BY CAROLINE MARONGIU-INGARGIOLA
On November 21st to 29th Moscone Center opened its doors for the San Francisco International Auto Show. Visitors were privileged to see new car models, vintage classics and perhaps even add something to their Christmas wish list.
Small, Medium, Large, and also Extra Large
The San Francisco International Auto Show is the largest auto exposition in Northern California. This year the Moscone Convention Center welcomed the 58th edition, featuring more than 600 vehicles, including 2016 model cars, SUVs, trucks and vans. The event showcased the work of major international manufacturers such as Maserati, Acura, Chrysler, BMW, Mazda, Chevrolet, Cadillac and a least 30 others. The crowd was here to discover and explore these new incredible cars in a variety of sizes to satisfy every taste. Indeed, there was a large variety of sizes and types of vehicles including, the toy-like, tiny Fiat 500, the Mini Cooper and the Smart Fortwo. Even though the new Fiat 500X is bigger than the original Fiat 500, the auto cannot compete with the enormous and powerful Nissan Titan and other large trucks on display. However, in a city like San Francisco where it’s difficult to find a place to park, these small european cars have grown in popularity.
Step into the Future
The car exhibition is also a good opportunity to unveil new automotive technologies, including a new lineup of electric vehicles. In an era where the environment is such an important issue, manufacturers such as Smart, Lexus, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford have introduced a new fleet of hybrid and electric vehicles. For the automotive industry, this kind of revolutionary change from fossil fuels to electricity is the future of automotive technology. However, these electric cars and hybrids are not just for consumers, the use of these cars is already making an impact on public transportation and utilities. PG&E, made a big leap forward this October, announcing plans to spend $100 million over the next five years on new electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. With this, PG&E extends its commitment to the environment, adding more than 750 plug-in electric units. California even offers Clean Vehicle Rebates of up to $5,000 on EV purchases. So there are no more excuses to make your own contribution to a cleaner and greener world.
Step into the Past
The auto show is also like a traveling back in time. On display are several cars from the early 1920s to the late 1990s, exhibited on the red carpet like glamorous Hollywood starlets. The crowd can admire the design of these classic cars, such as the 1959 Chevrolet Corvette. All these vintage vehicles were collected by the Academy of Art University, to trace the heritage of auto design throughout the ages. Visitor’s eyes sparkel at the sight of vintage luxury autos such as the 1937 Deluge D8 120 Drop Head Coupe and the 1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 2+2 Roadster.
See and Drive
In front of all these beautiful vehicles, it’s difficult to choose a favorite. Everyone wants the chance to sit in one of these cars for just a few minutes. Some lucky visitors had the opportunity to test the new 2016 Ford F-150 and the 2016 Smart Fortwo and Forfour. Mazda, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz, also offered demonstrations and test drives. For those who dream of driving a Bentley, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin or even the Holy grail of cars–Ferrari–keep dreaming. You can look with your eyes, not with your hands.
If Santa Claus is generous this year, you can always try to add one of these autos on your wish list. Let your imaginations run wild! The auto show is the perfect place to take your time, make comparisons and choose the perfect color and options, without the pressure of a salesman. The selection is enormous, but if you didn’t find the perfect set of wheels, or if funds are low, you still have the opportunity to take home a miniature model for just $12.