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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW PUTS UP A GRAND SPECTACLE!

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
We missed out last year on the Miami International Auto Show because of cancelation forced by Hurricane Irma but not in 2018! It is always a pleasure to visit South Beach and mainly the Miami Beach Convention Center, which has undergone a $620 million renovation. As a result, the original 108,000-square-foot facility has now grown to 1.4 million!
That meant plenty of space for hundreds of new cars and truck during the 48th annual Miami International Auto Show Oct. 5-13. Here are some of the highlights from the manufacturers:

MOPAR EXHIBIT
The Nacho Jeep Concept caught our eyes mainly because South Florida is No. 1 for Mopar in terms of accessories. A satin black grille, steel bumpers, JPP performance hood, 2-inch round tube doors, A-pillar LED lights, signature black fuel door, 37-inch tires, dura-coated rock rails and black Katzkin leather seats are among the standouts. We were told 80 percent of the parts in this concept Jeep are in production. So, we will not be surprised if the Nacho (love the nacho emblem!) becomes a reality down the road!

RAM
Ram is in the midst of launching the revamped Ram 1500. Ram sales are nationally up 9 percent year-after-year basis. The pickup, now longer, wide and offering the largest cabin in the segment, is loaded with tech goodies. Ram engineers at the show were proud of its enhanced fuel economy, tow/haul increase of 20 percent, while terming the Ram a “no-compromise truck.”

LEXUS
The Japanese luxury car division of Toyota showed off the 2019 RC300, which has been tweaked inside and out for 2019, and the totally overhauled 2019 ES350, which for the first time gets an F-Sport model. Also on display was an all-new UX crossover from Lexus.

FORD
After an 8-year hiatus, the once-popular Ranger returns to the Ford lineup. The midsize truck will have a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine with a base price of about $24,000. Ford also is pining hopes on the Edge, Expedition, Explorer and F-150.

NISSAN

The all-new Kicks and redesigned Altima add fresh blood to the Nissan brand but what caught our attention was the Titan XD Diesel Midnight Edition Crew Club truck built for tackling disasters. Nissan collaborated with the American Red Cross to create this Ultimate Service Titan, a mobile command center and first aid unit armed with supplies. The ICON lift kit enables the truck to clear through debris blocking the road during say a hurricane or any natural calamity. Other notable features include a short staircase on both sides, power running boards, weather- and water-resistant seat covers, onboard WiFi, wash station, cooling boxes and an astounding 75-gallon on-board capacity fuel tank.

TOYOTA
Toyota is laser-focused on the 2019 RAV4, which is now the No. 1 seller for the carmaker. Last year, Toyota sold about 407,000 of the units. The fifth-gen compact RAV4 will be equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed direct shift transmission. A Toyota first is a rear mirror camera.

The Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) presented its annual awards during a media luncheon. The 2019 Genesis Essentia Concept vehicle was recognized as the “Star of the Show.” Other winners were: 2019 Nissan Altima “Car of the Show;” 2019 Ford Ranger “Pickup Truck of the Show;” 2019 Jaguar I-Pace “Eco Vehicle of the Show;” and 2018 Jeep Wrangler “SUV of the Show.”
Also on display were gems of yesteryears in the Memory Lane and Havana Classics exhibits.
The auto show was presented by the South Florida Automobile Dealers Association, which comprises more than 190 dealerships in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties.