Fall is in the air, and that means it is time for the State Fair of Texas. Aside from the world-famous corny dogs, one of the main attractions is the auto show, the largest of its kind on American soil.
The first debut at this year’s show (held annually in Dallas, Texas) is a new name ¬— the Texas Auto Show. And at the Texas Auto Show are more than 400 of the newest cars, trucks, and utility vehicles on display inside and out. As trucks are big business in the Lone Star State, manufacturers roll out the newest pickups they have to offer, and the outdoor display area allows visitors to get up close and personal, even drive some of the new models.
Fair visitors in the truck display are treated to trucks on walls, trucks swirling overhead atop oil derricks, and some can even ride a mechanical bull. News this year came out of the Ram, Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota, and Ford booths and for the first time, Continental is demonstrating some of its new technology as it pertains to pickups.
Chevrolet kicked off its 100 Years of Chevy Trucks celebration at the fair as it celebrates this centennial honor. Highlighting this is a Chevy Truck Legends program and new 2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Special Edition models along with a celebration on Dec. 16. These special edition trucks will feature design elements inspired by Chevy trucks throughout history, including Centennial Blue paint color and heritage bowtie emblems. The centennial celebration concludes with a party at Texas Motor Speedway Dec. 16.
In other Chevrolet news at the Texas Auto Show, the brand announced its new lineup of Class IV and V medium-duty trucks will be branded as Silverado 4500 and 5500, respectively. They will all be powered by the Duramax diesel engine and will be available in regular and crew cab models in 4×2 and 4×4.
Ram (what you should be calling all Dodge trucks by now) showed up with its new Laramie Longhorn Southfork Edition along with its Lone Star Silver Edition pickup in Heavy Duty form. And the new Texas Auto Show is the first real outing for the new Ram Harvest Edition trucks.
Laramie Longhorn is the “luxury” line for Ram pickups and the new Southfork Edition pays homage to the famous ranch north of Dallas best known for a TV show. This new truck kicks luxury up a notch with new richer leather interior along with a galvanized appearance on the trim. Pricing for the new package will start at $51,220 on 1500 models.
Nissan rolled out its newest Armada full size SUV model in Platinum and Platinum Reserve trim levels. These will offer the most luxury yet in the Armada lineup that was overhauled in recent years. Nissan said the State Fair of Texas would be the perfect venue to launch these new models given the anticipated fair attendance of more than 2.5 million this year.
In addition to the new SUV models Nissan also brought new Titan, Titan XD, and Frontier pickup models in the slick new Midnight Edition packages. Features include blacked-out trim and fascias, black alloy wheels, black step rails, body-color bumpers, and special badging. Nissan announced consumers can also get the Midnight Edition packaging on certain car and SUV models.
Toyota is back at the State Fair of Texas this year in the shadows not only Big Tex but also its recently opened national headquarters. The outdoor booth for the automaker features a live entertainment stage and the Toyota Sports Zone will allow visitors to participate in various sports skill challenges. On display in the Toyota area are the new 2018 Tundra TRD Sport, Sequoia TRD Sport, and RAV4 Adventure models, all with new styling cues and equipment.
Ford rounded out the new truck intros with its new F-Series Super Duty Limited trucks including the top-of-the-line F-450 that can tow more than 30,000 lbs. If you ask why truck makers are building so many luxury trucks they will answer you with the fact that about half of recent truck sales were for upscale models. The new Limited models feature custom camel-back two-tone leather seats, premium stitching, suede headliner, hand-finished dark ash wood trim, unique exterior accents and trim, and boast the latest technology offered by Big Blue Oval. They will all be powered by Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 diesel engine. That beautiful new big rig will set you back a little with F-450 Super Duty Limited pricing starting at just over 87 grand.
Continental made its first State Fair of Texas appearance demonstrating new technology designed to enhance comfort, convenience, and peace of mind for truck owners. Its Interior division is showing three new technologies at the show: PAssive Start and Entry (PASE) for pickups; Intelligent PASE integration of the powered tailgate; and Innovative Trailer Module. Continental is showing how smartphones and discrete wearables (including belt buckles) can be used to access and start vehicles in the near future with its new PASE for Pickups technology. They are also demonstrating how they can make powered tailgates smarter with Intelligent PASE Integration. Innovative Trailer Module wirelessly communicates with the vehicle via a smartphone to control the power tongue jack and floodlights along with providing anti-theft monitoring.
Statistics show that around 75 percent of fairgoers visit the auto show while at the State Fair of Texas so after you get your corny dog and requisite selfie with Big Tex, head over to the Texas Auto Show and check out what’s new this fall. “Our State Fair is a great State Fair…”