The Chicago Auto Show is well underway, but it seems that all the exciting news has gone with the wind.
Special Editions, mid-cycle refreshes and concepts are dominating the stages, and although there are a few all-new models that have taken a bow, the majority of the cast looks quite familiar. Even models claimed to have been completely redesigned are actually significantly unimpressive.
Here is what we’ve seen in the Windy City so far:
Kia has already made it clear that they will be milking the Soul for all that it’s worth, and the new Trail’ster concept is proof of that. In this edition, you get all-wheel drive and an electric motor, which helps to get the back wheels spinning when needed. Up top there is a fold-up canvas top and some clips for your snowboards. Revolutionary stuff.
It was arguably one of the most anticipated new vehicles to be unveiled, but keeping with this year’s theme of mundane debuts, the Pilot fell short of expectations. Sure the design is new, but with a look that resembles an extended CR-V, and a complete lack of details about what the will be capable of, we were left wanting more.
Oh, and we also got our first look at the new Honda Ridgeline design during the reveal of the new Pilot.
Chevy started things off right at their press conference, announcing that the Chevy Bolt EV concept will be making its way into production, but then they had to ruin all of that with the updated 2016 Chevy Equinox, which looks just as terrible as it has in the past. Then they made it even more awkward by calling it expensive.
The RDX is already coming off of two consecutive record-setting months, and with updates that include slight changes to the front end and subtle tweaks to the V6 engine, the upscale crossover is sure to stay on the path to success. However, we could have went without the confusing talk of ratchetting up the emotional quotient.
Ram has seen a great deal of succes with their limited edition models, but for some reason, they really wanted us to know that the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited is limited. After countless mentions of the word limited and its synonyms, our interest in the special edition pickup, and our attention span in general, was limited to say the least.
Before Mitsubishi pulled the sheet off of their GC-PHEV (Grand Cruiser Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) concept, we were really confused—the robot dancers on stage had a lot to do with that. Then, they unveiled the new concept and we got a look at its gigantic ass. Needless to say, our confusion never really subsided at any point during the debut.
Toyota had the Avalon under a sheet, and as it was allegedly redesigned for the 2016, we expected to see it there. However, not much was really done to change the flagship sedan, which has us wondering why they ever tried to keep it from us in the first place. The debut was about as uneventful as the announcement of the Special Edition Camry and Corolla models.
Of all the Windy City debuts, the one for the 2016 Ford Police Interceptor was definitely the most creative. The Blue Oval relied on K-9 dog “Keegan” to help pull the sheet off of the new fleet SUV, and as we already knew exactly what to expect from the new cruiser, it’s really no surprise that Keegan drew more attention than the Interceptor did.
Perhaps its because Detroit was full of so many surprises, but we have yet to be impressed by anything here in Chicago. We’ll keep you posted as the Auto Show debuts continue to take place.
Hopefully something unexpected comes in and blows us away.