In the world of automotive news, the Chicago Auto Show pales by comparison to shows like Los Angeles and Detroit, which are far better events for new vehicle reveals. But when it comes to packing in the public (who actually buy new cars, unlike most of us in the business), no one beats Chicago. Over the course of ten days, the show welcomes more than a million visitors.
This year’s show should prove to be as successful as ever, considering people are actually buying cars again, and the array of products is as good as it’s ever been. And the McCormick Place venue is hands-down the best place to explore all the new vehicles, with its generous floor space and containment all on one level.
In fact, it’s the large venue that allows so many manufacturers to set indoor driving facilities right on the show floor. This year Chrysler/Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Toyota all have ride-along courses adjacent to their show spaces, allowing visitors to experience first-hand some of the newest cars and trucks, completely free of charge and without the pressure of a salesman breathing down their necks. There are also numerous video game-style simulators, such as at Ford and Cadillac.
We shot a quick gallery of the European cars and trucks on display, including the new Volkswagen Beetle TDI, which made its debut at the show earlier this week. Click through to see what’s new.