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San Diego Auto Show Begins 4-Day Run

Reported by Matthew Bowler

The San Diego International Auto Show is taking place at the convention center Thursday through Sunday. It will feature 400 new-model vehicles, alternative fuel cars, exotics, crossovers and classics. KPBS reporter Matt Bowler takes a look.

The San Diego International Auto Show is scheduled to open a four-day run at the convention center Thursday, with 400 new-model vehicles, alternative fuel cars, exotics, crossovers and classics on display.

Photo by Matthew Bowler

San Diego International Auto Show attendees check out a car, Dec. 31, 2015.

Vehicles from 36 manufacturers will be shown, including, among others, a 2017 model year Porsche 911 Carrera coupe with new twin turbo engines, and a newly designed Lincoln Continental.

"The cars continue to be the stars," said Kevin Leap, show director. "Today's vehicles shine more brightly than ever with a level of quality, design brilliance, and tech savvy that has never been seen before."

But cars of the less flashy, more fuel-efficient variety are also getting attention this year, with the convention dedicating a full day – Friday – to eco-friendly vehicles.

"As far as fast goes, these things have more zip to them, more acceleration than a gas car does," said Josh Erwin with the Center for Sustainable Energy. He touted the government perks that come with newer electric cars, like tax write-offs and access to carpool lanes.

Attendees will be able to test drive cars to experience various features first-hand, check out environmentally friendly vehicles and enjoy entertainment, according to the New Car Dealers Association of San Diego County, which organizes the event.

The show floor opens daily at 10 a.m. Closing times are 6 p.m. Thursday, 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday.

Admission for attendees 13 and over is $12. The cost is $9 for seniors 62 and over and military with identification, and $8 for youth 7-12 years old. Children 6 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Children 12 and under are free on Ford Family Day on Sunday, when accompanied by a paying adult.

Parking is available for $15 at the San Diego Convention Center. Show organizers, however, encourage visitors to take the trolley to the Gaslamp stop.

Information on discount coupons or VIP e-tickets is available at SDAutoShow.com.

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