By Jack Holme
The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)
From meeting John Hennessey of Hennessey performance, (a god in the car tuning community) to listening to journalists speaking in Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and German–to just name a few–and of course the cars, my Auto Show Media Day experience was a complete success.
Going on Media Day versus any other day is a completely different experience by itself. Every time a company announces that people can take a closer look at the new model or new car, a mob of flashing cameras ensues and big video lenses storm the stage of the new vehicle to get the best picture possible. Normal days are radically different where the only people that are rushing to cars are little kids hoping to sit in a Corvette or other sports car.
But through the sea of cameras, selfie sticks and gorgeous car models there were some cars that stood out amongst the pack. I had high hopes for the new Ford Focus RS going in, but I didn’t think that I’d buy one in six or seven years, after depreciation hits of course. The interior was out of this world, and the materials were top notch. Even better that it comes with a six speed manual. The shifts are perfect, they give you a sense of accomplishment. I can’t put my finger on why I love this Ford, but it’s out of this world. With 350 horses and 350 foot pounds of torque to match, this thing can fly, it hits 0-60 in under five seconds. On all levels it outclasses its closest competitor, the Golf R, which only make 292 horses.
Not everything was a complete success. The extreme hype around the Nissan Titan XD fell flat. The seats were made of a weird quilted material that wasn’t comfortable in the slightest. It’s not a good-looking car. The Titan had built in truck boxes in the bed that just seemed to limit the bed’s capability. For some reason even the doors felt cheap, usually when you close a truck door there’s a nice slam with a good weight, but this felt light and like something that could break easily.
The Ford press conference was the best of the day, and was too big to have it in COBO so it had to be held at The Joe. Miraculously, my friends and I found ourselves sitting third row for the press conference amongst all of the professionals and industry leaders. The unveiling started off by showing the new Ford Raptor, sporting a new look with four full doors and over 11 inches of suspension travel, this truck won’t stop you racing through…well whatever, this truck will handle it. The Raptor also dropped two cylinders. It’s now powered by a 3.5L six cylinder EcoBoost,outshining the 6.2L 8 cylinder behemoth in the last model.
Ford’s last car of the afternoon was the new 2017 Ford Fusion. Besides the slight cosmetic differences, the 2017 and 2016 look almost identical. But there is a new child eating at Ford’s table. That thing is a sport model. Yes a sport model, I really didn’t think that the Fusion would ever have a sport trim level. But since it’s Ford’s best selling car, moving over 300 thousand units last year it’s not out of this world to try and keep it that way. The new Sport will have 325 ponies under the hood with 350 pound feet, all coming from a 2.7L EcoBoost V-6, being feed to six speed automatic and a all-wheel drive system. All of this power crushes the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, even ousting the BMW 340i by five horses–that’s awkward.
Through the highs and lows, the Auto Show was a complete success, and I’m glad that I was able to obtain press passes for myself and my peers. I can tell you for sure that I’ll be back next year.
Photo Credit: The Tower