If you went to the Washington, D.C. Auto Show last year and felt like things were missing from pre-pandemic times, you weren’t wrong. Thankfully 2023 DC Auto Show is back at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and it feels like it used to.
The latest electric vehicles, cool concept cars, a droolworthy exotic car display, adoptable rescue dogs, opportunities to get behind the wheel for ride and drives at the show, and more make this year’s auto show worth attending. The Washington, DC Auto Show starts today Friday, January 20 and runs through Sunday, January 29.
12 Reasons to Attend the 2023 DC Auto Show
Keep reading for the scoop on this year’s show plus a preview of the car eye candy you won’t want to miss while there.
Explore Current Electric Vehicles
Whether or not you’re in the market for a new car, there’s no denying the future of cars is electric. The majority of exhibiting vehicle manufacturers have prominently displayed their electric and hybrid models to demonstrate they’re dedicated to moving towards a carbon neutral future. The EV Pavilion in the lower level is also designed to showcase the future of mobility through the electric vehicles, charging stations, and electric buses displayed.
While attending the 2023 DC Auto Show, you won’t want to miss the 2023 Toyota Prius that has been reborn since it originally debuted in 1997. This 4th generation Prius shows Toyota’s dedication to innovation with style and efficiency.
It features a lighter and lower placement of the battery for improved handling housed in a sleek silhouette with smooth curves and sharp details. Toyota believes that this affordable entry level hybrid demonstrates that all customers can play a role in helping the environment.
Also on display is the 2024 Corvette E-Ray.
You can’t miss the electric Ford Mustang Mach-E encased in a blue cube.
Chevrolet also puts their Silverado, Blazer, and Equinox EV models front and center.
Check Out Concept Cars
Sadly, Toyota did not bring back TacoZilla this year but they have some new concept cars that are worth checking out like the Toyota LQ. This concept vehicle that “leverages advanced technology to build an emotional bond between car and driver.” It features automated driving capabilities and “Yui,” a powerful artificial intelligence-powered interactive agent designed to learn from the driver and deliver a personalized mobility experience.
“Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal. Typically, but not exclusively, it is accomplished with mechanized off-road-capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping, often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and spanning international boundaries.”
While overlanding is becoming increasingly trendy in America, it has been around since the 1900s and two new concept vehicles from Toyota celebrate this new American trend.
The FJ49, a fusion between a restored 1945 LandCruiser, and a modern-day 79 Series LandCruiser was created created by Australia based Patriot Campers.
Look for exterior additions like custom flares, bars and a tow bar; Warn® winch; LED driving lights and two light bars; an exo-cage engineered and fabricated by Patriot Campers.
The Trailhunter is designed for outdoor enthusiasts who long for off-the-grid expeditions. According to Toyota, “Every truck will be designed from the ground up to include the overlanding modifications and components enthusiasts expect.”
Expect Trailhunter vehicles to come from the factory equipped with a Trailhunter-specific suspension setup, skid plates, roof rack, bumpers, lighting, refrigerator, rooftop tent and more all engineered specifically for overlanding.
Go for a Test Drive at the 2023 DC Auto Show
It’s one thing to sit in a car at the DC Auto Show, it’s another to drive one. Both Toyota and Hyundai are offering visitors the opportunity to experience their vehicles while at the show.
Toyota has a fleet of vehicles for show attendees to experience on a drive around the convention center. Sign up either at the Toyota booth or at the black tent on the right side of the escalators leading to the Upper Hall. You’ll be joined by a Toyota team member who can answer your questions during your drive.
You can’t miss the track set up at the Hyundai booth in the Lower Hall. Scan the QR code or use the kiosks to register to experience the Hyundai IONIQ 5, a stylish electric SUV.
Pretend to be a Race Car Driver
Toyota’s race simulator can be found on the right side of their booth, near the entrance and in the Toyota Racing section. Look for the red Racing Unites Us sign and in front of it you’ll find the two simulators.
Kia has the EV6 GT Driving Experience at the corner of their booth. This 3-screen simulator also features a seat that’s mounted on hydraulics for a more immersive driving experience where you can feel the gravel under the tires and a crash feels like a crash.
