Crowds pack D.C. Auto Show to see eco-friendly to flashy

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Local,DC,Kate Jacobson,Autos

Thousands of area residents flooded the Washington Auto Show Saturday to catch a glimpse of the latest models and some of the hottest designs coming from major automotive companies.

Attendees saw everything from the colorful fleet of Ford Mustangs, to the luxurious and flashy Lotus, to the environmentally-friendly Chevy Sonic. Along with 700 of the industry's most desired and newest models, automakers were providing test drives, sweepstakes and demonstrations of state-of-the-art automotive technology.

Organizers called the event the largest public show in the District and expect thousands of additional visitors before it closes Feb. 10.

Correction
A caption accompanying a photo of a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray on the front page of the Thursday edition of The Washington Examiner incorrectly said that the Stingray would be at the Washington Auto Show. The car will not be at the show, and The Examiner regrets the error.

Fiat was one of the many companies from around the word offering test drives of its latest models. In the basement of the Washington Convention Center, Fiat employees drove attendees around an indoor course, demonstrating the compact-car's maneuverability.

"I thought it was so fun," said Linda Banks, 43, who test drove the car with her husband Lazarus Sr., and their son Lazarus Jr. "I would consider this my favorite part of the show so far."

It wasn't Banks' first time at the auto show, but it was for her husband, 40, and son. Her husband was surprised there weren't more displays of hybrid and alternative-energy vehicles, but said he still was enjoying his first auto show.

Wayne Chapman, 50, of Amissville, Va., an avid car fan who comes to the show every year, was slowly making his way from the smaller, compact cars to the luxury models. He came to see Cadillac and Chevy's new lines - particularly the Chevy Cruze, a fuel-efficient compact from the Detroit automaker - but felt himself drawn to the company's Sonic.

Chapman and his family make the annual trip to see the latest models, but this year he's looking into possibly purchasing a new car and that's when the Sonic stopped him in his tracks.

"It's a nice car," he said of a shiny, 2013 white Sonic with a hatchback, four-doors and bluetooth capabilities.

Another regular in the crowd was David Greenburg, 37, of Leesburg, who brought his wife and two sons downtown on Saturday. His youngest son, Max, is a "car freak," Greenburg said.

"It's a nice time to stretch our legs and see all the new stuff," he said. "It's definitely a family tradition."

kjacobson@washingtonexaminer.com

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