Mazda celebrated the 25th anniversary of the MX-5 with a display of historic Miatas, including two of the original cars revealed at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. The exhibit was closed after one day when Mazda realized it reminded people how much smaller, lighter and better the Miata used to be.
Chevrolet revealed the 2015 Trax, a small SUV described as “a Buick Encore for people under the age of 80″.
One of the few concept vehicles revealed at the show, the Land Rover Discovery Vision features a “Smart Glass” system which projects graphics into the windshield. The system can be used off-road to show the terrain immediately ahead, and on-road to show a world where the Discovery isn’t fucking up the environment and sucking down our dwindling oil reserves.
Nissan introduced an all-new Murano, explaining that the front-end styling was inspired by the Sport Sedan Concept revealed earlier this year in Detroit, while the rear-end styling was inspired by one of the designers having a seizure while working on the clay model.
Chrysler revealed the restyled 2015 Dodge Charger, which trades the old car’s aggressive styling for a kinder, gentler front end modeled after the Dart. Chrysler did not reveal how much weight they saved by cutting off the Charger’s testicles.
Ford announced a 50th Anniversary Edition of the new 2015 Ford Mustang which will reach dealerships just in time for the Mustang’s 51st anniversary.
Volkswagen unveiled the facelifted 2015 Jetta. VW officials say they were able to cut 18 months from the development schedule and reduce costs by nearly half by making the new car identical the old one.
Bentley announced that it will return to the American motorsports scene in conjunction with Dyson Racing, a Poughkeepsie, NY-based racing team unrelated to the UK vacuum cleaner manufacturer. Autoblopnik regrets this, as we were really looking forward to writing a joke about a pairing between British things that suck.
Jeep announced that this happened, sort of.
Mitsubishi staged a press event that included a pyrotechnics display, a performance by the Swedish Nude Ballet, the announcement of a new Pope, and a ritual human sacrifice. It received no press coverage whatsoever.
Volvo revealed a picture of the dashboard of a car that won’t go on sale for another two years, and it still received more coverage than Mitsubishi’s press event.
Hyundai unveiled the 2015 Sonata mid-size sedan with more sedate styling and engines with reduced horsepower and torque. New CEO Dave Zucchini said Hyundai is attempting to emulate the success model of Toyota by making product decisions that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Fiat showed the Alfa-Romeo 4C, a lightweight mid-engine sports car, and announced firm plans to bring it to the US market. Since the announcement, sperm banks across the New York metropolitan area have been reporting an alarming decrease in donations.
Finally, Honda announced that their upcoming subcompact crossover utility vehicle will be called the HR-V. Other Hondas that make sexually suggestive comments or otherwise act inappropriately will be sent to it for disciplinary action.
General Motors today announced that Chevrolet will announce a new diesel-powered Malibu wagon at next week’s New York Autonouncement Show.
“This is an effort to improve critical opinion of the Chevrolet Malibu among automotive influencers,” announced Chevrolet spokesannouncer Randy Dog. “The 2013 Malibu was poorly received by the press, and the updates we made for 2014 haven’t helped. So we’re going for broke. We’ve yet to meet an auto writer or blog commenter who doesn’t love a diesel wagon.”
The Malibu TDZ Diesel Sport Diesel Wagon will be powered by a 2.2 liter turbodiesel developing 150 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.
“The Malibu Sportdiesel Wagon’s diesel engine was conceived and designed in Europe,” announced Dog. “It’s built in our GM European Diesel Plant in Europe, then shipped to Orion Township where the diesel-powered Malibu Dieselsport will be assembled. We then send the engine back to Europe to be inspected by a European guy who lives in Europe, then it returns to Michigan once more to be installed in the car. Anyone who says this isn’t a true European diesel can kiss my European ass.”
Asked of the addition of a diesel-powered wagon to the Malibu lineup was a move to pander to the press rather than provide a vehicle actually demanded by buyers, Dog announced, “You’re damn right we’re pandering to the press. It works for BMW and now we’re going to make it work for General Motors. Seriously, a 4-series with four doors and a hatchback? Who else but an underpaid and overpampered car-magazine hack would want one of those?”
