13 February 2012

Philly Auto Show 2012

So on Saturday I went to the Philly Autos Show. (I might get pics up later) Saw a lot of neat cars, as per usual, but saw a lot of practical cars. At the same I'm surprised at the number of gas guzzling SUVs still on the market.

Some of the cars I Checked out/sat in were the Subaru Impreza STI, Scion IQ (for gits and shiggles), the Ford Fiesta & Focus, aaaand....some other stuff. I sat in a Jaguar, it was nice. So is the Tanq & Tonic I'm working on.

(2 days later) Now where was I? Right, cars. The Subarus were nice, and didn't seem badly priced. An Impreza STI started in the mid 20,000s, and with auto loan rates what they, such a price doesn't seem so impossible for an underemployed graduate such as myself (but one must remember fuel, parts, & insurance in costs as well). Subaru also had their new rear-wheel drive BRZ on display. Certainly wouldn't mind test driving one of those someday.

I looked at some of the new VWs, like the redesigned Beetle, but didn't spend too much time on them. I eventually worked my way over to the Scion display. Of all the Scions, I hate the tC the least, but at 110hp I don't think I'd ever get one. A test drive isn't out of the question. They had a new car there, the iQ, which is strictly a compact people-mover. It's about the size of a SmartForTwo, maybe even smaller, at boasts it is the world's smallest 4 seater. Me and some awesome guys who happened to be there decided to test this and we did indeed get four humans in that car. Granted we were all under 6ft tall and agreed that no one would want to spend long periods of time in the vehicle.

I mosied through the Chevrolet area, checked out the Sonic, looked over the Camaros and surprised that the two Corvettes present had no special display. There was a brand new ZR-1 sitting on the floor covered in smudgey fingerprints (cause people just have to touch, right?). You couldn't get in the ZR-1, but it still got plenty of abuse.

Down at the Ford exhibit I sat in both the new Fiesta and Focus. I'm not a big guy, and the Fiesta was claustaphobic. So i certainly wouldn't buy one, even though Top Gear stormed the beaches of Normandy with one. The Focus was actually pretty nice, but I'd have to drive one and see how much pep it has. Cars should be as fun to drive as they are functional.

After Ford I proceeded to check out Audi, Porsche, Cadillac, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat & Mini. Audi's V10 R8 and Porsche's Cayman R triggered appropriate levels of drool. Cadillac was, well, Cadillac. Dodge is releasing a new Dart, though the letters on the trunk look like Dort.

Jeep's new Wranglers are nice yet simultaneously all wrong. I used to drive a '97 TJ, and something about the the Wranglers is wrong, from body style to gear setting.

Fiat has finally released an American 500 Abarth, which is nice to sit in, and might be worth looking at. At one point I was comparing hp/weight ratios between Fiats & Minis, but I forget what came out on top. On that note, I also sat in a new Mini S for the first time since I first saw them at the Philly Auto Show several years ago. I would totally get one for the right price.

One of the big sights at the Philly show comes not from any one maker, but a local dealership, F.C. Kerbeck. First, a disclaimer: I would NEVER buy a car from them. From annoying commercials screaming about Cadillacs to horror stories on the net, these guys are shady. Second: They're the only people at the show to bring Maserati, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini.

Yes, Lamborghini. And this year they had both the brand new Aventador and a 25th Aniversary Countach. I was actually more surprised by, and spent more time looking at, the Countach. The Countach was Lambo's first super-wedge car with "scissor" doors. It succeeded the Miura (a drop dead gorgeous vehicle by the way), and was in turn succeeded by the Diablo. The Aventador is the first true re-design of Lambo's standard V12 engine since the Countach.

You could easily spend all day at the show if you wanted to sit in every car and talk to reps from each vendor, but being a broke college grad, new cars are just for looking at right now.