At about 5:00 PM on March 24, a gaggle of tired journalists were ushered out of the Javitz Center media room and subsequently fled to the nearest bar. This pilgrimage marked the end of the 2016 New York Auto Show press days, but it also signified the unofficial closing point of the 2015-2016 auto show season. Over three continents and five countries, it was quite the stretch.
Supercars, EVs, and self-driving concepts cars made waves over the season’s six-month span, and now that the big stuff has (mostly) passed, we’d like to take a moment to reflect. In no particular order, these are six things we learned from the car show madness.
Technology shows are becoming auto shows
This January, two communities had an unusual face-off — the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off in Las Vegas just a few days before the 2016 Detroit Motor Show went down in Michigan. As two of the biggest events in their respective industries, we had the rare opportunity to see how they influenced each other.
Put simply, the Detroit Auto Show was completely overshadowed by the high-tech glitz of CES. Sin City held the debut of the production Chevy Bolt; Volkswagen unveiled its Budd-e Concept; and Ford showcased new LIDAR sensors that will help driverless cars avoid hitting the neighborhood dog. As for Detroit? Uh … the Honda Ridgeline came out?
Small startups pack big cahones
One our favorite trends from recent auto shows was the consistent appearance of plucky startups with “ambitious” goals. Remember Faraday Future and its 1,000-horsepower FFZERO1? We ate that stuff up, but Faraday wasn’t the only brand dreaming big this year.
Chinese startup Techrules revealed its 1,030-hp TREV supercar in Geneva, and the six-motor, 1,200-mile “Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle” was as eager for attention as its name suggests. NanoFlowcell’s salt-powered Quantino also made an impression with its ionic fluid power source and 124 mph top speed, and DS’ E-Tense Concept was similarly enthusiastic with 402 electric ponies and a 200-mile driving range. Finally, a polarizing new automaker dubbed Edison Destiny made a triumphant entrance into the market in April, proving that clearly, it’s a good time to get into the car business.
Supercars are here to stay
Supercars have little practical place in the world, but the boisterous and characteristically uncompromising vehicles flourished during auto show season. At the Geneva Motor Show alone, we saw the debuts of the Bugatti Chiron, Lamborghini Centenario, Porsche 911 R, Aston Martin DB11, Koenigsegg Regera, and countless others, each one a celebration of road-going insanity in their own way.
Outside of Geneva, cars like the Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 and Ferrari 488 touched down in public for the first time, proving that despite the eco-conscious state of the industry, hellacious speed is still very much in style. For that, we are thankful.