Here at The Verge, we like to cover cars from a slightly different angle. Also at The Verge, we like to focus on the weird side of internet culture (and just culture) under the banner of TL;DR.
Lucky for us, car shows, like any big press event, are inherently weird. And things are getting increasingly bizarre as the industry continues to push (or claim it’s pushing) toward an electric, autonomous, and ride-sharing future — things that were all on display at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.
So we decided to honor the weirdest, worst, and longest cars we saw at this year’s show with the first ever TLDCar awards. Unfortunately for the winners, we didn’t bother designing a trophy. Also, Joe Biden stopped by.
Most overused buzzword: Mobility
Bro, do you even mobility? If we started a drinking game where we had to take a shot every time someone said “mobility” this week, we would have died from alcohol poisoning on the first morning. —Andy Hawkins
Most America: Toyota
At last year’s show, everyone was focused on announcing cars that would sell well in China. This year, for some orange reason that I can’t quite put my smallest finger on, the companies were all obsessed with talking about America. Who America’d best, though?
Toyota. Toyota announced the new 2018 Camry, aka your Uber car in two years, and the president of the company called it the “#1 Most American Car.” Immediately after making that claim, which is as aggressively patriotic as it is oblique, someone drove the 2018 NASCAR Toyota Camry on stage, and drivers Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin appeared. #America. —Sean O’Kane
Autonomous car most likely to be hotboxed: Rinspeed Oasis
Weed in the front, pizza in the box. The Swiss automaker delighted many with its totally useless concept, the Oasis, a cute little brick of a car with a garden of fake succulents on the dash and a self-warming trunk perfect for micro-deliveries of food. Replace those succulents with kind bud, and you have the future’s most successful delivery company. —AH
Best Joe: Great Lakes Coffee Motor City Blend / Joe Biden
Every year I look forward to coming to the Detroit Auto show for a very specific reason: the press room is stocked with a never ending flow of freshly brewed coffee from Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company. I chug at least four or five cups of the Motor City Blend a day. So GLCRC was a shoe-in for “Best Joe” — that is, until Joe Biden showed up at the show. So we’ll call it a tie. —SO
Worst pedals: Volkswagen I.D. Buzz
I want an all-electric Volkswagen bus, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. So it hurts every time the company trots out a new electric bus concept without any concrete plans to make one. Luckily, Volkswagen made some truly awful interior design decisions this go round, including a brake and throttle pedals with corresponding pause / play icons. Yeah, I can wait another year. —SO
Longest car: Parts Plus Dragster
I mean, I didn’t go out there with measuring tape or anything, but I feel pretty confident about this one. —SO
Worst Ferrari: Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
It’s a Ferrari station wagon. Fight me. —SO
Best physical manifestation of a car from the movie Cars
If the first few trailers for Cars 3 are any indication, Lightning McQueen is going to have a rough go of it in his next movie. Cheers to him for showing up to the show and putting on a big smile. —SO
Worst physical manifestation of a car from the movie Cars
Oh my god it’s my nightmare. —SO
Pointiest car: Nissan Vmotion 2.0
Most people seemed to like the Nissan Vmotion 2.0, if only because nothing more exciting was debuted at the show. Whether you like it or not, though, there’s no doubting it was the pointiest new car announced this year. Judging by the current state of car design, that still apparently counts for a lot. —SO