Auto Shows

10 New Vehicles That Turned Heads At The Chicago Auto Show Via

The 109th Chicago Auto Show opened on February 11, and, as is the case each year, the biggest and oldest automotive showcase in the world did not disappoint. Several of the top vehicle manufacturers around the world are using the Chicago event to kick-off their spring selling season and present upcoming vehicles and prototypes to prospective buyers. More than 1,000,000 people are expected to peruse the cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles on display at the one million square foot automotive show. We offer the following preview of the hottest trends and developments that came from this year’s auto show in Chicago.

10. Volkswagen Unveils the Atlas SUV

German automaker Volkswagen is using the Chicago Auto Show to unveil its first full-size sport utility vehicle, complete with three rows. Volkswagen executives have long said that a large SUV model has been the big hole in the company’s product lineup. Now, VW aims to fill that hole with the all new seven passenger seat Atlas, which will go on sale this spring. The model on display in the Windy City comes with two engine options— a 238 horsepower four-cylinder engine, or a 280 horsepower V6 option. Both engines are linked with an eight speed transmission and all-wheel drive. The Atlas has been generating a lot of buzz in recent months and early reviews out of Chicago have been nothing short of ecstatic. The Atlas looks to be the next homerun for the German car company – placing it alongside other legendary VWs such as the Beetle and the Jetta. Via

9. Kia Enters the Luxury Sport Car Market

Speaking of car companies getting out of their comfort zone and into new markets, Kia is using Chicago to launch its new Stinger model – a five-passenger fastback sports sedan. Kia is targeting entry into the luxury sports car market with the Stinger, aiming to compete directly with established vehicles such as the Tesla Model S, Audi A7, and Porsche Panamera. Some critics have been skeptical that the Kia brand will translate into the luxury car segment, given its reputation to date as making primarily suburban compacts and minivans for middle class consumers. But the engineers at Kia are pushing to prove the critics wrong, offering the Stinger with two available engines, one of which is the same twin-turbo V6 used in Kia’s flagship Genesis G90 sedan. That engine is expected to produce 365 horsepower. The other engine option, a V6, can go from 0-60 miles an hour in just over five seconds. Sounds promising to us.

8. Dodge Durango SRT

Dodge came to Chicago with plans to promote its Durango model. Long viewed as a high-performance people mover, the newest Durango aims to impress with more room and features than ever before – as well as superior performance. The three row SUV now gets a Hemi V8 engine under the hood, capable of producing 475 horsepower. Dodge claims that this enables the Durango to run 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. Additionally, Dodge claims a the new Durango has a best-in-class towing capacity of over 5,000 kilograms, making this a potential workhorse vehicle. Visually, the Durango comes with a new outward appearance too – now equipped with a solid mesh grille unobstructed by the Dodge cross, and a decent hood scoop. Customers who purchase the all new Durango get one complimentary session at a high-performance driving school to help them acclimatize to all that this SUV has to offer. Via

7. Alpha Romeo Unveils a Crossover SUV

While primarily known for its luxury sedans, car maker Alfa Romeo is not going to be outdone in the sport utility vehicle market. The luxury designer is unveiling a new midsize crossover SUV called the Stelvio, which is named after a treacherous mountain pass in Italy. The new Stelvio has Alfa Romeo’s distinctive triangular grille and curvy styling, as well as the responsive handling that the car manufacturer is known for around the world. Beneath the hood sits a 280-horsepower, four-cylinder engine paired to an eight-speed transmission. If that isn’t impressive enough for some people, buyers of this vehicle can opt for the top-of-the-line Stelvio Quadrifoglio, which has a V6 engine that produces 505 horsepower. Bonus: all-wheel-drive comes standard on all models of this crossover. These features should make the Stelvio very attractive to people in the market for a smaller SUV crossover. Via

6. The Overhauled Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra has been a bestselling hatchback around the world for a few years. Now, Hyundai is overhauling the tried and true Elantra with a new GT Sport model that is the second generation for this hatchback. The GT Sport version of the Hyundai Elantra features two new engines with a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission option. The GT Sport variant comes with a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine from the sedan that produces 201 horsepower. The car also comes with 18-inch wheels instead of the typical 17-inch rollers found on the Elantra. The newest model is also roomier inside, with more cargo capacity than a standard hatchback such as the Volkswagen Golf. With the seats folded down, there is a best in class 55.1 cubic feet of cargo space. With the rear seats up, you still get nearly 25 cubic feet of storage in this revamped Elantra. Definitely worth a test drive. Via

