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2011 Chicago Auto Show Preview

By Benjy Lipsman in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 10, 2011 3:45PM

2011_02_autoshow_logo.jpg Once again, it's time for the world's car makers to fill 1.2 million square feet of McCormick Place with their latest and greatest models, as well as concepts that point to vehicles to come down the road at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Now in its 103rd year, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest in the world with over 1000 cars on display and opens to the public tomorrow, running through Sunday, Feb. 20.

The past few years have been rough for the auto industry, with two-thirds of the Big Three filing for bankruptcy and sales down for both foreign and domestic makes. The struggles were evident on the floor of the Auto Show, with fewer cars on display and a scarcity of show-stopping concepts. But things are looking up for the domestic and foreign car makers. Ford's firing on all cylinders while Chrysler has emerged from bankruptcy with the help of Fiat and GM has recently gone public again after getting its own house in order. Smaller brands that stayed home in recent years have mostly returned. For the first time, there will be four test tracks for visitors to take a ride in some of the vehicles on display. So we're hoping for a more festive and more exciting show than in recent years.

We'll be hitting the show tomorrow night and share some of the highlights early next week. A number of local television channels will also be touring the show, airing specials over the weekend.

The show runs Friday through Sunday, February 20, open daily from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. (closing at 8 p.m. on final day). Tickets run $11 for regular adult admission. If you missed the Groupon $6 tickets, half-price weekday tickets are available at local BP stations