It’s January, and that means it’s auto show time in Detroit! We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the cool cars and exhibits at this year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) earlier this week, and we couldn’t wait to share it with you! The show opens on Saturday, January 15, and runs through January 23.
NAIAS is an exciting event for everyone – not just car enthusiasts. It gives you a chance to see the new models, get up close and personal with the luxury vehicles that you usually only see in magazines, and see what concepts the auto companies are working on for the future.
This year’s show has a heavy focus on green technology. Almost all of the big manufacturers have an electric vehicle to show off. The most popular is the 2011 Car of the Year – the Chevrolet Volt.
Here are some tips to enjoying the show:
- Bring cash. Parking on the Cobo Roof, and several nearby parking lots, is cash only, pay-in-advance. The food options inside Cobo are also cash-only. There are several ATMs on the concourse, but there’s always a chance they’ll be out of order, or empty (as they were the first day of press preview!).
- Wear comfy shoes. The expo hall is HUGE. There’s a lot of walking to be done, and you want to be comfortable doing it.
- Check your coat, or leave it in the car, and avoid heavy clothing. It gets super hot under those bright lights when you’re doing all that walking.
- Download the map of the show floor, and plan your route before you go. You’ll probably wander off of it, but at least you’ll hit everything that you want to see.
- Bring a bottle of water (or 3). It gets hot under the lights, and water is $3/bottle on the concourse. You might want to pack a small snack, too, to keep you fueled during the day.
- If you have to park off site, take the People Mover. It stops right at Cobo, and it’s only $0.50.
- Have your camera battery charged – you’re going to be mad if it dies before you see your dream car!
Some of our recommendations on things to see:
- Be sure to head downstairs to the Michigan Room to check out the MEDC’s Smarter Living area. You’ll find innovative energy solutions for your home and business from Michigan companies. You’ll also find the test track, where you can take a ride in one of several electric or hybrid cars, including the SmartCar and the Chevy Volt. This is the only ride-along experience at this year’s show, so you don’t want to miss it!
- Stop by Ford and try out their Fiesta Rally Experience – an immersive virtual reality experience. You get strapped in, and drive the Fiesta through a trail in the woods. The best part – no call to the insurance company if you “accidentally” go off track!
- Check out the new Chevy Camaro, and get your very own 360 photo taken!
- On the concourse, stop and take a look at the Green Hornet car. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before!
Finally, while you’re in Detroit, you don’t want to miss the chance to explore more of the city.
- Take a look at Visit Detroit’s Insider Guide to the Auto Show – it’s full of great tips on where to eat, where to stay, and other things to do.
- Head down to the Museum District and visit the Detroit Institute of Art’s Fakes, Forgeries, and Mysteries exhibit. This is the perfect way to slow the pace of your day down for just a little while, and what you’ll see is fascinating. Discover how museum experts work behind the scenes—using science, technology and art historical research—to reveal the DIA’s greatest art mysteries.
- Grab a bite to eat at one of many fantastic restaurants in the area. Try the rasta wings at Union Street, the legendary mac and cheese at Slows, or the fried brussel sprouts at Roast.
- Want to grab a drink after the show? Swing by Foran’s Grand Trunk Pub, Traffic Jam & Snug, or Motor City Brew Works.
Here are just some of the cars you’ll see on display at this year’s show. If you’re planning on going, we’d love to see pics of your favorites over on our Facebook page!