Chicago Auto Show: Flashly lights, big screens, and new cars

With flashly lights, video displays, and perfectly shinned cars, the 2011 Chicago Auto Show was full of new cars and some of the same old we have seen for years.

The ‘Big Three’ showed up larger than ever at McCormick Place to excite auto enthusiasts, drawing attention to the Ford Explorer, Chevy Volt and Chrysler 200, with ride-alongs, technology demos, and open engines to draw even the novice to explore, touch and sit inside the new cars.

Show goers are immediately drawn to the Ford display, which sits massively in the South Hall. Cars are situated in-between giant blue shipping crates, which makes the display look more like a shipping yard than an auto show, and making Ford look much different than all the rest.

Ford’s product this show was the Ford Explorer, an SUV that doesn’t look like the old Explorer that Americans came to love and enjoy, but a refined, modern look that makes even journalists want to get one.

Situated behind Ford’s ‘yard’ was Chrysler, being in the Chicago Auto Show for the first since Italy car-maker Fiat partnership in 2010. Chrysler stayed with their typical clean and refined display, but don’t think that doesn’t include the bright white lights and flashly LCD screens.

But with the refined look, steaming down from the Chrysler superbowl commercial with Eminem, The Chrysler 200 attracted journalists from high and low to check out the ‘star’ of what is being called the best superbowl commercial of 2011.

But before you leave, Chevy draws you into what looks like a neighborhood park to try out the brand new Chevy Volt.

Consumers have seen this car advertised at last year’s auto show, but for the first time in Chicago, show goers are able to sit inside the Volt, and be driven around the test track. Show goers are even able to peer inside the Volt’s engine, inter-workings, and see how the car really works.

Auto experts and journalists weren’t too thrilled on what the auto show had to offer in 2011, while many journalists were calling this show an extension of what they already saw in Detroit.