|The Cadillac ELR, an electric hybrid car, is presented at the Chicago Auto Show in the McCormick Place, Feb. 7, 2013. The auto show kicked off its first of two media preview days on Thursday and will continue with a public show Feb. 8-19. (Xinhua/Stacie Scott)
CHICAGO, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chicago Auto Show, the largest consumer auto show in North America, boasts many popular vehicles around the world, including Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, Toyota, and all the U.S.-made brands.
From passengers cars, trucks, sport-utility vehicles, minivans and concept cars, nearly 1,000 vehicles will be showed to the public in the spacious exhibition hall at the McCormick Plaza.
On the first two days specially opened to media, a concept car from Toyota draws attention.
"Fun-Vii stands for fun vehicle interactive, internet," said Omar, a Toyota representative. "It's essentially a smart phone on wheels. It allows you to use a lot of the applications in our day-to-day life except that they are actually integrated into our vehicle," Omar said.
The Fun-Vii, an electric vehicle with three seats, is conducted on an electric pad. No need to plug in, and one can check the battery and the functions of the vehicle from remote. Using an app, one can change the image of the vehicle as easily as if downloading a phone app, according to Toyota.
Another vehicle from Toyota that stands out is the Tundra, a pickup.
"It's bigger, more aggressive looking, and has more industrious corners on the vehicle," said Matt Troyer, product specialist Toyota. "It remains a big, full-sized pick up truck, but looks completely different from previous generations," he added.
At the Jeep exhibition area, Steve Lorton, who manages the demo tracks for Chrysler, told Xinhua: "We'd like to show off our Camp Jeep, which is right behind me here."
He explained that some nice features of the Camp Jeep were the "Hill Assist and Hill Descent" which allow the vehicle to control going up and down the mountains by engaging the break system via an activation button on the dashboard.
Pointing at the indoor tracks, Lorton said a consumer could come and experience an interactive ride with a professional driver.
Chrysler has two indoor tracks and a Jeep course with hills. Riders in the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler or Camp can see what performance these vehicles can deliver.
Toyota also has one indoor track while several other manufacturers offer outdoor test rides or drives to consumers.
Auto shows are places where consumers find out automakers' products with new styles, size, options, and mileage. Chicago is one of the four U.S.-based auto shows that carry International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers' sanction, along with Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York City.
While the Detroit Auto Show is known as the premium show where every manufacturer likes to show off its new vehicles, the Chicago Auto Show is recognized as the biggest auto show attended by the most consumers in North America.
This year's show, which will run from Feb. 9 to 18, marks its 105th edition.