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Robert Trigaux

Visual horsepower: Check out Tampa Bay Times photos from Tampa Bay auto show that opens today



Take your pick. Two McLarens are on display. I'm partial to the green one, an MP4-12C. On the second floor of the convention center.

Wake up and good morning. Today (Dec.. 7) kicks of the start of the three-day Tampa Bay International Auto Show at Tampa's downtown convention center. Tampa Bay Times photographer Brendan Fitterer and I had the pleasure of roaming the convention center on Thursday as all sorts of vehicles were driven in and set up for Friday's opening. Here is my Tampa Bay Times preview column today on the 10 favorite finds I found at the show as it was being assembled. But this posting is mostly dedicated to the great shots of Brendan Fitterer (who confesses to being a car guy) because, when it comes to new vehicles, a picture is often worth more than a thousand words. Enjoy.

Here's Timothy Cuscaden Jr. putting a plate on a Chevrolet Traverse, a crossover. Chevrolet's got a big spread on the second floor of the convention center. Look for the 2014 (yes, 2014) Impala on the rotating stand, and take a peek at the Chevy Spark (see below).

Yes, this is the Chevrolet Spark, GM's first-ever "mini" size (or sub-compact) car. This one is gas powered and costs under $15,000. An electric version (not on display) is also available that can run about 80 miles between charges but costs more than $30,000 -- before a federal credit on the purchase of an electric vehicle. That's still the trick with electric vehicles. Great idea but still too pricey to reach the mass market.

Okay, okay, here's that McLaren again (thanks to Dimmitt dealership for sharing some exotic cars). It's surrounded at the show by Aston Martins, Bentleys and Rolls-Royces.

Could not resist this peek at the recently arrived Fiat 500, this one with a rollback convertible top that looks like a perfect fit for driving in sunny Florida. It's at the Chrysler show space because Fiat now owns Chrysler.

I don't associate the Lexus brand with sports cars but silly me. Check out this LFA for $375,000 (give or take) and the options to go 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. On the downstairs showroom floor.

A final look at the V-10 powered Lexus LFA since most of us will be looking at its rear end if we ever see one of these on the road.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times

[Last modified: Friday, December 7, 2012 6:55am]


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