Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Detroit is Motor City





I didn't know much about Detroit before I moved to Michigan, but if I've learned one thing at all, it's that I'm living in the land of cars. As anyone who lives anywhere in the world probably knows, Detroit is home to several major U.S. car manufacturers, and that reputation does not go unnoticed.

Each year, Detroit hosts the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), a two-week event that showcases the latest (and future concept) cars and trucks from auto manufacturers across the globe. As a newbie to the whole car show tradition, I was expecting something akin to the Tokyo car party during the first half of the movie, Cars 2, but this turned out to be much more Americanized, family-oriented, and . . . not filled with spies.


Aerial view of the Ford exhibit

In all honesty, the NAIAS is a pretty amazing spectacle. Sure, the Cobo Center and all its surrounding areas are packed from the get-go, but nothing tops the overwhelming feeling of stepping into a gigantic, new world inside the exhibit area. Rooms packed with shiny, new vehicles that literally sparkle, television screens that cover entire walls, and custom-built exhibits are works of art within themselves. It is not only an auto show for people who love cars, but also a mecca of modern design and innovative advertising.

LOVE the retractable, shrinky/growy/light-changy-things hanging over the Lincoln exhibit.

Computer-generated model of the 2013 Ford Fusion

Cars in the air! Cars everywhere!
Chevy Exhibit
That round contraption in the middle of the floor moves into and out of the ceiling, where people who "ride" the exhibit are shown a video and photographed for an ongoing slideshow on an opposite wall.



I didn't know what Coda was before seeing this exhibit, but now, I won't forget them.
The Volkswagen setup was basically a small nightclub--disco ball, live deejay, the works.


The boys (Brad and some friends we met up with) also made sure we were at the Mustang exhibit by 5:10 sharp for the Dyno demonstration. To me, this just meant listening to a car make noises reminiscent to those during traffic light races, but to everyone there drooling like kids in a candy shop, it was . . . well, honestly, I don't know. If you like cars, I have the video for you:


Demonstration: 2012 Ford Mustang on Dyno

Oh, and my favorite part? The Kia Soul hamsters. Next to the new Kias, cardboard cutouts of the "Party-Rock"-dancing rodents accompanied a large, interactive dance floor. Above the dance floor was a screen where you could watch yourself dancing with one of the Kia hamsters to the ever-popular "Party Rock Anthem." I can't dance, but sometimes, I have no shame--it was time to bust a move.

Party Rock!
And of course, there were some fun, gimmicky cars, including a Hot Wheels Edition Camaro and a graffiti-inspired Smart car. Gotta love 'em.

 

What really impressed me, though, was how futuristic some of the concept models were. Even though production is only a year or so away for these beauties, I felt as though I had stepped twenty years into the future. I guess we're getting close to the age of the Jetsons (minus the flying part, and plus a lot of pizazz).


My reaction to this one: "Where'd the rest of it go?!"
 

I guess silver is the color of the future.

Unfortunately, I didn't take home any souvenirs (unless you count a handful of free Chevy Racing buttons), but Brad certainly came away with a mental wishlist. At the top? The new Cadillac ATS--a gift for me! Well, a gift for me in a couple of years when the price goes down (or so I'm told).


It's attractive, that's for sure--and the interior puts the leather seats (my favorite feature!) in my current Volvo to shame. But it looks kind of like it should belong to the CEO of a major record label.

Who am I kidding, though--who wouldn't love this car?! You can see me cruising around town in one, right?

I'm going to assume that you all will say yes. And I'll take any lack of response as a sign that you agree.

2 comments:

  1. My husband was at the Detroit auto show! He works for Toyota and was there from Monday-Wednesday. He said it was pretty awesome and he took a bazillion pictures.

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  2. Very cool! Was he working one of the exhibits? My husband works for GM, but we just went for fun with some friends.

    And I think we took a bazillion pictures, too--but I was definitely more focused on the glitz of everything than the cars themselves. 8-)

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