Automotive

Highlights from the floor of the 2019 Chicago Auto Show

Highlights from the floor of t...
On for young and old: A classic Fairlane adds a touch of nostalgia to the 2019 the Chicago Auto Show
On for young and old: A classic Fairlane adds a touch of nostalgia to the 2019 the Chicago Auto Show
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Kia brought several concepts for the new Telluride SUV, including this snorkeled orange beast that emitted a satisfying growl when started
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Kia brought several concepts for the new Telluride SUV, including this snorkeled orange beast that emitted a satisfying growl when started
Blast from the past - Chrysler is celebrating 35 years of minivans by showing off the first minivan ever made, this 1984 Plymouth Voyager from the FCA museum
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Blast from the past - Chrysler is celebrating 35 years of minivans by showing off the first minivan ever made, this 1984 Plymouth Voyager from the FCA museum
Police units from various manufacturers are on hand in Chicago, including this Ford Explorer Hybrid
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Police units from various manufacturers are on hand in Chicago, including this Ford Explorer Hybrid
Few things are as satisfying as is this Subaru STI rally car in pointed star livery
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Few things are as satisfying as is this Subaru STI rally car in pointed star livery
The Ford GT sits right at the front entrance for the Chicago Auto Show floor, demanding attention from the oncoming crowds
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The Ford GT sits right at the front entrance for the Chicago Auto Show floor, demanding attention from the oncoming crowds
Toyota rolled out the Chicago-themed wraps on several of its models to sponsor various local teams
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Toyota rolled out the Chicago-themed wraps on several of its models to sponsor various local teams
Local customizers are always a big part of any automotive show and this Jeep Wrangler do-over by a local outfit exemplifies what's possible
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Local customizers are always a big part of any automotive show and this Jeep Wrangler do-over by a local outfit exemplifies what's possible
The new Jeep Gladiator is prominently on display at the Chicago Auto Show for 2019, with several models showcasing the lifestyles likely to be had with this new pickup truck
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The new Jeep Gladiator is prominently on display at the Chicago Auto Show for 2019, with several models showcasing the lifestyles likely to be had with this new pickup truck
Ram Trucks unveiled a new tailgate which opens in multiple ways, trailer attached or not
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Ram Trucks unveiled a new tailgate which opens in multiple ways, trailer attached or not
The Kia Telluride concepts are all over the Kia booth at the Chicago show. This one showcases the dreamy capabilities of this new SUV
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The Kia Telluride concepts are all over the Kia booth at the Chicago show. This one showcases the dreamy capabilities of this new SUV
Kia's carbon fiber clad Stinger model, shown originally at CES, beckons sports car fans to the Kia floor space
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Kia's carbon fiber clad Stinger model, shown originally at CES, beckons sports car fans to the Kia floor space
The Honda that dominated Formula 1 this year is caged in the front of the Honda booth at the Chicago show
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The Honda that dominated Formula 1 this year is caged in the front of the Honda booth at the Chicago show
Ford unveiled a new Harley Davidson collaboration F-150 that bedecks the pickup with paint schemes and motorcycle-sounding exhaust pipes
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Ford unveiled a new Harley Davidson collaboration F-150 that bedecks the pickup with paint schemes and motorcycle-sounding exhaust pipes
Customizers can often do interesting things, like this matte-clad Nissan Titan with lots of extras added
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Customizers can often do interesting things, like this matte-clad Nissan Titan with lots of extras added
Nissan unveiled the new 2020 Rogue Sport model at the Chicago Auto Show, showcasing the updates that will come to the little crossover
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Nissan unveiled the new 2020 Rogue Sport model at the Chicago Auto Show, showcasing the updates that will come to the little crossover
A special edition of the Nissan Pathfinder, a trim level called Rock Creek, adds a lot of content for not a lot of money
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A special edition of the Nissan Pathfinder, a trim level called Rock Creek, adds a lot of content for not a lot of money
Subaru chose the 2019 Chicago Auto Show to unveil the all-new 2020 Legacy, which will enter showrooms later this year
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Subaru chose the 2019 Chicago Auto Show to unveil the all-new 2020 Legacy, which will enter showrooms later this year
Journalist Fadra Nally pets a rescued dog at a special Subaru booth featuring dogs who've been abused and are now being rehabilitated for adoption
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Journalist Fadra Nally pets a rescued dog at a special Subaru booth featuring dogs who've been abused and are now being rehabilitated for adoption
The Alfa Romeo display at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show
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The Alfa Romeo display at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show
Acura made big waves when the new NSX was unveiled a few years ago. Now it's becoming a staple on race tracks globally
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Acura made big waves when the new NSX was unveiled a few years ago. Now it's becoming a staple on race tracks globally
There are few types of motor racing more telling for a manufacturer than endurance events, which feature cars like this Acura
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There are few types of motor racing more telling for a manufacturer than endurance events, which feature cars like this Acura
Mean green is back at the Dodge booth with several muscle cars sporting this eye-splitting paint
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Mean green is back at the Dodge booth with several muscle cars sporting this eye-splitting paint
This police pursuit Dodge Durango is ready for the streets
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This police pursuit Dodge Durango is ready for the streets
