Despite the fact that the Midwest is in the grip of one of the coldest winters in recent history, Toyota plans to heat things up dramatically during the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, which is open to the public from February 8 through 17, at McCormick Place. With more than 45-thousand-square-feet of exhibit space, the world’s largest automaker has plenty of room to spark public interest. Among the expected attractions are the critically applauded FT-1 Concept Sports Car, numerous news conferences, many interactive opportunities for potential consumers, fifty additional vehicle presentations, and a 30-thousand-square-foot indoor desert-themed obstacle course.
The 2014 Chicago Auto Show begins with Media Days on Thursday, February 6 at 8 a.m. with Bob Carter Toyota’s Vice President of Automotive Operations delivering the keynote speech at the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) breakfast. Carter, who has 23-years invested in the Toyota Corporation, is a regular attendee of the Chicago Auto Show.
Later, at 9:30 a.m. in McCormick Center’s South Hall, Toyota will hold a news conference to introduce the new TRD Pro Series for the Tundra, Tacoma, and the 4Runner. The three trucks will be unleashed in the Toyota Drive Center, which features a 14-foot hill, a giant see-saw, a water crossing, various frame twisters, side tilts, and other suspension focused challenges.
In addition to the indoor activities, Toyota has teamed up with three reputable charities in the “Drive for a Cause” campaign to raise money for the American Red Cross, AMVETS, and the FFA. Participants in all of the indoor ride and drive events will earn the privilege of selecting one of these three charities, to which Toyota will make a contribution on their behalf.
Among the fifty Toyota vehicles on display in Chicago, the Toyota FT-1 Sports Car Concept will be front and center. This two-door, rear-wheel drive, powerful sports car concept designed by Toyota’s own Calty Design Studio drew global attention during the 2014 NAIAS in Detroit, earlier this year. Calty Design Studios, a subsidiary of Toyota, was also instrumental in the design of the popular Toyota Supra. Fans of the FT-1 will have an opportunity to virtually drive it; with two FT-1 driving simulators being made available to show attendees.
Toyota will also present the FV2 Concept. It is a futuristic car designed to be interactively controlled using driver body movement to control changes in direction. It is also equipped with cutting-edge safety features including mitigated braking, automatic cruise control, and lane departure correction systems.
The iROAD Concept will also be presented. It is a three-wheeled, motorcycle-type vehicle designed to be used most proficiently in urban environments; providing a new method of enjoying short distance travel.
Toyota has no shortage of award-winning vehicles to put on display during the Chicago Auto Show. Building on the critically acclaimed Superbowl commercial, the Muppets will join the Toyota Highlander in an exhibit which will give auto show patrons a chance to play three iPad games featuring the luxurious SUV and the Muppet characters.
Additionally, Toyota will present the 2014 Corolla, Tundra, 4Runner, and the RAV4.