ABOUT THE DETROIT AUTO SHOWThe North American International Auto Show -- aka NAIAS or the Detroit Auto Show -- is generally regarded as the most important auto show in the United States. Taking place right in the Big Three's back yard, the show is traditionally the launching ground for lots of new products and concept vehicles, both domestic and imported.
WHEN TO GOThe 2014 Detroit Auto Show is open to the public Saturday, January 18th through Sunday, January 26th, with a special black-tie charity preview on Friday evening, January 17th.
January 18th through January 25th: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm (last admission at 9:00 pm)
January 26th: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (last admission at 6:00 pm)
Note: Early access for handicapped individuals opens at 8:00 am at the Oakland entrance.
Group tickets: $9 each for groups of 30 or more
Senior citizens and children 7-12: $7
Children 6 and under: Free with a parent or guardian
Purchase tickets online
Note: If you purchase tickets at the door, you must use the automated ticket kiosks for credit card purchases. Staffed ticked booths only accept cash.
A black-tie charity preview is being held on Friday, January 17th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, with proceeds to benefit various children's charities. Admission is $350, $340 of which is tax deductible.
Purchase charity preview tickets online
HOW TO GET THERE
The Detroit show takes place at the Cobo Conference and Exhibition Center, One Washington Boulevard in Detroit.
On-site parking is available for $10 at the Cobo Roof Desk (625 West Congress), Millennium Garage (425 West Congress), and the Joe Louis Arena (900 West Jefferson). Handicapped parking is available in the Cobo Hall Garage and Cobo Roof Deck.
Detroit being the Motor City, public transportation options are limited.
Cobo Center has its own stop on the Detroit People Mover, which makes a short loop around downtown Detroit, and is useful for local hotels and off-site parking lots.
Cobo Center is about half a mile from the Rosa Parks Transit Center bus station, which is served by local buses from Detroit Department of Transportation and SMART. You can walk or take the People Mover to Cobo. The Transit Windsor Tunnel Bus provides cross-border service from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and stops at the Cobo Center (passport required for the border crossing).
Amtrak's Wolverine provides morning, mid-day, and evening train service from Pontiac, Birmingham, and Royal Oak. The Detroit station is about 4 miles from Cobo; DDOT bus service is available to the Rosa Parks Transit Center.
Direct airport shuttle service is available from SKOOT Detroit. Shuttles leave Detroit Metro Airport every 30-45 minutes (8:00am to 10:00pm); return shuttles depart COBO every 60 minutes (4:00am to 10:00pm). Prices are $23 from the airport and $20 to the airport; use the coupon code NAIAS14 for a $2 discount off your round-trip fare. For reservations or info call toll free (855) 937-5668 or visit www.rideskoot.com.
WHAT TO SEE
As always, Ford has several hands-on activities, including a full-motion driving simulator that lets you take a (virtual) Focus ST out on the track. And classic car buffs should check out Ford's display of historical Mustangs, including the 1962 Ford Mustang 1 Concept and the first production 1964½ Mustang. And be sure to check out the new 2015 Ford F-150, although it's likely the roads will be full of them before too long.
Mazda has their own full-motion simulator (sans steering wheel) that lets you experience a lap of Laguna Seca. If you have a delicate stomach, try the Michelin booth, where a stand-up simulator lets you experience their test track through the soles of your feet.
See all the new vehicle introductions in my 2014 Detroit Show Auto photo gallery.