Ram unveiled its new line of 2019 Ram Heavy Duty chassis cab options at the Chicago Auto Show
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Ram unveiled its new line of 2019 Ram Heavy Duty chassis cab options at the Chicago Auto Show
Ready for work, the Ram Heavy Duty lineup now includes chassis cabs capable of handling aftermarket options like this hoist utility
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Ready for work, the Ram Heavy Duty lineup now includes chassis cabs capable of handling aftermarket options like this hoist utility
Bespoke automaker Vanderhall traveled all the way from Utah to show off its three-wheeled wares in Chicago
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Bespoke automaker Vanderhall traveled all the way from Utah to show off its three-wheeled wares in Chicago
The new Ford Explorer, now in a rear-wheel platform, is being shown in Chicago with a lot of options for both paint and Yakima accessories
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The new Ford Explorer, now in a rear-wheel platform, is being shown in Chicago with a lot of options for both paint and Yakima accessories
A star unveiling at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show was this extremely limited edition 2020 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Italia
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A star unveiling at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show was this extremely limited edition 2020 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Italia
Supercars are a staple at most automotive shows and Chicago was no exception, with oodles of them on display
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Supercars are a staple at most automotive shows and Chicago was no exception, with oodles of them on display
At least half a dozen McLaren models are being shown throughout the Chicago show, some easier to spot than others
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At least half a dozen McLaren models are being shown throughout the Chicago show, some easier to spot than others
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the NSX, Acura pulled out all the stops, bringing in an original first-generation NSX alongside a special edition of the 2020 model
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Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the NSX, Acura pulled out all the stops, bringing in an original first-generation NSX alongside a special edition of the 2020 model
This Anniversary Edition of the Acura NSX supercar 
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This Anniversary Edition of the Acura NSX supercar 
The original Acura NSX was both innovative and ground breaking for its time
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The original Acura NSX was both innovative and ground breaking for its time
Land Rover has a ride-along experience to simulate off-road driving
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Land Rover has a ride-along experience to simulate off-road driving
Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show was the price tag for the new 2020 Land Rover Evoque
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Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show was the price tag for the new 2020 Land Rover Evoque
The Jeep Experience is a highlight of all large automotive shows around the United States and the Chicago setup is true to expectation
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The Jeep Experience is a highlight of all large automotive shows around the United States and the Chicago setup is true to expectation
Heralding the anniversary of the minivan it invented, Chrysler is showcasing the original alongside the latest
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Heralding the anniversary of the minivan it invented, Chrysler is showcasing the original alongside the latest
Toyota unveiled a new RAV4 TRD Off-Road model at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show as a trail-ready version of the popular crossover
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Toyota unveiled a new RAV4 TRD Off-Road model at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show as a trail-ready version of the popular crossover
Mopar did its business to the all-new Jeep Gladiator pickup with some sweet accessorizing, promising more is to come for the new rig
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Mopar did its business to the all-new Jeep Gladiator pickup with some sweet accessorizing, promising more is to come for the new rig
If you can dream it and make a lifestyle out of it, Mopar can probably add it to your truck
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If you can dream it and make a lifestyle out of it, Mopar can probably add it to your truck
Chevrolet is showcasing its latest line of Silverado Heavy Duty pickups at the Chicago Auto Show
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Chevrolet is showcasing its latest line of Silverado Heavy Duty pickups at the Chicago Auto Show
The new Kia Sportage has been restyled and updated at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show
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The new Kia Sportage has been restyled and updated at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show
Unveiled in Chicago for the 2019 show, the new Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro model gives serious off-road treatment to the big SUV
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Unveiled in Chicago for the 2019 show, the new Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro model gives serious off-road treatment to the big SUV
Unveiled with much public drooling in Detroit, the new Toyota Supra is definitely easy on the eye
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Unveiled with much public drooling in Detroit, the new Toyota Supra is definitely easy on the eye
On for young and old: A classic Fairlane adds a touch of nostalgia to the 2019 the Chicago Auto Show
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On for young and old: A classic Fairlane adds a touch of nostalgia to the 2019 the Chicago Auto Show
The Lego Chevrolet Silverado, unveiled in Detroit, is front and center at the Chevrolet display in Chicago. Behind it is a booth where kids can assemble their own smaller version of the truck
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The Lego Chevrolet Silverado, unveiled in Detroit, is front and center at the Chevrolet display in Chicago. Behind it is a booth where kids can assemble their own smaller version of the truck
Mazda unveiled a new anniversary edition of its MX-5 Miata in both coupe and convertible formats at the Chicago Auto Show
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Mazda unveiled a new anniversary edition of its MX-5 Miata in both coupe and convertible formats at the Chicago Auto Show