The diesel-powered Malibu Sportdiesel Wagonsport wagon will come exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive, and hydraulic power steering. Fuel economy estimates have not been calculated, but Dog announced that they will be at least twenty percent lower than the car is actually capable of achieving, so that auto writers can point to their better-than-EPA figures as proof of how stupid the American public is for not embracing diesels.
Dog announced that the diesel wagon is expected to account for roughly 0.004% of 2015 Malibu sales, or about eight cars in total, six of which will be provided as long-term loaners to various car magazines.
“We’re very excited,” announced an excited Dog. “This will be the first time the Malibu has been available as a wagon with a diesel engine.” When Autoblopnik pointed out that the Malibu wagon was offered with an Oldsmobile diesel in 1982 and 1983, Dog announced, “Yes, but we like to pretend that never happened,” and then added, “Nerd.”
This year’s New York Fucking Auto Show will feature several stands and displays designed to celebrate the country’s least car-friendly city.
At General Motors’ Big Apple-themed show stand, visitors will walk over broken concrete through a long urine-scented corridor lined with homeless people begging for change, then cross a simulated Manhattan street where they must dodge real-live taxicabs that are actually trying to run them over. Those who survive can enter the main display hall, where they will discover that all of the show vehicles have been either stolen or towed away.
Lexus will unveil the Lexus Lexington Lounge, which is designed to resemble a trendy Midtown boutique hotel room. The Lounge measures 4 feet by 5 feet, is lit by a single 15-watt bulb, and costs $280 to enter. Visitors who do not tip the doorman will have their passports, credit cards, and iPods stolen by the cleaning staff.
Fiat has prepared an interactive audio-visual display that highlights the contributions of Italian immigrants to New York City’s history and culture. Show attendees who skip the Fiat stand will have their fucking kneecaps broken with a fucking baseball bat.
Nissan will be giving rides in their new NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow. Show-goers will be offered a free trip around the block, but will instead be taken to a seedy neighborhood in the Bronx and told that they can either hand over the contents of their wallet or get out and walk back to the Javits Center.
The New York Auto Show opens to the public on Friday, April 18th, 2014. New York City residents receive $5 off show admission with proof of residency, either by presenting a valid Government-issued ID or by pissing on a show attendant’s feet and telling him to fuck off.
Officials from the North American Interfaith Auto Show said they are considering stricter standards for media credentials after repeated clashes between journalists and
industrial spies engineers at this year’s Detroit press preview.
“We have journalists who are trying to report on the vehicles,” explained NAIAS spokesmeasurer Dick Blocker, “and we have engineers taking measurements, detailed photographs and extensive notes, and the two are constantly getting each other’s way. It’s time to make a tough decision, and our decision is that the journalists have go to go.”
Gong Yee Jian-die, an employee of the Pacific Center for Automotive Studies in China, told Autoblopnik through a translator that journalists are becoming an ever-increasing problem.
“It’s upsetting,” he said, “because these ‘journalists’ get press releases ahead of time and are not prevented by their government from downloading pictures on the Internet. Me, I have just one opportunity to get all the measurements on these cars. If they don’t complete their assignment, they have other people to cover for them. If I don’t complete my assignment, my family will be sent to a re-education camp.”
Asked why he couldn’t just attend the industry preview that follows the media preview, Jian-die said, “And pay $95 instead of just pretending to be journalists so we can get into the show for free? As if!”
Blocker defended the auto show’s defense of engineers over journalists.
“We have to ask ourselves who is of more value to the auto show: A journalist reporting details to the general public, only a small percentage of whom will buy the car, or an engineer feeding vital information to car companies and suppliers, 100% of whom will build cars. The car companies are our clients, and that’s the bottom line.”
Zai Gai Fangshi, chief engineer for China’s Geely Automotive Perfunctory Happening, defended the work that engineers do at auto shows.
