2013.01.27 2013 Portland International Auto Show
It's that time of year again: time for an annoying array of amateur pictures of cars embedded in my blathering. Let's get on with it.
Since we were going to get an early start, Simon waited for the show to open at my desk where he found my LEGO truck to play with. He seemed optimistic.
- 1 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
- 2 Cadillac CTS-V
- 3 Mini Cooper Works
- 4 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
- 5 Mazda Miata
- 6 Ford Focus SE
- 7 SRT Viper
- 8 Subaru BRZ
- 9 Rock Crawler
- 10 Ferrari FF
- 11 Ferrari California
- 12 Ferrari F50
- 13 BMW M5
- 14 Lotus Evora
- 15 Mercedes CLS AMG
- 16 Mercedes SL AMG
- 17 Vector
- 18 Lamborghini Diablo
- 19 Tesla Model S
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Apparently this car is now the record-holder for time around Laguna Seca by a production road car. Surely an impressive piece of machinery. I would have rather seen a new C7 though.
Simon asked if somebody had hit this car. I suppose it's funnier when you realize that the "futuristic" stealth fighter styling was from a decade before he was born.
Mini Cooper Works
It's like a miniature poodle with a spiked collar. In that I secretly want one, I mean. If only to kill on a lonely mountain road.
Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
This was the Castle Familly's favourite car, if we were a democracy. I will admit that there was a lot of classy styling going on... in that car I would never pay money for in any circumstances.
I sat in this brand-new iteration of the timeless icon. There was, I admit, a significant sense of familiarity to that little first-generation Miata that dad had. I liked that.
Ford Focus SE
Of all the cars I've sat in, nothing has been so explicitly interested in making the driver's seat feel like a cockpit in a fighter plane. Which is to say that I liked the feel of it, even though I suspect that it was overcompensating. But then, who isn't these days?
There, take that Corvette. Somebody can show their new model chest-thumper. It looks great, now keep it the hell away from me. My life insurance policy sweats when I even look at the driver's seat of the thing.
Sitting in this car is like finding every hope I had as a 20-something car lover. Of course, it's worth pointing out that everything I loved in my 20's was pretty terrible for me.
It's like car yoga, except without the flattering pants.
It must be admitted that there's something horribly, horribly wrong about a Ferrari wagon - and I really quite like it. It's a car Torquemada could really hate, and that's something.
After a couple years of saying the exact same thing about this car, I think I finally figured it out. Approaching the exotic-paddock, it was the snout of the California that could be seen peering through the doors. With its gracefully curving hood and tiny roadkill pony shining in its grille, I realized that its whole purpose is to adhere to Maranello's iconography. It's art.
But still, really, give me a proper coupé.
It took me years to understand why this car completely failed to grab my heart the way that the F40 or the 288 GTO did. Even so: pretty.
Sat in this for the first time. Clayton likey.
Yes, yes, it's lovely. It's a pity that every time I see it, I feel pangs for the modern Esprit we were promised.
Mercedes CLS AMG
Look! A boat with wheels! It looks comfy.
Mercedes SL AMG
A boat with wheels that's missing a proper fixed roof. Poor boat. It's OK, I actually hate you more for your transmission than your vile ugliness.
I don't imagine that there are a lot of these bouncing around, so this is probably the same one I've seen before. But how could I have forgotten that it only comes up to my knees?!?!
Man, I'm old.
Tesla Model S
This car wasn't actually at the PIAS. I visited the Tesla store the previous weekend, and sat in this car there. It's as great in person as in pictures. The bare chassis though - in person, as an engineer - it blew me away. Knowing how miserably complex and convoluted modern cars are, this is like a breath of, well, oxygen. Of any car in production now, this is the one I have the most active scheming to obtain.