: Just got back from DC auto show

12-27-2001, 06:32 PM
Despite the billing as the "Coolest Auto Show in the World," the DC show is actually pretty lame. Coming as it does at the end of the 01 season, a couple of weeks before Detroit, LA and Chicago 02, there were no really new products available (other than the 03 Town Car). The concept cars were basically leftovers from the big 01 shows, and some of the most important "concepts" (the RX-8, the 350Z, etc.) were absent entirely.

The only interesting product that I was seeing for the first time was the CTS. In person (and in black) it does not look as overly tall and tippy as it does in pictures. It's not on my short list, but is a worthy effort nonetheless from a company too used to never taking any chances.

The one (big) advantage of the DC show over NAIAS is the crowd (or lack thereof). Despite the draw of the WWF's former CHYNA, the crowds were sparse.

The BMW stand had a Topaz Z8, a black X5 4.6is, a 325xiT, a 325i, an absolutely gorgeous CB/cinnabar M3C, and a 330Ci in something called "Japanrot," which I assume must be Electric Red.

Here are some pics, though only a couple, since my roadfly account is getting full.






12-27-2001, 06:36 PM
So, is it worth even dropping by this weekend?

12-27-2001, 07:18 PM
Sounds worse than last year and I was in the market for a new car. Was going to hit the show tomorrow afternoon. Maybe I'll skip it now.

12-27-2001, 07:26 PM
I'm not sorry I went, and there are some interesting cars there. It was nice to finally see the A4 up close and in the metal, for example (and, FWIW, I sat in one and think I prefer the old interior to the new). If you enjoy just walking around and looking at cars, it's worth the trip and the 8 bucks. However, if you are interested in going just to see some of the latest concepts, you should probably skip it.

Personally, seeing the CB/Cin M3 was almost worth the price of admission for me. CB is a *hot* color, very subtle yet distinctive. I thought cin would be too orange, but with the CB it looks right. I'm not sure I'd order this combo if I were spec'ing out a car, since I suspect it may date it (as in, that car is so 2002), but it is nice to look at.

12-28-2001, 08:20 AM
Thanks for the review. I may go take a look.

12-28-2001, 11:14 AM
so maybe sat/sun (or not at all?) instead...

why no rx-8 or 350z? rat bastards!

12-29-2001, 08:13 AM
Thank you for taking the time to post a review. We all benfit from the observations and insights of other board members.

12-29-2001, 09:14 AM
I spent Friday afternoon at the show -- enjoyed it less than last year, but I still had a good time.
Always manage to pick up a few tidbits of information from talking to the company rep's.
For example, I didn't realize that a sunroof is not an option in the WRX. Nor that Vehicle Skid Control is unavailable on the IS300 5M.
If you're not observant they'll trip you up, too. For example, the Audi A4 3.0 on the platform has sport package wheels....but doesn't have the sport package. Audi just switched the wheels for the show.
Still not enough for you -- don't forget all those attractive models of the non car variety.

12-29-2001, 10:32 AM
but it sounds like a drag. Think I'll just skip it this year.

12-29-2001, 03:34 PM
The lack of a sunroof on the WRX is a bit of a drag. I've seen them with aftermarket roofs installed, but even the high-end, OEM sourced aftermarket roofs can cause unpleasant problems. I've also read that the sunroof (and the folding seats) were intentionally left off for structural rigidity reasons, but I don't know how much truth there is to that.

12-30-2001, 08:55 AM
You're right.
I had to go thru no less than three of the Subaru representatives to find one that could answer that question.
She said the regular Impreza is available with the sunroof, but the WRX has some additional cage-tubing which would be compomised by cutting a hole in the roof.
Haven't confirmed this yet, but it sounds reasonable.
Doubt the IIHS would ever crash test BOTH an Impreza and a WRX, but it would be cool to see if any differences in the structures were evident.

12-30-2001, 09:00 AM
I think having no sunroof on the WRX is going a little overboard.

I've actually thought about trying one out as a 3rd car but when I found out it had no sunroof, I decided not to even go and trest drive it.

I think a sunroof is important and shouldn't be left out . . . how much structual integrity can be gained by this that you'll feel on the street ?

12-30-2001, 09:03 AM
Sounds like the same show that was in Boston about a month back...the Porsche display was great, with the center piece being the GT2 - awesome car!

Also, a few nice exotics, like the Saleen S7, Lotus Esprit (still a hot looking car) and the Astin Martin DB 5 and 7. The Astins are beautiful cars....

12-30-2001, 09:22 AM
Personally, I don't give a rodent's behind about a sunroof, but I agree it seems a little extreme not to offer one at all.
You know what's funny? The first representative I asked said that Subaru didn't feel a luxury item like a sunroof was necessary in a rally car.
But, I asked, how do you explain the veggie-matic transmission option?
She didn't have all the answers, but she was certainly cute.