2018 Chicago Auto Show        

2018 Chicago Auto Show

February 23, 2018

The 110th annual Chicago Auto Show wrapped up this week after it’s 10 day span showcasing nearly one thousand vehicles at McCormick Place.  Heavy hitters like Jeep, Toyota, and Ford all made a splash while visitors got the best of practical and lavish models and concepts throughout the 1 million square foot space. Below are highlights of the #CAS that ripped through the Windy City!

Shredding Through Chicago Winter
The 370Zki (“ski”) is the most recent winter concept car from Nissan making it’s world debut in Chicago. With a warm orange and yellow paint job and a pair of front snow shoes to power the roadster through a gnarly snow terrain, the 332 horsepower is equip to shred through the harshest winters.

Nissan 379Zki

The Luxury Line Up
Lamborghini, Porsche, and Lexus rolled out their high end, and high priced, vehicles in the Super Car Gallery. Notably, the Aventador S (price tag: $470,000) and the Huracan turned heads. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is equipped with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 creating it’s 755 horsepower. Aptly nicknamed, The King.

Lamborghini Aventador Z

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

First Look for Charity
Lexus‘ gold dipped concept crossover, the LF-1 Limitless, emitted elation the night before the show with it’s angular design, 4-D technology, and panoramic glass sunroof. The Lexus fleet was first viewed by attendees of First Look For Charity, an event put on by CAS that benefits 18 local non profits and raised $2.5 million in only one night.

Ball gowns and tuxes are the dress code at First Look

Back to the Beginning: History of the Auto Show
At the turn of the century the first Chicago Auto Show opened almost exactly 117 years ago in 1901. Debuting at the Coliseum Hall located at the corner of 15th and 16th Wabash Avenue, the show started as invite only selling tickets for 50 cents a piece. The show was continually held at The Coliseum until 1935 under manager Samuel A. Miles who is considered the “father” of the auto show. Early shows drew crowds for their 3 horsepower “horse-less carriages.” Featuring 100 vehicles (compared to the thousands of today’s show), the crowds flocked to see the new transportation technology.

Attendees arrive (some by horse drawn carriages) at the Coliseum

Classic Collections
Local car enthusiasts and showplace ambassadors, Larry and Joyce Klairmont, brought their impressive Kollection of vehicles including a classic Batmobile and the bizarre and retro 1955 Ford Beatnik Bubble Top.

Straight from The Jetsons, the Bubble Top appears to hover

Award Winners
Jeep, surprising no one, won Best Exhibit for their twisting test track and obstacle course where their Wrangler takes on jagged bumps and rocky turns. The Wrangler also won Best All New Production Vehicle. The plug in, all electric BMW i8 was top of it’s class and won Best Green Vehicle – while the 2018 Ford GT won a different type of green…for most desired “vehicle in my driveway.”

A Jeep Wrangler takes on jagged road blocks in the obstacle course

Wash, Wax, Drive, Repeat
The Cadillac Escala (below) won Best Concept Vehicle – the flagship machine is a lengthy 210 inches but despite its size has the versatility and maneuverability of a smaller sleeker car because of the advanced technology. The Escala is a, “statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language, and also technical concepts in development for future Cadillac models,” said president of Global Cadillac Johan de Nysschen. Escala uses four cylinder fuel saving technology and is run on a V-8 engine.

Stylish Second City Debuts
Fiat debuted their fresh 500 2018 model complete with a Turbo gauge, heftier 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque (compared to the previous 101 hp). The Fiat also includes a sporty interior twist with bolstered seats and aluminum pedals. Another debut was Ford’s Transit Connect, a crossover that’s a subtle nod to groovy VW busses and a stylish take on the minivan. With three rows of seats it can seat up to 7 and the Wi-Fi allows 10 devices making it a practical car for the modern family.

Fiat and Ford debuted flashy red coats and engines

Give Them Distance
Amongst the flashy sports cars and touting “0 to 60” tag lines, Illinois State Police encouraged attendees to take a digital pledge of safety. Working with the Illinois Tollway Authority, the “Give Them Distance” campaign is a promise that drivers will pull over for police and keep a safe distance from emergencies on the side of the road. They added 1,500 signatures to their cause at this year’s CAS.

Until Next Year!
After 100+ years of innovation the Chicago Auto Show continues to impress. For a look at more of our show recaps, please continue to browse our website or drop us a note at

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