Chicago Auto Show highlights include test tracks for EVs, Ford Bronco

Friday, February 9, 2024
Chicago Auto Show preview
Chicago Auto Show previewWe're gearing up for the 2024 Chicago Auto Show.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Variety is key at this year's Chicago Auto Show! More electric vehicles than ever, both on the test track and test drives.

"Just getting behind the wheel tells you so many things about a car, and when it's a type of vehicle like an EV that people haven't experienced before, the only way to feel what they're like is to get behind the wheel and drive one," Damon Bell, senior research editor at

A lot of people have been driving the built-in-Chicago Ford Explorer! You can see the all-new 2025 version at the show.

"With a bold exterior styling update and a completely redesigned interior and all of the latest technology, we're really excited to show that to customers," Ford Explorer brand manager Andrew Staley.

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That included the new infotainment system Ford Digital Experience and BlueCruise, Ford's hands free, feet free driving system!

Test tracks are always a big hit at the show, and none bigger than the Bronco Adventure Ride at Ford! I had so much fun riding it on the morning news, I convinced Tracy to ride it with me!

Believe it or not, the Illinois Tollway booth may be as popular as Bronco Mountain this year! That's because you can get the new tollway stickers that replace the hard shell transponders!

"What's really great about the new iPass sticker tag is that there's no deposit, we will be here handing out envelopes that provide you with instructions and the sticker tag for you to either activate while you're here at the show with the help of our customer service team, or to go home and activate on line," Cassaundra Rouse, executive director for the Illinois Tollway said.

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And you don't have to bring in the old transponder to get the new sticker.

The Chicago Auto Show will host the First Look for Charity Friday before the show opens to the public this weekend.

"Since its inception, we have raised $60 million," Auto Show chairman JC Phelan. "We're hoping to raise over $2 million this year and we are looking really good. I think we are going to have a really big night. It's a nice chance to get a peek behind the curtain of the Auto Show, good music, cocktails, food. It's going to be pretty neat."

One of the vehicle on display is the GMC Hummer Earthcruiser, which allows riders to be able to say inside their EV.

"The design brief if you will was to make it comfortable for two people and a dog for about three to four days," Lance Gillies of Earthcruiser said. "It's got a toilet, shower, bed everything you could want just to be comfortable, You are not going to live in it full time, just to be comfortable when you want to travel for a little while."

The show features an EV test track, with participating car manufactures including BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Kia, Lucid, Nissan, Rivian, Tesla and Volkswagen.

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.