The 2013 Tulsa Auto Show will feature many vehicles that consumers have never seen before -- just don't call them concept cars.
More than 700 new cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers and more will be on display starting Thursday at the Expo Center at Expo Square.
Nearly every major manufacturer has shipped its newest vehicles to Tulsa for the event, including a handful of 2014 models recently unveiled at auto shows in Detroit and Chicago that won't hit the showroom floor until later this year.
Show organizer Charles Tabor said manufacturers have cut back on outlandish "concept" cars that were produced in years past and instead are displaying "pre-production models" that are set to go on sale later in 2013 or next year.
"When the auto industry crashed a few years ago, the manufacturers stopped putting their money into concept cars," Tabor said. "It's not that they aren't bringing the cars here, they aren't bringing them anywhere."
But manufacturers are loading shows with a more realistic lineup of vehicles meant to get car shoppers excited about vehicles they can purchase in a few months, he said.
General Motors Co. is showing off the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, which has an all-new grill and front-end that gives it a sleeker look than its recent predecessors.
Toyota's luxury division, Lexus, has shipped its 2014 Lexus IS 350 to the auto show. The vehicle is a sporty sedan with a wider wheel base and lower-profile windows than the 2013 model and earlier ancestors. Technological upgrades permeating the car are intended to add extra power and handling to a model that already featured a 306-horsepower engine, Lexus says.
The show is sponsored mostly by manufacturers, who are looking to offer potential buyers a no-pressure situation to look at specific vehicles and talk with experts whose knowledge is focused on just one model, Tabor said.
About 30 manufacturers are featured, from domestic giants Ford Motor Co. and GM to Volvo and Mini Cooper.
The show also includes a collection of nearly 200 classic cars that cover most of the lower level of the Expo Center.
Tabor said this year's show has more manufacturers than a year ago, including Land Rover and Jaguar. He said the show took a serious hit in 2008, entirely losing GM's lineup among other cutbacks.
GM's presence is back to about 60 percent of what it had been as the auto industry recovers, he said, adding that Chrysler Group also has regained its floor space at the show.
Ford's Lincoln brand has made a large marketing push for its 2014 Lincoln MKZ, a midsize luxury hybrid that can operate on electric power alone at speeds of up to 62 mph.
The car starts at just under $40,000.
2013 Tulsa Auto Show
Tulsa Expo Center
Thursday and Friday: 2 to 10 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: $8 for adults, 12 and under free
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