From the sleek lines hugging every curve, from front to back, they scream for attention and excitement. The annual International Auto and Truck show landed in Calgary for thousands of people to check out all of what the best automakers in the world are offering their customers.
The battle to win over new loyalties is never ending, and consumers expect the best in purchasing a new vehicle. Automakers continue to push the limits in design, technologies and features in hopes of gaining a new customer base, while retaining those who have been driving the brand for years. Expected, automakers brought their best to the show in concepts, new redesigns and their best selling models.
With that, visitors to the exhibition were treated with what most only dream of driving or owning. Brands like Ferrari, Maserati, and Bentley displayed their luxury vehicles proudly within the constraints of the red-velvet ropes. Visitors could only get so close and most utilized their digital or optical zooms on their smart phones and cameras to snap their up-close-and-personal shots of their favourite luxury sport brand.
One would expect that all automobile companies would focus and highlight their presence on their new and exciting redesigns, yet, it is in my opinion that, while some makers went beyond expectations, others are falling behind in the evolution of the automobile.
Let’s give it some gas, and put the pedal to the metal.
Ford continues to surprise the world by bringing innovative new designs and technologies to their lineup, but when does something new get boring and old again?
In 2006, Ford introduced a brand new mid-sized family car model, the Fusion.
The new innovation had hopes of grabbing the attention of younger buyers with its’ sleek and edgy lines and futuristic stance. Consumers could see that Ford, again, wanted to be the leader in their segment by providing high-quality interior features, fit and finish and safety and technology. The Fusion quickly became a household name and allowed for exceptional growth for the brand. In 2009, Fusion underwent an exterior and interior refresh to keep the model new and fun. Though the model was built on the same platform, the refresh was welcomed and needed for consumers.
By 2013, Ford unveiled a brand new Fusion. In my opinion, this mid-size car, with the aggressive look and sports flares at every angle, became a winner. The luxury appointments of both the exterior and interior related to an older generation, but the sporty and aggressive options and add-ons prevailed to the younger crowd. A gem was born. Unlike old delicate stones that get better with time, the Fusion has become boring in most angles. It has already become outdated, as other brands are pushing the limits with their refreshed and new models. My hope is to see Ford announce a new refresh of this car or unveil a brand new model that will push the limits of the modern, but unexpected design cues of the future. Like the Taurus’s flagship SHO trims, I hope Ford will catch on and bring this to the Fusion. I’d buy it.
I didn’t mean to single out Ford on their models, as they have and continue to bring some of the world’s best vehicles to the market. I could easily have said much the same of Nissan’s Altima or Maxima, which are beginning to look senior in their age and timing on the roads. It was a prime example for one of my favourite, modern vehicles, which Ford has built in a long time.
I have to point out that safety technology has always been an interest of mine. I like seeing automobile companies inventing and coming up with new passive and active safety systems that give us drivers further confidence maneuvering our vehicles, especially in our Canadian winters. From the first seatbelts, to now, the dozens of safety equipment, including vehicles that can stop themselves pending a collision, vehicles have become our bomb shelters on the roads to keep occupants and drivers safe. It’ mind-blowing to think how these advances have came along so quickly. I often wonder to myself, what will automobile division come up with next?
Chevrolet has done it again, with the industry-first, center side-impact airbag that protects and cushions the front seat passengers from side impacts at either side of the vehicle. As a new technology, us consumers will watch further research be conducted on this new safety measure and will see this become standard equipment of vehicles in the future. In today’s vehicles, we are driving in an occupant compartment filled with airbags and I will take that reassurance of safety and survival if an impending collision cannot be avoided. Now, only if today’s drivers were as smart and active on the roads, as the vehicles they drove. Another feat for another day, I suppose.
The Calgary International Auto and Truck show is one of the largest exhibitions in western Canada, showcasing the best of the best of the brands we all drive on the roads today. From the sleek new modern exteriors and interiors, the revolutionary advancement of the engine, and innovative safety features and technologies, the show brings thousands under one roof to see some of the “fastest, most advanced and expensive cars in the world.”