Car Corner
New York International Auto Show

May 1, 2006
By Scott Lewis

I had the opportunity to be in New York during the International Auto Show. It was a tight fit into my schedule, but I managed to squeeze in 90 minutes at the Javits Center. For those of you that were hoping to read my experience with the Dodge Charger SRT8, well that will have to wait until next month. Also, while I was in New York I had a Chrysler 300 for a rental car and a "mean" friend of mine made me drive his new Acura RL. He was mean because I can never afford such a nice vehicle, and it was oh so nice. Again, these things will have to wait.

I grabbed my brother's digital camera, jumped on the Long Island Railroad and headed down to the Javits Center. My brother's camera is a cheap model, and I was in a hurry, so these pictures will not be that great. I thought I did a decent job running through the place... until I left. Just after I left I realized I missed three major displays. BMW, Mini (part of BMW?) and VW.

I realized I missed VW's display as soon as I got outside the Javits Center and I did not take a picture of the Eos. This is VW's new convertible that uses a retractable hard top. It should compete directly with Pontiac's G6 convertible (also a retractable hardtop), which I did get a picture of.

Due to the speed at which I was zooming through the show, and the quality of the camera, I got a few bad shots. To account for the shots that I screwed up, or missed entirely, here are some comments:

a3.jpg (51505 bytes)Audi A3 - I actually spent time climbing in this car. I sat in front, adjusted the seat to my liking and then sat behind the driver's seat to see if it would be comfortable for a 5' 10" person. It was. I am mildly thinking of this car for my next car. My son is in Boy Scouts and they go camping every month with a big trip in the summer. I can see driving this small luxury A3 as a daily driver that would make a decent camping vehicle. It should hold all of our stuff, even for a week long camping trip. I would get it with the 2.0T engine and a manual transmission. I have seen road tests that put this combination in the 6.0 - 6.5 second range for 0 - 60. Neuspeed has an engine management upgrade for this car that adds approximately 50 horsepower and 90 ft. lbs., and it only costs $500. So why did I have to go to Audi's web site for this image? Because mine came out like crap.

eos.jpg (15374 bytes)VW Eos - I didn't even see this at the show, and it was one of the cars I wanted to see before I got there. I don't know what happened. This is Volkswagen's retractable hardtop convertible. I really want to check out the back seat room in this car. I like convertibles, but I really want a quiet, comfortable car when the top is up. I am going to have to take a closer look at this car when it hits the dealers.

traveler.jpg (12523 bytes)Mini Traveler - I did not see a Mini "booth" at the show. I assume I just missed it... like VW. I would have liked to see the new "larger" Mini. It has been at other auto shows, and I would have liked to check out its size in person. Again, could this be a good vehicle for going camping with my boys. From what I can tell of the web site this car was not at the New York Auto Show. That's a shame.

fuse.jpg (20238 bytes)Scion Fuse - I saw this cool looking concept car just as I was leaving. I had to wait through a presentation just to get a look inside... and then I screwed up the pictures. So I have to contend with showing you an image from the web. The headlights light up in different colors during the day. Mood lighting. I love it. Skip all the bells and whistles inside, and I will line up to buy one.

gt-h.jpg (32353 bytes)Mustang Shelby GT-H - This is exactly what I saw in my mind the day I saw the production version of the new Mustang. I would consider getting my own Mustang in black and adding gold stripes and GT-350 H lettering. As I understand it, Ford is going to provide 500 of these to Hertz to use as rental cars. After Hertz is done with them they will auction them off. I will be these cars will become serious collector pieces eventually. I would love to see some people with the original GT-350 H cars add them to their collection. They would look cool together.

Enough about the cars I missed or screwed up. Let's get on with the cars I did see... and got a decent picture of.

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Pontiac G6 Convertible
I really wanted to see this car close up. Too bad they don't let you get on the displays.
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Volvo C70 Convertible
Here is a more expensive retractable hardtop. I don't think I would spend this much.
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Bentley Continental GT Convertible
As long as we are showing convertibles out of my price range.
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Dodge Challenger
The concept Pony Cars had the biggest crowds.
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Chevrolet Camaro
I hate holding the camera over my head to take pictures.
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Ford Mustang Shelby GT-500
I didn't have any trouble seeing the Shelby. What does that tell you.
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Ford Reflex
Let's see some concept cars. Here's one from Ford, that they should build.
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Mazda Kabur
The windshield on this car transitions into the glass roof. Cool!
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Saab Areo X
The windshield on this one wraps around to the side windows. It'll never make production.
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Saturn Preview
I didn't know Saturn could make cool looking cars. I like this mini-SUV.
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Toyota F3R
The gull-wing door will never make it, but the profile is very cool.
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Pontiac G6 GXP
That wail tail looks like it came right out of the eighties.
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Chrysler 300C (Long Wheelbase)
The pearl white paint was awesome. As good as Lexus or Cadillac.
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Chrysler 300C
The metallic red on this production car was amazing. I could see myself in this car.
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Dodge Charger Super Bee
The Super Bee returns. We really are in a new Muscle Car era.
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Pontiac Solstice GXP
260 Turbo HP! Even with worthless cup holders I need to test drive this.
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Saturn Sky Redline
Same 260 HP, same worthless cup holders. At least it looks good.
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Audi TT
I needed another two seater to fill out this row of pictures.
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Porsche 911 Cabriolet
This is the latest version of my wife's 99 model 911 Cabrio.
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Mercedes SL500
Here's another grossly expensive convertible.
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Chevrolet Corvette
Here's one I can almost afford. At least this one I can dream about.