Lehigh Valley Auto Show lets regular people put on the rich – Allentown Morning Call
Kicking the tires, smelling the leather interior and imagining the wind in their hair, car enthusiasts had the chance to check out some of their fantasy cars in person Saturday at the Lehigh Valley Auto Show.
This year’s offering of more than 270 vehicles at Stabler Arena, Rauch Field House and two outdoor tents is the largest in the show’s 19-year history.
Lehigh University police kept a close watch on the BMW i8, a sleek white sports car with a low profile, impressive air intake, swan-wing doors and an equally impressive price tag of more than $145,000. The car was roped off from the crowd and drew the most attention on the floor.
Renowned for its technology in addition to its speed and horsepower, the all-electric hybrid vehicle boasts a 367-horsepower engine and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, according to the BMW website.
“That’s crazy,” said Susan Demeo, of Randolph, N.J. “If I could afford it, I would have one. It would be a treat just to sit in it.”
The car appears courtesy of Daniels BMW of Allentown. Client adviser Ashley Alderfer said the dealership has sold five of them already.
Alex Marks of Bethlehem found his favorite car on the floor almost immediately. He sat in the driver’s seat and felt the soft black leather in the Jaguar F-Type S Coupe. The 2016 model was shown in Italian racing red and sports an $89,000 price tag.
“I’m in love,” Marks said. “Out of all the ones I’ve sat in, this has so far been my favorite.”
Marks, an auto show fan in the process of restoring a vintage pickup truck, said he liked the cherry-colored coupe not just for its looks but the power under the hood. The car boasts a 380-horsepower V-6 engine. The sporty little coupe has the low profile and curves befitting a James Bond car.
The show features a snow white, or bianco, Maserati Quattroporte priced at $120,000, the most expensive car guests may sit in. Other guests ogled the Alfa Romeo 4C coupe, the first of the Italian sports car line featured in the show. The car retails for nearly $54,000. Guests were wowed by the Porsche Cayman GT4 in racing yellow, but were unable to sit in it because the $93,000 machine is not for sale.
One of Mario Andretti‘s Formula One race cars was on display next to the Indian motorcycle lineup. The show also features the latest models of new and popular vehicles in every make available in the Lehigh Valley, except for Lexus. Many couples and families sat in Subarus, Toyotas and Nissans, considering their next purchase.
“It’s nice, they have the test driving area and the Andretti car, I like it,” Cheryl Fehr of Bethlehem said of the show.
Sarah Loosbrock of Bethlehem is in the market for a car and test drove the Toyota Rav-4 hybrid.
“I liked it, it has good pick-up, you can’t hear it running at all,” Loosbrock said.
She meant for the auto show to aid her shopping but it actually impeded it. Loosbrock knew what she wanted to buy going in, but was reconsidering after exploring all the options at the show.
Sarah Fulton is a freelance writer.
IF YOU GO
What: Lehigh Valley Auto Show
Where: Lehigh University, Goodman Campus, Stabler Arena and Rauch Field House, Bethlehem
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
How much: $10; $7 for seniors and children ages 6-14; free for younger children; $25 for family four pack.