Car Show 2000

Javitt's Center / April 30, 2000 -- The 100th Annual New York International Automobile Show was a big bore compared to last year. I didn't see a single concept car that excited me except the VW Dune. Almost every concept vehicle was highly angular or just plain weird (Cadillac Imaj and Isuzu Axiom for example).

The one big change was the Ford exhibit, which now encompassed Jaguar, Volvo, Aston Martin and Mazda. One of my favorite cars from last year was the Volvo wagon, and it is even better this year now that it is based on the new sedan. I just hope that Ford doesn't muck it up. (Muck it up? OK, take the Ford Jaguars. Outwardly they look nice, but on closer examination they have too many American touches. In the end they look like American cars, not British.)

Cadillac, which had always been to the left of the entrance, moved its pathetic little exhibit near its wimpy Buick and Oldsmobile cousins. And the Japanese auto makers might as well give up the American market if they keep introducing cars like the new Infiniti Q45. Looking like a bloated puffer fish which washed up on the beach a week earlier, the Q45 and the Deville could have been separated at birth (or death, depending on your point of view).

The gentrified (castrated) Hummer concept truck is a waste of time. In fact, SUVs are on the way out, so any SUV concept is a waste of time. And there were several of these dinosaurs.

Chrysler is hot, and so are the Germans. The VW Beetle is one of the coolest cars around, and the Dune concept (illustration) was even cooler. Chrysler finally introduced its PT Cruiser (which was going to be a Plymouth, I think, until the killed the Plymouth marque). Most people at the show seemed to like its retro look, but I think it's hideous. Still, at $15,000 it's a pretty stylish alternative to the Saturn. I was surprised at how small it is (it looks big in pictures), but everyone seemed to be remarking about how roomy the interior was (for a small car). It is nowhere near wide or long enough enough to be a taxi.

(From Top) VW Dune | Cadillac Imaj | Cadillac Deville | 2002 Infinit Q45 | Isuzu Axiom | Hummer

Copyright © 2008 Sandy Campbell. All rights reserved. Last updated April 15. Back to top.