Showrooms of Scottsdale, AZ – October 2013

Having spent an enjoyable couple of hours at the Scottsdale International Auto Museum, I decided to fill the remaining couple of hours in my day before heading to the Sky Harbor Airport for a flight back to Los Angeles with a visit to the large car showroom complex that surrounds the Penske museum, something which I have done a number of times before when in the area. Whenever I’ve been, there has been a warm welcome from at least one of the salesmen, with a sincere invitation to spend as long as I want looking at the varied metal on display, even though it is clear that I am in no way a prospect for a sale. With a variety of franchises on the same campus, there is plenty to look at, and you can be sure that there will be some new models since the last trip. October 2013 proved no exception as this short report will evidence.

The showrooms are ranged around about a quarter of ellipse, with plenty of display cars parked up outside both in front and behind the buildings. The represented marques are presented alphabetically here, though this was not the order in which I visited them.


By the time I got to Acura, time was running a bit short, and I confess I did not actually go into the showroom. Although they have toned down the worst excesses of the wilfully ugly styling that afflicted almost the entire range a few years, there is still nothing in the range that you could conceivable say is attractive, and the TL (undepicted here) is still positively hideous.

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This is likely the last year for the TSX, an Acura-ed version of the Euro Accord. Rumour has it that it will not be replaced, largely as there will not be a new Euro Accord.

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Many complain that telling the different Aston models apart is far from easy, and this is true when you only get a fleeting glimpse. See them all parked up in a showroom when you can take a long hard look, as I could here, and there are plenty of ways to tell your Virage from the DB9 and the V8 Vantage. Helpfully, there were examples of all of them, as well as the Rapide to make the comparison easy.

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I’d run out of time by the time I got to Audi, so had to look from the outside and walk past the RS7 which had pride of place inside the showroom.

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It was when taking pictures of the Bentleys that were parked outside that a salesman spotted me, came out to talk to me, and invite me to come in and linger as long as I wanted. He told me that the new Flying Spur was been particularly well received by his client base, with the new rear end differentiating it more from the Continental GT and GTC. All these models were on display along with the latest Mulsanne.

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Newcomer here was the 4 Series which had just gone on sale in the US and the slightly gawky 3 Series GT.

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There were plenty of examples of the rest of the range, too.

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This splendid 575 SuperAmerica was actually to be found in the Porsche showroom, and needless to say it was attracting even more attention than the Stuttgart products.

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A couple of 458 Spiders were to be found in the showroom, nestling up close to their nearest rival, the McLaren. There was a Coupe model also with the Porsche cars, and an early car parked up outside.

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The red wheels on this 430 Spider are definitely not to my taste. Contrast with one with standard appearance.

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Far more agreeable was this secondhand 599 GTB parked outside.

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The F Type would just be perfect on a day like this – blue skies and warm temperatures.

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There were plenty of saloons, XF and XJ, too. Note that most of them were painted white.

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Pride of place, as has been the case for the last couple of years, goes to an Aventador, but this time the latest Spider model.

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There were also examples of the Gallardo on display.

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The familiar Freelander is badged LR2 in the US, as the name got tarnished early in the life of the first generation model. Needless to say, Land Rover sells far more of their larger and more costly models in America than they do of this, the entry level vehicle.

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Parked up outside were a trio of the current range: a duo of GranTurismo alongside the new Quattroporte. A new dedicated showroom is currently being fitted out, in readiness for the larger sales volumes that will doubtless come when supply of the new Ghibli eases.

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There were a couple of the 12C models, in Coupe and Spider formats on display.

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America gets all the different MINI bodystyles, though they miss out on the sub Cooper and the Diesel cars. There were loads of examples of all of the range on show outside the rather small showroom area.

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Rarest, by some measure, was one of the first generation MINI Cooper JCW GP cars.

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The latest Cayman is now well established, and the 991-based 911 model range although continuing to expand is also a reasonably common sight on the roads, but even so it was nice to get a chance to see these, as well as the more familiar Boxster, Panamera and Cayenne, as well as a number of older models.

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Even in the smarter areas of Phoenix, Rolls-Royce are not that common a sight on the streets, but sales are steady, and there were examples of all the current range, except the yet to reach America, Wraith, all available for instant gratification to anyone who walked in with the necessary funds at their disposal.

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The new brand for the Viper. Toned down perhaps over the first generation models, but still striking and a head turner wherever one appears.

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A fitting finale. The VW showroom always seems to contain a mix of the latest product with some classic machines. Needless to say the latter are designed to attract people in, and this time, I noticed that there were signs saying that all of them were for sale, though anyone expecting a bargain would be disappointed. My suspicion is that there is no real urgency to sell any of the classics, but if someone happened to wave enough fistfuls of dollars, they would not decline. Classics included a number of Type 2s, in pickup, van and caravan forms, along with Beetle and Karmann Ghia cars as well as my favourite, a Thing.

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Among the brand new cars were the US-specific Passat as well as the Golf (still Mark VI in US for another few months), the second generation new Beetle as well as plenty of Jetta.

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A diverting couple of hours before heading back to Los Angeles.

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