2011 Cleveland International Auto Show

I go to the Cleveland International Auto Show every year, and every year I wish I had more time to spend there.  The IX Center is filled to the brim with new cars, concept cars, and classic cars, and there just isn’t enough time for me to fully inspect every one.  Here’s a few hits and misses:

This is the 2012 Ford Focus, a car I once described as “sharp,” only to be told by my wife that I sound like an old man.  Regardless, it’s leaps and bounds better looking than the current Focus.

The gullwing Mercedes SLS isn’t as sexy and svelte as the 50’s gullwings, but it’s more menacing and muscular.  It is near the top of my “if I won the lottery” list.

Volvo has apparently sourced their dash trim from Ikea.  In case you can’t tell, the actual control panel is about an inch thick and the area behind it is open storage, which is pretty cool.

Nissan has inexplicably greenlighted a convertible version of the Murano small SUV.  Worse, the show model was a particularly wretched shade of turquoise.  In building this, they’ve somehow managed to create a more ungainly PT Cruiser convertible.

The new Buick Regal is part of the reason they are the fastest growing luxury brand in the country and may overtake Lexus this year.  Available with a turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission, I wouldn’t kick it out of my garage.

I like big butts and I cannot lie.

GM has cured the Camaro’s terrible outward visibility by simply hacking off the top – and in a rare situation, I think the convertible is better looking than the coupe.  I still think the whole car looks plasticky and cheap, and is way too big overall.

If only Chrysler would put a manual transmission in the new Charger, I’d buy one.  Used.  In 2019.  Still, I really like the new design, even if it looks like a guppy from the front.  It’s more angular and muscular than the previous car, and the wraparound taillights are pretty cool too.

The Challenger is the best looking of the retro muscle cars, even though it is heavier and more expensive.  I particularly like the SubLime Green and gray wheels on this one.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s show, and one of these days I’ll get there early enough to see everything before it closes.

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