Auburn Hills, Mich., Dec 06, 2004 — Chrysler Group is taking the auto show experience to new heights with the creation of a half-mile test drive track that will debut at the 2005 Chicago Auto Show in February. Consumers visiting McCormick Place will have the opportunity to test drive Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge products on a specially designed course around the perimeter of the 156,000-square-foot exhibit. The collective displays are the largest ever constructed in Chrysler Group history.
“Camp Jeep® New York at the Jacob Javitz Center was a home run earlier this year, drawing over 300,000 visitors and conducting more than 36,000 test drives over a two-week period,” said George Murphy, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Marketing. “Based on this overwhelming success, we decided to expand the concept to include the Chrysler and Dodge brands in Chicago.”
The 156,000-square-foot exhibit is the size equivalent to almost four football fields, and the test track will be located on the perimeter of the exhibit on the show floor. The McCormick Place complex comprises three state-of-the-art buildings and over 2.2 million square feet of exhibit halls. The Chrysler Group exhibit is located in the South Hall.
“Chicago is home to several of the world’s tallest skyscrapers and is known as the City of Big Shoulders. Additionally, McCormick Place is North America ’s largest, premier convention center,” said 2005 Chicago Auto Show Chairman Casey Wickstrom. “Chrysler Group’s innovative and consumer-friendly concept to allow Chicago Auto Show attendees the opportunity to drive Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge branded products could only have been done in Chicago.”
The test track will include a Jeep Trail Rated® course to demonstrate the Jeep brand’s off-road capabilities, including traction, articulation, ground clearance, maneuverability and water fording, and a Dodge truck off-road course. Thirty vehicles will operate on the test track at any given time, featuring Chrysler and Dodge brand passenger cars.
Track Fun Facts
- More than 115 semi-trailers of track material, audio-visual equipment, exhibit properties and vehicles will be hauled into the exhibit space at McCormick Place.
- Over 1,100 cubic yards of topsoil, boulders, gravel, concrete and course timbers will be used.
- More than 40,000 feet of electrical cabling, the equivalent of nearly 8 miles, will be used for lights, power and displays.
- Over 30,000 feet of overhead support trusses will be utilized.
- The test track and the auto show exhibit will be completed in less than seven days.
- The centerpiece of the exhibit, the Dodge Ram’s head, stands 25 feet tall, 26 feet wide and is illuminated by more than 31,750 LED lights.
In addition to driving experiences, event goers will experience the personality of the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands through interactive activities, gaming kiosks, live musical performances, lifestyle activities, demonstrations, giveaways and more.
“Following a record nine all-new product introductions in 2004, Chrysler Group is enjoying a breakthrough year in terms of sales, market share and brand image growth,” said Murphy. “We will continue to introduce new products and to sustain the momentum through next year. A key element in our growth is to allow consumers the opportunity to experience and feel the tremendous improvements in our products. The Chicago Auto Show will provide a unique experience in a pressure-free environment.”