2013 Calgary Auto Show – Notables

As you may have seen on the Facebook page, I have been uploading pictures from this past weekend when the car club and I were at the Calgary Auto Show. Due to the sheer quantity I took I could not possibly include them all in a blog post so I opted to load them to a Facebook album, and instead reserve a post here for a few select vehicles.

This is not a ‘best of’ list, or vehicles which are superior in performance, value, technology, or any other measure. Nor is it in any order. This is simply a select few which stood out to me, and I found to be memorable. I had lots of favourites and to try to actually rank them would be challenging, if not impossible.

1. Lexus IS:

2014 IS 2

The new Lexus IS, with the pointed tail lights and two-piece headlights. Probably one of the most controversially styled vehicles to be released in quite a while. When I first saw the pictures, frankly I was not a fan at all. I will say that it left a different impression upon seeing it in person though, and the colour combination didn’t hurt. The grey paint with the red and black interior really appealed to me. It’s safe to say the new exterior is growing on me.

2. Infiniti Q50:

Infiniti Q

While I am not a fan of the upcoming naming system change for Infiniti (Q for cars and QX for SUVS) I do find the Q50 to be quite the looker. People can no longer criticize sedans for being dull, not with the styling that many are now sporting. They may not be able to remember which Infiniti they’re looking at thanks to the similar new names, however. I will miss the G, M, FX, and so on.

3.  Volvo S60:

S60

Remember when Volvos were seen as boxy, plain machines? For a while I have been really impressed with their offerings, and the current S60 is my favourite vehicle from their line up. This blue is also my favourite Volvo colour, so to see an S60 covered in it made me happy. When I see new Volvos on the road I can’t help but also look at the wheels, since they fit the Mk3 Focuses (I run S60R wheels in the summer). There are a number of attractive designs there too, in my opinion.

4. Acura MDX Prototype:

MDX concept

Located on a turntable in the Acura booth was this prototype of the next MDX. I was fascinated by the details in the headlights, similar to the new RLX. I think they’re walking the fine line between intricate and cluttered though, there’s a lot going on. Regardless, this looked pretty neat and had some interesting design features, such as the wheels which featured clear portions between the highlighted spokes, with angled ducts to draw air in to cool the brakes.

5. Lincoln MKZ:

MKZ

To me, this is the best-looking Lincoln ever. Hands down. Bar none. I feel that this is how Lincoln should treat their vehicles – their current group is all very well done, don’t get me wrong – but this just looks SO GOOD.  It looks like a concept vehicle with so many special touches, yet it’s the production version! The kicked up trunk, thin tail lights, push-button shifter and double ‘floating’ center console, everything is unique and this won’t be mistaken for another car on the road. Well done Lincoln, well done.

6. Ford Focus ST:

Focus ST side 2

I was trying to keep this a list of five, I’ll admit. However, from these six I could not justify dropping one. Adding the Focus ST was too easy though, and if you know me you probably expected to see this one here. This was the first Tangerine Scream ST I had seen up close and personal, and surprisingly the first time I had actually sat in the driver’s seat of one (sigh). Perhaps some day I will own an ST, but I am perfectly happy with my SE. Anyone with enough money can purchase an ST, but how many are adding ST parts to a sedan? Very few.

That doesn’t mean I won’t stop and stare every time I see one though.

-Bill

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