As the home of tech giants like Apple and Google — not to mention one of America’s finest collegiate institutions in Stanford University — some of the brightest bulbs in the tech industry have landed in Silicon Valley and gone on to create some of recent history’s most dazzling innovations. In the ever-expanding Bay Area enclave that started as the nickname for Northern California’s Santa Clara Valley, scores of startups of every size and sort have descended on the area since the dawn of the tech boom. As the epicenter of today’s tech industry, it’s no wonder the 2019 Silicon Valley Auto Show is packed with the latest technology the auto industry has to offer.
Related: Video: How to Shop at an Auto Show
The show usually kicks off in January but will roll into San Jose fashionably late this year when it opens today at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, 150 W. San Carlos St., in downtown. Four show days will pack in the hottest alternative-fuel options, preproduction vehicles, custom cars and exotics from at least 30 automakers.
The show runs through Sunday. Thursday through Saturday, hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults; $8 for senior citizens, military members and students with a valid I.D., and children ages 7 to 12; and free for kids age 6 or younger. For more info, go to the show’s website.
Here are five things not to miss at the 2019 Silicon Valley Auto Show:
1. 2019 Audi e-tron
Audi unveiled its first-ever all-electric vehicle back in September in San Francisco, the e-tron SUV. The limited-production SUV is engineered for AC home charging and DC fast charging, and has a quick-charging system offering a 95-kilowatt-hour battery pack. A 150-kilowatt DC fast charge provides an 80 percent charge, for 160 miles of range according to Audi. Renewable energy is a focus of this five-seat SUV: The e-tron Quattro SUV uses regenerative braking to capture the decelerative forces and convert them back to usable energy. This eco-friendly machine doesn’t come cheap: It starts at around $75,795 and rises to more than $87,000 from there. Other all-new SUVs at the show include the 2020 Kia Telluride and 2020 Lincoln Aviator.
2. 2020 Jeep Gladiator
Jeep’s all-new pickup truck (the brand’s first in more than 25 years) stole the show at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November and has been making its way across the regional U.S. auto show circuit since then. The Gladiator tips its hand to its Wrangler off-roader underpinnings with, among other features, its sibling SUV’s signature detachable doors — also ensuring it will stand out from the mainstream smaller pickup truck competition from the likes of Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan and Toyota. The Gladiator arrives at dealerships this spring, so the auto show is a great place to get a sneak peek.
3. Test Drives
Shopping for a new car requires time, patience, planning and a whole lotta due diligence. In-market car shoppers can explore all the latest models from Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota all in one spot at the auto show’s test-drive event. Jump into the driver’s seat of at least 16 different models from the three brands and take them for a spin in downtown San Jose. Below are the test-drive times and available models.
- Chevy: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Sunday, test-drive the Blazer, Bolt EV, Colorado, Silverado 1500 and Traverse
- Ford: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday; test-drive the EcoSport, Edge, Expedition, F-150, Fusion, Mustang and Ranger
- Toyota: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Sunday; test-drive the Camry, Highlander Hybrid, RAV4 and Tacoma
4. Tons of Tech
It wouldn’t be the Silicon Valley Auto Show without a plethora of the newest cool technology from car manufacturers both here in the U.S. and across the globe. From fully autonomous vehicles to driver-assist programs that brake and steer for you under certain conditions, experience the future of driving by getting behind the wheel of one of many models that offer semi-autonomous features, such as the Hyundai Kona Electric. The San Jose State University Mechanical Engineering Department will display an autonomous vehicle and an all-electric vehicle created by students. The Society of Automotive Engineering Spartan Racing showcase will feature a fleet of electric and combustion vehicles; the students will demonstrate the technology behind how autonomous vehicles detect objects and interact with humans.
5. The $exy $ide of Silicon Valley
Check out high-end rides from Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and others at the luxury vehicle display presented by the local Luxury Cars of Los Gatos. Guests can also ogle the latest in luxury SUVs, including the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Maserati Levante GranLusso as part of a display from Luxury Cars of Walnut Creek. A Chevrolet Corvette gallery from Santa Clara Corvettes rounds out the enthusiast offerings at the Silicon Valley Auto Show.
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