Sacramento International Auto Show kicks off three-day run at Cal Expo

Hybrid cars, electric cars, plug-in cars. Cars that can hit 170 mph. Cars that hit the brakes for you in an emergency, warn you to pay attention and give you real-time video of what’s going on all around your vehicle as you’re driving it.

All this and more will be on display at the Sacramento International Auto Show, which kicks off its three-day run today at Cal Expo. The show is sponsored by the Greater Sacramento New Car Dealers Association. The Sacramento Bee is among the secondary co-sponsors.

This year’s event will showcase the latest models from nearly 40 domestic and foreign manufacturers.

“The main focus will continue to be the awe-inspiring technological advances of new 2014 model cars,” said show producer Stacey Castle, head of Castle Communications Inc. in Gold River. “We are thrilled to have so many manufacturers participating.”

Automakers will run the gamut, from America’s big three of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler to high-performance overseas specialists like Aston Martin and Ferrari.

Attendees also will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of more than 40 different cars from 10 manufacturers at “ride-and-drive” courses set up on the Cal Expo grounds. Automakers participating in this year’s ride-and-drives will be Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, GMC, Jeep and Toyota.

Special displays will include ultra-high-performance vehicles, an exhibit from Los Gatos Luxury Cars, alternative and art cars, and motor vehicles from years past.

“While the new cars and the exotics represent the present and the future of the automobile, we’ll once again be paying tribute to cars through history,” Castle said.

A vintage trailer display will trace the history of highway recreation on wheels. Motorcycles from past and present also will be there. Special attendance and food packages will be offered, and the show will include activities aimed at children.

“We try to make the auto show family friendly as well as budget friendly,” Castle said. “Our goal again this year was to give families a day of entertainment at a reasonable cost, so we incorporated the meal deal with admission ... We completely redesigned the look of most of the auto show this year, concentrating on adding new features and additional family areas.

“With the show as large as it is, we felt it important to have ‘decompression’ areas and additional activities for the kids.”

This morning, the Greater Sacramento New Car Dealers Association will unveil a new vehicle that it is donating to Make-A-Wish Northeastern California and Northern Nevada. The vehicle has a specialty wrap design done by digital graphics company Ferrari Color, which has a Sacramento facility.

Other highlights include the local EuroSunday club, which will occupy two buildings with club cars vying for the show’s People’s Choice Award, and a benefit for Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is displaying some of the latest electric vehicles and offering information on charging stations and rates.


What: Sacramento International Auto Show

Where: Cal Expo

When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

How much: General admission at the door for adults is $12 each day and $5 for ages 7 to 12. Children ages 6 and under accompanied by an adult will be admitted free. The first 100 to arrive each day can park for free; on-the-grounds parking is $10 per vehicle.

More information: www.sacautoshow.com.