Utah International Auto Expo 2015

By | January 17, 2015

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Utah Interntional Auto Expo is one of the best shows that you can attend. Here’s why:

Interaction.

That’s right. If you attend many shows, roped off cars and “Do Not Touch!” signs are all part of the ambiance. Not so with the international Auto Expo circuit – the entire purpose of this show is to actually interact with the cars.

The show is set up in sections by make, where the local dealership provides the fleet. Walk up to the Ford or Volkswagen section, and you’ll find all the doors unlocked, and no sneering looks if you decide to jump in the cockpit and feel the clutch response (don’t judge me).

The luxury brands are different. Many of the them brought a slew of models, but the doors are locked on them. Except Lexus! I was told by the Lexus representative, “They’re all open. Feel free to open them up and check them out.” Nice job, Lexus!

Highlights

Now to the highlights:

BMW i8 UtahWe were surprised to see the BMW i8, and must say it’s looking much more roadworthy than it did in Mission Impossible 4. Much of the time with concepts, very little of the innovative design makes it to the production car. The i8 actually preserved a lot of what made it beautiful to start with.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta UtahEver seen a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta? It’s been out for a year, but they’re very rare to see on the streets of SLC. No fear, because one was featured in the duPont Registry Live section.

 

Jaguar F-Type Utah

Jaguar wowed us last year by bringing the brand new F-Type, but this year we got both the convertible and hardtop versions. Both gorgeous.

 

 

Dodge Challenger Hellcat UT

If you have been living under a rock for the last several months, you may not know that the highest trim level of the Dodge Challenger, called the Hellcat, is hella powerful. 707 HP at a bargain price of $60k. They’re also hella rare, which is why it makes the highlights.

Lexus awesome headlights

If you haven’t seen the new Lexus line, it’s STUNNING. Your brain can hardly process all the angles, and they’re mind-blowing to look at. Behold, an entire highlight built around a single design element. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, LED headlamp accents! This accent appears to be present on most of the lineup, including the IS, NX, and RC, although not included is the R8, despite it having pioneered LED headlamp accents.

Corvette Stingray Utah

Attendees last year were stunned to see the new Corvette Stingray so early after production. This year we were treated to 2 examples of the coupe, one with the roof on, and the other with the targa off. Unfortunately, neither in the the Z06 trim.

 

Camaro Z/28 Utah

Chevy brought both the ZL1 and the Z/28 variants of the Camaro. We posted a picture of the Z/06 variant because a Camaro with 505HP and a starting MSRP of $72k, we don’t expect to see many on the roads.

Test Drives

One of the highlights of the Utah Int’l Auto Expo is the test drives! Register at a booth, and you get free reign to drive a slew of models on about a 7-minute test drive around the convention center.

Present this year were Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge.

We got to drive the:

  • 485HP Challenger Scat Pack – So much power to the rear wheels that every corner is exciting.
  • Fiat 500 Abarth – the peppy, Italian who is underpowered and massively expensive, but we can’t help but appreciate
  • Honda Civic Si – Props to Honda for bringing a real manual to a public car show. There’s a reason the Civic Si is still a favorite.
  • Ford Mustang GT 5.0 – We can see what the fuss is all about.
  • Ford F150 King Ranch – I’m not a truck person, but talk about features and gadgets! 360 degree cameras around a massive (Ecoboosted V6) truck means that despite its size, it’s still navigable.

Honorable Mentions

No car show would be complete without the eye candy you expect to be present.

Audi R8 Utah

 

Audi R8 V10 FSi Droptop, pioneer of sexy eyeliner.

 

 

 

 

Subaru BRZ Upgraded Spoiler

 

The coolest stock spoiler to ever lie across a rear deck – thanks Subaru BRZ!

 

 

 

Nissan GTR Utah International Auto Expo

 

Nissan GTR – No frills, just thrills

 

 

 

Quirky BMW i3

 

The quirky BMW i3

 

 

 

 

Ferrari California No Gills

 

The new Ferrari has ditched its cheap-looking gills in favor of an actual intake. Along with the striking pentastar wheels, and we feel like it’s growing up to be a bit less of a chick car.

 

 

 

 


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