“These subversive journalists say, ‘Oh, he’s just some leech with a camera and a clipboard who is in my way,’” Fangshi told Autoblopnik. “But when the next XC90 has an interior like a Mercedes and drives like an Audi, you can thank that leech with the camera and the clipboard.”
Journalist Keifer Buglorwarowicz of
Motor Trend Automotive.com Goat Farmer Weekly KBB.com viewed the potential changes with equanimity.
“Frankly, we can save a lot of time and expense by staying home,” Buglerawitz told Autoblopnik. “All I have to do is live-stream the press conferences with the volume turned up to ear-splitting levels and ask a couple of interns to stand between me and the computer whenever I try to download a photo. It’s just like being at the show.”
Fortunately, Autoblopnik had a second reporter covering the press preview at this year’s North American Interdenominational Auto Show. We hesitantly present his report on the show’s highlights.
AUDI ALLROAD SHOOTING BRAKE CONCEPTAudi says this small wagon is the upcoming replacement for the TT, an announcement that the assembled journalists reacted to as if it made perfect sense. Audi has not revealed how much it paid Volvo for the C30 tooling.
We were unable to get close enough to this car to get photos or information, but from a distance it looks a lot like a throng of Chinese men with tape measures, cameras, and notepads.
CADILLAC ATS COUPEThe ATS Coupe premiered to rousing cheers and a standing ovation, until the assembled journalists realized they were looking at the Elmiraj concept. They were directed to turn their cameras towards “the anonymous-looking blue car over there.” Cadillac described the ATS Coupe’s styling as “clean and conservative,” which is design-speak for “We wanted to hurry up and get it done so we could get home in time to see the season premiere of Downton Abbey.”
CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06Autoblopnik had arranged for an exclusive demonstration of the new Z06′s supercharged engine, but the thigh-deep puddle of drool from other journalists shorted out the car’s electrical system and it wouldn’t start. GM spokesvetter Teddy Radical said that the Z06′s on-sale date is being timed to coincide with the peak of the media frenzy surrounding the car, which means it should arrive in showrooms in the third quarter of 2027.
CHRYSLER 200The all-new 200 is based on the same Alfa-Romeo platform as the Dodge Dart, with styling that evokes Chrysler’s golden years of the 1990s. Asked about the primary differences between the new 200 and the outgoing car, a Chrysler spokesguy said, “Well, for starters, this one won’t be a complete and utter piece of shit.”
GMC CANYONBILL: Copy and paste whatever I wrote about the Chevrolet Colorado at the LA show, just swap “GMC” for “Chevrolet” and “Canyon” for “Colorado”. The knuckle-dragging cretins who read our site will never know the difference. Just be sure to remove this note before you publish the story! – Otto
HYUNDAI GENESISWe’d thought we’d already seen this car at the Los Angeles auto show, until Hyundai spokeshower Miles Horseford told us that was actually the Equus. He gave us a quick tip on how to tell them apart: “The Genesis has a narrower, more tapered grille,” he said, “and the Equus has a ridiculous name and non-existent sales.” The Krafcik impersonator who presented the car said the new
INFINITI Q50 EAU DE TOILETTEInfiniti introduced a new shade of red paint, which comes standard with the modified Q50 seen beneath it. Infiniti boss Johann Q. DeNysschnnen would not say exactly what engine was under the hood, only that “it might be a 500-plus horsepower, 600-plus pound-foot, V-type forced-induction engine, and while that may sound an awful lot like the engine from the Nissan GT-R, I’m not saying it is.” He then touched his finger to his nose and gave the audience an exaggerated wink. An Infiniti spokesperson told Autoblopnik that the car will actually be powered by the 2.5 liter V6 from the G25.
KIA GT-4 STINGERFive years after the introduction of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Kia hinted that they just might have a rear-drive sports car with a two-liter turbocharged engine in the works. Journalists in the audience did an impressive job of feigning surprise.
MERCEDES S600The new V12-powered Mercedes S-Class comes standard with a leather interior, four-zone climate control, and a banana republic in Central Africa. Unfortunately, our attempts to approach the S600 for a closer look were foiled by a burly man in an expensive suit with a thick Russian accent, who told us, “S600? No S600 here. I think I saw it over by Toyota stand. Move along, comrade.”
