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Auto Show:  2012 Detroit Auto Show

Fun Activities - Ride a Car in the Basement: Detroit Auto Show

author photo by Nick Chambers January 2012
  • From mainstream vehicles like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, to lesser knowns like the AMP electric vehicle, if you want to experience a next generation vehicle, you can do it in the Detroit Auto Show basement.
  • Rides last about four minutes, but unfortunately there's no driving.

A mainstay of the Detroit Auto Show for the last four years, the ride-along in the basement has become a perennially popular activity. This year, it's back with some old faces and some new. Whatever type of next-generation vehicle you're interested in, there's something to please you.

The list of participating cars includes offerings from major manufacturers such as the Chevy Volt, Chevy Malibu Eco, Buick LaCrosse eAssist, Buick Regal eAssist, Cadillac Escalade Hybrid and Nissan Leaf. In addition to the big guys, a few smaller startups will also offer ride-alongs, including AMP Electric Vehicles' plug-in SUVs and some vehicles from VIA Motors.

Sponsored by Pure Michigan - the official Michigan travel and tourism organization - there's no driving allowed, but the rides will last about four minutes as you wind through the simulated roads set up in the basement of Cobo Hall. It's a good chance to get a bit of firsthand experience with some cars of the future, especially if it's something you're considering buying.

What it means to you: Although it's not as good as actual test drives, the chance to ride along in so many different vehicles all at once isn't something you can create on your own, so take advantage of it while you can.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Fun Activities - Ride a Car in the Basement: Detroit Auto Show - Autotrader