It’s auto show season! It might still be chilly where you live, but I always know that when the car show comes around, it means we’re making the fourth turn and speeding straight toward summertime. The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in all of North America and has been up and running since 1901. If you love history and cars and Chicago, check out the Chicago Auto Show official website for amazing photos and information that showcases a century of automotive innovations.
The 2016 Chicago Auto Show was no disappointment and included three indoor test tracks, over 20 vehicles making world debuts, stunning and amazing conceptual cars, music, great food, simulations, and giveaways.
At the Chicago Auto Show, for the past eleven years, attendees get to vote on the best of the best out of five categories. It’s no small accomplishment to stand out in an exposition of one million square feet. Visitors were given the opportunity to vote on their favorite vehicles, which clearly shows the public’s current interest in the automotive industry. According to the National Automotive Dealers Association, new light vehicle sales are predicted to rise to 17.71 million sales for 2016, marking seven consecutive years of increases in new vehicle sales. Here’s how the public voted:
Best All-New Production: Lexus LC 500
Lexus’ flagship coupe was introduced and made a big splash. With 467 horses under the hood, this monster can hit 60 mph in under 4.5 seconds. The all-new LC 500 is not just about flash, it has the potential to change the perception of Lexus regarding performance and style. Restructuring the vehicle with carbon fiber, aluminum, and ultra-strong steel, this might be Lexus’ best handling vehicle they’ve ever produced. But how would you know unless you got in and took it for a spin?
Best Concept Vehicle: Buick Avista
That’s a Buick? Ok, not the best joke in the world, but seriously, this thing looks like a spaceship for especially awesome and cool aliens. Another coupe, this one is sporty, muscular, but elegant and practical in its design. While this is just a concept and not currently for sale, Buick is continually making strides to ditch their perceived image. The specs are legit, too. It has a twin turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and roars down the street with an impressive 400 horsepower. Trust us, you’ve got to see this thing.
Best Green Vehicle: Chevrolet Volt
The Chevy Volt made its debut as a concept at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show and hasn’t looked back. The 2016 Chevrolet Volt is redesigned with a sleeker sedan-like look. The revised hybrid characteristics have improved, offering 53 miles of electric driving. When gasoline is needed, the Volt produces 42 mpg. The electronic amenities also should appease the modern man (and woman) with Apple’s CarPlay interface. Other options include heated mirrors, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, leather, Bose audio system, and an extra seat in the rear for a total of five comfy spots for you and your friends. But with efficiency like that, have fun asking for gas money!
Best Exhibit: Chevrolet
Chevrolet’s exhibit was the most eye-catching and engaging as voted by the attendees of the auto show. Featuring four 20-foot tall transparent screens with LED lighting and music that surrounded a 73-foot long screen highlighting new vehicles like the Trax and Bolt EV. Chevy also included a “Find Your Ride” touchscreen, soccer display, and an advanced phone integration booth. Not to mention, they have some pretty great cars as well (see above).
Vehicle I’d Most Like to Have in My Driveway: Ford GT
This is an interesting category because I would imagine having it in your driveway is akin to owning it, but I’d rather be driving this herd of elephants (strength and power) in the shape of a saber-toothed cat (speed and performance). Think about this: The 2016 Ford GT has over 600 horsepower, taking a mere 3 seconds to 60 mph, and a seamless and smooth seven-speed automatic. Top speed? 200mph. Price? A cool $400,000. This is a true supercar and will begin production this year. Start putting those dimes away because you’re gonna be turnin’ on ‘em in no time!
Are There Tires at the Auto Show?
Well…sort of. Nissan arrived to the Chicago Auto Show ready to mix things up with their “Conquer All Conditions” campaign. Ahead of their debut, Nissan Canada’s Rogue Winter Warrior was driving up and down ski slopes to show its versatility in the snow. They showcased a video of popular models Rogue, Murano, and Pathfinder easily maneuvering the slopes (which might not be far off from regular driving in Canada.) These tracks are obviously modified to fit the vehicles, but the engines and transmissions are still the same. This might not be a technology that’s headed for everyday roads, but who’s to say they aren’t a step in a new direction that will change the winter tire game for good?
Tell us about your city’s car show? Will you be going? And what would you like to see most?