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2019 will be the last time I attend the winter North American International Auto Show. Unbelievable, but true after 20 years of visiting the show in January. That's because as of 2020, the NAIAS has moved to June! I have mixed feelings about this, primarily because a bunch of stuff happens around that time, while January is usually fairly free, so it just becomes a scheduling issue to attend.
The final winter show was good one. As previous years, much of the focus was autonomous driving and connected vehicles. Which is not really one of my interests and I've ranted about it before. And like last year, there was no basement exhibit! Many of the exhibits from the basement had been moved to the lobby of the COBO center. However some where just eliminated altogether (for example, no local clubs showing exotics or modified vehicles).
Speaking of the lobby, I would like to point out the 2 years later Elio was not present. Their website continues to speak in terms of future plans, they have no production date, their vehicles are unavailable, and frankly no hard information at all. More and more I'm thinking this is a long ongoing investor scam much like Magic Leap. It has been 10 years since Elio Motors has been founded, and despite the huge sums of money invested, claimed 65,000+ reservations and massive media attention, the website still reads the same as it did in 2009 and there is no hint of production.
It was rather interesting seeing more manufacturers move to staged injection on their direct injected engines. For example, Ford showed the new Mustang GT featuring both direct and port injection. I'd be remiss to not point out that Mazda has been using staged injection (two stages in RX-7s, 3 stages in RX-8) since 1985.
Chevy just keeps improving the Corvette. Just looks brilliant in crimson red or pure black, with those rear window buttresses reminding us of 70s super cars.
Toyota continues to be the only major manufacturer that still shows a big hydrogen display at every show. Sure, other manufacturers (primarily Honda) show a few hydrogen vehicles, but Toyota seems all in. I found their 2019 display both kind of sad and hilarious. Did you know that hydrogen is being used all around you? Amazing! And that toothpaste, laundry detergent and fertilizers ALL USE HYDROGEN?! It's almost as if all those products contain a chemical compound of oxygen and hydrogen! Toyota also points out that OMG I'm breathing hydrogen right now and it's in the water in our lakes and oceans! What?! Hydrogen is in our water?! This must be dealt with. Ban dihydrogen monoxide!
I have to believe that some Toyota engineer was just taking the piss, then marketing decided to run with it not understanding the whole idea was a parody.
This was the debut year of the new Toyota Supra. I'm sure it will be a fine car (I have yet to see one on the road). But if I wanted to buy a BMW, I'd just buy a BMW.
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