Sunday, January 31, 2016

Washington DC Auto Show Highlights!

Chevy Bolt
The big new car show in DC was wrapping up this weekend, so I headed north on Saturday and took these photos. While I'm partial to the new stuff, the performance cars, and certain brands like FIAT since I drive one, I tried to get some shots of just about every brand.

One thing that stuck out was that several manufacturers had new hybrids, electrics, and a few fuel cell vehicles on display, so I've tried to include the new stuff this time.

New this year is the Chevrolet electric Bolt.

Toyota Mirai
Toyota has a huge range of cars, trucks, and SUVs, and they had their fuel cell vehicle on display, which if I read the signs right is the Mirai. The upward opening gull wing doors were very cool, and the display also included a hydrogen fuelling pump, as well as a bottom view of the Mirai so that we could see the yellow carbon fiber hydrogen tanks.

If hydrogen fuel cars make it big some day, then that would be cool, since by combining their on board hydrogen with oxygen in the air, the only emission is water! Scientists call that H2O, so I'll take their word for it.

Mirai bottom view

Another display, which I'm pretty darn sure was just a concept vehicle, was the Toyota i-Real, which appears to be a three wheeled one-person vehicle.

Here's a front quarter view, and I'll just say that yes it is very small!

Toyota had this big map on display, which shows their facilities in the US, so it's amazing to see how many places they build cars.

Our Camry was built in Georgetown KY, and from looking at the website I know they offer factory tours there, so maybe these other locations do the same.

You can click on any photo to see it larger!

Until a few years ago, there were usually just two kinds of police cars, the old Chevy Caprice and the Ford Crown Victoria. Then for a short time I believe that no one was making police package automobiles, but now we're back in business with this one from Ford.

They also had a police SUV on display at Ford, so it shouldn't be long before used versions show up at government auctions, and we can all dream of getting that used cop car bluesmobile like the Blues Brothers!

Alfa Romeo had these two cars on display, the yellow one is the 4C and the other is the new Giulia. The 4C has been on sale in the US since last year, and is a sharp looking two seater, with mid engine and a carbon fiber tub.

The Giulia should go on sale either late this year or maybe in 2017.

The Alfa Romeo 4C had a lot of admirers at the auto show, although I'd have to say the kid on the left was not quite as excited to be there as his parents!

The newest FIAT in the US is the 500X, shown here in orange. The base models start right at $20,000, and if you get one of the fancier ones you can get it in all wheel drive.

This car was introduced with the "Blue Pill" commercial at last year's Super Bowl, and is now appearing in some TV spots from the new Zoolander 2 movie.

In addition to the new cars on display, there were a few special interest clubs that were showing their older cars, and none was cooler than this 1931 16 cylinder Cadillac.

Just thinking that the new Camaros and Mustangs come in either 4 cylinder, 6 cylinder, or up to 8 cylinders, and that this Caddy has twice that number is just amazing.

Another display had various gas powered cars that had been converted to electric, and the coolest of those was this Porsche 914, compelte with photo cells on the rear deck.

These originally came with either 4 or 6 cylinders, but certainly not electric!

In the "cars I'd buy if I won the lottery" department, there were two McLaren road cars on display, and this white one was my favorite. Sitting along several Bentleys, they certainly looked much faster!

The McLaren company is probably better known for their Formula 1 and other racing cars, but they have been putting more energy into their road cars lately.

Continuing with new cars, how about a Kia Soul electric? This one you can see is re-charging, with the electrical connection located in the front grill of the car.

The two tone paint job was kind of cool, and if the number of electric re-charging stations continues to grow I'm sure we'll see more and more electric cars.

The Mini folks continue cranking out various versions of their car, and while I'm not an expert on them, this part of the display was nice. They had this red tool box filled with tools, and added the computer screen in the lid to display info on their cars.

The rest of the display included info on various racing Mini Coopers, so even though their cars still have the big circular display in the center of the dash, they continue making fun cars.

In the Mazda area, the big news is the re-designed MX-5, which from now on we'll just call the Miata. They had three of them on display, and this white one was just as popular as the others in red and gray.

From all the various reviews I've read, the Mazda folks continue to make the Miata better and better, and I'm sure before long we'll see some brand new current generation Miatas autocrossing.

BMW had their two electric cars on display, the smaller i3 and this monster, the i8, which I believe prices out in the $100,000 range.

The i3 is a bit more affordable, somewhere north of $40,000, so count your pennies in the piggy bank and get one now! I've only driven the i3, and it was very good, so I would have to guess the i8 is awesome.

The Jaguar folks also bring you Land Rovers, but now for the first time they're building a Jaguar SUV, and here it is in blue.

If I had to bet, I'd say that it will be a big seller, but if it was my car I'd have to say pass on a JAG SUV and get their F-Type sports car.

Sorry I don't remember what model of Infiniti this is, but it's new, and unlike the rest of the day I managed to get a pretty good photo without a bazillion people in the way!

Infiniti is the higher end brand of Nissan, so I'll get to a few Nissans later.

Lexus is the high end version of Toyota, and I still don't like this enormous grill they've slapped on most of their cars. Let's leave it to personal preference, so if you like it then that's great.

 Audi has been selling cars like crazy in the US, and while I've only seen a few of these A8 models, I'd love to drive one! This has a V10 motor, looks great, and I'm sure costs more than I make. That's why I buy lottery tickets!

Acura is the higher end Honda cars, and I thought this view of their display area was interesting because the only cars in it are in the photo on the wall. That blue car? That's their next halo car, the NSX, which is being built in Ohio of all places. Hey, I'm from Ohio too, so how cool is that?

Seriously though, I was sorry not to see a real NSX at the show, so I glanced at a few TLs and TLX models and moved on.

This little yellow car is the Honda Fit. It's NOT the high end of anything, since I believe it is Honda's cheapest car. This one had a sticker of $18,500, and from reviews I've read, the Honda Fit is a good little car that carries a lot of stuff in the back. However,

The color. Yellow I can live with sometimes, but this yellow. This yellow is, well, uhmmmm, bad. I'll vote it "worst car color I've seen this year".

What color is it?

 According to the sticker, the color is:


Mystic? Yes, it's a mystery to me too.
Yellow? Yes, it's yellow, accent the "OWWW".
P?  Yes, it's definitely P. colored.

I must stop there.

More highlights coming later this week.

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