Cincinnati Auto Expo 2006

Posted By on February 26, 2006

The Cincinnati Auto Expo was busy on Saturday afternoon when my 16 year old son and I visited. We spent about 2-1/2 hours checking out the new and seasoned vehicles each auto maker had on displayed. As auto shows go, it seemed very well attended, and in my opinion, of an appropriate size for a city like Cincinnati.
Walkway view
I personally enjoyed the walk way view of the floor as it offered a sky view of what we were going to be looking at. Don’t bother to read further if you don’t want your connection to download a bunch of photos.

Live green Go yellow
I was disappointed not to see more innovation or knowledgeable support staff reflecting alternative fuel capable vehicles. I expected with the “Live Green, Go Yellow” campaign that GM has in full swing, and the Bill Ford ads bragging on what Ford was doing, that these technologies would be high profile; they were not.
Jetta TDI
Toyota had several hybrid vehicles, Hondas’ hybrids were not as noticeable. (it might have been my oversight) VW’s display of the biodiesel capable TDI was at one … a New Jetta although it has been available for a while. I talked at length with Jerry Lewis of Northland VW, and he indicated that to his knowledge there wouldn’t be any additional diesel models coming from VW until 2008.
Passat Wagon
The New Passat was comfortable but … ho hum, the Touareg was banished to the back corner.
New Golf
The New Golf “Gasser” will be starting around $15,000 … not bad.
New Golf GTI
The New Golf GTI is the 200 HP hot rod of the bunch … “sweet” as a 16 year old would say.
Vee Dub ...
The two eye catchers were the New Golf, particularly the GTI, and the very cool EOS hardtop convertible. I would have shot a little video of the top going up and down but the crowd around it was impressive. Unfortunately the comments being made by sales people is that it will still be a while until one shows up for sale in the US and “you better get your order in now if you want one.” From a 16 year old, I was able to see who’s marketing and styling was paying off. After years of armtwisting about our two VW’s, he finally acknowledged that the VW New Golf was ‘hot.’ (check out the videos in the previous post) We thought that the Honda Element would make a great ‘diesel’ powered multi-functional vehicle … no its not happening … but I thought it would be great.
Honda Element

Always appreciated are the exotic cars that most of us will never drive let along own.
Maserati Engine
Its too bad the hood stays closed on Maserati … maybe they need a window? They had a couple impressive cars as did the folks in the Porche area.
Perhaps a favorite was the ‘stealthy’ Audi A8 … maybe only because we had just rented The Transporter II. The smaller A3 was an impressive ‘little’ car as it had the DSG transmission and paddle shifter just like a few high end sport models. ($30,000) There was no mention of the Q7 or availabilty let alone anyone who knew anything about the diesel version slatted for the US.
Mercedes R

Mercedes R Rear
I did talk with the Mercedes reps a little bit and they ‘stated’ that the R and M class will have the 6 cylinder CDI engine this fall. (I had not heard that anywhere)
Mercedes GL
They went on to state that the new GL (not available until April) will follow with the diesel shortly after the R and M class. Although I thought there cars were beautiful, I don’t see myself spending $50+ thousand on a new car until my kids are off and on there own.
Chevy concept
GM drew attention with there ‘concept’ vehicles and sports cars, Ford and Mercury had a few interesting family vehicles, Chrysler’s Hemi dressed vehicles were drawing a few eyes and the Jeep vehicles seemed to be getting traffic.
Dodge Charger
Dodge Charger is new and another retro vehicle sure to bring back memory buyers as well as new muscle car ‘want to be’ owners.
BMW M3 Engine
I saved the BMW display for last, and enjoyed drooling on the 745 and M3, but found myself thinking how nice a X3 with a diesel would be … I might buy one without even looking at the sticker?

All in all we had a good time at the show and look forward to doing it all over again next year. I’ll post a couple photos below in case you are looking for a ‘fun’ car … first the Ford Shelby Cobra Mustang …
Ford Shelby Cobra
Ford Shelby Cobra

Then the ‘cool’ two seater convertible from Saturn call the Sky. (the sister car is the Pontiac Solstice starting at just over $20,000 if you get your order in soon. See link.)
Saturn Sky

Saturn Sky

And of course a little American performance … not much can touch the price/performance ratio of a Corvette.
Corvette Engine



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