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Grand CherokeeDrive the new Grand Cherokee in Chicago. Indoors. On a Test Track.
Posted by mike on 2004/12/7 0:00:00 (1029) reads

DaimlerChrysler will build it, if you're in Chicago, you will come.

(from a Chrysler Group press release)

Chrysler Group is taking the auto show experience to new heights with the creation of a half- mile test drive track that will debut at the 2005 Chicago Auto Show in February. Consumers visiting McCormick Place will have the opportunity to test drive Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge products on a specially designed course around the perimeter of the 156,000-square-foot exhibit. The collective displays are the largest ever constructed in Chrysler Group history.

"Camp Jeep(R) New York at the Jacob Javitz Center was a homerun earlier this year, drawing over 300,000 visitors and conducting more than 36,000 test drives over a two-week period," said George Murphy, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Marketing. "Based on this overwhelming success, we decided to expand the concept to include the Chrysler and Dodge brands in Chicago."

The 156,000-square-foot exhibit is the size equivalent to almost four football fields, and the test track will be located on the perimeter of the exhibit on the show floor. The McCormick Place complex comprises three state- of-the-art buildings and over 2.2 million square feet of exhibit halls. The Chrysler Group exhibit is located in the South Hall.

The test track will include a Jeep Trail Rated(R) course to demonstrate the Jeep brand's off-road capabilities, including traction, articulation, ground clearance, maneuverability and water fording, and a Dodge truck off- road course. Thirty vehicles will operate on the test track at any given time, featuring Chrysler and Dodge brand passenger cars.

Track Fun Facts

* More than 115 semi-trailers of track material, audio-visual equipment, exhibit properties and vehicles will be hauled into the exhibit space at McCormick Place.

* Over 1,100 cubic yards of topsoil, boulders, gravel, concrete and course timbers will be used.

* More than 40,000 feet of electrical cabling, the equivalent of nearly 8 miles, will be used for lights, power and displays.

* Over 30,000 feet of overhead support trusses will be utilized.

* The test track and the auto show exhibit will be completed in less than seven days.

* The centerpiece of the exhibit, the Dodge Ram's head, stands 25 feet tall, 26 feet wide and is illuminated by more than 31,750 LED lights.

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Poster Thread
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Lazlo
Why not do it at Detroit? Several reasons: First, the building is a terribly small venue and horribly cramped for those who are building displays already. The Chicago Jeep display would account for about one fifth of the total show floor in Detroit. Secondly, the reason they're doing it in Chicago is that there are REAL customers there. Everyone (or darn near everyone) in Detroit has little choice in what it is they buy. They're all on some company PEP car program so doing customer things there doesn't move the sales needle a bit. In Chicago, they're playing to the biggest and best attended show in North America and going right at the concept of putting prospective customers' butts in the seats of their products. Not a bad idea and un-doable anywhere but in Chicago. As for the "mall grade" test track one responder mentioned, I've been in a lot of SUVs going over some verrrrrrrrry treacherous rocks at 3 mph. Perhaps he has more cojones than I do, but I suspect he'd be breaking out the adult sized Pampers with some of the trails I've run. Chicago's test track will have a 20 foot high hill make of dirt, rocks, timber and other goodies and then go through a "stream" that's about 3 feet deep. I'd say it's going to be a huge hit and get awesome coverage. Can they make better products? Sure! But you have to sell what you have on the shelf now, don't you?

Just a few thoughts. Thanks for listening :)


Poster Thread
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon
I have never been to the Detroit Auto Show but the Chicago Auto Show is a great event.
It sounds like a huge track they are building so the Chicago venue would be perfect.
It's only two and half hours away for me so I am not complaining.

Poster Thread
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: detroit
Why not do this at the Detroit auto show??? The jeep grand is built here.. They introduced it at the new york auto show?? You would think they would want to do it here in detroit where it is built!.. A test track design would be awsome. There are soo many people that come to the detroit auto show. The press and exposure that would bring them here would be priceless. I understand that room is tight at the detroit auto show.. But hey so you cut the track down to fit...

Poster Thread
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OnlyOneJeep
WOW..that sounds like fun...Too bad they don't take it a step further and develop REGIONAL test sites for the FULL lineup of Jeep Vehicles....Invite present owners to participate....maybe they'll (we) buy one or two, or three. Unfortunately, with the present attitude of the Jeep Dealers in my area...arrogant,mis-informed,unknowledgeable salespersons.......rein many! No wonder sales are down some. I would definately travel to enjoy an exhibit such as this.

Poster Thread
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: WK Hater
Oh great another mall rated course. Wow everybody, look it can crawl over a 3" rock and that curb in the mall. Well so can my Chevy Caprice. Build a real Jeep and have a real off-road course that involves climbing 3 foot ledges. The new GC can barely make it out of most driveways. Jeep has died. The did build the Rubicon, which was a step in the right direction. But 30+k give me a break. And still it only has a POS chain driven t-case, wimpy front D44 that snap with 33s, and 31" tires stock. Hell a Kia Jeep (KJ aka Liberty) has 29" tires stock. Those are only 2" bigger. It is a sad sad day in Jeep land.
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