Spring arrived in New York City on soggy, gloomy wings, so we at Flavorwire thought it was a fitting time to attend the 2009 NY International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center. Not surprisingly, we found the general mood of the convention this year matched the gray weather. When I was young car shows were fun — you’d see bikini models at every booth and they featured cool stuff like the original Batmobile or Herman Munster’s coffin shaped hot-rod. This year’s show? A great big sigh.
Side note: Since we actually missed press day, NO ONE WOULD TALK TO US! Though we were allowed access and allowed to take some video and photographs, most reps for the various car companies WOULD NOT talk to us about ANYTHING AT ALL if it was recorded. Some said they’d get fired on the spot for being an unauthorized staffer talking to the press after press day. We felt like Soviet reporters at a CIA convention during the Cold War! And to beat all, what they wouldn’t spew to us on camera they would gladly blurt to any consumer who asked them! Would the answers have changed if they were recorded? I swear we literally had people run from us! Good grief, we’re Flavorwire, not Ralph freaking Nader! We barely understand what torque and horsepower are. We just wanted a few fun facts about the cooler looking vehicles — like does it come with extra cup holders and would we get girls/boys to notice us if we drove it?
Some highlights and lowlights of the show included:
1. The Kia Soul: Kia actually made a cool-looking little ride. Whodathunkit?
2. The GM rep that told us that “…GM is actually looking for a buyer for the Hummer brand…” Riiiight. Good luck with that.
3. The SCION iQ concept car: SCION in general had some amazing, customized mods on the floor, and the iQ is actually slated for production unlike most concept cars at these shows.
4. The new Mini: Basically it’s the old Mini, but bigger, so we’re wondering if the next one going to be called the Maxi or does that sound too menstrual?
5. The beautiful 800 horsepower Iconic Roadster! There were only 100 made and they start at $600K! Holy Recession Denial Batman!
6. The Nissan Cube: According to their rep (who was very nice, not boring, and took the time to discuss his product with us) you can practically live in it! Not a bad option when you think of how high New York rents still are.
7. The “really peppy” VW GTI pitch team who had a horribly scripted presentation that went something like this… Preppy, Nerdy On Purpose Looking, Annoying Actor: “Hi folks are you ready to hear about GTI’s state of the art blahblahblah safety features, blahblahblah fun to drive blahblahblah new technology blahblah?” Hottie, Fake Tan, Blonde, Equally Annoying, Spokesmodel: “Blah blah blah technology is cool but blahblah Facebook blahblah look how cute blahblah design blahblah music blahblahblah!”
8. The sneak peak at the Chevy Volt featured in the next Transformers movie and giant model of Autobot Bumblebee in both robot and Camaro form. Yes we did geek out there for at least a minute. Note the current Camaro does NOT come with transforming feature built in, but we are crossing our fingers for next year.
9. The silly as hell looking Segway/GM “PUMA”, mobile dork moving device for those of us who really really REALLY don’t EVER want to get laid EVER!
10. The Ford Transit Connect Family One Concept Car: The floor model came with built in scooters, Lego toys, a crash helmet and looked like the bus that Corky from Life Goes On went to school in.
11. The new Dodge Charger — one word — bitchin’!
12. Best quote from an 8-year-old at the car show: “Yo, you check out that Maybach? That shit’s one dope whip.”
13. The many new hybrid and electric cars that will rust on the lot this year because experts say it will be a record low sales year for new models. Here we are in 2009 and the auto industry is decades late and several billion dollars short.
On an up-note we didn’t see one private jet.