NISSAN SPORT SEDAN CONCEPTThough Nissan didn’t come right out and say it, the Sport Sedan Concept is considered by most to be a preview of styling cues for the next-generation Maxima. All those who were worried that Nissan might break with tradition and start designing attractive cars can breath a sigh of relief. Nissan has reportedly considered removing the car during public days because the gaping-mouth grille frightens the children.
PORSCHE 911 TARGAPorsche spokesperson Kimberly Calvin described the 911 Targa as “a 911 Cabriolet with a big metal bar where the sun ought to be.” Despite having castigated convertibles like the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Oldsmobile Cutlass, and Suzuki X90 for a similar design, the media gave the 911 Targa a warm reception, which leads us to believe the press drive must be taking place someplace very nice. Porsche used the 911 Targa press conference to announce their new tagline, “Porsche: Because You’ll Buy Anything That Says Porsche On It.”
SUBARU WRX STIAfter spending three months explaining to the media why the new WRX does not have gold wheels or a big wing on the trunk lid, Subaru introduced an all-new WRX STI with gold wheels and a big wing on the trunk lid.
TOYOTA FT-1 CONCEPTThis stunning sports car concept had show attendees speculating that Toyota is planning a new Supra in the not-too-distant future. “Naturally, we cannot comment on future products, or lack thereof,” Toyota spokesman Wide Hate told Autoblopnik, “but if people want to dream, let them dream. Remember, these are the same people who assumed that the big wheels on the Furia concept meant the next Corolla would be good to drive. Why spoil their illusions?”
VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE DUNE CONCEPTIn an effort to boost the Beetle’s new macho image, Volkswagen showed this concept, which it called “a Baja Bug for the 21st Century.” Voted Best In Show by the Michigan Gay Men’s Choir.
We sent our man Clifton Faghands to report on the 2014 North American International Auto Show.
I’m just back from the Detroit show, where attendance was up but the mood was subdued at best.
MERCEDES: Once again, the Germans put on a fantastic event with exquisite hors d’oeurves and strong coffee. And they kept the riff-raff out — all of the tables were occupied by journalists who had been in the business for at least twenty years.
HYUNDAI: As always, the afterparty at Slow’s BBQ was the highlight of the show for me. A full belly is just what I need to report on whatever car it was they showed… Genesomething? That said, the service was a little slow. They need to bring back that thin grey-haired guy who used to tend the bar.
GENERAL MOTORS: Rather sad, really. A lot of people were talking about the car they revealed (Canyon Z06 coupe), but I was dismayed at the press kit. I got three hundred bucks on eBay for last year’s Stingray take-home, but this thing won’t fetch ten bucks! How did such a great company fall so far, so fast?
PORSCHE: A class act. Never has a lunche left me so full or so satisfied. I’m confident that the 911 Target is going to be a strong seller.
Clifton’s report went on for another six pages, but you get the idea.
The Federal Trade Commission announced that it is keeping a close eye on this week’s North American International Auto Shrimpfest in Detroit, and that it may press charges or initiate sanctions against both auto show management and the manufacturers that display there.
“It’s a matter of false advertising and misrepresentation,” said Fed Bureaucrat, a Level IV Second Investigator 3rd Class Part B Subsection 23c Junior Grade A Minus for the FTC. “You’ve got automakers saying they are ‘premiering’ or ‘revealing’ a new vehicle, when it seems that the photos, specs and details of these vehicles have been previously distributed to any freeloading hack who had the good sense to ask for them. ‘Premiere,’ my ass.”
“It’s true that a select few journalists have seen Detroit debuts like our new Corvette Z06,” acknowledged Chevrolet PR flack Monty Hall. “But that’s a select few, and by ‘select few’ I mean all the ones who matter to us and none of the ones who gave us all that ‘we’re-not-going-to-honor-embargoes-unless-it-suits-us’ bullshit. I guarantee that out of the thousands of journalists and pseudo-journalists here at the Detroit show press days, there will be at least a half-dozen who have not seen the new Z06. You can ask them yourselves. You’ll find them selling the press kits on eBay the day after the show.”
