Friday, January 15, 2016

The top 3 cars from the 2016 New England International Auto Show

If you're planning on heading down to the Boston Convention Center this weekend to see the New England International Auto Show, you should know what makes my Top 3 list from the show, and some of my honorable mentions. So here you go ...

Coming in at Number 3 on the list is the Ford Fiesta ST. Its compact body, comfortable seating and its manual stick, along with the tremendous reviews it has received by drivers, make it the third best in show, and a car I definitely want to drive. The Fiesta and the much anticipated Focus RS are part of a small but impressive display by the Ford Motor Company.

The Ford Fiesta ST, looking good in black

The Number 2 spot is a tie between the Mercedes AMG GTS and the Porsche Cayman GT4. The AMG gets there because of its beautifully proportioned lines and sensuous curves that make it both classic and altogether modern at the same time. If the car is more challenging to drive than it is to look at, so be it. It's worth looking at. 
Mercedes AMG GTS

Classic lines, stunning proportions

The Porsche Cayman GT4 shares the Number 2 spot because it's yet another marvel of Porsche engineering. The affordable road and track car offers ample power, epic grip, and exceptional drivability. It is a total event and will go down as one of the great automobiles of this part of the 21st century.

Porsche does it again, the GT4

But if the Americans were able to grab third, and the Germans were able to double up on second place, well, first place belongs to the people who created beauty and thrill and excitement and passion all in one. That can only be from one country … Italy.

Yes, the Italians have delivered the Alfa Romeo Giulia, a four-door sedan that is as bad-ass beautiful as all the hype suggests.  A piece of sculpture that nevertheless has a mean design growl to it, the Giulia reeks of speed and racing car ethos while still harboring family sedan harmonics.  It’s a gem to sit in. Firm and supportive seats tell you immediately that this car is built for pace, and the lovely balanced driving position says that the 500 plus horsepower can be put down with ease. The gear lever in the central console is almost a quaint throwback, but its solid, mechanical chunky feel exudes confidence about the car's construction and drive train.  To highlight the beauty of the Giulia, it sat paired with another new Alfa beauty, the 4C Spider and they both screamed, there is something special about the Italians!

Giulia, a thing of beauty ...

... all the way ...

... through

And a companion 4C!

Honorable Mentions ...
A Top 3 list wouldn't make any sense without some Honorable Mentions, and here they are ...

Love them Fiat 500s

  • Fiat 500 and Abarth, short little cars that just say “fun” all over them.
  • Chevy Camaro, a sharp, angular look filled with aggressive assertiveness.
The new Camaro, looking good in blue
  • Mazda 3 and the Mazda Miata, both of which say quality and sport at the same time.
  • Chevy Volt, which will go a long way to redefining the automobile for the American consumer, even thought the car still suffers from a too-tiny cabin, and the Chevy Corvette, which is showing a new way forward in American performance at affordable prices.
The Volt ...

... and the 'Vette, both looking good.

  • The British, who continue to produce incredibly sensuous cars, even though they don't keep pace with the technology. Aston Martins just look lovely.
Aston Vantage. Can anyone say sexy?

  • Ford Motor Company, for continuing to produce quality cars that are well designed, well engineered and well built.
  • Toyota, for continuing to push the boundaries of technology and efficiency while still maintaining excellence in their build, especially their new fuel cell car, the Mirai.
  • Nissan. They aren't an exciting car company. Just a good one.

Good looking and bad-assed 370Z

The mighty GTR 
The Green Leaf

And here are some places I wouldn't even bother to visit ...
  • Jeep. It just seems pointless.
  • Mini. They aren’t bad cars, but why waste your time?
  • Hyundai. Just as Alfa Romeo is able to wow the crowd with only two models, Hyundai shows what the opposite strategy looks like — nothing impressive, and lots of it.
  • Volkswagen. Their empty showroom stand said it all ... Lie about your emissions performance, and the Americans will not like you. 
Hey VW, nobody visiting your stand? Wonder why not?