No 56k: 2016 Dallas International Auto Show - Select Highlights

Spectre

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This year, Der Stig, CrazyJeeper and I decided to go to the Dallas International Auto Show together. Since I didn't want to spend the entire trip taking pictures instead of keeping up with the evaluation and heckling in this company, I took fewer pictures than usual. All pictures are, of course, clickable for higher resolution versions.

As soon as we got there, we noticed some interesting things in the parking lot.



Once entering the exhibit hall, we were immediately slapped in the face by the Chevy booth's ecocrapboxen in horrific colors, much like this Spark.



We stuck CrazyJeeper in the back of the Spark. This didn't work out well.



We all thought the interior was rather on the poor side and the materials questionable even for an entry-level econocrapbox. Then we saw the sticker price for this particular example.



...

What absolute idiot is going to pay almost $20K for this horrible pile of shit????????

We checked out some of the other equally appalling Chevy ecoboxen before hopping in the Chevrolet SchutzstaffelSS. We all agreed that it was pretty decent though it had some telltale low quality elements and even the Chevy booth dude who was there with us agreed that the bad window rattle that we got when we closed the door with the window down was appalling and even for an autoshow vehicle was not acceptable.



However, for the price they're asking? Not worth it.



Nearby was the all new Malibu, the subject of this completely laughable 'focus group' TV ad.


Since this ad exists, we had to examine the new Malibu for ourselves. Here's CrazyJeeper laughing his ass off at how little this car resembles current offerings from all those companies named in that video.



The only conclusion we can come to is that GM's focus group must have been drawn from people in nearby San Francisco that either haven't owned any upper tier car in the last decade or two or haven't ever owned a car period. They may not even have been in a car in years. Compared to the BMW, Merc, Audi, etc. offerings, even as sadly degraded as they are now with eco-'leather,' Chinese dashboard tablets and real exotic wood veneers that look like plastic, the Malibu interior is several levels down. About the best things that could be said is that GM has dumped the molded in stitching they'd foisted off on us again years ago and that this Malibu interior isn't as bad as the last one.



However, that doesn't mean that it's actually good. The Kia Optima has a far better interior and costs a lot less money. Go back to the drawing board GM - and stop trying to pretend your mainstream cars are far better than they are.



Over to the Chevy Volt, GM's tech showcase. It's so advanced, no two plastic interior panels are quite the same color! We counted at least five different shades of tan before we gave up and left laughing - and no, this wasn't an intentionally two tone interior. The interior instrument panel design looked laughably cheap as well.







The next installment will cover the mobile pillbox known as the Camaro.
 

rickhamilton620

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We all thought the interior was rather on the poor side and the materials questionable even for an entry-level econocrapbox. Then we saw the sticker price for this particular example.
Why the fuck would a Spark need parking sensors...standard? o_O I'd gladly trade parking sensors and leatherette seats for a few more soft touch materials inside.

Over to the Chevy Volt, GM's tech showcase. It's so advanced, no two plastic interior panels are quite the same color! We counted at least five different shades of tan before we gave up and left laughing - and no, this wasn't an intentionally two tone interior. The interior instrument panel design looked laughably cheap as well.

I'd expect that kind of plastic's color matching from a Chinese upstart car brand. :lol: Only GM I swear...
 

narf

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Why the fuck would a Spark need parking sensors...standard? o_O I'd gladly trade parking sensors and leatherette seats for a few more soft touch materials inside.
The camera is standard because it's mandated, the sensors are only standard on the top trim level.
 

rickhamilton620

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The camera is standard because it's mandated, the sensors are only standard on the top trim level.
I get that the camera's standard. I don't see why even the top level Spark trim needs standard parking sensors. Make that a part of the optional "Driver Confidence Package" and lower the price a bit, redirect that cost elsewhere.
 

Spectre

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A better question would be, "Why is it called the Driver Confidence Package when it is installed on a vehicle that it is impossible to develop confidence in?"
 

Spectre

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Our next stop was the all new Camaro.



