Whether you sip champagne for breakfast or are managing on a beer budget there was a transportation answer at the DFW Auto Show. Under the roof of the Kay Baily Hutchinson Convention center three hundred and fifty thousand dollar Bentleys rubbed elbows with sixteen thousand dollar KIA’s. No matter which end of the price spectrum you fit the theme seemed to be similar, bigger, more powerful and safer.
Our four hours press conference began with RAM’s new release of the Lone Star Sport Edition. RAM offers it fairly well equipped as a base model and popular accessories are available in easy to order packages. The Sport’s monotone exterior finish makes it stand out from other Lone Star editions. The V8 Hemi is offered with RAM’s new E-Torque system that uses electric power on initial acceleration to help improve fuel economy.
RAM also offers the largest center stack infotainment screen, a 12 inch vertical display that can be used to display
large maps, or split into 2 smaller screens to allow driver easier access to common functions. RAM is still the only system that lets the user select what icons sit on the home page, a feature that can eliminate a lot of searching.
Chevrolet highlighted their hugely successful mid-size Traverse SUV. Featured was the Red Line edition of the Traverse designed to reach higher budget buyers with more performance and distinctive styling. Of course no Chevy story is complete without a mention of the Corvette and Camaro. Prominently on display were the Corvette Stingray Convertible stickering at 59 thousand, the new ZR1 high performance version with 725 horsepower and no visible price and the Camaro Hot Wheels edition.
The soon to be replaced half ton pick up line was pretty much ignored during the conference and the new body style not mentioned at all.
One of the best innovations since the bumper hitch, the Trailer Towing Camera System, hasn’t been touted by GM and was relegated to an Audio-Visual display at the show.
Toyota re-introduced the Avalon for 2019. The new Avalon is slightly longer, a bit wider, more powerful and much roomier than ever.
As Toyota’s Flagship Sedan the Avalon gets all of the latest technology from intelligent engine controls to a pedestrian alert system that can steer the car to avoid impact.
Toyota proudly displayed the Texas Auto Writer’s Mid-Size Truck of Texas award. For the second year in a row Tacoma took that top spot at the annual Truck Rodeo.
Lexus began their presentation with the West Coast Customs “Black Panther” LC 500 designed for the new movie of the same name. The LS and ES models are both updated for the new year with more power in the engine, infotainment and safety. All models come with the Lexus Safety Sense Plus that includes active cruise control, lane keeping, blind spot and cross traffic monitors and automatic emergency braking.
The LX 570 is now offered without the third row of seats opening up more storage area and dropping the price significantly.
Ford came to the show in a big way with 41 vehicles on display from Super Duty trucks to the new EcoSport CUV. Their press briefing centered on the redesigned Expedition and the new Ranger pickup.
Texas is the biggest market for Expedition and Ford pays a lot of attention to what Texas wants in a full sized SUV. Expedition now has an aluminum body and 3.5 EcoBoost power. Class leading 2nd and third row seating combined with all of the latest safety and infotainment features make the Expedition high end value choice for those needing a full size SUV.
Ranger will come with the 2.3 liter EcoBoost 4 cylinder coupled to a 10 speed automatic transmission. Available in 3 trim levels; XL, XLT and Lariat the new Ranger should appeal to a much broader market. Rumor has a Raptor version to come soon and a diesel engine that may be available. The Ranger will be in dealers early 2019.
Eric Shelby, grandson of the famous Carroll Shelby loaned his Fort GT to the show. The GT is Ford’s super car offering, competing with Ferrari and other high-end import performance cars.
Closing out the conference was Park Place Motor, Dallas’s renowned luxury car dealership. In one car coral we found Bentley, Rolls, Bugatti, McLaren and Lotus Here we found the new Bentley Bentayga SUV that brags of 0 to 60 speeds of 3.6 seconds from its twin turbo 6 liter 12 cylinder engine for only 184000 dollars. . While very few of the thousands to visit the show will be able to afford these iconic vehicles we can all dream.
Overall the organization and presentation of the DFW Auto Show was very good and it provided a great day out. Attending the show may help you narrow done the next car you want to buy, or it may just confuse you more as you see all the terrific products offered by almost every maker.