This year's audience favorites at Chicago Auto Show
By JEFF TAYLOR For Sun-Times Media February 13, 2013 11:05AM
Auto enthusiasts at the Chicago Auto Show take a look at the Lamborghini Aventador that has 700 hp and retails at $455,025. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: February 18, 2013 3:56PM
Each year at the Chicago Auto Show there are clear-cut favorites that generate the most buzz, packing the displays with visitors eager to see, snap a picture, or sit inside a new vehicle.
As the largest annual public auto show in the nation, manufacturers kept a watchful eye on the reactions of visitors and note which vehicles draw the biggest crowds, and which vehicles receive the most inquiries.
While every display has something to offer, the following are the vehicles that earned the most attention at the show this year:
By far the biggest draw of the show is the stunning, seventh generation 2014 Chevrolet Corvette coupe. Corvette’s 6.2-liter small block V8 produces 450 horsepower, which can propel the two-seater to 60 mph in less than four seconds.
Corvette is available with a six-speed automatic or seven-speed manual transmission. A sleek, new lightweight body and engine management technologies will improve Environmental Protection Agency mileage figures. For those who currently own or have owned a late model Corvette, the new interior will be the biggest and most welcome change. Better design, better materials and reconfigurable gauge display make the interior acceptable for a car in the $60,000 price range.
The Chicago Auto Show is considered a truck/SUV show by many manufacturers and visitors have their choice of not one, but three new pickups to check out this year. Visitors are taking advantage of the “under one roof” displays to compare these all-new trucks head-to-head.
Toyota’s all-new third generation 2014 Tundra full-sized half ton pickup made its worldwide debut at the show. Tundra was last revised for the 2007 model year. The new truck features a new exterior design, new cargo management solutions, and more technology while continuing to offer V-8 power, but with improved MPG, according to Toyota.
Tundra follows the introduction of General Motors’ 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins. Both GM pickups feature evolutionary styling, larger doors on crew cab models, three EcoTec3 engines, multiple storage options, and more comfortable premium interiors with six-gauge instrument cluster and MyLink for easy-to-use connectivity on the job site or for the digital family.
Chrysler counters with its Motor Trend Truck of the Year and North American Truck of the Year winning Ram pickup. Ram received some exterior styling upgrades and powertrain changes including a new seven-speed automatic with twist knob gear selection, along with an interior refreshing and more cargo storage solutions. The heavy-duty diesel pickups and robust chassis cutaways are also part of the display.
Ford is showcasing its beefy Atlas concept truck that provides strong indications of the direction the exterior styling of the next generation F-150 will take.
Kia Motors America has a whole superhero line of concept cars based on iconic DC Entertainment’s World’s Greatest Super-Heroes. These flashy recognizable concepts are drawing young and old fans to its display. Kia and DC’s Justice League theme cars include Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and a new Superman theme car introduced at the show.
Toyota’s Corolla Furia concept is drawing crowds to see the highly stylized version of the anticipated next generation Corolla. It’s doubtful that the steeply swept-back windshield, flashy gold- lake paint, mild fender flares over wide tires with custom gold accented wheels, spoiler and low-to-the-ground stance will make it the production model.
Aside from the Corvette the 2013 Jaguar F-type is the second most talked about two-seater at the show. The flashy launch color paint is attracting show attendees initially, but it’s the sexy styling, roadster body style, driver focused cockpit and promise of driving excitement that keep the crowds in the display. The F-type roadster is a foot shorter than the pricey XK convertible, and is available with V6 or V-8 power.