Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 OC Auto Show

I stopped by the Anaheim Convention Center to check out the 2010 Orange County Auto Show on Thursday. Sponsored by Motor Trend, this has always been a dealer show, not one generally supported by the manufacturers. What that means for consumers is that there are fewer debuts and fewer concept cars, and most of the cars you see in the two massive halls are cars you can walk into a dealership and purchase right now.

Mostly 2010 models, but quite a few 2011 editions as well, we counted about 300 vehicles overall. And that's the best part of an auto show – shoppers can check out dozens of competitors all in one spot at the same time. No sales reps to hassle them and no rush to make a decision, folks can kick the tires and get in and out of anything on their shopping list...or something they've always dreamed of.

Sitting in the back seat of the new Jaguar XK-L Supercharged – with its rear seat tray tables, vanity mirrors, heated and air conditioned seats – swaddled in Alcantara and leather, you realize that that gorgeous sloping roofline is deceptive. The interior is humongous and you don't even have to dip your head to get in and out.

The Jag was definitely a highlight, but there were several others as well – across every price level and market segment. On the low end, the new Mazda2 is truly Zoom-Zoom concentrated. With its spunky exterior and surprisingly capacious interior, the car looks like a lot of fun on a budget.

At the other end of the spectrum, there were Lamborghinis, Porsches and Ferraris that were sadly cordoned off, but still highly visible. The Rosso Dino 458 Italia made the word "visible" the understatement of the decade. Rosso Dino, if you are unfamiliar with it, is a fairly rare Ferrari color. Rather than the blood red you might usually associate with the Maranello brand, it more closely matches the orange shorts of the Hooters girls that were signing posters at the show last weekend.

There was something for everyone. Adults could even try out the new Nissan Leaf electric car on a small test track out back or one of several GM vehicles out front. More details are available at : http://www.motortrendautoshows.com/Orange_County/

Direct link to photos

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