Philadelphia Auto Show bigger and better than ever!

January 18, 2013 3:08:10 PM PST
The Philadelphia Auto Show is back, and bigger than ever for 2013 - eleven football fields worth of automobiles.

Want to ride a Jeep through the wilds of the Convention Center? You can!

"You are, like, 18 feet off the ground," said Jeep's Lisa Barrow, describing one of this year's featured attractions. "You can't see over the crest. Your eyes are going to get really big, and you are going to want to do it 500 times more!"

Whoever plunks down $268,000 dollars for a McLaren convertible probably won't sweat the price of gas.

But for the rest of us, "gasoline prices do affect consumer behavior and what they buy in the retail market," said Auto Show Executive Director Kevin Mazzucola. "So that's the bottom line."

And car makers are ready for higher prices at the pump. Example, Ford: a family-size Fusion hybrid reportedly gets 47 miles per gallon.

Don't want to spend the money for a hybrid? Ford also has non-hybrids with impressive EPA numbers.

"Today we have eight of the top 40 mile-per-gallon vehicles," said Ford regional manager David Principato.

Even high-end brands are selling MPGs. A new, small Acura gets a 38 on its window sticker.

Want to avoid the pump all together? There are three pure electrics at the show.

Sales have not lived up expectations. With a range of 100 miles or less on a single charge, these are not long-distance rides.

"This is your town car," explained Martin James of Mitsubishi. "This is your moving around, going to and from the store, to and from school type of thing."

Demand for electrics may be slow, but not electronics. Carmakers across the board say many of us who love our smart phones want them connected and displayed on the dashboard.

That's the case with at least one Chevrolet at the show.

"They want all that wherever they go, and we want them to access it in a safe manner," said Shaita Sen of General Motors.

The 2013 Philadelphia Auto Show opens to the public on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. It runs till January 27th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.