Last weekend of the show: Top 10 things to see


Jeep Test Track at the Chicago Auto Show

You have two days left to see the Chicago Auto Show. Since it's a weekend, you can get your bottom dollar that it's going to be crowded. So, the best plan is to have a route mapped out before you go to McCormick Place.

Check out this floor map, and here are my top 10 don't-miss things at this year's show.

1. First, head back to the Chrysler area in the South Hall and take a ride on the Jeep Test Track. This is absolutely a must-do if you've never been to the show before. But, I have to admit you can skip it if you're a veteran show goer. This display is very paired back from previous years, and while you still get the heart flipping drop down the Jeep hill, there is none of the ambiance of real dirt and replica ponds of years past. While in this area, if you have kids, be sure to let them have a ride of their own on the Jeep, Dodge and Chysler electric cars in the kids area.

2. Two words: Fiat girls. This is more for the men; I admit it. But if you want to be catty, ladies, you can play spot the Spanx. Plus, while you're there, be sure to take a look at the 500, which is a Mini lookalike that's slated to be in the U.S. as a 2011 model.



Lamborghini display at the Chicago Auto Show

3. Stop by the Lamborghini display. It's small to be sure with just 2 cars, but this is what auto shows are all about: Pretty cars you can see up close and drool over. Lotus is on the other side of the wall, so take a look at their small display as well. Lotus is the more affordable pretty car, with the Elise starting at just $47,250.

4. Give your Karma a boost. Fisker Automotive is a homespun electric car automaker founded in California in 2007, and they're finally ready to sell. But this is no electric car like you've ever seen it. Think Aston Martin meets Ferrari. It can drive up to 50 miles on a single charge, has a 0-to-60-mph time of about 6 seconds and has an optional solar roof that helps to charge the car. The automaker is now accepting a $5K deposit on the coupe and a $25K deposit on the convertible, with delivery to take place in Q4 of 2010.

5. If you like hockey and muscle cars, you've got to stop by and check out the Blackhawk Camaro. This is an artfully painted hotty, and, even better, you'll have the chance to win the car! Check out the photo gallery on You Are What You Drive, and then see the real thing up close and personal ... and register to win!

6. Sing your heart out with Kia Karaoke. You can choose your song from a small playlist, and then sing in front a green screen. You'll get a DVD of your singing debut and be placed in competition for a $5K home theater system -- the key is to get your friends to vote for your video. Plus, you'll get a pair of Bulls tickets just for participating.

7. Amid the sleek white of the Audi display, you can't miss the sparkling amber colored Audi R8 Spyder. This, for me, was the show stopper, the car I could stand in front of for hours as the display lights glint off the glittering paint.


Hyundai Equus

8. Cross over into the North Hall, and stop by Hyundai display to check out something that's heading our way soon: the Equus. This is a dazzling car with all the lux amenities of a Mercedes S-Class or Audi A8, yet it will be in the $60K range. Hyundai only intends for this to be a limited release in the U.S., but I bet it will beat the pants off of the top-shelf competitors.

9. Looking for a cool concept? Make sure the GMC Granite is on your list. This edgy box-like show car has all the makings of a cool concept. From the hard lines to the LED lighting to the interior two-tone suede seats, there's a lot to take in here. I especially like the forward thinking dash gauges and controls and flexible seating options.

10. And finally, don't miss the Volo Auto Museum display. If you're not looking for it, you just might. It's tucked in the eastern front corner behind the best-in-show voting screens, and is definitely worth a look-see if you like classic cars and movies. The display is small but boasts classic hot wheels like the 1963 Split Window Corvette Sting Ray and the Bluesmobile.  

If you are car shopping, plan your route strategically through the show to hit my must-sees along with stopping for some seat time in your potential purchase. Oh, and be sure to wear your walking shoes and plan to spend at least 4 or 5 hours walking around.

And one final hint: If you're thirsty, check out the vending machines by the bathrooms rather than buying from a food stand. You'll save a dollar off the purchase price.

The Chicago Auto Show runs through Sunday, Feb. 21.  Hours are 10 a.m.
to 10 p.m. except on closing day, when the show ends at 8 p.m.

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