2019 Miami International Auto Show: Future Trends and Advanced Technology


Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Bienvenidos to the 49th annual Miami International Auto Show (MIAS) in South Beach! The waterfront weather was divine for media day at the Miami Beach Convention Center where I covered an assortment of on-demand vehicles displayed.  South Floridian show visitors are going to enjoy the several hundred new cars, crossovers, SUVs, trucks, concept cars, exotics, and luxury liners at the show. I certainly did!

Now open until Sunday, November 10th, car connoisseurs can expect to see hundreds of rides, including those from the popular Memory Lane, Havana Classics, and Drive Exotics exhibits. Guests can also jump behind the wheel of Wranglers and Gladiators to experience Camp Jeep’s outside off-road course as well as test-drive Nissans, Chevys, and the 2019 Camry, 2019 Highlander, 2019 RAV4 Hybrid, and the 2020 Tundra TRD Pro. Lastly, you will also receive an exciting opportunity to win a redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.MiamiAutoShow.net.

Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator “Three O Five” Editions

The auto scene was first set ablaze by the unveiling of the new Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator Three O Fives. The limited-edition production utilities have been manifested uniquely for Miami residents with the following cues:

  • The (305) area code project vehicles celebrate the “Magic City” of Miami.
  • Offer a unique appearance and an array of Jeep Performance Parts from Mopar.
  • Exclusively available in “Miami colors” – Bright White or Punk’n Orange Metallic.
  • As imagined, Jeep is producing only 305 special-edition models.
  • Wrangler “Three O Five” Edition marks the first time the Jeep Sky One-touch powertop is available on Jeep Sport S models.

The 2019 MIAS signifies the 10th year of Camp Jeep, which allows consumers to witness firsthand the trail-rated capabilities of the Jeep brand right in their backyard. In fact, 150,000 show visitors have taken the driving course so far. Impressive!

2020 Toyota Highlander

Toyota made a big splash with the announcement of three new models including the 2020 Highlander, 2020 GR Supra, and the 2020 Corolla Sedan. With three rows of comfort, the next-gen Highlander midsize family SUV increases its bold characteristics and distinctive design cues to coincide with a foundation focused on durability, safety, comfort, quality, and reliability. Coming to Toyota showrooms this winter for the V6 gas model and in the first quarter of 2020 for the hybrid variant (34 mpg combined mpg), the 4th generation Highlander will be available in five grades with forward-looking infotainment features for all ages including a new 12.3” touchscreen display and JBL Premium sound system with 1,200 heart-pumping watts of power. The Toyota Hybrid System incorporates a high-efficiency 2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors.

Additionally, at MIAS in the Toyota booth, visitors can experiment with the latest technologies in the Avalon Tech Zone, which is an interactive area that demonstrates the connectivity with mobile devices thanks to Apple CarPlay compatibility and Amazon Alexa + Toyota in-car technology. Photo opportunities will also be given throughout the week to pose with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin’s car.

2020 Sonata and Beyond

Hyundai was pretty busy at the 2019 Miami International Auto Show this year. The 2020 Hyundai Palisade SUV is the official show car; the 2020 Sonata Limited 1.6T and 2020 Palisade were on deck for media spins around the local area; and both won a 2019 Sobre Ruedas Award, one of the leading automotive voices in the Hispanic market. Hyundai Motor America earned the “Manufacturer of the Year” award as well, exemplifying excellence in a diverse and ever-changing market.

 “The Southern Region is one of Hyundai’s fastest-growing and most valued markets,” said Steve Flood, regional general manager, Hyundai Motor America. “We’re proud to debut the all-new Sonata at the Miami International Auto Show on the same day it begins production.”

The 8th-generation Sonata, Hyundai’s longest-standing and most successful model, is the first of the family’s sedans to integrate Hyundai’s Sensuous Sportiness design language. An edgy silhouette emphasizes the Korean vehicle with proportion characteristics of 4-door coupes. Its long snout smiles with Hyundai’s indomitable grille and is highlighted by sexy DLRs that connect to thin metal runoffs outlining the hood.

A large moonroof, wireless device charging, fancy center stack, sharp taillights, 12.3” digital instrument cluster, Bose audio, and Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) are just a few of the amenities I took notice to during the presentation and test drive. RSPA converts the key fob into a remote control, whereas the driver can move the Sonata forward or backward while standing outside of the vehicle. An 8-speed transmission is paired to either of two Smartstream engines, including a hybrid eco-efficient powertrain with Active Shift Control.

