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Car Corner
International Car & Truck Show (San Antonio)  

December 1, 2000
By Scott Lewis

Damn this town sucks sometimes. I went to the International Car & Truck Show the weekend of Nov 4 - 6. Overall the show was just a way of seeing a bunch of cars from different manufacturers. It hardly seemed worthy of a true car show.

The biggest thing missing were concept cars and future products. The future products were more of a disappointment because I really wanted to see some of the cars that I am actually thinking about getting in a couple of years or so.

Many cars that have planned production were missing. I really wanted to see the Chrysler 300 Hemi C. Nope, not there. Chevrolet's SSR, nope. Ford's Thunderbird, nope. VW's New Beetle Convertible, nope. Even Ford's next generation Explorer was missing with its independent rear suspension and third row seating.

As for concept cars, Chrysler had a four door convertible. It was a radical car that would never see production. Other than that, nothing. Cadillac didn't have its Evoq, or any of its other recent concept cars. The Evoq is suppose to go into production, but its details are still too sketchy for me to lump it in with the future production models above.

Dodge didn't even have a Viper, no less the Viper concept that might go into production in a couple of years. No Howler or Prowler.

Even recent production cars were missing. I was looking forward to seeing the new Mercedes Benz C320. Mercedes didn't even show up, at all. Honda didn't have a S2000 on display.

I did get to see the new Lexus LS430 and IS300. The LS430 was nice, but nothing to write home about. The IS300 looks a little too small. It has less horsepower (215 hp) than cars I think it will inevitably complete. Cars like of the Chrysler 300M (253 hp), Acura 3.2TL (225 hp, rumored to have 260 on the way) and Lincoln LS (252 hp). Its dash was very chic, but I think it might get tiresome to look. It would be attractive to a young buyer, possibly a younger buyer than one who good afford to spend over $30,000 for a car luxury performance car. I should note that Lexus is targeting the 328i with this model and in that regard it is pretty much on target. The 328i had 194 hp, but the upcoming 330i will have 225. The 330i will also gain weight which might negate the horsepower difference between these cars. I think the IS300's price will have it going head to head with the other cars I have mentioned, not just the BMW 3 series. But its biggest flaw going up against the BMW is lack of a manual transmission, something BMW is famous for.

Porsche had a Boxster, but not a Boxster S. Nor did they have anything else. I saw the new Toyota MR2, and it is very cute as a Boxster Jr. It really does have no luggage room, making it very impractical. I like it better than the Miata, though the one at the show did seem a good deal better than the last one I drove. Maybe I should stop thinking of the Miata as a cheap car. The last one I drove seemed cheap, but it was one of the first years made.

Conclusion

Alas I should head to Detroit, New York or Los Angeles the next time I want to see any serious stuff from the manufacturers, foreign or domestic.

At least I got the tickets for free.

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