Five things to roll in, real or otherwise, at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show

Chicago Tribune

There was a time when you went to the Chicago Auto Show, and the only moving thing you rode in was your personal vehicle. Or the kids drove you crazy with demands to access the latest, futuristic concept car. Over the years this has changed, to the point where you have options: you can take a test drive from various manfacturers, get a live ride something, or flog a simulator, complete with motion technology. Here’s a quick list of stuff to play with at the show:

1. Ford GT Le Mans Race Simulator: This race simulator lets you experience the thrill and action of world-class racing, says Ford. But let’s be clear about this: It’s a video game. It’s a cool one, and one of those things that can work to build excitement. Party on.

2. Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Simulator: Dodge is about big, giant horsepower, attainable muscle and speed. Straight-line speed, so get it. It harkens back to those silly games of stoplight grand prix that we all played. (Yes, you did. Don’t even try.) This one, another simulator, uses motion technology to give you the feel(ish) of drag racing the more than 800-horsepower Challenger. It’s head-to-head for quarter-mile and reaction times so look sharp, lest your friends have the opportunity to tease you. But that’s also fun.

3. Kia ride along: This automaker is going all out behind its new SUV, the Telluride. What this means is a big ol' setup, and test rides right on the Auto Show floor. We did this. The course is short, and our driver had that Telluride moving pretty good. That was cool. What wasn't so cool was how -- okay -- the course was. If you're interested in a Telluride and want to experience it at a few crazy angles and bashing over some rough stuff, this is the place for you. But if the line is crazy long, we wouldn't stick it out.

4. Range Rover: Laugh all you want about the name — let’s take a moment to say it, Evoque — but Range Rover’s history in off-roading is broad and deep. The British automaker is showing off the latest and greatest version of the Evoque by letting you ride along on a rather nifty off-road course inside. Also featured are the Range Rover, Discovery and Velar. And even if your pocketbook isn’t in the market for one of the sleek new SUVs, the off-road tech is undeniable. Yes, the new Evoque will be shown off in a situation that favors it. Duh. But you want to play with a car? Visit Range Rover’s display and check out some rides. Note: The drive will be pretty pokey, so don't expect to bash over stuff. But the oblique angles are cool. And smell that expensive leather!

5. Camp Jeep: Saving the best for last, be sure not to miss a visit to this off-road course that puts the various Jeep vehicles -- Rubicon most notable -- through their paces. There's a 25-degree off camber turn that will show off the vehicle's ability to disconnect its swaybars on the fly, or the 35-degree incline (and decline) to show you what it's like were you to essay something serious off-road in a Jeep. Yes, we know that the only off-roading that most SUVs see is accidentally driving over the hedges while backing into the garage. That makes Camp Jeep extra fun, and easily the most fun of the ride-alongs at the Chicago Auto Show. Pro tip: Pick a Rubicon. You'll thank me later.

kmwilliams@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @tribunekevin

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