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Start your engines: Chicago Auto Show returns to McCormick Place this weekend

The Chicago Auto Show returns to McCormick Place Convention Center on Saturday, with a record number of electric vehicle manufacturers, including the debut of Tesla, Lucid Motors and Rivian, stepping into the spotlight amid the loss of a mainstay automaker.

The 10-day event, which organizers tout as the largest auto show in the country at 750,000 square feet, will feature almost 1,000 vehicles and hundreds of thousands of square feet of test-driving tracks.

Electric vehicles will be in the spotlight this year. With 10 electric vehicle manufacturers set to attend, the show will feature not just opportunities to purchase these cars, but also information for potential buyers unfamiliar with electric cars. 

This will be the first year at the auto show for brands including Tesla, Lucid Motors and Rivian. In addition to Models X and Y, Tesla will be showing the Model 3, which has been redesigned for 2024, featuring a sleeker look and fresher cabin with an 8-inch screen in the rear.

“For a lot of these car companies, it’s their first auto show, so it’ll be interesting to see how they do compared to the others,” said Mark Bilek, Chicago Automobile Trade Association’s senior director of project management, membership and technology. 

“The cars are the stars of the show, and there’s lots of cool, new and exciting cars here,” Bilek said. These include the Cadillac Escalade IQ, a full-size electric vehicle, a new model of the Ford Bronco Raptor and new developments on the Toyota 4Runner. “It’s very interactive and a really great opportunity to escape the dreary weather here in February.”

After temperatures soar into the 50s on Thursday and Friday, nearing record temps, winter returns as temperatures drop back to a more seasonable 30s and 40s with a few days of gray skies.

This year’s exhibition will feature three indoor test tracks, three outdoor “ride-and-drives” and 10 electric vehicle manufacturers — but nothing from Stellantis, the manufacturer behind brands including Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo and Fiat. 

It’s been over a month since Stellantis pulled out of the show. The company cited “the impact of a challenging U.S. automotive market,” removing themselves from North American auto shows for a while to cut costs. 

Fans disappointed about the loss of the Camp Jeep test track can look forward to test tracks by other manufacturers this year — the Bronco track’s hills should provide a comparable thrill, Bilek said. 

Other highlights include Honda’s Motocompacto, a portable electric scooter, and a slate of supercars from luxury brands. 

The auto show will feature a number of special days that include unique attractions and discounts. These include: 

  • Media Preview: Thursday and Friday, Feb. 8 – 9 
  • First Look For Charity: Friday, Feb. 9 (7-11 p.m. black tie) 
  • Toyota Miles Per Hour Run: Sunday, Feb. 11 
  • Game Day at the Chicago Auto Show: Sunday, Feb. 11 
  • Automotive Career Day: Tuesday, Feb. 13 
  • First Responders/Military Appreciation Day: Wednesday, Feb. 14 
  • Chicago Auto Show Food Drive: Wednesday Feb. 14 through Friday, Feb. 16 
  • Friday Night Flights Craft Beer Tasting: Friday, Feb. 16 
  • Daily Herald Family Day: Monday, Feb. 19

How to get to the Chicago Auto Show

CTA and Metra have expanded public transportation access to McCormick Place.

Metra trains will make extra stops at the McCormick Place Station during the exhibition. An auto show shuttle bus will also run from select stations (Union, LaSalle and Ogilvie) to McCormick Place.

Other options include the Green Line, whose Cermak-McCormick Place station is walking distance from the convention center, as well as CTA buses on the #3 King Drive and #21 Cermak routes. Signage will be put in place to direct passengers to the show.

This article was originally published by a chicago.suntimes.com . Read the Original article here. .

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