Tag Archives: Chicago Auto Show

2022 Chicago Auto Show is back

Dealing with Covid the best they could

It has to be tough putting together an event and dealing with all the Covid restrictions but the organizers of the Chicago Auto Show, running today through the 21st, pulled it off. They went to the city and state with a plan and it was given the green light. It’s not going to be like past years. First, all entrants will have to show valid proof of being vaccinated before entering, and second, the show is only about half the size.

Normally filling both halls of McCormick Place, it only fills one. Noticeably absent are manufacturers like Mazda and Mercedes-Benz. But what the show is lacking in displays, it more than makes up for with experiences as there are five different test tracks. More on that in a moment.

The big reveal of the show came from Ford who now only showed off its Bronco Raptor but also its Everglades edition. The Raptor is Ford’s answer to the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 392, essentially a Bronco on steroids ready to tackle any kind of terrain.

Power comes from Ford’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost® engine targeted to deliver more than 400 horsepower. I can’t wait to see these two go head to head.

The Everglades is more meant for those who don’t mind getting wet. Designed with offroading and mudding in mind, the new model builds atop the Black Diamond trim and the Sasquatch off-road package. It comes with a factory-installed Warn Zeon 10-S winch rated at 10,000 pounds. I don’t recall seeing that on a production truck.

A snorkel keeps the engine breathing clean air. The only bummer is that it is only available with the base 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a 10-speed automatic. Ford plans to open orders in March, with priority going to existing Bronco reservation holders who don’t have a build date. 

Of course, they had an electric. Seems to be the fad right now. They showed off their F-150 Lightning which delivers a targeted 563 horsepower, up to 300 miles of EPA-estimated range, and hands-free driving. MSRP is under $40,000 before incentives to that should help sales. Ford claims it can power your house for up to three days. I file that under “good to know” but not a reason to buy.

But the coolest display they had was a pair of Ford GT’s introducing the 2022 Ford GT Alan Mann Heritage Edition. Right next to it is the 1966 Fort GT 40 that Alan Mann and his team raced at LeMans. No pricing was announced on the new GT although it will probably be around $800,000 like the other special editions, Ford, as rolled out. I have never been this close to one of the older GT’s.

From the “Why would they even think of doing that?” area, Ford took a classic F-100 and ripped the engine out of it replacing with an electric motor. The Eluminator EV Concept electric pickup is now powered using a 2021 Mustang Mach-E battery-electric powertrain. This is an e-crate motor Ford Performance is providing to guys crazy enough to want to do something like this.

Not to be outdone by Ford, Chevy was also on hand to show off its new Silverado EV coming this spring. This isn’t their current Silverado converted to EV power. It was developed from the ground up as a fully-electric truck on GM’s advanced Ultium EV Platform. Rated at up to 664 horsepower with more than 780 lb-ft of torque it certainly will be able to haul a lot of stuff. It can haul up to 10,000 pounds and has a 400-mile range. MSRP before any tax break is a reasonable $40,000.

Also on display is the new Z06 Corvette. It is powered by the all-new 5.5L LT6, the highest horsepower, naturally-aspirated V-8 to hit the market in any production car, ever creating 670 hp. Go and check out the reveal video Chevy did. Most important, listen to its sound. If that doesn’t give you chills running up and down your spine, well I don’t know what will. This is a car I lust after and so did buyers at Barret-Jackson in January where the rights to the first one off the production line went for 3.8M!

OK, back to the test tracks. There are five of them, Camp Jeep, Ford Built Wild, Ford Built to Electrify, Ram Truck Territory, and Toyota Proving Grounds. During our media preview day on the 11th, I did the Ford Built Wild so I could see what the new Bronco is all about.

And Then Camp Jeep which has been at the Chicago Auto Show for 18 years now. I went for a ride in the new Wrangler Unlimited 4xe.

Note: In the past, the lines for these are fairly long so plan on hitting them earlier in the day. The show runs through the 21st. Go, have some fun.

2020 Chrysler Pacifica Limited hybrid

New Pacifica hybrid a refined people hauler …

Chrysler has been making minivans since the 1984 model year, but its latest, the 2020 Pacifica, is easily the best of the bunch.

Chrysler minivans have nearly always been comfortable and easy to drive. The company’s Stow N Go seats were a brilliant addition, as were its earlier rear seats that could be rolled out for easy removal and storage. But, let’s be honest, there were some mechanical issues, something about transmissions. That’s behind the company, now part of Italian conglomerate, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Continue reading 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Limited hybrid

2020 Chicago Auto Show Highlights

Lots a new models revealed

This year’s Chicago Auto Show shapes up to be one of the best in a very long time. Mark and I traveled down to Chicago during media days and there was a lot of excitement.

