Chicago Auto Show Recap, Our Top 5 Favorites

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The 110th edition of the Chicago Auto Show did not disappoint. The 2.7 million square feet of exhibition space was filled with activity from February 10th-19th, 2018. The event showcased an array of new models and exciting concepts – it’s a good place and time to be a car lover.

The show featured wild concepts, a slice of new-meets-old Americana, and a long list of automotive safety updates. Here are our top 5 favorite highlights from the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.

For the Urban Vanner – Ford Transit Connect Updates

Ford Transit Connect

Banking on baby-boomer buying power and van popularity, Ford introduced the 2019 Ford Transit Connect, with updated styling, safety improvements, entertainment, and a new diesel-engine option.

The Transit Connect now comes standard with autonomous emergency braking, which includes pedestrian detection – a major step for safety. There’s also new adaptive cruise control and a lane-keeping assist system offered as upgrades..

With the new optional 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel, or the standard 2.0-Liter gasoline engine, the 2019 Ford Transit Connect can haul more than just the family.

For the Impractical Snowboarder –  Nissan Concept Snowmobile 

Nissan Concept Snowmobile 

Normal convertible owners avoid cold weather, but Nissan thinks a bit differently. This one-of-a-kind Nissan 370Zki, as in 370-ski, is a 332-horsepower snowmobile, with a radio.

The sport car’s conversion required significant custom work, including specially designed spacers, modifications to the wheel wells, and custom tracks. It operates just like a regular car – but we doubt it handles the same!

For the Practical Commuter – a Pair of New Hyundai Sonata Hybrids 

Hyundia Sonata hybris
Hyundai Sonata Hybrids.

Hyundai introduced two new Sonata Hybrids at the Auto Show: An update to the standard Hybrid, and a new plug-in Hybrid. Both models receive updated exterior and interior styling and safety enhancements like lane-departure warnings.

The Sonata Hybrid comes equipped with a 2.0-liter Nu GDI four-cylinder gas engine, producing 154 horsepower and 151 lb. ft of torque. A 38 kW electric motor allows for electric-only power up to 75 mph.

The 2018 Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, roughly five times larger than the Hybrid’s battery, producing an EPA all-electric range of up to 27 miles. The Sonata Hybrid’s estimated 39 mpg and 45 mpg on the highway means you’ll only need to stop for gas every 650 miles.

For The Upscale Market –  VW Arteon 

For the upscale market – VW Arteon 

Some journalists were confused with the marketing of the new VW Arteon. Is it a hatch? Is it for families? Or was it designed for the sensible-sedan market? Regardless, it’s VW’s new top-of-the-line sedan, a replacement for the VW CC.

Introduced in Europe a year ago, VW announced the Arteon’s U.S. arrival for the 2019 model year. The standard VW 2.0 TSI produces 268 horsepower and is backed by an eight-speed automatic with standard front-wheel drive, or the optional 4Motion all-wheel-drive.

For the Lovers of Old – 2019 Mustang Bullitt 

2019 Mustang Bullitt

Ford’s opening event stole the show, as they introduced the new 2019 Mustang GT Bullitt alongside the original 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT fastback that was driven by Steve McQueen in the movie “Bullitt.” Recently discovered in Mexico, the original car was showcased in its original, unrestored condition.

The new Bullitt, a true tribute, features a GT350 intake manifold, 87mm throttle body, and recalibrated powertrain control module. With those upgrades the Mustang makes 475 horsepower, 15 more than the standard Mustang GT.

Exterior modifications include a single, subtle trunk-mounted emblem, and thin chrome window and headlight trim. Red brake calipers shine through the 19-inch black wheels. The Mustang is available in two colors: Highland Green, like the original, and Shadow Black. No pricing was announced, but we expect it to be above $45,000.


Photos curtiousy of Chicago Auto Show and Ford Motor Company

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