The South Florida International Auto Show celebrates its 40th anniversary this year when it opens Friday, Nov. 5 for a 10-day run at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
The first South Florida show in 1971 featured less than 300 vehicles but shared Top 5 status nationwide with shows in New York, Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles. Now the annual event features hundreds of vehicles from the world’s top manufacturers, including the latest crossovers, SUV’s, pickups, concepts and accessories. Eco-friendly, alternative energy and other fuel-efficient models will be gathered in a new Green Way exhibit this year. Show veterans who saw details of the Chevrolet Volt chassis and battery in previous shows now can see the finished production car. The zero emissions, 100-percent Nissan LEAF will be on display before it becomes available by reservation only this December. Other green vehicles include the Audi A3TDI, the Honda CR-Z Hybrid and the latest Toyota Prius.
South Florida will serve as the location for a North American product introduction by Volvo, as the 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design makes its debut at the South Florida show. Featuring Volvo’s new Pedestrian Detection system, the 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design uses a camera and radar that can detect if a pedestrian walks into the vehicle’s path. If the system determines that an impact is imminent the brakes are applied at full force in order to avoid collision.
Visitors to the show will also be introduced to pre-sale vehicles and those just hitting showroom floors, like the Acura TSX Sport Wagon and the 2011 Nissan Juke. Additional vehicles of note include the completely redesigned 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Ideal Vehicle Award-winning 2011 Suzuki Kizashi.
Another new exhibit this year is Miami Street Rides, a collection of custom cars chopped, tuned and painted in the spirit of the 1960s movement by California-based designers and hobbyists. Jeep’s Rocks & Road Tour returns this year offering visitors “trail rated” rides through a water trough and over hills, logs and boulders.
Memory Lane is headlined this year by one of only 745 Chevrolet Corvettes built in 1959 with a 290 horsepower fuel-injected engine. The unique Vette is joined by a full collection of historical cars chosen by the South Florida chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Million Dollar Alley displays the most exotic and luxurious models on the market, including lines like Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati and Spyker. And motorcycles will fill a room at the show, near The Car Boutique displays of auto and home accessories.