Did I mention anything about wearing good shoes? It was about this time my feet and back started to really hurt. So I quickly moved on the Mercedes, hoping for something exciting to lift my spirits.
Unfortunately, Mercedes didn’t provide too much excitement. They did have a Mercedes-Maybach, which was mildly fun because I don’t see them anywhere else.
My word was it big! I couldn’t get it to fit in the camera frame. But, I bet my back would have felt better after five minutes in the reclining, massaging rear seats.
Not too far away I found the new GLE Coupe, which I thought was just an SUV with an awkward, cropped rear end. But as I was standing there, everyone remarked how “cool-looking” it was. Clearly, I’m in the minority.
As I was leaving, I fought through the crowd to take a quick picture of a red AMG GTS. This new body style looks very much like a fastback SLS.
Growing tired of the crowd, I moved onto Infiniti. They didn’t have a big display, but did have a few interesting concepts to look at.
The first was the Q60 concept. This looked like it could roll into showrooms today – and I wouldn’t mind. The quilted leather interior was a nice, luxurious touch.
Next was the Q80 Inspiration. A much more imaginative concept, this luxury cruiser is long and low. The rear doors open suicide-style, providing an expansive view of the modern and luxurious interior.
As I was leaving, I passed the Canadian Grand Prix winning Red Bull Racing-Renault Formula 1 car. Again, I was disappointed with the lack of publicity and attention a car like this deserves.
Nevertheless, I moved on to the Mazda display next door. Maybe it was because it was located in the corner, but the crowd was smaller and I welcomed the quiet.
Its too bad more people weren’t in Mazda’s booth because they missed out on the gorgeous 2016 MX-5. But, it allowed me to get a couple good photos.
As I was ogling the new Miata, I started to feel like it looked familiar. Between the narrow headlights pushed out low and wide, and the side detailing flowing to the rounded rear end, I decided the MX-5 looked like the lovechild of a Jaguar F-TYPE and an Alfa Romeo. As you can imagine, they had very attractive offspring.
Next to it was the 2016 CX-3. Like the MX-5, the CX-3 had a lot of smooth curves and low headlights. Though a little more understated, it should be a good-looking, practical compact SUV.
From smooth, rounded cars, I moved to the boxier cars of VW. While it may not immediately turn heads, the Golf R looked fun to drive, and will earn other drivers respect when you pass them.
VW’s headliner, the new Cross Coupe GTE was on display. It was bigger than I expected and there’s very little “coupe” about it. It stands very tall and stocky.
I almost missed it, but the small Mitsubishi booth was hidden back in the corner. It was a very small display, with the Outlander PHEV the only notable vehicle.
Quickly, I was in BMW’s booth and found the crowd again. I couldn’t understand why everyone stopped here, as BMW wasn’t displaying anything new, and the greenish-yellow colour they insist on painting their M Series cars looks like baby poop.
The most exciting car from BMW didn’t even have a BMW badge on it. Albeit quite odd, the Mini Superleggera Vision at least gave me something to write about.
Minus a roof, the Superleggera is a two-seat coupe with a highly distinctive shark fin splitting the rear hatch. Other unique details include taillights resembling the Union Jack, while the front fog lights are more torpedo-shaped.
Cadillac was its neighbour with a medium-sized display. Two new V-Spec cars were on welcoming duty. A 2016 ATS-V and 2016 CTS-V greeted me with their sporty add-ons. Both had carbon fiber lower front splitters, hood vents and rear spoilers.
Past them I found the Elmiraj concept. This long and low cruiser is insanely luxurious. Traditional wood accents blend seamlessly with the modern elements of the interior.
Needing an injection of energy, I checked out the Scion display behind Toyota. They had the dance music pumping and if I had wanted a stylish new hair cut, they had a barber on standby.
As for cars, they had several tuner models and a drift car, but they felt secondary to the atmosphere.
On the other side of the wall was the more mature Toyota, where the focus was back on the cars. Although, the trend of my favourite cars not being shown enough respect continued as the Toyota LMP1 racer was shoved off to one side.
The focus of the Toyota display was the iRoad and the FT-1.
The iRoad is a continuation of Toyota’s personal mobility technology. This three-wheeled scooter tilts when cornering and fully encases the occupant.
The FT-1 concept on the other hand, is much more performance focused. The pointed nose rises to a hood with a see-through panel so you can glimpse the high-tech engine beneath. Fans in the lower front grille further hint at its performance capability. The interior is very forward thinking with lots of carbon fiber surrounding the clear instrument panel.
This is the end of part 3. Continue to the final chapter.