ORLANDO, Fla. — My annual attendance of The Central Florida Auto Show on Thanksgiving evening allows me to walk off the mass calories I consumed earlier in the day and to sniff leather interiors. This year proved to be smallest yet due to three large brands no longer available and a few who didn’t even bother to show because they obviously felt confident in their numbers. 2010 is yet another year when each car resembles one another from the subcompact to the full size truck. Where did the originality go with different models? There wasn’t much to drool over with most just having minor tweaks. A Ford Fiesta was the only test drive being offered to which I politely declined. The old Festiva reminded me so much of a Yugo that I just couldn’t seem to shake that feeling of disgust when I pictured myself behind the wheel. The following day it turns out the course was open with a Camaro which would have been fun to test the patience of the sales guy forced to ride along. There is always next year…

Ford’s Explorer America was one of the few concepts on display. It is visually appealing with a beefy yet futuristic stance that sits on 22-inch Michelin tires. The Explorer America has a unique 3-bar grill, dome shaped hood, a wrap around rear glass panel that should eliminate blind spots, a one piece glass roof to soak the view in and a single passenger side rear sliding door with pillar-less design that allows for easy access to the space efficient second and third rows of seating. This mid-sized SUV would be powered by the Ecoboost line that promises reduced emissions and 20 percent better fuel economy. Ford’s state of the art spin on a traditional compass provides real time GPS, destinations, urban and country terrains by way of projected holographic imagery and intelligent forecasting. As well as 3D landscaping, weather from live Doppler’s and traffic visualization for all occupants to view. Ford has no real plans to develop the America but it is one of the most realistic concepts that I’ve seen.

A fully loaded Mitsubishi Evolution sat perched along the walkway made a strong attempt to get me to lose my lunch with overpowering sticker shock. I read it three times to make sure in fact it did say $41,969. With so many other options in that same price point, I would much rather spend the money on something that provided more bang for my buck. That’s just me though.

Toyotas 5th generation 4Runner which appears to be a mixture of leftover FJ, Land Cruiser and Sequoia parts came across as the middle child everyone has forgot about. With only the exterior being the obvious changes to this long running SUV favorite, a complete overhaul seems appropriate for this 5th redesign instead of this half-ass attempt to provide a facelift. An optional V8 still isn’t offered.

The inconspicuous grocery getter otherwise known as a Cadillac CTS-V was tucked in the corner besides its v6 sibling. Who can’t help but love a midsize that houses a 6.2 liter V8 with 556 horsepower and can claim to be the fastest sedan in the world? 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, why yes it ca! Did you say coupe late next year? Sign me up! If sex came shaped in a car residing on a showroom floor, this would be it. By the looks of all the men surrounding it with their disapproving spouses, I wasn’t the only one who felt the same way.

2010 may not be most talked about year for model changes or surprises but let us have faith in next year.

About The Author

Sarah Mullins is Blast's Automotive Editor

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