• Mar 29, 2011
Detroit's Cobo Hall renovation fly-through – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Each year, we know four U.S trips are etched in stone, the Detroit Auto Show, Los Angeles Auto Show, Chicago Auto Show and the New York Auto Show. But even though Detroit is the biggest show in terms of vehicle unveilings, the facility that houses the event just isn't cutting it. Detroit's Cobo Hall features cramped quarters, leaky ceilings, escalators that never seem to work and a basement that smells. And after the assembled press leaves Cobo, hundreds of thousands of show-goers get to experience both the best and the worst of Cobo for themselves.

The bleak and dreary exposition space will finally get its long-overdue rehab starting later this year, with a scheduled completion date in 2014. Planners have worked out another 125,000 square feet of floor space. There will be a massive digital video screen outside Cobo's main entrance. Walls have been replaced with glass that overlooks the river. It all looks very impressive, and you can see the graphically stimulating four minute-long virtual tour for yourself by hitting the jump. As an added bonus, be on the lookout for the late 1990s/early 2000s Pontiac Firebird with Ram Air lurking on the expanded show floor and note the laughably blue water in the Detroit River. Hat tip to BJ!

[Source: North American International Auto Show via YouTube]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      don't you mean 'long-due overhaul'?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Here's my question: what other major conventions aside from NAIS take place in Cobo Hall?

        I mean, who goes to Detroit for conventions when there's Chicago nearby, or splendors of Orlando, or Sin City all with bigger better facilities?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Detroit lost my city's population in a decade
      And they're still looking at government spending for salvation.
      Yes, I've been to Cobo. Yes, I know what state it's in. Do I think it's justified to have the entire state pay for a dying city's new white elephant? No. I remember a couple years back there were talks of moving the auto show - that should've happened instead, either that or having the project be a public-private/entirely private thing. But is that going to happen in Detroit in its current form? That's unlikely.

      Call me out and downvote me all you want, I don't care.
        whotolduso
        • 2 Years Ago
        so your solution is to disregard the participants' demands for a bigger and better space, instead consolidate the show in Chicago, put a fence around the city and shut the lights off?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Come on, AB: the Detroit River is, in fact, blue. I worked on a charter yacht on the river and Lake St. Clair for three summers ending five years ago and enjoyed excellent sun-drenched trips as far south as Grosse Isle. Why the snarky rips on D-town, Autoblog? A laughably immature closing phrase.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The river is blue. I have seen it with my own eyes many times. The writer is just writing whatever he wanted regardless of the facts as we saw with that laughably inaccurate Hyundai Genesis review. Maybe he and the other dude can get together and discuss a car they never drove and a river they never saw but purport to know so much about. :)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah, that looks about 1,000 times better, and that is coming from someone who has been to Cobo at least half a dozen times.

      On a side note, can anyone tell me what program was used to create that animation or how it was made? Links would be great.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Scott, thanks for the answer!

        I always wanted to learn how to do this, but I am sure it isn't easy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks cold and stark. Has no sense of history or architectural value.

      Well,... I guess that would be modern Detroit. Thanks Unions and Democrats.

        • 3 Years Ago
        Yep.A ghetto that's dependent on the Democrats and in their back pocket.
        Just like the Dems want it.Slavery 21st century style!
        drmikemaine
        • 3 Years Ago
        Have you seen the Orlando complex? Almost idenical in many aspects...but it does not have the screen, nor the view of a river and neighbor country...rather , iot looks out on parking lots... As to the McCormick Center in Chicago...pretty stark and dreary..
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ JON

        Can you PLEASE keep politics out of this discussion?

        It isn't useful and doesn't add anything.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nightflight
        Have You read some of the articles and comments? There is a cause and effect Which is driven by politics in today's automobile industry.Wise up!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Since when has the Detroit Auto Show been held in the middle of summer when all of the trees are green?
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Democrats should have their convention at Cobo center because no other town epitomizes full realization of their policies and influence.
      It's a vision of the future for the USA under Democratic leadership.Quite a showcase.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Christ.... just give the teabagging a rest already!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Throwing bricks into the Grand Canyon comes to mind...
        • 3 Years Ago
        I completely dissagree. Although I've never been to this auto show, everyone I have ever spoken to says the same thing: The facility is a joke and the city doesn't care.

        The detroit Auto show has somehow managed to survive for years in this place, and then through the last 3 years in which we all thought it was thoroughly dead. With Porsche making a huge comback this year, and an overall strong showing, this rennovation should be the catalyst that it needs to become the premier Auto show in the world again.

        ...and now that I've exhausted my optimism for the day, back to complaining about the crummy weather in the north east...
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Autoblog: "...be on the lookout for the late 1990s/early 2000s Pontiac Firebird with Ram Air lurking on the expanded show floor..."

      This is splitting hairs, but that's actually an early-mid '90s (Firebird) Trans Am WS6. That body style was produced from 1993-1997. In 1998 it received a refresh with the shorter nose and the aluminum LS1 replacing the heavier LT1 V8 until the car's discontinuation in 2002. You can tell it's a Trans Am by the round fog lights and the high-rise spoiler. There's also an older Koenigsegg behind it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The city should have built an entirely new building in a better location traffic wise. It is not like there is no property in Detroit to be had. It would also given some business's a new area to build.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sweet! We'll be getting a retro Pontiac Trans Am in 2014!
      • 3 Years Ago
      A most welcome change, indeed!
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