Before the 2013 Chicago Auto Show even opened to the public, a gallery of its must-see cars was among the top-read pages of chicagotribune.com, and searches for details were spiking on Google.
Trib Nation reached Tribune reporters Mary Jane Grandinetti and Bob Channick at the show to ask about the interest:
What is it about cars that we love?
Mary Jane: Cars are freedom. Adventure. Beauty. Romance. Power. Utility. Frivolous necessities. Sexy. What's not to like?
What are people talking about at this year’s auto show?
Bob: New federal fuel efficiency standards. More small vehicles with really high gas mileage offererings, and higher mileage in surprising vehicles. Muscle cars that get 27 mpg. The new Corvette goes 0-60 in 4 seconds, and still gets 28 mpg using new technology while cruising on the highway.
The manufacturers are all working toward the newer high standards. Talking to analysts about it, unequivocally in the wake of endless high gas prices, fuel economy is the No. 1 priority for real car shoppers. You can’t forgo a pickup truck if you need it – but you’re still going to keep fuel economy in mind no matter what you do. The idea of buying a pickup truck for fun is pretty much gone.
How have cars changed in the years you’ve covered the auto show for the Tribune?
Mary Jane: Philosophically, cars have changed little since Karl Benz's invention in the late 1800's. but that philosophy has been stretched, sculpted, chromed, and painted according to the times: long hooded opulence in the '30s, for example, and low, lean, lithe aerodynamics now. They still touch something visceral.
-- Mary Jane Grandinetti and Bob Channick
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