What I learned at the motorshow

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Another Edmonton Motorshow is history. Did you take time to check out all the cars, trucks and displays? It was absolutely the best place to touch, feel and smell what’s new for the 2014 model year without feeling pressured by a sales person.

With the exception of Edmonton’s newspapers, Edmonton media really didn’t dig into some of the real stories behind the vehicles or upcoming trends. Let me pass along a few observations and information I gleaned from the key people I talked with from the various manufacturers.

Ford had quite a presence at the show when it came to staff from head office. I met with Max Farley, product manager for trucks in Canada. He’s the guy I photographed proudly standing by the 2015 F-150.

Max says the new truck being introduced this fall will weigh 700 pounds less than the current model – aluminum body panels the main reason behind the weight reduction.

Repairs may cost a little more, but Farley says Ford body shops and independent shops will receive training on how to deal with repairs to aluminum panels. The lighter F-150 means better fuel economy from all available engines and improved towing capacity. A 3.5-litre V6 will be the base engine. The frame will also be a little more beefy.

Stephanie Cornforth, a product marketing manager, let me sit in the prototype Mustang Coupe that was displayed. The new Mustang looks great and inside I came away impressed with the design and feel of the interior.

Cornforth says the 2015 model is all-new with more engine choices and will deliver a fundamental Mustang driving experience. As a die-hard Mustang fan I am not disappointed in what I saw and can’t wait to drive the new car. Production is expected to begin in mid-August.

In talking with Ramez Fawzy, a Lincoln specialist for Western Canada, I get the impression Lincoln will not really be competing with Cadillac or German luxury car brands. Picture them as Buick-like, offering something for everyone such as the 2015 MKC small crossover SUV.

Two more new models are coming but Fawzy can’t say what those vehicles will be like. I’m not holding my breath for a sports sedan although that would be nice, in my opinion.

Nissan displayed the new Micra, a model name some of us remember from way back. Nissan has priced this model to start at a very low $9,998. Under 10 grand for a new car is quite an achievement but don’t expect that price to last for very long. I like the looks of the sporty SR which starts at only $15,748. My type of commuter car: quick and nimble.

Mitsubishi had a sedan version of its popular Mirage on display. It was there to gauge feedback from people to see if a sedan version of their sub-compact was worth importing to Canada.

As for exotic sports cars I was pleased to see Jaguar had an F-Type Coupe on display. This is the car that is taking on Porsche’s 911. The F-Type is a beautiful car and one I need to slide into this summer and experience.

So if you have more $80,000 and had been thinking of getting yourself a fast sports car, the F-Type would be a good investment.

And kudos to Bob Vilas and Eleasha Naso, the key organizers behind the motorshow for expanding the commercial exhibits. It was a brilliant move to display more custom body conversions for contractors and other businesses. This is a big vehicle market and custom conversions are in big demand for business in Alberta.

The Edmonton Motorshow just keeps getting better and bigger. I’m already looking forward to next year.

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