Saturday, March 8, 2014

New cars from the 2014 Greater Kansas City International Auto Show

As you drive around Kansas City on a normal day, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that all new cars are boring.  It’s tough to get excited about silver Corollas and neutral-colored Accords and whatnot.  But when you get under the bright lights of the Greater Kansas City International Auto Show, suddenly you realize that there’s a whole world of interesting new cars out there for sale.  People aren’t necessarily buying the interesting stuff, but they are available if you want them.  Let’s check out a few of the fun new rides from Kansas City.

Yes, I’m bringing up the new Corvette Stingray first.  It was my favorite new car there.  It was painted my favorite color for one of these.  And they let people sit in it.  What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about the Stingray?  It’s getting more good press than any GM car I’ve ever seen.  It has a 450-hp, 6.2-liter LT1 V8 under its impossibly low hood.  Fit, finish, and materials are second-to-none.  And it looks more exotic than most Ferraris.  Heck, $67,000 doesn’t even seem that unreasonable for this particular car.  There’s very little not to like about the new Corvette.

Don’t worry, MOPAR fans, Chrysler had a few interesting things in their display as well.  From an enthusiasts’ standpoint, the 2013 SRT Viper has to top the list. For a while, everyone thought the Viper was dead, never to return, so the very existence of an 8.4-liter V10 Viper belching out 640-hp is pretty sweet.  The blazing orange example at the auto show was a TA model, meaning the suspension was track-tuned even more than a, um, standard Viper.  This is about $116,000 worth of land serpent.  That makes the Corvette seem like a bargain.  But for disciples of the Pentastar, this car shows the performance potential of the brand.

Over under the blue oval logo, Ford brought out an all-new 2015 Mustang convertible for folks to ogle.  Now, I’ve seen the coupe, and I must admit, I didn’t quite connect with the new quarter window/roof shape.  But the convertible obviously doesn’t have that controversial styling feature.  In fact, this car didn’t look hugely different than the outgoing model to me.  I mean, I realize that it is completely different, and I can see why.  But the overall effect doesn’t hit you very hard.  That’s OK with me, though.  I like the retro/traditional styling cues of the Mustang.  That’s what it’s supposed to look like.

This is a pretty hot-stuff Jaguar if your tastes run a little more exotic.  It’s an XKR-S GT, one of only 25 that will be sold in the United States.  I guess it needs that big wing, because it has a supercharged, 550-hp, 5.0-liter V8 under the bonnet (see how I just got fancy there?).   It’s supposed to hit 60 in 4.2-seconds, with a top speed that’s limited to 186-mph.  I was going to go ahead and buy this floor model from Aristocrat Motors at the Auto Show, but it’s about $132,000, which was out of my budget. 

Cadillac had a humongous display with a curiously small number of cars in it.  They needed to grab some of the vintage Caddys in the old car displays around the building to sort of flush things out.  Anyway, the feature car was the new ELR coupe.  I saw this one introduced at the Detroit Auto Show last year, and now, here it is.  This car is essentially a Chevy Volt wearing a tuxedo.  They have an “American Dream” TV commercial out right now for these that is stirring up a bunch of controversy.  But the gist is, if you’re an American, and you work hard, you can have one of these.  In reality, this car isn’t completely indulgent, though.  That electric powertrain will save you some gas money.

I’ve got 245 photos of new cars from the 2014 Greater International Auto Show in the slideshow below.  I did not take pictures of everything.  These are basically just things that I thought were interesting or would notice in traffic.  If you’re in the market for a gray Camry, you probably won’t find a picture of it here.  Click this link for a nicer version


  1. Craig,

    Great photos as usual. Noticed that the Toyota NASCAR engine is running Blue Streak Ignition wires (made by Standard Motor Products - who has a facility in Edwardsville KS).

    Looking forward to the beginning of the car cruise season!


  2. Replies
    1. There are several trucks featured in the slideshow.