It was agreed by all that most everything was an enormous improvement over the last generation moon. The interior was immensely better than even the facelifted and revised moon and contained some interesting touches such as the lightpipe/EL strips on the doors, dash, etc. The red strip on the door handle in the below picture is a light pipe or EL strip and very well done.



The interior was much improved in terms of layout, materials and ergonomics.



However, they made one aspect of the car much worse, and it's a classic Camaro problem.



Yup, the car is even more bunker-like than before. It's as if they took the already low roof height of the last moon Camaro and chopped it several inches. You also sit (admittedly comfortably) so far back and in a reclining position that it would clearly be impossible to see overhead traffic lights if you are anywhere close to the actual intersection. Over the shoulder wasn't as bad as in the 4th gen, but rearward visibility was also crap - IMHO, starting to approach Lambo Countach levels. We all agreed this was ridiculous and very much was a deal breaker.



As an aside: One of the reasons I go to car shows is to collect interesting ideas for mods to apply to my own vehicles, and the new Camaro showed me some very interesting ideas.

Next up was a special edition offroad oriented Colorado.



Still had the same idiotically located headlight and 4WD/Range selector knobs (yup, right next to each other and identical feeling):



And a crew cab back seat that's useless if you want put adults in it.



Worst part of all is the price tag:



This kitted-up Z71 Trail Boss version was a far cry from the $20,995 stripper version so eagerly headlined. It was $47,515. Even if you discount the $3905 2.8L Duramax Diesel option, you're still looking at a $43K truck.

You know what else you can get for $43K that gets similar fuel economy while being almost infinitely more capable?



Yup, that would be an EcoBoost F-150. And you can even fit actual adults in the back!



We all agreed that the Colorado was quite pointless and that anyone who bought it pretty much had to be an idiot specializing in poor automotive decision making. All of us would rather have the F-150 on both emotional and logical grounds.

We spent some time checking out the last revisions to the original Super Duty truck design that dates back to 1998.



First time I've seen an SD in person with this iteration of the Ford door keypad.



Of course, they had a Powerstroke 6.7 'Scorpion' diesel there on a plinth to check out.







Next we checked out the all new Super Duty - as best we could while it was on a fenced off rotating plinth and we couldn't climb in it.



Generally we all liked it quite a bit and thought it looked much better in person than in pictures. I'm still not convinced that the new headlight units are a great idea - they look entirely too much like the stacked quad headlights from the third gen GM C/K trucks to me; even ignoring that, I'm not sure they really match the rest of the truck's design language.



We then glanced over the all new Raptor sitting locked nearby. The exterior design looked interesting, anyway - we all would have liked to see more. From what we could see, it looked to be at least as competent as the last one.





We noticed a rickhamiltonmobile in the correct color and stayed way the hell away from it.



This was perhaps not the greatest idea for a booth demonstration item. It showcased various sample parts from the F-150 including the aluminum panels and touted their strength. Unfortunately, these were not terribly impressive as I was easily able to distort the panels by hand - in fact, it seemed like most attendees had tried it as well. Not exactly selling the strength there...



There was also this Ford bot thing. No interest from anyone in the group.



And of course, the Mustang GT. We liked it - and it didn't have the idiot bunker roof geometry of the Camaro.





In the next episode - Dodges. And some terrible Italian products.

