Stuff You Can Buy (or lease) Now
Concept cars and dream machines are fun to fantasize about, but the meat and potatoes of Auto Shows are the new models that you may want to consider (or not) if you are contemplating retiring the old buggy.
Tops on the Hot Brand list is Hyundai, and they provided the first look most of us have had of a quirky new car that’s hard to categorize.
So, is it a coupe or a sedan? The two-faced Hyundai Veloster is just a little undecided. It could be just quirky enough to catch on.
Volkswagen has made no secret of its intention to be the largest car maker in the world by 2013. Two cars it’s counting on to help it achieve that goal are the redesigned Beetle (The “New” has been dropped) and the latest generation of the Golf.
The redesigned VW Beetle has been given a more “masculine” look, with lower roofline and longer hood, in an attempt to shed its “chick car” image. In the process it’s gaining a touch of Porsche in its look.
When VW diluted the Jetta’s European qualities to make it less aggressive and more price-competitive with the Japanese compacts, VW fans feared their favorite hot hatch, the Golf, might suffer the same fate. The 270 hp Golf R makes a compelling argument that they have not been abandoned. And it’s available with four doors!
ShUV Segment Gets More Competitive
Ford and Honda both revised their hot-selling Short Utility Vehicles, the Escape and CR-V, and introduced them at the LA Auto Show.
Ford introduced a redesign of its hot-selling Escape, incorporation more style and new eco-boost engines that promise both better performance and improved fuel efficiency. Time will tell if deleting the popular Hybrid version will hurt overall sales.
Honda also redesigned their Short Utility Vehicle, resisting the temptation to follow Toyota’s RAV 4 in including an optional V6.
It’s not all about economy
Shelby Mustang GT500 boasts “most powerful V8” with 650 horsepower that they claim makes this a 200 MPH car. Looking at the apparent lack of aerodynamic aids, one might wonder if it’s capable of keeping all four wheels on the road at that speed.
A Look Down the Road
Concept cars these days aren’t usually far removed from production. All these will likely show up in a form close to what you’d see at the Show.