“Safety” and “technology” are the guiding principles for automakers whose vehicles are on display this weekend at the 19th annual Iowa/Illinois Regional Auto Show, which begins a three-day run Friday at the Davenport RiverCenter.
A total of 155 vehicles — the most ever for the show— are being displayed by dealers from an 18-county region.
During a preview party held Thursday night, Mark Zimmerman, owner of Zimmerman Honda in Moline, described the vehicles on display as “really loaded,” with safety features.
“Many cars today have features such as backup cameras, but there’s a reason for that,” he said.
“Most of the cars, for instance, have bigger headrests, which make it tough to see around,” he said.
Also, the design of the cars that makes them more aerodynamic, such as the higher back end, makes it more difficult to see what is behind the vehicle.
The aerodynamics make the vehicles more fuel efficient, he said. “They’re trying to squeeze everything out of the car.”
Among the new technologies show visitors can check out are inflatable rear seatbelts in the Ford Explorer and Lincoln, said Susan Shrader of Nissi Marketing who serves as event coordinator for the Motor Trend show. There are also accident avoidance sensors on models from Acura, Audi, BMW, and Cadillac, to Ford, Hyundai, Infiniti, Lexus, Volvo and Toyota.
A number of vehicles now come with Pandora Internet Radio or other fun audio systems, as well as smartphone applications that allow owners to interact with their vehicles to check tire pressure, lock or unlock doors, and even remotely start the vehicle.
Jill Green, co-owner of the Green family of car dealerships that include Chevrolet Chrysler in East Moline, as well as Green Buick GMC in Davenport, and Green Family Hyundai in Moline, said there is something for everyone to see at this year’s show.
From her showrooms, Green said that, “We’ve got the 2013 Corvette ZR1 here. We’ve also got the Buick Encore which is a really nice five-passenger SUV that gets 34 mpg, and is only $24,000.”
Truck enthusiasts can also get a look at the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the 2014 GMC Sierra, she added.
Ford is displaying its new Fusion Hybrid that boasts 47 mpg city and highway, as well as the Ford C-MAX Energy plug-in hybrid that also gets 47 mpg city and highway.
In all, 28 vehicle manufacturers are represented at what Shrader calls a “non-selling” show.