It's a big year for the Chicago Auto Show, with more new vehicles unveiled than we've seen in some time, including the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD, the new Subaru Legacy and the 30th Anniversary edition of the MX-5 Miata. Here's a look at the highlights from one of the largest automotive show floors in the US.

Acura

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the NSX, Acura pulled out all the stops, bringing in an original first-generation NSX alongside a special edition of the 2020 model
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the NSX, Acura pulled out all the stops, bringing in an original first-generation NSX alongside a special edition of the 2020 model

Acura took the opportunity to unveil a special anniversary edition of the NSX supercar featuring a trim package that references the game-changing car's past. On hand to unveil it was the lead designer for the current-generation NSX and an automotive journalist who was on the first track drive program for the original NSX that debuted 35 years ago.

The display showcases the first build (above left) alongside the new-generation Acura NSX, both in the signature red paint Acura's sports cars are known for. The original NSX was redesigned at the last minute to incorporate the then-new V-Tech engine, which produced more power but was larger than the original engine planned for the car. The new NSX had a similar thing happen when designers realized that a larger bay would be required to incorporate the NSX's electronic controls for its hybrid system.

Alfa Romeo

The Alfa Romeo display at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show
The Alfa Romeo display at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show

Alfa unveiled a new 4C Spider Italia, a special edition of the little Alfa Romeo 4C, of which only 15 will be made exclusively for North America. The special edition includes exclusive paint, badging, and tweaks. Also on hand is Alfa's new Sauber Formula 1 racer (above), marking Alfa Romeo's return to the sport after an absence of three decades.

Chevrolet

The Lego Chevrolet Silverado, unveiled in Detroit, is front and center at the Chevrolet display in Chicago. Behind it is a booth where kids can assemble their own smaller version of the truck
The Lego Chevrolet Silverado, unveiled in Detroit, is front and center at the Chevrolet display in Chicago. Behind it is a booth where kids can assemble their own smaller version of the truck

Heavy duty offerings abound of late, and Chevrolet made sure to keep itself in the game by placing the Silverado HD pickups front and center at its booth in Chicago. Sure the Camaros and Corvettes are the eye-grabbers, but the big pickups are bread and butter for General Motors.

And then there's the Chevrolet Lego Silverado display(above), complete with a work station where kids (or kids at heart) can make their own smaller version of the truck.

Chrysler

Blast from the past - Chrysler is celebrating 35 years of minivans by showing off the first minivan ever made, this 1984 Plymouth Voyager from the FCA museum
Blast from the past - Chrysler is celebrating 35 years of minivans by showing off the first minivan ever made, this 1984 Plymouth Voyager from the FCA museum

This is a unique year for Chrysler, an automotive marque with only two vehicles for sale. One of those is the Pacifica minivan, which continues 35 years of minivan success for the company. To celebrate, Chrysler pulled a heritage first-generation 1984 Plymouth Voyager minivan – complete with faux wood siding and shag-like interior upholstery – out of the museum and dusted it off. It sits next to a current-generation Chrysler Pacifica on the show floor to highlight just how far minivans have come.