2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO

Godzilla is back with a vengeance and takes its performance levels to the next level with GT3 race car turbochargers. The technique of a modified turbine shape and fewer blades augments the flow rate and enhances the acceleration response by 20% without losing power. In Miami, the Japanese supercar is showcased with the GT-R NISMO badge in a brilliant red hue. Hand-assembled by individual takumi technicians, the GT-R utilizes a GT3 derived 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 engine that allows the racer to hit 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds from its 600-horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque. Moreover, the coupe is blessed with carbon fiber throughout, including the roof, super wing, chin spoiler, and hood scoops. A revamped suspension maintains stability at higher speeds while enlarged carbon ceramic Brembos provide the braking power. However, Nissan wants a whopping $210,740 for the GT-R NISMO!

The Genesis Experience

After the morning press conferences, I joined my media colleagues at the SAMA luncheon sponsored by Genesis, who gave us an outlook of the brand’s direction and talked about the forthcoming 2020 G90 and a new SUV, which would be a company first. The Genesis Experience offers luxuriant customers both venerable Korean sports performance and full-on opulent touring sedans. Kevin Smith, the Senior Group Manager, PR, and CSR of Genesis, delivered a monologue outlining positioning in the luxury automotive segment while simultaneously introducing fashionable products to the portfolio. The G70, for example, leans more towards the athletic side of the lineup but also instills some of the hallmarks of the midsize G80 sports luxury sedan and full-size G90.

With more than three years under the belt and three reliable products to work with, Genesis continues to evolve the brand’s awareness to consumers in addition to increasing the validity of its engineering capabilities and magnificent design techniques through innovation and bold actions. Have you witnessed the “fine art gallery” worthy Essentia Concept? With dazzling imagery and electrifying energy, the prospect of such a quintessential player on the roster speaks volumes for the Korean automaker’s potential. Speaking of players, Genesis is also the luxury auto sponsor of the NFL and of course, the headliner of the Genesis Open golf tournament on the PGA Tour in California.

Other perks of owning a Genesis include complimentary service valet where they pick up your vehicle and drop off another Genesis; Genesis Connected Services, a 10-year powertrain warranty; 3-year complimentary maintenance service; and 3-year SiriusXM to name a few. Bravo Genesis!

Additional Attractions and Fancy Rides

After lunch, I strolled around the show floor to check out the rest of the exhibitors and the most profound rides on site. Two 2020 Corvette Stingrays were on display along with corresponding digital customization kiosks to design your dream ‘Vette. The mid-engine sports car features an aluminum structure, carbon fiber components, LT2 small-block V8 with 490-horsepower, and an available Front Lift system that raises the front fascia almost 2″ at low speeds to clear obstacles like speed bumps or steep driveways. The system can store up to 1,000 GPS locations!

Other excitement came from The Excell Auto Group in the form of a set of exotics as well as the enormous Karlmann King and USSV Rhino GX SUVs. It’s like Transformers clashed with the Military’s Special Ops unit! The SX is one of the largest SUVs available on the market and will take you from the wilderness to a night on the town in style. The Karlmann King has to be one of the world’s most exclusive SUVs. Expect to pay $690,000 for your custom machine in either carbon fiber or bulletproof steel.

I was also fond of the collection of electric cycles from Stealth Electric Bike with a focus on the Stealth P-7. The company blends bespoke, handcrafted designs with e-bike technology and power and performance. Other models include the B-52, F-37, and H-52.

Changes are coming for next year, so mark your calendars for the auto show’s 50th anniversary, February 19-28, 2021. “The auto show is thrilled to join the elite list of world-class events that define South Florida each February,” stated Richard A. Baker, President of the South Florida Automobile Dealers Association. “The move pays homage to the industry circuit, which sees the majority of major auto shows kicking off in the beginning of the year.”

Miami is a special place, indeed. So, after the MIAS, enjoy art displays at the Bass Museum, visit the beautiful Botanical Gardens, shop at Lincoln Road’s iconic promenade, take a scenic beachwalk, and of course appease your appetite from an array of glorious dining options in South Beach as I did at Love Life Café in the Time Out Market. There was nothing like watching a Friday night  NBA game on the big screen while listening to the tunes of Reggaeton from a live DJ and enjoying clean, refreshing grub. Only in South Beach!

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