#denver auto show
1 Ticket — 500 rides: 2015 Denver Auto Show kicks off with new trends and exhibits
DENVER – The 2015 Denver Auto Show kicked off at the Colorado Convention Center Wednesday and will run through Sunday, featuring several new trends — including a wider variety of trucks with all the options of a standard car.
The Denver Auto Show, which started in 1902, is the third oldest in the country behind the New York Auto Show which started in 1900 and the Chicago Auto Show which debuted in 1901.
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Z. James Czupor with The Interpro Group, said Denver has deep roots with car manufacturers that makes the annual event stronger every year — and still the largest auto show between Los Angeles and Chicago.
We have photos of some of the steam and electric cars from those early years that show that Denver has always been a popular spot for auto manufacturers to showcase their newest models, said Czupor.
This year more than 500 new cars and trucks are on display representing supercars, luxury cars, concept cars, boss cars and hybrids with sneak peeks at the newest vehicles on the market.
Nearly 40 car lines are featured at the show with something for everybody including the popular Camp Jeep off-road experience, five test Ride and Drives through downtown Denver, energy efficient and fuel efficient green cars, custom styling, accessories and more.
The auto industry is spending more on their exhibits this year, and many are featuring large HD screens as video has become a popular aspect, said Czupor.
Car brands exhibiting at this year s show include: Acura; Aston Martin; Audi; Bentley; BMW; Buick; Cadillac; Chevrolet; Chrysler; Dodge; Ferrari; FIAT; Ford; GMC; Honda; Hyundai; Infiniti; Jaguar; Jeep; Kia; Lamborghini; Land Rover; Lexus; Lincoln; Maserati; Mazda; Mercedes-Benz; MINI; Nissan; Porsche; RAM; Scion; Smart; Subaru; Toyota; Volvo and Volkswagen.
Also making its return to the Denver Auto Show after about a 30-year absence is Alfa-Romeo, which is debuting its sleek new 4C Coup.
Czupor told 7NEWS that the bulk of the vehicles on display at the show come directly from the automakers, but some of the exotic car exhibits are presented by local dealers.
Tim Jackson, president and CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association which presents the annual auto show, said, The 2015 Denver Auto Show is shaping up to be another exciting event and the best place for consumers to sit in the latest cars and trucks, pop the hoods and kick the tires. It s great entertainment for serious shoppers, car buffs and the entire family.
One of the standout trends at the auto show this year is the large presence of full-sized trucks throughout many of the automaker exhibits.
As Jackson explained, pickup-trucks are no longer seen as simply for commercial use.
The trucks you see today are used for both commercial and personal use because they feature an interior design that matches a car, and offer strong fuel economy — some between 28-38 mpg — with excellent towing capacity, said Jackson.
Jackson said a local dealer brought 30 Ford F-150 aluminum-bodied trucks to a recent event and sold 15 on the spot.
So it shouldn t come as a surprise that Motor Trend s 2015 Truck of the Year is our state s namesake, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. The model on display at the auto show this year also happens to be presented in a color near and dear the hearts of many Coloradans: Denver Broncos Orange.
Jackson said the rise in truck sales in Colorado has also helped with the introduction of the new Jeep Renegade, which is featured at the show this year as well.
Jeep sales in Colorado have increased by more than 300 percent since about 2009, said Jackson.
The popularity of trucks has also led to dwindling supplies in the luxury market. Jackson said orders for the all-new GMC Yukon Denali are backed up.
Electric cars also have a strong presence at the auto show this year with the many models on display including: BMW i3; Cadillac ELR; Chevrolet Spark; Chevrolet Volt; Fiat 500e; Nissan LEAF; Smart Electric Drive; Toyota Prius; and the Volkswagen E-Golf, among others.
In support of sustainability, Jackson said an auto show preview fundraiser was held on Wednesday to benefit local charities including the Clear the Air Foundation. which was founded by Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.
CTAF supports projects that include the removal of high-emitting, old vehicles from Colorado s traffic ways to enable replacement with newer, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient cars.
George Billings, CTAF program coordinator, told 7NEWS that the organization has crushed 1,458 cars statewide since 2011 — with more than 150 so far this year.
Billings said the groups recycling partners utilize whatever they can from each vehicle before they are crushed, and the scrap value is used to fund $50,000 scholarships for Colorado students who want to further their education in the automotive or technology fields.
Visitors to the auto show with a valid drivers license can test drive new 2015 models on the streets around the Colorado Convention Center.
The Ride Drive program is open during daylight hours Friday through Sunday and drivers may sign up in the Convention Center lobby.
Participating cars include: Chrysler 300, Dodge Ram 1500, Fiat 500, Ford F-150, Jeep Cherokee, and Mazda (Mazda 3, 2016 Mazda 6, 2016 CX-5 and CX-9).
— Special Attractions —
This year, Ford, Hyundai and Kia are featuring driving simulators and Scion has a Swag Machine as part of their exhibit.
The Scion Swag Machine is the world s first Instagram-powered vending machine.
Show visitors who post an image to their personal Instagram accounts with the designated hashtag at the kiosk, will trigger the image to appear immediately on the vending machine, and a gift to drop into the reward bin.
Also at the show, virtual reality is taking a new turn with Allstate s Reality Rides simulator, which features innovative distracted driving technology.
Reality Rides consists of a driving simulator that utilizes a real — but stationary — vehicle equipped with virtual reality technology, including a new curved LED television embedded in the car windshield.
The television displays an animated environment and reacts to the driver s motions. Using the car s steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, the driver is tasked with driving while also attempting to text, talk on the phone and enter navigation system directions.
The popular Camp Jeep experience has returned to the Denver Auto Show with its exhilarating indoor driving course.
Visitors will get 5-minute rides with a professional driver to experience off-roading over obstacles to demonstrate traction, ground clearance and maneuverability. The course has a vertical climb and descent.
New this year is a children s area at Camp Jeep featuring smaller electric versions of the rugged vehicles on the course.
The Now s Lionel Bienvenu took a tour of Camp Jeep and even found himself riding on one of the kid s Jeeps.
Thursday is Senior Day at the show. Any visitor 65+ is admitted for $6 (ID required).
Saturday from 2-3:30 p.m. Denver Broncos Safety T.J. Boss Ward No. 43 will appear at the show.
The Denver Auto Show runs from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
The box office closes one hour prior to the end of the show each day.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.DenverAutoShow.com or at the door.
Prices are $12 for adults; $6 for children 6-12; children under 6 are free.