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      02-13-2013, 09:46 PM   #1
MKE_M3
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Thoughts from the Chicago Auto Show

Just got back from the Chicago Auto Show and had a great time. I've been going for the past decade every year with pretty much the same group of buddies. I call it our Annual Pilgrimage.

Given that I now own the car I've been drooling over for the greater part of the past 10 years (e46 and e9X M3's), the show has lost a little excitement for me, but I thought I'd share a few highlights.

Like last year, the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are still on my list as some of the coolest cars out there. I'd love to drive one, as I suspect they'd be a lot of fun to explore at their relatively low limits. They may also make for some incredibly fun Auto-cross or slow track cars. I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts that have some experience behind the wheels. FWIW, I found the Subaru interior to be a slight upgrade on the Scion, and would probably prefer a Subaru over the Scion.

Not many prototype/launch cars, but I saw the new Cayman and BMW F30 Wagon. They were both definitely at the top of my favorite new car list from the show, especially the F30 Wagon. It was in Estoril Blue, which looks incredible and seems like a possible contender for my next family car.

Another observation that has been a trend for me is how much I prefer the M3 interior to virtually every car I was allowed to sit in. We have a pretty incredible car and the auto show made me love it even more.
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      02-14-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
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I use to go to the Detroit Auto Show when I lived in Michigan and drool over the concepts and near production cars. I now drool over my "new" 2011 E92 M3 everytime I get in it.
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      02-14-2013, 03:34 PM   #3
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Did the BMW booth at the Chicago Show have a Hospitality Suite? At the 2012 Detroit Auto Show (actually called the North American International Auto Show...), the BMW booth had a second floor Hospitality Suite and if you produced your BMW key you could get in. Really nice way to rest your legs, take in the view from the picture windows and wet your whistle.
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      02-14-2013, 05:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by quadpipes View Post
Did the BMW booth at the Chicago Show have a Hospitality Suite? At the 2012 Detroit Auto Show (actually called the North American International Auto Show...), the BMW booth had a second floor Hospitality Suite and if you produced your BMW key you could get in. Really nice way to rest your legs, take in the view from the picture windows and wet your whistle.
Not that I noticed, but Audi and the luxury area did. That would have been really nice.
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      02-14-2013, 05:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MKE_M3 View Post
Not that I noticed, but Audi and the luxury area did. That would have been really nice.
I've always felt that BMW treats the Chicago auto show like a 3rd or 4th class show, in terms of size of display and what they bring, likely because it's too close to Geneva. They have occasionally hosted the local CCA chapter for a early/first look, but the track record is spotty. Now, the hospitality suite you get to stay in when doing ED at the factory in Munich, now that's sweet.
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      02-15-2013, 12:26 AM   #6
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I had a chance to stop by too. I really enjoyed seeing the M6 Grand Coupe in person. I sat inside the M6 coupe and Audi S7. With the exception of these 2, I too walked away from the auto thinking how nice the m3 is, even after all these years.
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      02-15-2013, 06:31 PM   #7
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The M6 Grand Coupe was really nice, but the visability is quite a bit better in my e90, which matters a lot. Not saying I wouldn't take one though.
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      02-15-2013, 07:52 PM   #8
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Visit the show in Geneva. That friends is the real pilgrimage for Auto Shows. I've never been to the Chicago Show but the NY International Auto Show has gotten depressing in the last years compared to what it was in the 90's, though back then everything looked cool while in high school.
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      02-16-2013, 05:02 PM   #9
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Visit the show in Geneva. That friends is the real pilgrimage for Auto Shows. I've never been to the Chicago Show but the NY International Auto Show has gotten depressing in the last years compared to what it was in the 90's, though back then everything looked cool while in high school.
The Chicago show definitely took a dip during the economic downturn, but has since gotten a lot better. This year was the best since 2007 or '08. I'd love to go to Geneva, but travelling with three kids there would probably cost as much as my M3 and I can't really leave them.
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