Other cool stuff

How about this Ford GT that was manufactured out of liquid carbon fiber. Ford says they will make about a dozen of these this year and they take about three times longer to make than the standard Ford GT.

ford gt, ford, supercars, 2020 chicago auto show

Continue reading 2020 Chicago Auto Show Highlights

2018 Chicago Auto Show: New vehicles big and small

It’s the largest show in North America

Mark and I love this show and have been making the trip down south from Milwaukee for a long time. Besides seeing the latest from the auto manufacturers, we spend time catching up with our fellow reporters. And we got some exercise walking two miles in the one million square foot exhibit area at McCormick Place. Continue reading 2018 Chicago Auto Show: New vehicles big and small

2017 Chicago Auto Show

Cool new cars and fun stuff to do

Going to the Chicago Auto Show is one of our favorite trips of the year because we always have a great time. This year was no different. We captured some of it in the two videos below. If you’ve been thinking about going, and we recommend it, get a long little doggie, because it runs through February 20th.

2015 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD

Beautiful Jaguar XJL delivers power, luxury + AWD

Even in snow this Jag handles like a sports sedan.
Even in snow this Jag handles like a sports sedan.

Sometimes in life we are lucky, and I was all of that as I slipped behind the wheel of Jaguar’s gleaming limo of a sedan, the XJL.

This is a beautiful car aimed at the beautiful people that have the money to spend on luxury and looks.

It’s a long car, hence the L in its name. Yet the XJL looks lean and muscular, like an Olympic sprinter ready to pounce on the competition at the start of a race. This is a spirited road car riding on a 124.3-inch wheelbase. Such length puts it in the league of full-sized SUVs, inside and out. UW’s starting five basketball players could ride comfortably in the XJL. And this was my second ride in such a luxury liner in the past year. Lucky me!

Overall the car is 206.8 inches long. By comparison, the sizeable Lexus LS460 AWD I drove just a few weeks back is 6.8 inches shorter in length, and it was plenty big.

jag6Yet unlike the Lexus with its smooth gentle giant of a 5.0-liter V8, Jaguar tucks a 3.0-liter V6 under its long hood. Ah, but the secret is that Jaguar supercharges its V6 to create 340 horses, 20 shy of the Lexus. But here’s the deal. Jaguar always has an eye on performance and keeps the XJL trim at 4,153 lbs., or about 500 lbs. lighter than the Lexus. Continue reading 2015 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD

Braking News: Our look at the Chicago Auto Show

New reveals, but kind of laid back

ford racing, ford gt, supercars, lemans, chicago auto showLaid back, that’s how Mark and I sum up this year’s Chicago Auto Show as far as the new models go. Of course nobody could top Subaru’s reveal of their new Legacy last year. No car was cooler than the new Ford GT, which you can see in the image here and in one of the videos below.

Continue reading Braking News: Our look at the Chicago Auto Show

Braking News: Kia concept shown at Chicago Auto Show

Concept cars are cool

Photo: Kia
Photo: Kia

At the Chicago Auto Show not only did Mark and I see the newest models offered by the chicago auto show, auto show concept cars, kia, kia neromanufactures, but also concepts, one of them the Kia Niro. Positioned as a new urban lifestyle concept that is set to become a possible future B-segment contender. The Niro is powered by a 1.6-litre T-GDi engine with hybrid electric drive. Butterfly doors open, of course not when we were there, into the roof panel and swing up high with low-set flush handles. It is one cool little car. Mark and I would have loved to have taken it home. Click on the image on the right to see the video of our walk around.

Braking News: 2015 Mustang at Chicago Auto Show

The best Mustang yet?

If not, it has to be close. This is our first time seeing the 2015 edition in person. It has 50 years of Mustang built into it with special cool factors added. Check out the video.

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Braking News: Subaru Legacy Reveal at Chicago Auto Show

A big production

This was my first time back to the Chicago Auto Show in over 30 years and first time as a member of the media. Thursday is traditionally the day the car companies reveal their new cars. There were several but by far the best was Subaru’s for their 2015 Legacy. Wow! Click on the image below. We’ll have more vids up soon.

subaru legacy, 2015 subaru legacy, chicago auto show, auto show reveals