Not surprisingly the Pacifica is seeing record sales, proving that people movers are becoming sexy again.

Ford

Unveiled just before the show was Ford's unveiled its new F-Series Super Duty line of pickup trucks just before the show and Chicago 2019 marks the first time those trucks have been shown publicly. Also unveiled was a collaborative F-150 pickup that continues Ford's partnership with Harley Davidson motorcycles. The sound of the special edition pickup is amazingly similar to the signature Harley rumble thanks to changes to the Ford's exhaust system.

The new Ford Explorer, now in a rear-wheel platform, is being shown in Chicago with a lot of options for both paint and Yakima accessories
The new Ford Explorer, now in a rear-wheel platform, is being shown in Chicago with a lot of options for both paint and Yakima accessories

Ford also revealed new Yakima accessories for the 2020 Ford Explorer unveiled earlier this year in Detroit. Explorer models decked out with bike racks, roof racks, bike racks on roofs, and more were on hand to show off the possibilities.

Jeep

The new Jeep Gladiator is prominently on display at the Chicago Auto Show for 2019, with several models showcasing the lifestyles likely to be had with this new pickup truck
The new Jeep Gladiator is prominently on display at the Chicago Auto Show for 2019, with several models showcasing the lifestyles likely to be had with this new pickup truck

There isn't anything new from Jeep at the Chicago Auto Show, but the Jeep Experience is going strong and the brand is more than happy to spotlight its new Gladiator pickup truck for all to see. The Gladiator got the Mopar treatment at Detroit, showing off what the accessory brand can do to kit out this Wrangler-pickup hybrid that's been all the talk of late.

There are also plenty of aftermarket dealers on hand to show what inventive ideas Jeep enthusiasts can add to their rigs. Lift kits and bead lock wheels are standard fare, of course, but what about custom replacement doors, paint-dipped wheels, and hammocks slung from the roll bars? Yep, those are some of what's out there, proving why the Wrangler is the most-accessorized vehicle in production.

Kia

The Kia Telluride concepts are all over the Kia booth at the Chicago show. This one showcases the dreamy capabilities of this new SUV
The Kia Telluride concepts are all over the Kia booth at the Chicago show. This one showcases the dreamy capabilities of this new SUV

Kia seems to have grown tired of being the quiet Korean automaker that specializes in mainstream parking lot fare. The brand is taking full advantage of the buzz it generated from the Telluride crossover-SUV debut earlier this year with a Kia Telluride concept prominent on the floor in Chicago.

Kia's carbon fiber clad Stinger model, shown originally at CES, beckons sports car fans to the Kia floor space
Kia's carbon fiber clad Stinger model, shown originally at CES, beckons sports car fans to the Kia floor space

The much-talked-about Stinger sports sedan dallies in the premium market as an upscale go-getter, and Kia brought along an all things carbon fiber Stinger model that debuted at SEMA to make the point.

Quietly making an entrance at the Chicago Auto Show this year was the 2020 Kia Sportage, marking some light changes for the crossover for the coming model year.

Land Rover

Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show was the price tag for the new 2020 Land Rover Evoque
Unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show was the price tag for the new 2020 Land Rover Evoque

Land Rover is using the Chicago Auto Show to spearhead its new Evoque, which was unveiled last November and now has pricing and options to match. The 2020 Evoque is promised with a 48-volt mild hybrid option, which will be offered only in the R-Dynamics trim, now priced at US$47,595 (without the mild hybrid).

Mazda

Mazda unveiled a new anniversary edition of its MX-5 Miata in both coupe and convertible formats at the Chicago Auto Show
Mazda unveiled a new anniversary edition of its MX-5 Miata in both coupe and convertible formats at the Chicago Auto Show

It seems the late 1980s was a great time in the modern automotive era, because 2018 marks the anniversary of a lot of great things. This includes the 30th anniversary of Mazda's MX-5 Miata sports car. To celebrate, Mazda unveiled a coupe and convertible version of an Anniversary Edition bedecked in special edition bright orange paint. Also on hand were examples of the newly-restored Miatas from the restoration arm at Mazda's heritage museum.