 
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TC

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Yup, the car is even more bunker-like than before. It's as if they took the already low roof height of the last moon Camaro and chopped it several inches. You also sit (admittedly comfortably) so far back and in a reclining position that it would clearly be impossible to see overhead traffic lights if you are anywhere close to the actual intersection. Over the shoulder wasn't as bad as in the 4th gen, but rearward visibility was also crap - IMHO, starting to approach Lambo Countach levels. We all agreed this was ridiculous and very much was a deal breaker.
The thing is, the new Camaro has outsold the Mustang since it's release in 2010.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9g63SDsUMTg/VK_WcBU5YJI/AAAAAAAApho/h4BJbmewG8A/s1600/USA_sports-car-sales-chart-2014.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3pIUu0FUD58/Us6pW-1_NkI/AAAAAAAAjoY/RlF1CeQn2Ec/s1600/USA_sports-car-sales-chart-2013.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wU9TqKwEcLw/UPAxVtUVdaI/AAAAAAAAc8o/KSGywaV0kcU/s1600/USA_2012-sports-car-sales-chart.jpeg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ABJiO2Fbn2o/TxBgEIO5QXI/AAAAAAAATr0/2P3Qzbt2LrA/s1600/U.S._Sports-Car-Sales-Chart-december-2011.jpeg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_oDUSGXa_xQs/TSc9DwuBcbI/AAAAAAAARnI/1Wnm-vksQ4k/s1600/sportscar+sales+figures+2010+usa.jpeg

I think GM would have enlarged the glasshouse and improved visibility, if it weren't for the fact that the Camaro was so popular with actual buyers, mainly because of the styling. God knows the car wasn't any good until they got around to the 1LE, ZL1, and Z28. It would be foolish of GM to mess with the styling too much with the new car, which the low roof line is definitely a major part of. It's only this past year with the all new Mustang that Ford finally got back on top in sales, but who knows how long it will stay there. Every comparison review between the two seems to fall pretty heavily in favor of the general's pillbox.
 
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Spectre

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Yes, because pretty much everyone knew there was a new Mustang coming. You kind of forgot one year.

 

TC

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You kind of forgot one year.
It's only this past year with the all new Mustang that Ford finally got back on top in sales,


Yes, because pretty much everyone knew there was a new Mustang coming.
Sure, but everyone knew that a new Camaro was coming as well. But maybe they felt the Camaro had less room for improvement than the Mustang? Doubtful. I can't imagine many people waiting 5+ years for a new Mustang because they were so dissatisfied with the previous car. I don't think SRA would impact sales that much, especially among mainstream buyers who couldn't tell you which wheels propel their car. Nah, the previous car was better than the Camaro in pretty much every department. But that seems to have flipped now. The new Camaro now outshines the Mustang in pretty much every way, but isn't selling as well. I guess that tells us buyers prefer worse cars?

But anyway, it still comes back around to the fact that car companies should avoid fixing things that aren't broken. If the low roof line styling helped sell the Camaro, then it would probably be foolish to mess with it. Better they focus on the massive list of other flaws the previous car had, which they seem to have done.
 
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MWF

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You know something is seriously wrong when Alfa is outselling Jaguar by such a margin. :lol:
 

Spectre

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Sure, but everyone knew that a new Camaro was coming as well. But maybe they felt the Camaro had less room for improvement than the Mustang? Doubtful. I can't imagine many people waiting 5+ years for a new Mustang because they were so dissatisfied with the previous car.
Actually, that's exactly what was happening - at least around here. There were a *lot* of people holding off on buying a Mustang after 2010 and waiting for the next one; SRA was just one of many reasons.
 

rickhamilton620

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A better question would be, "Why is it called the Driver Confidence Package when it is installed on a vehicle that it is impossible to develop confidence in?"
:hmm:

As an aside: One of the reasons I go to car shows is to collect interesting ideas for mods to apply to my own vehicles, and the new Camaro showed me some very interesting ideas.
Crazy prediction - you install a frameless rearview mirror in the bronco? :p


We noticed a rickhamiltonmobile in the correct color and stayed way the hell away from it.


:lol: It was calling all of you...with its cavernous sliding doors....

"Sit in me...sit in me ...."
 

TC

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Actually, that's exactly what was happening - at least around here. There were a *lot* of people holding off on buying a Mustang after 2010 and waiting for the next one; SRA was just one of many reasons.
It doesn't sound like those people ever really wanted to buy a Mustang. It sounds like they wanted a sports car. And since Ford didn't build anything that fit the description, they took their money elsewhere. It wasn't until this new gen Mustang that Ford offered a product they wanted. Had Ford stuck with the SRA, I doubt those people would have ever bought a Mustang.
 
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