Sunday, December 01, 2013

2013 San Francisco International Auto Show

Today, I went to the local auto show. San Francisco, with just 825,000 residents, is not a large car market. As such, the show is sort of small-time. Despite what many locals would like to think, San Francisco is NOT on par with New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. (Seriously, there are people who think SF is the center of the universe.)

The first car to greet me was this, an Amphicar. It is a part of the local Academy of Art University car collection, which is always on display at the annual car show.

The largest hall is for the masses. Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Fords, Chevys, and the Koreans.

Here is a look at the cavernous Honda Accord Crosstour.

Scion iQ/Aston Martin Cygnet.

These Nissan vans may be utilitarian, but the front end is UGLY.

Ford Mustang 5.0 V8.

Taken from the backseat of a Ford Raptor.

The caption should be the VW Phaeton Hyundai Equus.

Somewhere down there is the new Corvette's engine.

Subaru boxer engine and CVT transmission.

Here is that GEICO veterans bike. I don't get it. I feel like if I criticize it, I'll be seen as a traitor for not supporting our troops. So I'll be quiet.

The luxury cars are in a different salon.

Jaguar F-Type coupe, which commenter Augie digs. It is the most beautiful car there, by far. The back end is especially gorgeous. I thought this was British racing green, but I was corrected (by Derek Kreindler). So, what's the difference between regular green and BRG?

The Escalade needs to be axed. It does not fit in Cadillac's current lineup. It is a dinosaur-- old and big.

The electric Cadillac ELR is pretty attractive, at every angle.

The Maserati Ghibli was very underwhelming, visually. It does not have a tenth of the presence of its big brother, the Quattroporte.

The interior was okay. I personally think the 5-Series and A6 (the Ghibli's competitors) look much better both inside and out. The rear seat had virtually no legroom. I really wanted to like it, but it disappointed, big time.

There was a separate salon full of modified cars. Most are of the VIP variety. Here is a lowered Audi Allroad with the hastag "becausebags". So clever.

This is where I have a run-in with a cop. I decided to test drive a few cars. I've always wanted to drive a Smart Car. So I did. As soon as I pulled out of the convention center driveway, I came to a stop at a red light. I wasn't familiar with the car and the street so the car ended up stopped inside the crosswalk. A CHP officer pulled me over. I used my charm, good looks, and persuasion skills and got off with just a warning. I hadn't been pulled over since the 1990s, so I was quite distressed. I immediately drove the car back and called it the day.


augie said...

sorry we weren't able to meet up at the show, @maxichamp. glad to hear the boys in blue didn't have to take you downtown for questioning ;).

the f-type coupe (especially the rear) was far more "dramatic" than i had expected. i had seen a couple of roadsters around town, but the c-pillar on the coupe was a little shocking at first glance. but it is a beauty, for sure.

had you seen the c7 vette before? it was my first time, and i think it looks better in person than in photos. the "creases" aren't as pronounced the flesh as they look on paper. i'm still somewhat partial to the c6 as i think it looks more like a classic corvette, but the c7 is growing on me.

i also really liked the new cayman. i'd seen a few driving around, but it was my first time seeing it standing still. unlike some folks, i had never found the 987.2 model ugly... until i saw the 981 yesterday. i literally found myself channeling my inner wayne campbell, "it will be mine, oh yes. it will be mine."

so as not to write only about the coupes, the wife and i also hopped into a bunch of compact suvs. the only one that made our "let's check it out" list was the hyundai tuscon. as of now, the rav4 is still tops. the juke nismo was weird and fun. but when i rolled my ankle off the brake to mimic a heel-toe, i hit the center console firewall. silly nitpick for most cars, but for a car with a nismo badge?

Maxichamp said...

@augie: I have seen the Corvette before. The rear end reminds me too much of a Camaro, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

A colleague traded his late model 911 for a new Cayman S and he says he prefers the Cayman.

I drove the RAV4 for four days recently. The ride was really bouncy, like the tires were inflated to 80 psi.