Fox Marketing and Artisan Performance teamed up to create this subtle yet aggressive Lexus IS-F for last year’s SEMA show, and almost a year later the Sunset Orange Pearl paint on this wide body IS is still shining brightly. The subtle part involves the numerous bodywork modifications that enhance rather than rethink the lines of the V8 powered factory tuned sedan, making it look even more muscular in the process. The aggressive aspect is applied to the eight cylinder engine we mentioned earlier that gets upgraded with a full blown twin turbo kit that the tuners expect to be good for over 600 HP. No matter which angle you look at this Lexus IS-F from you can’t help but be overwhelmed with the subtle details that set this IS apart from ordinary four door luxury cars.
The Subaru WRX STi is always a nice sight to see, and the Japanese automaker had one such example sitting front and center at their exhibit at the 2009 Miami Auto Show. Although Mitsubishi had one of their latest sleeper EVO s on hand at the show, Subaru was displaying the standard version of their high performance in house tuned hatchback. The STi tuned Impreza is highlighted for its 300 HP turbocharged 2.5 Liter flat four cylinder engine and symmetrical all wheel drivetrain that earned the car multiple World Rally Championship titles. After speaking with some Subaru representatives earlier on this year, we learned that they have accepted their fair share of criticism for numbing the 2008 model and promise that the 2009 STi is as razor sharp as ever. There is also the issue with the new STi’s hatchback only body style, but rest assured fans of the traditional four door sport compact version, the car will be making a comeback very soon.
You might have seen this sleek C6 based concept in the big screen blockbuster Transformers 2 and was previously known as the Corvette Centennial Concept, however now we can call the Stingray by its true name. Full of cues from a bygone era like the split rear window that dates back to the original 1963 Stingray Corvette . The concept made its debut earlier this year in Chicago, but it looked as good as ever sitting in South Beach. This concept came in a close second for concept vehicle of the show, but was only edged out slightly by its Cadillac cousin ’s roof mounted solar panel. However the Stingray is absolutely stunning and the word is that the next generation Corvette will draw its inspiration from this concept.
The Japanese luxury automaker Acura brought their ZDX Concept to the 2009 Miami Auto Show in order to give South Florida consumers a preview as to what the upcoming 2010 ZDX production car will look like. The ZDX is a midsize crossover that was designed to merge the emotional appeal of a sports coupe and all-season, all-surface versatility, the all-new ZDX breaks new barriers for Acura and for the luxury market. Its "Passionate Getaway" design honors the driver and passenger first, while also providing an impeccably finished luggage storage area that bests that of most luxury sedans. The rear seat area, with its abbreviated doors and door handles creatively integrated into the C-pillar, accommodates three additional passengers as required for occasional trips. But overall, the ZDX targets its mission as a 2-passenger personal escape vehicle with unmistakable Acura style. Under the hood, Acura will use a 3.7 Liter V6 that will put out 300 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque and will be mated to an all new 6 speed automatic transmission.
Now under control of the Swedish super car manufacturer Koenigsegg , SAAB is currently enjoying a bit of a revitalization and in doing so took the wraps off of their latest generation 9-5 sedan at the 2009 Miami Auto Show. Although the new car made it’s international debut in Frankfurt, this 9-5 is still new to North America and the South Florida Show marks the car’s first appearance here in the U.S. The nose of the new 9-5 sedan is inspired by the Aero-X Concept featuring a deep grille flanked with curving, ice-block headlamp units. The entire greenhouse is presented as a ‘wraparound’ mono graphic, the disguised windshield and side pillars giving the cabin Saab’s signature cockpit look. Squint slightly, and the proportions of the windshield and roof become reminiscent of the classic 900 model. The new car comes with a variety of engine options, however here in the U.S. SAAB expects the 2.8 Liter turbocharged V6 engine that puts out approximately 300 HP to be the big seller.
We have been eagerly anticipating the even more powerful Audi R8 ever since words were first spoken about the Lamborghini rivaling 5.2 Liter FSI V10 powered four ring super car. Fortunately for us, the German luxury car builder brought this bright white example to the 2009 Miami Auto Show for all of South Florida to see. The R8 V10 will be powered by the same 5.2 liter V10 as the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 . The engine is rated at 525 HP, which is 105 more ponies than the V8 version but still about 27 HP less than the Gallardo. Officially known as the Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro, It can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 3.9 seconds. When equipped with R tronic semi-automatic gearbox, it reaches 125 MPH in another 8.1 seconds and can reach a top speed of 196 MPH while selling for nearly $180,000.
Aside from fast Ferrari’s, the high performance retailer, the Collection also handles sales duty for the German sports car maker Porsche . They did have a low slung Cayenne Transsyberia and a few Boxster s on display, but all eyes were on the new four door sports car that made its world debut back in Frankfurt, the Panamera . Starting at just under $90,000 for a 400 HP direct injected V8 powered Panamera S complete with Porsche’s new PDK gearbox, these cars will be on sale sometime soon next year, but the best part of all is that the 520 HP turbocharged super sedan will also show up in showrooms at the same time, we can’t wait.
The exotic Italian automaker Lamborghini had a strong showing at the 2009 Miami Auto Show, after all there isn’t any better place on the planet to enjoy these exotic Italian super cars. Leading the pack was a white V12 powered Murcielago that stretched out with its elongated nose and side scoop on the fresh carpeting of the Miami Beach Convention Center. Next in line was a fresh drop top Lamborghini Galardo Spyder , complete with some of the nicest mesh wheels we have seen in our collective lifetimes. The highlight of the group is the special edition rear wheel drive Gallardo LP-550 2 Valentino Balboni, named after the long time Italian test driver and eagerly awaiting a new tail happy owner. Somewhat of a cult classic here in South Florida and familiar with Lamborghini enthusiasts around the world, is the proverbial Sharpie Car, a Gallardo that was turned into a high performance piece of artwork.
Our friends at South Florida’s premier exotic car dealership, The Collection, brought out a trio of Ferrari ’s finest to the 2009 Miami Auto Show. The headliners were the smaller of Maranello’s offerings, we saw the new retractable hard top California back at their Coral Gables showroom back in April , but any time you see a set of carbon fiber side mirrors, like those on an F-430 Scuderia , it is always a stunning sight to see. Hiding out in the back of the Ferrari part of the super car retailer’s display was their current flagship model, the front engine V12 grand touring 599 GTB Fiorano. Despite almost a million dollars worth of Italian speed machines, much of the interest was on the upcoming 458 Italia mid engine sports car that will eventually replace the discreet, non striped, Scuderia.
The Japanese performance minded automaker Mitsubishi showed off a more aggressive crossover model back in New York earlier this year, however the EVO faced Outlander GT Prototype still manages to impress here in Miami. There is something about the squinting headlights ability to stare you down just like the 300 HP turbocharged all wheel drive Lancer Evolution X can despite the 230 HP V6 that makes this slightly larger CUV quite an attractive option for a commuter vehicle.