Nissan

A special edition of the Nissan Pathfinder, a trim level called Rock Creek, adds a lot of content for not a lot of money
A special edition of the Nissan Pathfinder, a trim level called Rock Creek, adds a lot of content for not a lot of money

Nissan has been unusually quiet about its auto show presence this year, but didn't disappoint when it came to new unveils. Foregoing the usual one-off "winter mobiles" that the company has made for the past several years, Nissan decided to unveil real models meant for consumers this time around.

A new Rock Creek version of the Pathfinder crossover-SUV (above) was shown, all bedecked in beautiful green paint and adding value to the lineup for the Pathfinder with a lot of amenities for half the price of à la carte.

Also unveiled was the 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport, which is restyled to set itself apart from its larger (and largely unrelated) namesake, the Rogue. The Rogue Sport (or Qashqai, if you aren't in the US) is a global design that shrinks Nissan into a smaller category. We liked it when we drove it and think the differentiation in style is a good move for Nissan.

Ram Truck

Ram Trucks unveiled a new tailgate which opens in multiple ways, trailer attached or not
Ram Trucks unveiled a new tailgate which opens in multiple ways, trailer attached or not

Ram decided to make a big deal of the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, debuting the all-new Ram Heavy Duty chassis cab variants of the Ram HD trucks unveiled in Detroit. These are the commercial "make it what you want" options for Ram buyers, but Ram also included a surprise luxury chassis cab made for specialized haulers who want to maximize comfort as well.

Also unveiled in Chicago was the new multifunction tailgate for the Ram 1500 series. The tailgate, which we covered in more detail here, opens in a split to either side and folds down like a standard tailgate. A new bumper-mounted step aids getting into the pickup's cargo bed and the whole thing can be used with a trailer attached – a clear response to GMC's MultiPro tailgate option for the Sierra.

Subaru

Subaru chose the 2019 Chicago Auto Show to unveil the all-new 2020 Legacy, which will enter showrooms later this year
Subaru chose the 2019 Chicago Auto Show to unveil the all-new 2020 Legacy, which will enter showrooms later this year

Unexpectedly, Subaru chose the Chicago show to unveil a brand new Legacy. The 2020 Subaru Legacy is completely revamped, though its exterior styling might not make that obvious. Understated in Subaru fashion, the new Legacy has more interior room, a huge tablet-sized touchscreen option, and the same turbocharged goodness found in the big Ascent three-row crossover.

Toyota

Toyota rolled out the Chicago-themed wraps on several of its models to sponsor various local teams
Toyota rolled out the Chicago-themed wraps on several of its models to sponsor various local teams

While the Supra definitely stole the show in Detroit this year, Toyota wasn't done when it came to Chicago. The company unveiled not one but three new Toyota Racing Development (TRD) upgrades in the Windy City. The biggest news of those three was the all-new RAV4 TRD Off-Road, but there was also a new Sequoia TRD Pro edition and a few upgrades for the Tacoma pickup truck, especially for its TRD options.

Also being shown is a new Land Cruiser heritage model that takes a nostalgic look back at the legendary off-roader's past.

Supercars are a staple at most automotive shows and Chicago was no exception, with oodles of them on display
Supercars are a staple at most automotive shows and Chicago was no exception, with oodles of them on display

As usual there is a lot to see (and do) at the Chicago Auto Show this year. Upfitters, suspension droppers, outfitters, and kit sellers abound. So do offbeat offerings like hybrid police cars, three-wheeled homebrew kits and handmade getabouts. There's also several ride-and-drive and ride-along options from various carmakers, including a Jeep and a Land Rover off-road experience, and a Ram Truck high-elevation ramp. Simulators for racing, building, or even crashing cars are also on the floor, plus plenty of attractions for the kids.

The 2019 Chicago Auto Show runs until February 18 at McCormick Place. If you can't get there, check out more photos in our gallery or see detailed coverage of cars mentioned above here.

1 comment
apprenticeearthwiz
A significant paucity of EVs which are expected to reach price and convenience parity with ICEVs by 2025. Given the massive difference in maintenance and running costs, nobody in their right mind will be buying new ICEVs by then. All in all a wondrous cavalcade of the soon to be redundant.