Miami Auto Show’s Best and Brightest Moments

By Thomas Bey

As autumn and winter months bring the chill, auto show season heats up.  The most prestigious venues in America, Europe and Asia are critical litmus tests of public reaction to concept cars and production models.  That isn’t to say auto shows are all business.  For attendees, there’s more to see than terminally bored models standing next to cars on turntables.  Take Miami’s recent event, officially the South Florida International Auto Show (SFIAS) and hotter than ever on its 40th anniversary.  Here are some highlights.

10. Miami Street Rides
Think of this debut event as a mashup of club scene, street car show, and concert.  Generally avoided by crabby retirees and minivan-shopping suburbanites.

9. Green Way
Essentially the antithesis of Miami Street Rides, this was a collective love fest of green cars showcased side-by-side, far away from metaphorical (and literal) overshadowing by the show’s big SUVs.

8. Jeep Rocks & Road Tour
For those who’ve forgotten that Jeeps excel at more than cruising South Beach and schlepping kids to soccer, trained instructors helped attendees navigate serious off-road setups. (pictured above)

7. Volvo gets R-rated
It wasn’t swearing in Swedish (hilarious as that probably is), but Volvo picked SFIAS to get R-rated.  Of all the shows on the circuit, they chose this one to reveal their promising 2011 S60 R-Design.

6. Memory Lane
You can’t fully appreciate where the industry is going without a reminder of its roots.  Twenty classic cars were on display for a lesson in living history.

5. Ride & Drives
Jaguar and Land Rover, two of South Florida’s most essential fashion accessories, headlined a handful of automakers offering brief but highly-addictive test drives.

4. Hollywood Represent
And that’s the Hollywood in California, not the Miami suburb.  Movie cars from Back To The Future, Ghostbusters, Grease and Speed Racer were an interesting, if random, diversion from the new rides.

3. You gotta B
SFIAS had B.  No, not Beyoncé.  B, as in 2-on-2 B-Boy/B-Girl battles, which as you may have guessed isn’t exactly standard equipment at these events.  Unless of course you count the Omaha Auto Show. 🙂

2. You gotta BMW
We should all be so lucky.  The BMW Alpina B7, based on the already-excellent 7 Series, was named Official Show Car.  It’s unclear whether any Alpinas were comped in appreciation.

1. Make like a Volt and LEAF
Even with heavyweights like Ferrari, Mercedes and Porsche in the house, the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) considered the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF (pictured above) the show’s best cars, and the Jeep’s Lower Forty scored best concept vehicle honors.


Thomas Bey(Thomas Bey is a freelance automotive journalist whose features have also appeared on AskMen.com and AOL Autos.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.