Bureaucrat said the FTC is also considering secondary action against automakers for presenting so-called “concept cars” that are just production models with shaved-off door handles and cameras in place of the side-view mirrors.
“Come fucking on,” he said.
Asked if he thought Government intervention is needed, Chevrolet’s Hall told Autoblopnik, “Absolutely not. The Government should never get involved in the running of the auto business, except for minor matters like becoming a part owner in order to keep an ailing company from going under.”
Autoblopnik’s sometimes correspondent Clifton Faghands weighed in on the issue, saying, “It’s not like this is some big secret. The car companies have always given us embargoed information so we can write our stories in the office before we even leave for the show. That way we can concentrate on important matters like finding out who has the best lunch buffet, where the best parties are happening, and who is giving C-listers free rides to Geneva. That’s the real reason to go to shows like Detroit: to find out what they won’t tell you before the press preview.”
There was much cursing in foreign-sounding languages at today’s Los Angeles Auto Show after formerly-British automaker MINI realized they had revealed the wrong car to the press.
“Our plan was to introduce the all-new third-generation MINI Cooper to the assembled journalists,” said MINI mini-spokesperson Nathalie Bathhouse, “but it appears that the car we put on stage was actually the second-generation model. Or maybe the first-gen. To be honest, we have a little trouble telling them apart ourselves.”
Bathhouse said the mistake was discovered shortly after the reveal, when a blogger no one had ever heard of asked why the new MINI’s turbocharged three-cylinder engine looked so much like a supercharged four-cylinder.
A search immediately ensued to find the third-generation MINI that was supposed to be revealed at the show. After several frantic phone calls, MINI staffers discovered that it was in the possession of by Gladys Carpfarter, a 67-year-old retired teacher from Pasadena, California. Bathhouse said the mix-up apparently occurred after one of the show cars was sent to the dealership for a preview last week.
“I went to pick up my car from the MINI dealership after having the oil changed,” Ms. Carpfarter told Autoblopnik. “I thought it was quite a bit cleaner than usual, but I never even guessed I had the wrong car until I opened the glovebox and discovered my Koupon Keeper was missing, along with my Glock G19.”
An attempt was made to return the show car to Mrs. Carpfarter, but a check of the VIN revealed that the vehicle from the L.A. show was actually a 2008 MINI Cooper S belonging to Bill Keeldover, a demolition accounting student from Azusa. Keeldover was driving a 2005 Cooper belonging to Fannie Slapper, a licensed poet from Bellflower, who turned out to be in possession of a 2010 Cooper S owned by William Schitzmore, an unemployed employment counselor from North Hollywood, who was driving Mrs. Carpfarter’s first-generation Cooper.
None of the affected owners realized they had someone else’s MINI.
“Obviously, we’re very embarrassed and want to be sure this doesn’t happen again,” said MINI spokesmini Bathhouse. “We’re very fortunate that of the hundreds of journalists who witnessed the unveiling, not a single one of them realized we were showing them the wrong car.”
Immediately after revealing the 2014 Jeep Cherokee at this week’s New York Auto Show, Chrysler’s public relations staff set about assuring the media that the new compact SUV isn’t as ugly as they think it is.
“We realize that at first glance, the Jeep Cherokee does appear rather ugly,” said Todd Gayer, head of Jeep communications. “But the truth is that it really isn’t as ugly as most people think it is. Is the new Cherokee an attractive vehicle? No, not by a country mile. Is it ugly? Of course it is. Very ugly. Uglier than a monkey’s armpit. Uglier than a sack of assholes. But is it as ugly everyone thinks it is? No, it most certainly is not.”
Members of the automotive media attending the New York show expressed immediate relief upon Chrysler’s assurances that the new Cherokee is not as ugly as they think it is.
