Auto show

Matthew Cullum, left, and James Jones from Pro Detailers shine up a Lexus hybrid last year in preparation for opening night of the Iowa/Illinois Auto Show at the Davenport RiverCenter. (Larry Fisher/QUAD-CITY TIMES)

Larry Fisher

As the Iowa/Illinois Regional Auto Show rolls into the Davenport RiverCenter this weekend, technological advancements aimed at improving vehicles’ safety and entertainment values will take center stage. 

Car enthusiasts and show-goers will get a first-hand look at these innovations as auto dealers from an 18-county region display more than 130 vehicles. The 19th annual show, produced by Motor Trend, runs from Friday to Sunday at the RiverCenter in downtown Davenport.

“It’s a non-selling show, and the great thing of it is you have all these 28 manufacturers that are represented in a single place,” said Susan Shrader of Nissi Marketing, who serves as event coordinator. “It’s a great way to look at any type of car without the pressure of a salesperson.”

According to Shrader, many of the new technology options available can be seen in the vehicles on display. Among the advancements: inflatable rear seat belts; accident avoidance sensors and radar-guided cruise control; Pandora Internet Radio; smartphone applications that enable owners to lock/unlock doors, check tire pressure and remotely start the vehicle; parking assist sensors; built-in WiFi; streaming Bluetooth audio; Pause Live Radio, which allows the driver to pause the radio and record up to 20 minutes of live broadcasting; My Gig, which allows files from a CD or MP3 player to be transferred easily; voice-controlled, hands-free music; BMW Connected, which allows BMW driver to connect to their iPhones; and engine start-stop systems.

New to the show this year, she said, is a Luxury Showcase that will be located on the walkway between the Adler Theatre and the RiverCenter’s Mississippi Hall. The showcase will feature multiple brands of luxury vehicles from five different manufacturers.

As part of the Auto Show, six scholarships will be awarded during an invitation-only Premier Event on Thursday night. The Premier Event is sponsored by IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, ADP, Greater Quad-City Auto Auction, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and S&S Automotive Group.

All proceeds from the show finance the scholarship program. This year’s show will award $25,000 to college-bound and technical school-bound students. To date, the Iowa/Illinois Regional Auto Show has awarded $205,000 to area students.

With Motor Trend as the producer of this and 28 other car shows, Shrader said the local organizers have access to many resources. “The beauty of it is we get to look at some of their other shows and get ideas from those.”

She added that visitors will find a new floor plan this year as they browse through the dozens of vehicles on display.