Experience the Effects of Driving Under the Influence While Sober
This interactive Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Drunk Driving Simulator experience provides a first-hand experience of the dangers of delayed response and the effects of “tunnel vision” when driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI). This powerful educational experience can be found on the lower level on the same side as the escalators.
Give a Dog a Forever Home Before Leaving the 2023 DC Auto Show
As rescue dog owners, we’re suckers for the Subaru ads featuring dogs and Subaru brings their commitment to pets to the DC Auto Show.
Located towards the back up the Upper Hall, you’ll find the Subaru Loves Pets exhibit. Browse latest vehicles and meet, play with, and even adopt one of the shelter dogs from local rescue organizations who will be visiting at certain times of the day.
Check Out the Car Travis Pastrana Drove over Ego Alley
If you’ve seen this video, you might also know that rally driver, Travis Pastrana, is from Maryland. Visit Subaru to see the Subaru WRX STI he drove over Ego Alley in Annapolis in 2020. See if you can spot the body dings and figure out how he might have gotten them while the video replays in the booth.
Swoon Over Exotic Cars
The Exotic Cars display features luxury, speed, and power. There are over 30 vehicles at the 2023 DC Auto Show. Here’s a sneak peek of some of what’s on display.
Get Nostalgic with Classic Cars
The Classic Car Club section is a tribute to the classics. This year’s collection includes models from Cadillac & LaSalle Club Potomac Region, National Capital Region Mustang Club, and Corvette Club of America.
Get Inspired to Modify Your Own Vehicle
If you’ve ever watched Pimp My Ride back in the day or dreamt of working with West Coast Customs to create the vehicle of your dreams, the sheer number of cars with custom paint jobs, cool rims, and additional speakers will have you thinking about how you can modify your current vehicle.
Practice Your Golf Swing with CitySwing
In between checking out the cars, take a break and try out your golf swing at the CitySwing truck that’s part of the Get Outdoors section. This exhibit is like the grown-up version of the video game truck that rolls up for kid birthday parties in the neighborhood. This interactive golf simulator allows you to try your swing at famous courses through the TrackMan course simulator for outdoor golf vibes meets indoor tech.
Ride an EBike at the 2023 DC Auto Show
The future of mobility is electric, even when it comes to electric bikes. On the lower level in the EV Pavilion you’ll find a Test Track by ElectriCity Bikes.
Sign up to ride bikes from Specialized, Bosch, Tern, CarlaCargo, gazelle, Riese&Muller, Bulls, Thule, Call2Recycle, PeopleForBikes, and the League of American Cyclists around the 9,000 square foot track to test the motors, handling, and acceleration. Helmets are provided.
ABOUT THE 2023 DC AUTO SHOW
The Washington, DC Auto Show runs from Friday, January 20-Sunday, January 29. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased on the Auto Show’s website at www.washingtonautoshow.com. Visit the DC Auto Show web page with Tips for Visiting the 2023 Show for more helpful information before you go.
Full show hours are as follows:
- Friday, January 20, 12:00 noon – 9:00 pm
- Saturday, January 21, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
- Sunday, January 22, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
- Monday, January 23 through Thursday, January 26, 12:00 noon – 8:00 pm
- Friday, January 27, 12:00 – 9:00 pm;
- Saturday, January 28, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
- Sunday, January 29, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Admission prices are as follows:
- Adults (13 and up)
- $12 on weekdays (Jan. 23-27, 2023)
- $15 on weekends (Jan. 21, 22, 28, 29)
- Children (age 6-12)
- $6 every day
- Children 5 and under are free
Special prices and discounts include:
- Military Tribute Day – Tuesday, January 24
- Free with Military ID or DD214
- Student Day, Presented by Toyota – Friday, January 27
- $7 off with valid student ID
- Metro SmarTrip Card Discount
- $2 off weekday tickets with valid Metro SmarTrip Card
- Seniors Discount
- Seniors (65+) receive $4 off any weekday (January 23-27) and $2 off any weekend (Jan. 21, 22, 28, 29)
- Students Discount
- Students receive $4 off any weekday (Jan. 23-27) by presenting a student ID
I attended the Washington, DC Auto Show as a member of the media during Public Policy Day. No compensation was received for this post and all opinions are my own.