Sunday, February 10, 2019


by Dwight Casimere

The 2019 Chicago Auto Show is officially underway. The 111th edition of the largest automotive exhibition in North America is officially open to the public now through Monday, Feb. 18 at McCormick Place. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined 2019 Chicago Auto Show Chairman Ray Scarpelli Jr. and General Manager Dave Sloan on stage to cut the ribbon to open the show. 
Hundreds gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony, which featured the Army ROTC Color Guard from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the national anthem by musician Natalie Cochran. 
First staged in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America and has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent. With more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space, visitors will find more than 1000 vehicles, technology displays, and hand's on driving experiences. 
The Chicago Auto Show has something to offer everyone, whether you're interested in purchasing a new vehicle, checking out the hottest concept cars, experiencing interactive displays, or just taking the family out for a fun day, there's so much to see and do at the 2019 show," said Chicago Auto Show Chairman Ray Scarpelli. 
Special-themed days include Sports Team Pride Day on Feb. 11, Women's Day on Feb. 12, Hispanic Heritage Day on Feb. 15, Chicago Friday Night Flights on Feb. 15, featuring local Craft Brewers, A Safe Haven Chicago Auto Show Food Drive Feb. 13-15 and Family Day on Feb. 18.
MotorWeek has awarded the Hyundai Veloster N the 2019 Drivers' Choice Award for Best Sport Coupe. The annual MotorWeek competition has been ongoing consecutively for 38 years. The Drivers' Choice Awards ceremony was held during the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.
"Receiving an accolade such as Best Sport Coupe from MotorWeek, Television's Original Automobile Magazine, is very rewarding and helps position Hyundai in a league of elite honorees," said Scott Margason, director, Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America. "Hyundai's first U.S. market N model leverages the outstanding, new-for-2019 Veloster platform, showcasing an even higher level of performance appealing to the most discerning of automotive enthusiasts."
Alfa Romeo today unveiled the limited-edition 2020 4C Spider Italia for North America, limited to only 15 vehicles.
The 2020 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Italia offers driving enthusiasts a mid-engine design inspired by the brand's legendary racing history and represents the essential sportiness embedded in the brand's DNA.
Kia is also using the Chicago Auto Show to bring us the updated, 2020 Sportage. The overall package doesn't change too much, but the Sportage wears new front and rear fascias, and gets a smattering of new driver assistance tech.
Lexus is bringing another Inspiration Series model into the world -- this time, in the form of the seductive LC 500 coupe. Whereas the last Lexus LX Inspiration Seriesmade the Lexus LX 570 look as though it was in mourning, the LC, instead, is dressed decidedly brighter, wearing Flare Yellow paint, yellow accents adorning the cockpit and a dash of extra carbon fiber inside and out. 
Like every Inspiration SeNext, the Rogue Sport gets a slight overhaul for 2020, though the compact crossover largely stays the course. You'll be able to spot an updated Rogue Sport thanks to its slimmer, more attractive headlamps.
The Rogue Sport's big upgrade is on the safety tech front. Nissan now makes its Safety Shield package standard, which includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spNissan has a pair of crossover-shaped debuts for the Chicago Auto Show. The first is a special edition of a well-liked SUV, and the other is a substantial refresh of a smaller crossover.
The Rock Creek Edition is simply a $995 rugged interior and exterior appearance package, but your extra dough also gets you a sweet set of wheels, along with splash guards and a trailer hitch with a wiring harness. You can read more about the Rock Creek Pathfinder here.


One of the most significant reveals in Chicago is the new Subaru Legacy. We were initially wowed by the Legacy's large, portrait-oriented Starlink infotainment system touchscreen, which takes a page from the vertically oriented units in the Tesla Model S and Model X as well as the Ram 1500 and Volvo's Sensus Connect interface. Thankfully, Subaru has left us physical buttons for often-tinkered-with functions such as the volume, radio tuning and temperature controls. 
But there's more good news for Legacy fans. The turbocharged engine is back. In addition to a base, 2.5-liter H4 engine, the Legacy is available with the 2.4-liter turbocharged H4 engine we first tested in the Ascent SUV. All-wheel drive is, of course, standard, and every single Legacy gets the company's suite of EyeSight driver assistance tech. Click hereToyota has a healthy lineup of debuts this year in Chicago, the biggest of which is the refreshed 2020 Tacoma. The updates aren't too extensive, but hey, the truck finally gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and even Amazon Alexa. Otherwise, it's the same Tacoma we've known for a while, but for pickup buyers, that's just fine. 
Toyota will also be debuting the 2020 Land Cruiser Heritage Edition to celebrate the storied off-roader's 60 years -- one-sixth of which have been consumed by the current-gen beast. Yep, it's due for a redesign. 
he Jetta GLI is back, as the sedan-shaped brother to the wonderful Golf GTI. The GLI builds on all of the things we like about the Jetta -- mostly its onboard tech -- and adds some great performance upgrades.

For starters, the Jetta GLI gets the same 2.0-liter turbo I4 engine as the GTI, with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available as an option. A multilink rear suspension, electronic front differential and larger brakes will help it be a whole lot better to drive, too. Read more about the new Jetta GLI here.

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