FanBolt was in attendance for the Opening Day of the 2019 Miami International Auto Show, which fit beautifully in and outside of the newly designed Miami Convention Center. The show is going on now through November 10, 2019, and will skip next year as the show will make a move from November to February for 2021 -- just in time to celebrate its milestone 50th anniversary.
The 2019 Miami Auto Show
The best thing about the Miami Auto Show is it offers all the impressive cars that you see at the larger shows, yet it’s more intimate and offers you more time with the vehicles. It’s my favorite auto show I’ve visited to date (don’t tell the others), and it more than delivered with can’t miss vehicles -- no matter your price point -- from $20K to north of $2 million. There’s something for everyone. My picks are below.
7 Can’t Miss Cars at the 2019 Miami Auto Show
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8 was named “Star of the Show” by the Southern Automotive Media Association. It was a unanimous decision by the judging panel -- and with what all you get, at the price you get it at -- it’s not hard to see why this was the favorite.
It’s a mid-engine sports car that you won’t drive every day, but you’ll want to drive every day. It has an all-new LT2 V8 engine that is visible through the rear hatch window and delivers 495 horsepower with 470lb-ft of torque. It’s the most powerful production Stingray to date and has a top speed on the tracks of 194 mph! But the coolest part is that it starts at just $60K.
One more noteworthy feature, this is the first-ever production retractable hardtop. The top flows seamlessly into the body -- without affecting the vehicle’s storage performance capabilities.
2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Starting at $73K, the Shelby GT500 demains your attention the moment you make eye contact. It comes with a 5.2L Supercharged Cross-Plane Crank V8, which delivers 760 horsepower and 625lb-ft of torque. This means if you want to get up and go, this is the car that delivers. It will take you 0 to 100 to 0 in just 10.6 seconds.
The Shelby GT500 has many features that car enthusiasts will appreciate if they take their car to the track. But what about for the everyday thrill drive? You’re looking at roughly 14 MPG in the city and 21 MPG on the highway. Not great gas mileage, but you’re in a sports car that delivers a stellar performance!
2020 Toyota 86
It’s no secret that I’m a Toyota fan girl. My very first car was a 1996 RAV4, and my current car is a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid. So it’s not surprising that I was drooling over several models that Toyota had on display at the 2019 Miami Auto Show -- namely the Supra and this 86. Fun fact, I’m a massive fan of the color emerald, so the best way to grab my attention at an auto show is to have an emerald vehicle at your booth. Needless to say, I was intensely drawn to the 2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Edition (this edition starts at just under $30K). I mean, who doesn’t want an affordable sports car in a deep shade of green? Sign me up!
So besides the stunning color (which I’m shocked more cars don’t come in), what does the 2020 Toyota 86 have to offer? It has a new TRD Handling Package, 200 horsepower and 151lb-ft of torque, 6-speed manual transmission, and paddle shifters. And if you want to take it to the track, you can shut off all stability assists with the 86’s Vehicle Stability Control -- giving you full control to push the 86 to its limits.
One more fun fact, this edition is named after the Hakone Turnpike in Japan -- one of Japan’s best driving roads.
2020 Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai has its 2020 Sonata front and center of their booth. While the tech on this new model wow’ed me, my favorite feature was their headlight design. Unique Hidden Lighting Lamps transform the field hood lines when lit. It almost looks like a gradient of light on the front of the vehicle. It creates a strong and modern front-facing appearance -- especially with the absence of a cut line for the hood (something you rarely see outside of the luxury car space).
On the technology front, the coolest feature of the 2020 Sonata is the Remote Smart Parking Assist. This feature allows for you to exit your car and pull it into or out of a parking spot -- forward or backward -- all from your keyfob. No more stressing out over tight parking spaces! It also has a Digital Key -- allowing you to unlock your car with a compatible smartphone or send Digital Keys to other individuals you want to have access to your vehicle.
And there’s even a solar panel roof, which helps to recharge the car’s battery. Pretty freaking cool, right?
2020 Toyota Highlander
One more Toyota for this list! The 2020 Toyota Highlander was unveiled at NYIAS earlier this year but stood front and center at MIAS -- as it greets you when you first walk in the main doors.
What stands out about the 2020 model? It’s Toyota’s fourth-generation SUV redesigned from the ground up, and it offers the best-in-class MPG for a hybrid. There’s a 17% fuel economy improvement over the current generation hybrid with an estimated 34 MPG combined. In addition to a new design, it also comes with a choice of V6 or new-generation hybrid powertrain and all-new dynamic torque vectoring all-wheel drive with driveline disconnect and multi-terrain select.
2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo
If you like sportscars, and $210K isn’t out of your budget, then the 2020 Nissan GT-R Nismo is one worthy of checking out. The 2020 model comes with 600 horsepower and is 23 pounds lighter than its predecessor due to the amount of carbon fiber used for the hood, fenders (with new venting system), roof, rear spoiler, side sills, and rear fascia. The Bilstein® DampTronic® suspension and Brembo® Carbon Ceramic Braking system also come on this model -- which further enhances handling.
The interior is a beauty too. Though I have to wonder how some of the materials used inside the Nismo will hold up over time -- suede in the sun seems like a recipe for disaster to me.
I saved the most attention-grabbing car for last. When I walked by the Karlmann King SUV on the show floor, I honestly thought this was a concept car inspired by the Tumbler from Batman Begins -- as I wasn’t familiar with the brand before this show.
After further inspection, I learned that the European-designed SUV is only available at one dealership in the US -- the Excell Auto Group of Boca Raton, Florida. Each one of these vehicles is made to order in Italy, and no option is off the table. You want ballistic armor plating? You got it. The Karlmann King starts at $699K -- but you can quickly get the price tag over $2 million with all the available bells and whistles.
The 2019 Miami Auto Show is going on now through November 10th, 2019, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. And don’t forget to mark your calendars for February 19-28, 2021, for the show’s 50th-Anniversary Show!