HOT METAL muscles into the spotlight

Test drives, gorgeous rides, drawing for 2-year lease worth a look

Come to the 2016 Dayton Auto Show, going on now through 6 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Dayton Convention Center, and you may find a vehicle you need to purchase or lease.

Produced by the Dayton Area Auto Dealers Association, the show presents almost 200 examples of the hottest metal in town from the floor of the convention center. In a show first, a Toyota Drive Center will take show activity outside the building as four models, including the all-new Prius, the redesigned Tacoma, the Camry and the new RAV4 Hybrid, are available for adults to test.

Dozens of 2016 and early 2017 cars, pickup trucks, crossovers, sport-utility vehicles, minivans, hybrids and Harley-Davidson motorcycles are on display. Decorating the lobby are high-end cars including the 2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe in Firesand; 2016 Audi A3 and Q5 crossover; 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE; and the 2016 Porsche 911 Targa 4S.

On the floor can be found a wide range of prices and styles, from the 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider to the

2016 Lexus RC 300 F Sport to the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali HD, 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty and the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. Fresh from the Barrett-Jackson auction is an aggressive-looking, electric green Minotaur RAM 1500 custom conversion truck by Prefix Performance, engineered from Baja racing heritage. Another noteworthy vehicle is a preproduction Chevrolet Cruze, which is being built at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant.

Show-goers are welcome to open doors and slip behind the wheel of almost everything on the floor.

It’s a low-key environment, too. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles does not permit direct selling at the show, but it’s a great way to pick up a brochure, talk to others and speak with a product advisor.

One lucky person won’t have to even go through the buying or leasing process to get a new daily driver – the Miami Valley Chevrolet Dealers are offering a drawing with the grand prize of a two-year lease on a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu LS. The Malibu, named J.D. Power’s “highest ranked midsize car in initial quality” in 2015, features a turbocharged 1.5L ECOTEC engine, fuel efficiency, smart phone integration, advanced safety features and OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot.

Entries are being accepted at the show. A reverse drawing will be held Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. at the Chevy display. The final person left will win the lease.

A couple of other promotions will benefit show-goers. At the display for Hyundai, the official NFL auto sponsor, is a case of small footballs. Whoever correctly guesses how many are in the case will win a $200 gift card. Also, some lucky show-goers who use the hashtag #DASDreamCar and post a photo of their favorite show vehicle on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram will win a $50 gas card.

“We have something for everyone here,” said Marie Gilman, 2016 Dayton Auto Show manager. “There’s everything from high-end eye candy to everyday drivers. Everyone is shopping for cars right now, so it’s a great time to come out and check it out.”

Special entertainment attractions are expected to be appearances by two former Cincinnati Bengals players Dave Lapham and Eric Thomas, who are slated to appear Feb. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m.; and the Cincinnati Ben-Gal Cheerleaders Feb. 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. Matt the Balloon Guy will entertain kids from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 28.

Media sponsorship of the 2016 Dayton Auto Show is by the Dayton Daily News of Cox Media Group Ohio.

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