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Last week I attended the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Not only was this my first auto show experience, but it was my first time back in Chicago since I was a child. Sure the weather wasn’t the most ideal, but I did get to experience a true winter since it never gets that cold in California.
My eyes lit up once inside the auto show as there were literally thousands of vehicles for me to see, sit in, and learn about. Kia kicked off the event with a lively band and a huge announcement. Automotive Journalists and newscast reporters from all around eagerly awaited as Kia introduced their first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S.— the all-new Kia Soul EV. The Kia Soul EV is expected to offer drivers a range of 80-100 miles per full charge.
After the Kia announcement we headed over to Toyota’s test track. If you are a fan of off-roading then you’ll be happy to know that Toyota introduced its TRD Pro Series package for the 2015 4Runner, Tundra and Tacoma.
To showcase the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Series package, Toyota built an indoor test track where you can ride along and experience how these vehicles tackle off-roading dilemmas, such as losing traction, driving through unsettling roads and more. During the drive we drove through a set of rollers that stole traction from 3 of the 4 wheels to show traction control on just one wheel. We also drove through 2 feet of water, sand and mud, which was handled with ease.
Another huge announcement was made by Subaru when they introduced their midsize 2015 Legacy Sedan. The Legacy offers more interior space, with passengers benefiting from the extra leg, hip, and elbow room. The Legacy comes standard with all-wheel drive, but it promised to deliver fuel economy among the best in the class. I wonder how well it fits a car seat back there?
Of course watching world debuts and the unveiling of new models is great, but it wouldn’t be a car show without getting to see some of the most ridiculously awesome and outrageously expensive luxury and sports cars. Cars like the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 which is worth $1,487,640.
Concept cars like the Honda FCEV which features sweeping lines and an ultra-aerodynamic body. The concept hints at Honda’s next generation of fuel-cell vehicles, which are expected to launch in the U.S. and Japan in 2015.
And who could forget the completely unrealistic cars like the Zombie Survival Machines from Hyundai? Hyundai’s exhibit at this year’s Chicago Auto Show showcases their “Zombie Survival Machines.” Remodeled versions of their cars that can help survive a zombie apocalypse, if it happens.
If you are near the Chicago area, the 2014 Chicago Auto Show is a must-see, must experience event. Taking place from February 8-17th at the McCormick Place, tickets are just $12 for adults, $6 for children ages 7-12, and children ages 6 and under are free. A great way to escape the cold and spend the day together as a family. Visit www.chicagoautoshow.com for more information.
* Huge thanks to the Chicago Auto Show for flying me out and hosting my stay and Angela Waters Photography for all the photographs. All opinions are 100% mine.