GMI Covers New York Auto Show 2010!
Yours truly hits NY's Javits Center for this years auto show
By: Alexander Villani
The Great City of New York
The great city of New York opens its doors to the worlds automakers as it shows off its brand new vehicles to America's largest city. For this city, everyone tries to bring their A-game, but not every one hits a home run. In the city full of champions, the weak are usually chewed up and spat out. With the new movement towards making more fuel efficient cars, everyone brought out new high efficient, hybrid, and electric models to show off their respective technology. But that does not mean that the performance aspect of the industry will be left in the cold. New York City demands both performance enhancement without a sacrifice in fuel economy. GM continues its rolling out of new product, showing off great new stuff. Centered around the new Volt, Chevy launches two new Cruze models: an gas-friendly Eco model, and a sporty RS appearance package. At GMC, they brought the Granite concept, showing off a new way to offer Professional Grade. Buick had on display its hottest new star, the LaCrosse and its up and coming hero, the Buick Regal and Regal GS. Cadillac finished the homicidal triad by showing off the CTS-V Wagon, offering the hottest wagon on the market in extra spicy flavor. So lets take a tour of my feelings towards GM and others new stuff, shall we?
Chevrolet Shows off its Cruze RS
First off is Chevy, and its new hot sedan the Chevy Cruze. This was the first time I got to sit inside the Cruze, and I am very impressed with the interior of the car. When compared to the likes of the Focus, its a lot less busy, but offering similar levels of quality. Moving to the two new trims, the Eco model was the most interesting, while the RS was disappointing. Chevrolet did a lot of work to reduce the mass of the Cruze for the Eco model as well as improve the aerodynamics. Cruze Eco gets some thinner body panels, enhanced under body aerodynamic modifications, lower ride height, and forged aluminum 17" wheels wrapped in low-rolling resistance hoops. The biggest and coolest feature is the ability to stop air from going into the engine bay through the grill as it is blocked off by electronic actuated vents that force air flow around the car, capping off the advancements for this great car. I think that offering this car as an alternative to a hybrid, plug in, or even Chevy's own EREV Volt. By offering this model to replace the XFE, you no longer have to go for the basement price model for the greatest fuel economy. GM had the Eco model colored in a light baby blue color, and inside it was equipped with a Navigation screen and upgraded interior materials.
You can hide, but you will not be able to outrun the new Caprice 9C1
The Caprice PPV/9C1 car was also on display for the media, and man this car has a presence! Outside the car is familiar looking, with its G8 styled nose, with an very Impala-esque tail section. But the massive wheel base, and aggressive fender flares gives the car a much more muscular stance. The car was covered in police bodging and light system, and wearing large 17 inch steel wheels, it completed the package. Inside, all the cool cop gadgetry enhances the officer's ability to do their job day in and day out. There is a forward looking camera mounted under the advanced rear view mirror, which displays the image from the camera much like the rear-view camera systems in some GM vehicles. The mirror also has several buttons to select modes and information. The Caprice should really serve police departments nation wide well, like all the Caprice's before it.
Darth Vader, your wagon has arrived
Over at Cadillac, they brought the power out, debuting the new CTS-V Wagon. The vehicle will be limited in availability, but its going to be one of the hot tickets for at least the next year or so. The sleek design of the wagon, melded in with the brute power and additional features that come with a V-tuned vehicle. To make sure the wagon was not lonely, a CTS-V sedan and coupe were there to help complete this trio of power. Cadillac did not bring its much talked about XTS concept car, for whatever reason. If there was ever a market for a large super-luxury sedan, and a hybrid model at that, it is NYC? Seems like a missed chance to display one of Cadillac's newest and coolest concept, something that got great reviews and lots of coverage at Detroit.
Buick's last chance to regain its past
Buick brought several of its new great selling sedan, the LaCrosse and its highly anticipated little brother, the Regal. Both cars easily out shined everything at GM. Only thing missing was a hybrid model, and that would have turned Buick into the best thing going. The LaCrosse continues to be a bright light for Buick, offering one of the best interiors of not only GM, but in its class. We can only hope that the Regal keeps this momentum going forward. If the reaction of you guys and gals on this site is any indication of its reception, I think Regal could be a true sell out for Buick. I did also get to see, tragical, the new halogen headlights that will be standard. When looking over at the GS concept, it hit me how sharp and cool the projectors are, with the integrated LEDs. It adds a different level of luxury and a splash of technological coolness that only LED's can provide. There is something missing at Buick that is keeping it from being a true complete brand. I could not put my finger on it. A coupe? A small roadster? A large flag ship? A small CUV? I am still not 100% on what it is, but it needs to really Carry the Buick brand into the future, and bring the next wave of Buick design.
Over at GMC, the quiet giant remains quiet. They brought the Granite to New York, a great car for this brand. GMC needs to offer something unique with this car. Maybe use the Opel bike rack system, something that is built into the car's twins in Europe. This car could appeal to the fans of the new Box car trend, and if the concept's 1.4 liter turbocharged engine and dual-clutch transmission were to ever be put into production, the fun factor would be dialed up to a new level for cars in this segment. There is also a large untouched market for these cars in the commercial area, an area that GMC's bigger trucks and SUV's have plenty of dominance in. The Granite could become a great small contractor's truck, or even a delivery vehicle. I could see Granite owners painting it black, running a red stripe up the side of it, and making it a mini A-Team truck! This little guy holds the keys to really open GMC up to a new market.
GM has lots of bright lights in its line up, and it is a matter of time before more and more people start to really fall in love with the new GM. The new focus on quality and design for all four brands will help strengthen the brand more and more, and it is seen in every new GM car. The Cruze has an interior that is on par with the last generation CTS, complete with features and amenities that are still not seen on other Chevy products. But GM still has a tall hill to climb, and it just got a little (read: a lot) big harder to climb as the Koreans have released two class-leading midsized sedans with the new Sonata and the new Optima. These two cars will not only make it hard for GM to shine through, but for any car in this class. GM will have to push harder and faster than they have ever done, because the others are not going to sit back and watch Hyundai eat their lunch. Is GM up to the task? When you come to a city that in which there is no room for second place, GM will have to take yet another leap into the future. GM seems to have the tools, but we all know that even if GM has the tools, it does not automatically mean that it will know how to use them.
The new Cruze in my personal favorite color
Cruze Eco's vents seen through the grill...sort of
Camaro in Synergy Green. Clearly a color that needs to be offerd for all Chevrolet vehicles. And yes, that is Tom Peters
Editors Note: Due to the fact that my horrid digital camera failed on me with in the first handful of shots, so I had to rely on the powerful 3.2 megapixle camera (with auto focus) on the back of my Blackberry Storm. I am ever so sorry for the lack of detailed and crystal clear pictures for the readers of this site.