Scoring a press pass to the Seattle Auto Show is kind of like finding a golden ticket in a Wonka Bar. Only the press pass doesn't come with the risk of being saddled with CEO duties to an ailing chocolate factory. It does come with the responsibility to attend the Seattle Auto Show’s press day before the doors open to the general public. The experience isn’t unlike touring the Wonka factory except the stops on the candy land map are replaced by ten minute presentations from automaker’s public relations departments.
In the time it takes to bake a tray of cookies representatives from each company do their best to regale the local auto press with their brands’ most important stories. Here’s what made it to my notepad from the adventure this year:
Ford decided to focus their presentation on the five year anniversary of their partnership with Microsoft to produce the Ford Sync connectivity system (Ha!). As of this year Ford has produced five million sync-equipped vehicles that allow consumers to integrate the technology of the ever expanding smart phone craze with Ford vehicles.
A representative from Ford and Microsoft led the presentation in front the new Ford Escape, which since its recent exterior makeover is looking much sleeker and less boxy.
Is it a small SUV? Multi-Purpose-Vehicle (MPV)? Crossover-Utility-Vehicle (CUV)?
These confusing acronyms are mattering less and less. The Escape is helping to pioneer a future where more vehicles will be celebrated as Renaissance men of many disciplines, like a tight end in the NFL that can block as well as author a successful motivational book.
Other big players on the blue oval floor included the roided-out 650hp, 200mph 2013 Mustang GT500 and Prius intimidator C-Max. These polar opposites are glowing examples of the healthy range in Ford’s lineup.
Further proof was supported by a black 2013 Focus ST, the first performance Focus available stateside since 2004. In ST trim the Focus pumps out 252hp. That makes it a serious contender to the Volkswagen GTI in Fast and Furious-style street races for pink slips and floosy girlfriends. On the commuter end of the spectrum the Focus SE is good for 28city/40highway.
That’s the best kind of automotive progress; the kind that doesn’t kill fun.