Modified cars are owned by actor Robert Downey Jr. and will be given away in a national sweepstakes
CHICAGO (WLS) -- From EVs and hybrids to gas-powered and test tracks, this year's Chicago Auto Show has something new for everyone!
"We have two new brands to the Chicago Auto Show this year," Chicago Auto Show general manager Jennifer Morand said. "We have Tesla and Lucid, you know their marketing strategy hasn't been Auto Show, so it's really interesting that they've come this year and we're excited to have people experience their vehicles because it's something fun and different."
More electric cars than ever are available to drive in the expanded indoor test track.
"The fact of electric vehicles now being so prominently displayed is a good sign for the future of our communities," said Susan Mudd, senior policy advocate at the Environmental Law and Policy Center.
If you want a really cool car with doors and rom for the whole family, take a look at the ID bus from Volkswagen. A revamped retro-futurist classic straight from the 1970s, the iconic VW bus is back with an all-electric 2025 model.
Also on display is a solar-electric car built by students at the University of Illinois.
"It's an experience I will never forget for the rest of the life. This is the first auto show we've ever been to and hopefully we get to do this again in the future," said student James Esquerra.
ComEd also announced millions of dollars in rebate programs to install at-home chargers for EVS, among other rebates, to incentivize electric vehicle adoption statewide.
Cars.com tests hundreds of cars each year before compiling its Best Of list. This year the Hyundai Ioniq 5 won best EV, two years in a row, for its competitive range, reasonable price and futuristic style. The Chevrolet Trax was named best overall car for its value. The one on the showroom floor is about $26,000.
"For the money, you can't beat it," Cars.com research editor Damon Bell, Sr. said. "It has a digital gauge cluster, a very good sized infotainment screen, couple of my favorites, heated seat and heated steering wheel are available."
Here's something you don't see every day: Robert Downy Jr.'s Dream Cars! He's modifying classic cars, like his mom's Mercedes here, in an eco-friendly way to raise money to help the environment.
"These three, the K-10 pick-up, the Corvette and the VW bus all have electric motors; each car has a unique feature, this has mushroom leather interior, this has a roll out BBQ grill, the El Camino behind me has vegan leather interior," Chris Mazzilli, owner of Dream Car Restoration in New York, said.
Downey Jr. designed each of the cars, from the matte finish to the wheels, to the interior and motor choices, at a cost of $2,000 to $3,000 to modify. You can enter the sweepstakes to win these cars at the Auto Show.
The cars are: 1969 Mercedes Benz 280 SE, 1972 VW Bus, 1966 Buick Riviera, 1972 K-10 Pickup, 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible, and 1985 Chevrolet El Camino.
During media day Thursday, Kia and Ford will be making introductions, including the 2025 Ford Explorer, made right here in Chicago!
The 2024 Chicago Auto Show runs from Feb. 10-19 at McCormick Place. Doors open each day at 10 a.m. Closing times vary, so be sure to check the show's website for details.