Denver Auto Show

Manufacturer Auto Shows are always great opportunities to both gauge the current nature of the auto industry and predict where the industry is headed. Having returned from the Denver Auto Show, it's definitely clear that the economy has hit every single manufacturer out there, however, somoe more than others and some less than others.

For instance, Honda's new line up is without a doubt, incredibly disappointing: as an avid Honda owner, having owned two Accords and currently driving a Civic Si, I was excited to see the new Si and gander at all that Honda is promising for its new line-up; however, two seconds in the new Civic Si and a few minutes chatting with Honda representatives have clearly revealed major cost cuts in materials and accessories -- the new HFP kits for both the Accord and Civic are not even whole lips but something like splitters or fins that attach to the corners of the bumpers (and yes, they still cost as much as a full lip kit).

Companies like VW and BMW, however, are making incredible strides into new arenas of design and architecture. For instance, the more I look at the new Beetle and the new GTI/GLI's, the subtle body lines actually look incredibly aggressive and would look especially good stanced. For BMW, their iconic 3-series has taken a new form and while I hated the look on my computer monitor, I absolutely love the looks in person -- it is so unique and so reminiscent of the BMW S1000RR superbike that I can't help but find it's aggressive yet matured aesthetic to be drool-worthy.

While super brands like Lamborghini, Fisker, Aston Martin, and Ferrari continue to manufacture some of the world's most desirable cars, more conventional brands like Hyundai, Scion, and Subaru are offering what every consumer absolutely loves: more bang for the buck. As such, I'm excited to see the new FR-S/BRZ enter the tuning realm along with Hyundai's Veloster.

While attending the show was a sobering reminding that our economy is still far from recovery, it was encouraging to see each manufacturer come out and encourage the population that creativity and automotive passion not only exist in difficult times, they often make the largest and most impactful strides in the face of opposition and trials.

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