Time for me to chime in on the 2014 North American International Auto Show. Honestly, I didn’t feel that this year’s show made for ‘must see TV.’ There were some very significant debuts but I think that the trend of manufactures ‘leaking’ photos via social media outlets in the days and weeks leading up to the show somewhat takes the fun out of the event itself. Essentially, the overall anticipation is somewhat diminished as cars/concepts are really being debuted rather than revealed.
So lets start with the highlights….
I’m not a huge fan of concept cars. They tend to all look the same and rarely ever translate into something I’d actually want. For instance, this year Kia showed off a cool concept called the GT4 Stinger. As interesting as it is, its hard to get excited about it because at the end of the day you know Kia will never produce anything that remotely resembles the Stinger.
There was one concept car that was fantastic! The Toyota FT-1 Concept is what concept cars should be all about. It sends a message that Toyota is not all about the Camry and Corolla. It says that the stunning Lexus LFA is not the epitome of what they are capable of……its just the beginning. This concept may never go into production but it makes you want to write letters and beg Toyota for the next Supra.
Now onto the debuts of ‘real’ cars. You know your car show is somewhat dull when the most significant reveal is the new Ford F-150. With that said, it may be the most important vehicle Ford launches this decade. The interesting thing here has been all the talk about the truck’s aluminum body….which I think is cool. I actually find it bizarre when I read in blogs and forums filled with so-called truck enthusiasts complaints about the use of aluminum. The implication being that it is a weaker or inferior substitute for tried and true steel…….what a bunch of idiots. The biggest problem with the F-150 reveal was that Ford declined to reveal specific data about the F-150’s power, towing or fuel economy…so who cares if you shaved 700 pounds by switching to aluminum if you cannot illustrate what that translates to in specs.
The C7 edition of the Corvette Z06 debuted. I’m not going to delve into the new Z06 since there are only two things you need to know about it:
1. The Corvette Z06 will have a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 producing at least 625 horsepower.
2. It looks like this….
There were other cool performance related cars like the Lexus RC F, the MK7 Volkswagen Golf R, the BMW M3/M4 and the Subaru WRX STI (it still has a big wing, blue paint and gold wheels).
I think the biggest news might be the big misses….
Porsche introduced a 911 Targa which seems way too complex. The way the rear glass lifts and the silver roof portion changes shape to make way for the retracting top just seems to be asking for mechanical problems. It also seems heavy,appears to take up valuable space and ultimately I’m not even sure if it actually fits the official definition of a targa top. What’s wrong with a couple of latches that you turn with your hand?
But the big winner (or loser) and honestly the only reason I wrote this post was the abomination known as the Equus Bass 770.
The Equus Bass 770 is touted as an American-made homage to iconic American muscle cars leveraging today’s technology. The Americana motif even went as far as having three Bass 770’s on display (a red one, a white one, and a blue one). The designers claim that the car includes design elements influenced from all the icons such as Camaro, Challenger, Charger, GTO, and even Marlin.
When I look at the Bass I see a blatant act of automotive plagiarism that would be better suited as a Chinese made knock-off. You know what I’m talking about….like the ‘high quality’ Adadis sneakers and Calvim Klain clothes you find at your local flea market.
The designers can site all sorts of ‘influences’ but in reality the car is 90 percent 67/68 Mustang. It also features a Charger tail light panel and a Roadrunner grill.
|67 Mustang in ‘Eleanor’ body kit|
Next there is the ‘Bass’ name…..and obvious rip off of Ford’s ‘Boss’ moniker.
Then take the contorting horse emblem…..out of the entire wild kingdom they had to pick a horse?
Then there is the 770 in the name. 770 what? It sure hell’s ain’t cubic inches (since the power plant is sourced from GM) but rather 770 cubic centimeters per cylinder! Meaning 770 times 8 = 6160 cc’s….meaning 6.16 liters….which rounds up to 6.2 liters
But the real insult is the price! At least when you buy knockoffs at the flea market you are paying a quarter of what the real McCoy would sell for. Equus plans of selling the Bass for a quarter of a million dollars!!!!!!!!
So let me close with this simple question. You have $250,000.00 burning a whole in your pocket. Do you buy a Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Gallardo LP640, Audi R8 V10, the newly shown Corvette Z06 or the next ZR1, the next Mustang Cobra, or a Equus Bass 770? End of rant.