The 105th Chicago Auto Show opens this weekend at the McCormick Place and promises to have something for everybody. The nation’s largest auto show and, according to a 2012 Foresight Research Study, the show "with the highest consumer awareness, attendance and post show dealer interaction" runs from February 9 through February 18. With over one million square feet of exhibit space, models from 2013 and 2014 include concept, luxury, sports, utility, family, pickup, crossover, and electric cars from 35 different manufacturers.
This year the auto show launches its first mobile application to allow the public to stay connected to the show wherever they are. "The launch of the Chicago Auto Show mobile app marks a new milestone in the way the Chicago Auto Show connects with the consumer," according to Michael Ettleson, this year’s chairman. Along with a new, revamped website, the app gives fans information on the daily schedule of events, a map of the exhibits on the floor, interactive videos, social media feeds and a camera icon for visitors to upload their personal photos of the show. To download the app, visit the App Store, Google Play or ChicagoAutoShow.com.
Visitors to the show will find not only cars on display but have the opportunity to take indoor and outdoor tests drives. Jeep has an indoor obstacle course that takes drivers over rough terrain and up steep inclines. Honda launches Forza Horizon Racing, the biggest racing game on Xbox 360 at the Honda booth in the South Hall, giving visitors the opportunity to race three different Honda performance cars: the 2013 Civic Si Coupe, the 1986 Civic Si and the Honda Performance Development B-Spec Rally Fit. And attendees can race against IndyCar driver Scott Dixon and attempt to beat his time in a Honda 2013 Civic Si. The driver posting the best time will have the chance to meet the Indy winner in person and receive a custom Civic Si themed Xbox 360.
As for the cars on display, the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray and the 2013 SRT Viper are duking it out for bragging rights as the hottest American Sports cars this year. The SRT Viper by Chrysler’s racing team features a handcrafted forward-hinged carbon-fiber hood, with an all-aluminum 8.4 liter, mid-front V-10 overhead-valve engine and plenty of power under the hood with 640 hp waiting to be unleashed. The 2013 Corvette Stingray is the seventh generation of Stingray and is keeping true to its iconic name with its aerodynamic 2 door hatchback design, 6.2 liter engine and 450 hp chomping at the bit to hit the race track. Both cars are displayed in a very hot red and certainly will have sports car enthusiasts debating which car will take the title of the baddest American car on wheels.
If you are a luxury car lover and have a few hundred thousand dollars lying around, head over to the Comcast Super Car area where you can see a $497,285 Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe or the less expensive but equally impressive $227,125 Bentley Continental convertible. And if your tastes run to the sportier luxury vehicle, the Astin Martin Vanquish, Maserati, or Lamborghini could be just the car for you.
Whatever your tastes, the Chicago Auto Show is a family friendly, techno friendly opportunity for you to see what Detroit and the world has to offer on 4 wheels for 2013 and 2014. Doors open to the public Saturday, February 9 at 10 a.m. and tickets are $12.00 for adults, $6.00 for Seniors and children 7-12 years of age and free for children under 7. Purchase tickets online at Drive Chicago.