2019.01.27 Portland International Auto Show

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Honestly, there wasn't much time for exploring the show this year. Because #w*rk. So there really was only opportunity to peek at a couple highlights before fleeing back to meetings.

A brief shout-out to Subaru of Portland for gifting me two free tickets. It is appreciated, and their customer service is one of the reasons we've had so many Subarus.



Our first mission was to team-investigate various candidate next-steeds for Gnarthaller. Which is amusing because they're all various flavours of Toyota utility vehicles. Meanwhile, the only actual photos he posted from the show were of a moldy-green muscle car. Typical.

Jeep Gladiator

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Several of us were curious about this long-coming cargo-capable stretched wrangler. It was exactly as we imagined it would be. As you might be able to discern from the picture, Gnarthaller didn't like it.

But why? Because it's a half-assed idea executed half-assed-ly, and would simply not meet the goals of utility and reliability he probably wants. It's probably going to sell great. #MERIKA.


McLaren

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Something something longtail, and I can't remember which what how other one. What doesn't translate well is how small and jewel-like these vehicles are. The previous generation of MP4C and even P1 variants were impressive and other-wordly, but in person had an aura of plastic posering on top of a racecar in order to pretend to be Ferrari-ish. Not any more; now they out-Ferrari Ferrari at the sense of concentrated special-ness. Very nice.


Ferrari

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There was a berlinetta, which is historically my default lust-magnet. And there was the most-modest variant (Portofino?) which almost allows someone such as myself to whimsically consider. I didn't even bother taking pictures of them.

Instead, I felt the need to capture the brawniest Grand Tourer ever - mostly because it felt odd to have a Ferrari seem hulking compared to the nearby McLarens - and the fabulous shooting brake. That almost-wagon version of Ferrari is very intriguing for me, much to the scorn of my peers. I think it's because I have a better grasp of what it would be like to live with a high-performance car. The single mission of LOOK AT ME gets dull; I am more curious about something that would rock a road trip too.


Porsche

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The Porsches were automatically more memorable than either the McLarens or the Ferrari's because you could sit in them. The 718 (ex-Cayman) telegraphs hysterical joy through its taut steering wheel; none of us could repress brilliant smiles from just being in it. The Panamera Grand Tourismo took the do-everything roadtrip vibe and dialed it up to 11. Fantastic.


Everything Else

Nothing else was worth spending time to photograph. Even so, skipped a lot of manufacturers.

BMW

No M3? Fuck you.
The M2 felt OK. M5 was locked - fuck you.

Volvo

Seriously pleased with the look and feel of the V90. I could see myself getting one of those for the family - if I couldn't swing a Mercedes E-class wagon.

Audi

Didn't even bother sitting in any of them after determining that the R8 was locked. The cowardly thing sat huddled and unappreciated looking out through double-doors at a Porsche Turbo tackling a line of ardent fans rotating through its cockpit.

Mercedes

Didn't even walk through the section. Like I need to look at the vehicles I don't want to lease.

GM

I don't care what Gnarthaller thinks, your muscle cars misunderstand what driving is about.

Ford

The Fiesta ST is obviously a hoot. Now try making a Mustang that spends less effort posing and more matching its siblings intent to entertain.

Kia

Stinger. Dudes, well-played.