Now open to the public and well underway, the 2016 Chicago Auto Show features some electrifying debuts, a few things just for fun, and everything in between. Although the press reveals for the 2016 show were slow this year, the longest running auto show in the US is always worth a look.
Chicago hosts the largest automotive show in the United States, with each year being an illustration of just how large the industry has become. Here are some highlights of the latest and greatest from the Windy City.
The 2017 Nissan Armada was one of the few vehicles to debut in Chicago. This big sport utility is the flagship for the make's SUV line and features a completely new exterior and interior along with an improved engine and drivetrain.
Speaking of SUVs, conversion experts at BraunAbility showcased their latest, a Ford Explorer upgraded to an "MXV" model with full wheelchair access. The vehicle will be available later this year through BraunAbility's 200-dealership network.
On the electric vehicle front, Kia came on strong with its electrification strategy, showcasing not one, but three new hybrids. The Niro Hybrid drew the most attention at the Kia stand with a production model destined for showrooms in 2017. Kia claims its Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV) is small, versatile, and efficient.
Kia also showed two versions of the Optima sedan, both hybrids. An all-new Optima Hybrid that improved fuel efficiency over the last-generation hybrid by 10 percent and, in a first for the brand, an Optima Plug-in Hybrid was debuted. Also slated for 2017 production, the vehicle is capable of going up to 27 miles (43 km) on a single charge in all-electric mode and recharges in as little as three hours when fully drained.
Of course, pickup trucks are a staple at any US auto show, and Chicago was no different with Toyota unveiling a new Tacoma TRD Pro model. This carries the extreme offroad TRD Pro nameplate to the all-new Tacoma, which was completely re-done for the 2016 model year.
Not to be ignored, Nissan showcased its Winter Warrior concepts. These are three track-clad crossovers made to ply the snowy tundra of Illinois and beyond. A Nissan Pathfinder, Murano, and Rogue are all being shown in Chicago during the show.
Ram Trucks showcased a new design update for the always-popular Power Wagon offroad monster. This three-quarter ton pickup with dirt on its mind sees a few updates to its exterior, some paint changes, and equipment upgrades. Ram Trucks also has a new Off-Road package for their heavy-duty pickup truck lineup to complement that Power Wagon showcase.
Other vehicles being shown include the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EV, alongside some blacked-out track updates for the Camaro SS and sinister new Silverado options. Honda is also showcasing their new Ridgeline pickup truck, which will enter showrooms in the U.S. later this year. Finally, Toyota is showing off their RAV4 rally racer for the TRD team.If you can't make it to the show in person, you can check out the live web cams.
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