SRT Viper.
A little bit of a rant here but something I noticed this year was the complete absolute rudeness of people when taking pictures. Sure, it's always an issue battling the crowd for picture at one of these shows. This year in particular seemed much worse with many instances of someone managing to step directly in the path of my camera just as the button was pressed. At least I have the common courtesy to take a quick look around for photographers before I rush up close to something.
Not really sure what to think about the Porsche 911 Targa. It seems like the Targa strip fights the rest of the vehicle. The rear window now takes almost exactly the same downward angle as the boot, making the ramp formed seem very, very long.
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