Fresh lineup of in­ter­na­tional cars at auto show

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Business - SCOTT STUR­GIS Scott Stur­gis, a free­lance auto writer, can be reached at mr­driverss-

Pres­i­dents Day in Pitts­burgh means more than thoughts of Hon­est Abe, mat­tress sales and maybe some time off work.

It’s auto show time. The Pitts­burgh In­ter­na­tional Auto Show opens Fri­day at 10 a.m. and runs through Mon­day at 6 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, Down­town.

Thisyear’s high­lights — among40 man­u­fac­tur­ers and dozen­sof ven­dors — in­clude more ex­otic cars than ever, the Ford F-150 Po­lice Re­spon­der, and a chance to test drive four Toy­ota mod­els.

Here’s a closer look at those high points, fol­lowed by mini-re­views of some of the pro­duc­tion cars there.

Ex­otic cars: Face it — this will be the clos­est many of us will get to a McLaren, Lam­borgh­ini, Bent­ley, As­ton Martin or Fer­rari.

One un­usual item is Fer­rari’s GT4Lusso. Three pas­sen­gers can join you for a death-de­fy­ing ride, if you choose. The V-12 en­gine will in­spire ex­cite­ment with 680 horse­power and a 0-100 km/ H in 3.4 sec­onds.

An­other is the Ford GT. It has a long his­tory of turn­ing heads and wow­ing spec­ta­tors — ca­sual passers-by will prob­a­bly think “Fer­rari” — and it does it with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost en­gine, cre­at­ing a whop­ping 647 horse­power. Ford also uses the GT as a test bed for new tech­nolo­gies in per­for­mance and light­weight ma­te­ri­als. Ford F-150 Po­lice Re­spon­der: This is an off-road F-150 decked out in po­lice gear and de­signed to grab your at­ten­tion. Ca­pa­ble of speeds up to 100 mph, the all­new F-150 Po­lice Re­spon­der fea­tures a 3.5-liter EcoBoost® en­gine and 10speed trans­mis­sion, putting out 375 horse­power and 470 lb.-ft. of torque.

Toy­ota test drives: Vis­i­tors will get a chance to tool around in four Toy­ota mod­els — the C-HR, Camry, RAV4 and Ta­coma.

De­buts

2019 Subaru As­cent: The small Ja­panese brand that taught U.S. driv­ers about the awe­some­ness of all-wheel drive is fi­nally mak­ing room forthe whole fam­ily with this seven-or eight-pas­sen­ger, three-row SUV.

The turbo charged 2.4-liter four-cylin­der en­gine will cre­ate260 horse­power, so mo­ti­va­tion should be easy to find.

With tow­ing ca­pa­bil­ity of up to 5,000 pounds, the As­cent will be a con­tender, but with just 74.2 cu­bic feet be­hind the first row, space will be at a pre­mium.

Subaru re­ports the As­cent will cruise into show­rooms in the sum­mer.

2019 Ford Mus­tang Bul­litt: This new hot rod takes us back to the fu­ture.

The lim­ited-edi­tion Mus­tang Bul­litt cel­e­brates the 50th an­niver­sary of the iconic movie “Bul­litt,” star­ring Steve McQueen.

The trim level fea­tures a 5.0-liter V8 en­gine that makes at least 475 horse­power and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. The top speed will be at 163 mph. That’s 8 mph more than the Mus­tang GT.

All that power will go to the rear wheels via a sixspeed man­ual trans­mis­sion featuring the clas­sic white cue-ball knob shifter. Vis­i­tors to the show can en­joy the 12-inch in­stru­ment clus­ter, Re­caro black leather­trimmed seats, and green ac­cent stitch­ing.

2018 Jeep Wran­gler: As muchas mar­keters might dis­agree, few ve­hi­cles truly canbe called icons, but the Jeep Wran­gler is one. So Fiat Chrysler throws around the term “all new” with some ex­tra con­sid­er­a­tion.

Ifind the 3.0-liter Eco Diesel V-6op­tion a cool idea, but I am a diesel geek. A 2.0-liter tur­bocharged in line four-cylin­der en­gine joins the Wran­gler lineup, while the 3.6-liter Pen­tas­tar V-6 en­gine is up­graded for2018. A six-speed man­ual is stan­dard while an eight-speed au­to­matic is an op­tion.

The com­pany says dozens of door, top and wind­shield com­bi­na­tions al­low for end­less con­fig­u­ra­tion pos­si­bil­i­ties, and I be­lieve them.

Must-see 2018 mod­els

Here’s a wrap-up of some 2018 mod­els you’ll see there:

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hy­brid: The Ioniq uses a four­cylin­der en­gine mated to an elec­tric mo­tor that cap­tures brake pedal en­ergy to recharge the bat­tery and help con­serve fuel econ­omy. A plug-in model is also avail­able for 2018.

The Ioniq bor­rows the wind-cheat­ing pro­file of the Prius, but of­fers shifty driv­ers a real, hon­est-to-good­ness six-speed shiftable au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The139 com­bined horse­power from 1.6-liter en­gine and32 kW mo­tor doesn’t makea rocket out of the Ioniq.

2018 Ge­n­e­sis G90: This new di­vi­sion of Hyundai sep­a­rates the wheat from the chaff, gives the wheat a fancy name, and boosts the price.

But the re­sult is not go­ing to make you think “Hyundai.” Mr. Driver’s Seat didn’t rec­og­nize one at first pass, so chances are you won’t.

The5.0-liter V-8 pro­duces 420horse­power. It rockets the G90 to 60 mph in 5.3 sec­onds. A sil­ver T han­dle shifter mo­ti­vates driv­ers through the eight-speed au­to­matic op­er­ates seam­lessly, and shift func­tion is de­light­ful.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Lim­ited 2.0T: This sedan — even with­out the turbo — of­fers a great ride, nice han­dling, and de­cent per­for­mance. A 2016 tur­bocharged ver­sion added even bet­ter per­for­mance all around, so the same prob­a­bly holds true for the 2018.

And you’ll get the fun fea­tures of the ex­pen­sive brands at a frac­tion of the price.

2018 Volk­swa­gen At­las: Volk­swa­gen goes full-on with an ef­fort to cap­ture Amer­ica’s large three-row SUV mar­ket.

The Volk­swa­gen At­las tested had a 3.6-liter V-6 that pro­duces 276 horse­power mated to an 8-speed au­to­matic. A 2.0-liter four pro­vides 235 horses.

2018 Volk­swa­gen Tiguan: This sporty, mid­size cross­over from Volk­swa­gen has grown up from pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tions, and fea­tures avail­able three-row seat­ing and more cargo space.

All trim lev­els of the Tiguan come with a 2.0-liter tur­bocharged four-cylin­der that cre­ates 184 horse­power.

The pi­o­neers be­hind the high-per­for­mance 2017 Ford GT de­signed it not only to win races but also to serve as a test bed for new tech­nolo­gies and ideas for fu­ture ve­hi­cles across Ford’s ve­hi­cle lineup.

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