Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

November 3, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Attention car nuts: check out what's going on at the Seattle Auto Show

Posted by Rich Boudet

I don't know if the Seattle Auto Show is the best place to go if you want to buy a car (you can't drive any of these) but car junkies like myself do get a thrill out of the annual event. You can't walk 10 feet without hearing someone cooing or laughing about what they wish they could have in their driveway.

The show runs through Sunday at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. Admission is $11 for an adult. Parking is about the same, depending on what lot you pick. I found a metered spot for $7.

Here are eight things to see at this year's Seattle Auto Show:

1. Fisker Karma. Probably the talker of the show, the stunning, coke-bottle shaped Fisker on display is actually a customer's car -- it's sold. Billed as the first electric luxury performance sedan, the limited production car is just now hitting the streets (I believe Leonardo DiCaprio got the public's first delivery). Its 260-horsepower gas engine enhances the rear electric motors, with an electric-only range up to 50 miles if you baby it (who would?). Check out the solar-paneled roof. Base price is $98,000 (minor detail).

2. Boss 302. I was hoping the new Camaro ZL1 would be here, but no luck. That leaves the Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca as the king of the pony cars on display.

3. Most expensive car you can actually sit in. I'm going to pin this on the BMW 750Li xDrive. Peek at the sticker inside the car -- it says $103,785. For that, you get doors that close with an automatic swoosh and tons of leg room.

4. Speedster recreation. Don't forget to soak in "luxury row" on the show balcony. Off in the corner is a personal fave, the Porsche Speedster Recreation. I'm told they sell about 15 of these each year at Park Place on the Eastside. About $30,000 to $35,000, with a single-carb engine, maybe up to 100 hp but lightweight and makes you feel like James Dean. Go back to 1955.

5. Beetle. The new Beetle greets you a few steps from the main entrance. VW has clearly tried to butch up the car with its new design, which features a flatter roof and wider stance.

6. VW paint. Near the Beetle is an interactive display where you can "paint" a Volkswagen. Grab the spray gun and go for it -- unfortunately you can't do a two-tone.

7. Ferraris. There are four Ferraris on the main floor. The beautiful white 458 Italia is kindly on display -- it's a customer's car. Not to brag, but I drove a Ferrari at Las Vegas Motor Speedway a month ago and I get them now. It's an amazing driving experience (why don't we see more of them around here?).

8. Mazda Laguna Seca virtual ride-along. At the Mazda display they have a ride where two people can do a virtual lap at California's Laguna Seca track. You do have to answer some survey questions before, though.

What else? Well, there's a huge display for the new Toyota Camry, if you like appliance cars. There's an Al Unser Jr. Lola used by a 2006 Indy 500 team. And there are quite a few Fiat 500s to see. Fiat's Mini Cooper competitor is sold at studios in Kirkland and Tacoma. You can sit in a blue one at the show and they'll take your picture and Photoshop it so you look like you're tooling in Italy.

Rich Boudet is a designer for The Seattle Times and a Seattle native. He's a bit of car fanatic and has a bad habit of buying a new one every three years. He's owned Z cars, a Jeep, Mustangs and a few other sorts he'd rather forget.

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i was hoping to see Optimus Prime. No luck  Posted on November 5, 2011 at 6:23 PM by wastingmytimehere. Jump to comment
Spelling correction, last post: parallel, not parrallel.  Posted on November 5, 2011 at 12:37 AM by Terry Parkhurst. Jump to comment
What the Karma uses is called a series hybrid drivetrain; while (most) other hybrid autos are using parrallel hybrid drivetrains.  Posted on November 5, 2011 at 12:36 AM by Terry Parkhurst. Jump to comment