By Emily Sorensen
The San Diego International Auto Show is returning this weekend at the San Diego Convention Center in downtown San Diego.
The 2013 show, running Thursday, Dec. 27 - Sunday, Dec. 30, will feature more than 400 new-model vehicles, including alternate-fuel vehicles, exotics, crossovers and classics. Thirty-six global auto manufacturers will be showcasing their vehicles for the public.
The popular Ride & Drive events are returning this year, with Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Ford, GMC, Honda, Kia, Lincoln, Nissan, RAM, Toyota and Volkswagen offering opportunities to experience their new cars, trucks and SUVs.
An indoor-only Ride & Drive event, for Camp Jeep, will also be available. Professional drivers will allow riders to experience a Jeep’s on and off-road capabilities. The track will feature logs, stumps, an angled drive-over and other Jeep Trail Rated terrains, as well as an 18-foot, 35-degree “mountain” for the Jeep to climb. Several other free activities will be offered at Camp Jeep, including a mini Power Wheel for kids to test their driving capabilities, a 25-foot climbing wall, and a DJ.
Sunday, Dec. 30 is “Mazda Family Day” at the San Diego International Auto Show, so bring the kids down and enjoy a wide variety of cool, car-related activities. See “star cars” from television shows, create a race car flip book, and professional race car driver Elliot Skeer will be signing autographs. Kids 12 and under get in free with a paid adult.
The Exotics Salon is your place to check out cars from Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus and more. San Diego artist Michael Leaf will display wall hangings, sculpture, furniture design, and one piece that will be used for silent auction to benefit Las Patronas, a philanthropic organization in San Diego County. The piece is valued at $30,000 and opening bids will begin at $7,500.
The Think Blue EcoCenter returns for the fourth consecutive year, with manufacturer vehicles and technologies on display that showcase the future of green technology in cars, including electric cars, hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell cars, and alternative fuels. Think Blue San Diego will also provide educational information about protecting and improving water quality and reducing flood risk through efficient storm water management.
The San Diego International Auto Show is open 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday - Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 for adults (13 and up), $9 seniors and military with ID, $8 children 7 - 12 (free on Sunday, Dec. 30 with purchase of adult ticket) and children 6 and under are free.
For tickets and more information, visit www.sdautoshow.com.