California Autos Examiner

Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 San Francisco Auto Show: Photos, event info and insight

2010 Bentley Continental GTC Speed (source: msheena)

The 2009 San Francisco Auto Show is in full swing at the Moscone Center.

The show runs from Thursday, November 26, 2009 through Monday, December 2.

The show opens at 10AM and runs until 10PM except for Monday, December 2 when it closes one hour earlier at 9PM.

Admission is $8.00 and the ticket booths accept cash only, something I learned the hard way when I showed up with plastic only. A quick trip to the ATM at the Metreon remedied the situation, but don't find yourself in the same trap! Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Don't just take my word for it, check out my pictures as part one of the 2009 San Francisco Auto Show photo gallery below this post.

I attended the show today, Friday December 27, and found the crowds to be manageable. A quick jaunt down the stairs and I was off to the races. My first stop was at the Toyota booth to check out the 2010 Toyota 4Runner. The crowds were light around the turntable display and I captured a full video of the 4Runner that I will post later on.

Next on my "must see" tour was to check out the crowd around the Chevrolet Volt. There was an spokeswoman on hand to discuss the Volt's particulars and educate folks about plug-in hybrids. It is always difficult to determine how many people in the crowd are ogling the spokesperson verses actually learning about the vehicle, but I would say that in general show goers were quite interested in the Volt. I'll contrast the Chevrolet Volt display with the poor Jeep spokeswoman who was equally attractive, but was speaking to an empty booth: Nobody wanted to learn about the Jeep Wrangler's electronic sway bar disconnect. Also at the Chevrolet booth were many Camaros, including a bright yellow Transformer's edition just like the one that 101 year old Virgil Coffman purchased.

Continuing my tour, I zipped around to the Land Rover display to check out the 2010 Land Rover LR4. I have always had a soft spot for Land Rovers and owned a troubled 1998 model. The 2010 LR4 looks very similar to the untrained eye, but there are some tweaks to the exterior and more importantly major improvements on the inside. A healthy crowd was checking out all Land Rover's models, so the interest is there. Sadly, there wasn't nearly the interest in the freshly styled Jaguar XJ. The sedan is quite attractive, but whereas the Mercedes and BMW areas were jam packed with crowds, the Jaguar area was relatively light on peeps.

One vehicle that was doing extremely well was the four door Porsche Panamera. The crowd was so thick that I did not even attempt to sit inside, but rather I shot some exterior photos of the car. While some folks have derided the Panamera's shape, I find no issue with it. The roofline affords real headroom in the back and the hatch makes it more practical. I would buy one in a heartbeat if I had the means to do so. Lotus was displaying the more luxurious (relatively speaking) Lotus Evora.

That takes care of one hall at the Moscone Center. Part two of my 2009 San Francisco Auto Show coverage can be found by clicking here.

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