While the Atlanta International Auto Show doesn’t have the same prestige as the Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago shows, it’s still the biggest and oldest auto show in the South, with the first event being held in 1909. Hosted by the Metropolitan Atlanta Automobile Dealers Association (MAADA), the event is held in the 400,000 square foot Georgia World Congress, a big upgrade from the show’s humble beginnings in a in a 64,000 square foot space. This year the show hosted more than 25 manufacturers, who brought their latest vehicles, including some pre-production cars that aren’t on sale yet.
Check out our favorite parts of the show below:
1.) Ride and drive opportunities
The Atlanta Auto Show this year was unique in the amount of cars you could test drive at the show. Most auto shows have a couple of brands that allow you to test drive a few of their cars. The Atlanta Auto Show, on the other hand, featured ride and drive opportunities from twelve brands, from Chevrolet to Volkswagen, with almost sixty cars between them including SUVs, sedans, sports cars, hybrids, and pickup trucks. Vehicles of note included the new KIA Stinger, the Chevy Camaro, the Volkswagen GTI, and the Dodge Challenger.
2.) The Subaru Ascent
Subaru brought a pre-production version of their new Ascent three-row SUV after its recent premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show, so Atlantans were some of the first people able to check it out. The new Ascent is the biggest SUV offered by Subaru, and it comes loaded with driver assistance features as a part of the Subaru EyeSight package.
3.) Special editions
Several manufacturers brought special edition vehicles to the Atlanta Auto Show this year. Lexus brought their LC500 Sports Coupe, which was recently featured in the hit movie “Black Panther.” The already striking LC500 was outfitted with panther claws on the door mirrors, a unique interior, a representation of the movie car’s reactor in the rear, and an interpretation of the hero’s mask on the hood. Additionally, Chevrolet brought a Hot Wheels edition Camaro, and Nissan brought along three special edition cars inspired by the Star Wars Universe, including a Nissan Rogue kitted up as an X-Wing and a Nissan Titan dressed up as an AT-M6.
4.) Teen Driver Safety Expo
This year, the show added the Teen Driver Safety Expo, which focuses on getting the youngest drivers to approach driving with a safer mindset. The display includes interactive activities that can simulate the consequences of some of the poorest choices teens can make, like a pedal-kart course with “drunk goggles” that showed teens just how hard it is to drive safely while intoxicated. There were also similar exhibits that show off just how difficult it is to text and drive, and plenty of information available to help drive the point home.
In addition to the everyday cars that make up the bulk of the show, the people of Atlanta also had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the more exotic vehicles in the area. This display was sponsored by Caffeine and Octane, the promoter of a large, informal Atlanta-area car show held at the Dunwoody Perimeter Mall on the first Sunday of every month. Attendees got to check out several generations of Ferraris, Aston Martins, Bentleys, and Lamborghinis. Audi also brought their R8 convertible supercar, and Chevy showed off their hardcore Corvette ZR1.
Photos by: Greg Gjerdingen
Video by: AutoMoHo