5. Redesigned Land Rover Discovery

In Chicago, Land Rover plans to introduce its first completely redesigned Discovery sport utility vehicle in 12 years. And the new Discovery is a big vehicle. One of the largest SUVs to hit the market, the all new Discovery has room for seven adults in three rows that are actually comfortable. Yet despite its girth, the newest Discovery is lighter than previous models by about 500 kilograms. The design is also sleeker and less boxy, and the Discovery boats impressive fuel economy. But the fuel economy is not likely to impact this SUVs power or towing capability, which maxes out at 3,719 kilograms. Engine options include a turbo diesel V6, as well as a supercharged six-cylinder gas variant. The seats can be rearranged remotely through a smartphone app even when the operator is outside the vehicle, and the second and third rows can fold flat in less than 15 seconds flat. The suspension is also cool as it automatically lowers the car nearly four centimeters to make it easier to get in and out of this behemoth. Via

4. Toyota Shows Off a Sporty Tundra Truck

One of the pick-up trucks getting a lot of buzz at the Chicago Auto Show this year is the Toyota Tundra. The newest Tundra makes its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show with a refresh that adds new safety equipment, some styling changes, and a sporty new trim level known as the TRD Sport that has people excited. Select trims will get a mesh grille and several smaller exterior design changes. And the TRD Sport will be offered in both CrewMax and double-cab configurations in five different colors. The truck’s V-8 engines and transmission carry over from 2017 with a 310 horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 and a 381 horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 option. But the real distinguishing feature of the new Tundra is the safety features. As a part of Toyota’s push to include automatic emergency braking in most of its vehicles by 2018, the 2018 Tundra will add Toyota Safety Sense-P as standard equipment across all models. TSS-P includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. This makes the Tundra one of the most safety feature heavy pick-up trucks on the market today. Via

3. The Rugged Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon

Jeep is taking the wraps off its special edition Rubicon Recon vehicle in Chicago, and it looks to impress. The Recon edition includes upgrades such as a stronger front axle, cast front and rear differential covers, a half-inch lift, and more. Visual changes include a hood with model-specific graphics, a black grille, and a set of 17-inch low-gloss black wheels wrapped in meaty 32-inch BF Goodrich tires. However, thanks to the Recon’s shorter side rails, the model can accommodate tires up to 35 inches in diameter, if you choose to go that route. There are also plenty of changes inside, such as a dash plaque, a distinct gauge cluster, and a host of red accents, including the seat stitching, storage nets, and switchplate covers for the axle locker and sway-bar-disconnect functions. Standard convenience features include remote keyless entry with a remote starter, a vehicle information display in the gauge cluster, automatic climate control, and a lot more. Via

2. A Sexy Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry has long been one of the most popular and bestselling cars in the world. Now entering its eighth generation, the engineers and executives at Toyota felt it is time to jazz up the Camry and make it sexier. Toyota President Akio Toyoda said as much himself, pledging last year to make the eighth generation of the midsize sedan anything but boring. He went so far as to call the new Camry “sexy.” Looking at the latest model, it is hard to disagree. The new Camry drops an inch, while the hood dips four centimeters to give the car a leaner look. The sport SE and XSE trims get larger air intakes and an X-shaped design over the grille. There are also three new powertrains, including a new 2.5-litre four-cylinder and a new hybrid system that Toyota expects to lead the class in fuel efficiency. The interior is also nifty, with more space and less clutter. This Camry will be on dealer lots this summer, but you can see it first in Chicago.

1. Mopar Dodge Challenger

Of course, there have to be some muscle cars at any auto show, and Chicago is no exception. Vintage car lovers will be salivating over the special edition Mopar Dodge Challenger that is being revealed in the windy city this week. Mopar, which is automaker Fiat Chrysler’s aftermarket parts brand, is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2017 by producing 160 limited edition Dodge Challenger cars with custom paint jobs. The car manufacturer has announced that it plans to make 80 Dodge Challengers in a combination of the colors pitch black and contusion blue, and another 80 in pitch black and billet silver. Color schemes aside, this challenger is sweet. This model of the stalwart Challenger is a true throwback. It boasts a hood scoop and a spoiler, 20-inch wheels, SRT Hellcat exhaust tips, and other really cool touches. It also has a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engine that pumps out 485 horsepower, and it comes with a six-speed manual transmission that is wicked fun to drive (or so we’re told). Via
Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman

Jack Sackman has been writing about movies and TV for Goliath since 2013.