“I thought the thing was fucking hideous,” said Jonny Liebersteinowitzenbaumowitz of Moat Trend magazine. “It looks like something you’d see on the cover of Weekly World News under the headline ‘Bat Boy Alive and Well in New Jersey!’ That’s why it felt like a tremendous weight had been taken off my shoulders when Chrysler told me personally that the Cherokee is not as ugly as I think it is.”
“I’ll admit, my first reaction was not all that positive,” said Jablopnik correspondent Matt Hadtapee, who in his article referred to the new Cherokee as “a bit like a Nissan Juke” and “the most horrifying thing I have seen since the time I walked in on my grandparents having sex.”
“I wasn’t swayed by Chrysler’s repeated insistance that the Cherokee is ‘more than its exterior styling,’ and Ralph Gilles’ comment that the Cherokee is ‘very contemporary’ just didn’t ring true. That’s why I’m so glad that Chrysler has assured my colleagues and I that the new Cherokee isn’t nearly as ugly as we all think it is. How can you argue with that?”
Jeep’s Gayer tells Autoblopnik that the next step is to assure the public that the Cherokee is not as ugly as they think it is, which will be accomplished with an ad campaign entitled “Cherokee 2014: It’s Not As Ugly As You Think It Is.”
“The ad blitz will include television, radio, newspapers and popular web sites,” explained Jeep marketing chief Jim “No Not That Jim Morrison” Morrison, “and will feature real-live Chrysler employees explaining, in plain language that the average American can understand, that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee is not as ugly as they think it is.”
“We felt we needed to build a relationship with the media and our customers based on honesty,” Gayer continued. “We’re not going to pretend the Cherokee isn’t the ugliest vehicle since the Aztek, because it is. We won’t even deny that Don Doofamante tried to snap an early photo of it and turned to stone. That’s the first time we’ve needed a hand truck to kick him out of an auto show. But the honest truth is that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee isn’t as ugly as you think it is.”
“Besides,” he added, “Wait until you see the new Dodge van. That thing really is as ugly as you think it is.”
Volvo plans to take a second attempt at unveiling the facelifted S60, XC60 and XC70 in New York after an unveiling at the Geneva show failed to garner any attention.
“I’m not sure why the media didn’t realize the cars were any different,” said Volvo spokeschanger Jean O. Effluent. “These are the most extensive and radical changes we’ve made to our cars in four years.” All three of the cars have been unchanged since 2009, and Effluent himself has not changed since 1992.
“The S60 is the most extensive and radically changed member of the Volvo family,” explained Effluent. “The headlights are a slightly different shape, and one of the trim pieces near the fog lights that used to be body color is now chrome. Or maybe it used to be chrome and now it’s body color. I’ll have to check on that, but my point is that it’s different. Radically different. And extensive.”
Effluent went on to explain the changes to the crossovers, which, he says, include “taking the shiny metal bit from under the XC70′s grille and putting it on the XC60, and taking the XC60′s fog light trim and putting it on the XC70. We’ve also de-chromed the front end of the XC60. That wasn’t planned, all the chrome bits actually fell off when we were shipping the car to Geneva, but we liked the way it looked so we left it that way.”
Inside, all three cars received what Effluent described as “extensive and radical” changes. “I think we did something with the trim… painted it another color or something. And the steering wheel might be a little different. I mean radically different. Sorry… you know, after you’ve been doing this as long as I have, the cars all start to look alike, really.”
Volvo introduced an all-new V40 in Geneva, a radical hatchback with eye-catching styling and a futuristic interior with a center-mounted gauge cluster, but Effluent says that car will not be sold in the US.
“No question, the new V40 is Volvo’s best car and the US is our biggest market,” he explained, “but the Swedes are pissed at us because we keep mixing them up with the Swiss. They really know how to hold a grudge, those guys. Neutral, my ass.”
Volvo will also re-introduce several new technologies at the New York Show, including the Permanent High Beam system, which leaves the high beams on all the time because, as Effluent explains, “Volvo drivers are idiots who do that sort of thing all the time.” The company will also take the wraps off the World Safety System, which uses a broadband Internet connection to scan the headlines, then decides that the world is simply too dangerous to go wandering around and disables the engine.