2023 Chicago Auto Show opens to public at McCormick Place

ByEvelyn Holmes and Maher Kawash, Stephany Wade WLS logo
Sunday, February 12, 2023
2023 Chicago Auto Show opens to public at McCormick Place
The 2023 Chicago Auto Show returned to McCormick Place Saturday in all of its original glory.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The 2023 Chicago Auto Show returned to McCormick Place Saturday in all of its original glory.

After several abbreviated offerings during the pandemic, a full-sized version officially opened to the public Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

"We are out here and we're having a good time and I'm having a good time," Broadview resident Tamala Daniels said.

WATCH: What can car lovers expect from the 2023 Chicago Auto Show?

Chicago Automobile Trade Association President Jennifer Morand joined ABC7 to discuss the festivities.

Created in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America.

Over the next 10-days, more than two dozen manufacturers will showcase their new vehicles -- from subcompact to supersized -- all with loads of innovative features.

"Actually to sit in them, to see what feels more comfortable, what would we realistically want and realistically use," said Amanda Lodygowski, who lives in Irving Park.

There are more cars featured this year, with both sides of McCormick Place filled with cars and a number of interactive displays.

"We have seven indoor test tracks, so you can jump in the driver's seat and take a ride along with a professional driver, learn about the features and benefits of all the new cars including EVs," said Jennifer Morand, the Chicago Auto Show GM and President.

Which is just what Jody Williamson said he and his wife Debbie might be in the market for.

"I'm driven Teslas and they're super fast and fun and quiet, but I have battery range anxiety," Jody said.

SEE ALSO | Electric vehicles, hybrid cars and puppies at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show

Still, some drivers gave SUVs and electric pickup trucks, like the Ford F-150 Lightening, a lot of looks.

"This is basically my first time sitting in any kind of electric car so this is a different experience for me," said Luis Cortez.

It's a lot for first time auto show visitor, Evan Donahue to take in. Even though he's not a licensed driver yet, that didn't stop the 14-year old from trying to convince his dad Marvin that it's never too early to start looking.

"I came here to check them out since I've seen them on YouTube before I just came to check them out in person, but I'm not necessarily ready to buy them yet," Evan said.

While occupying more than one million square feet of indoor space in two exhibit halls along with outdoor test drives, organizers say the 116th edition is truly an experience.

"The fact that there's just about every manufacturer here. You can look at every car, no pressure from salesmen, you can kind of sit inside and get a feel for the vehicle," said Andrew Smolenski.

As they keep up with the modern times, more and more futuristic vehicles are taking over, especially with the electric vehicles. You can't go far without seeing one within each display.

The first electric corvette is also there, while getting from 0 mph to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. The electric vehicles are pretty available in all shapes and sizes these days.

"I think it's amazing because when I came 10 years ago, there were no electric cars. So that's awesome," Daniels said.

RELATED | 2023 Chicago Auto Show: Sneak peek inside Concept & Technology Garage

You can watch ABC7 one-hour special from the auto show on our website and connected TV apps. It will also air again Sunday at 3:30 p.m.