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The Chicago Auto Show

 
February 8, 2020 - February 15, 2020
 
McCormick Place 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, Illinois

Frank Brichetto

Chicago Correspondent

The Chicago Auto Show is here in all it’s fabulous, glamorous, exciting, enticing glory! From this Saturday morning through the week, all the way to next Sunday afternoon all the new cars, concepts, emerging technologies, styling trends and performance enhancements you could want to see are here before your eyes.

The highlight of the show, from a Oh, WOW! Perspective has to be the new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.  Here is an American designed, engineered, and manufactured automobile that will get you to 60mph in 3 seconds, on your way to a maximum speed of over 200mph.   Best of all, it’s rather affordable, with prices from $59,995 to $72,000. Take that, Lamborghini!

It’s beautiful, too, the way we’ve come to expect from supercars; sharp lines, extremely low body and seats, various vents and wings to get air into that massive engine while keeping the tires firmly on the ground. It’s styling looks naturally progressive from recent ‘vettes, with changes that are in keeping with the mid-engine design.

The other American supercar, the Ford GT, is here, of course, upgraded and even more beautiful than the stunning 2019 version.  The optional, new, “Liquid Carbon” package shows carbon weave through a clear coat and comes complete with a titanium exhaust, 13 more horsepower and carbon fiber wheels engineered and built to withstand the forces that a six hundred and sixty horsepower car can produce.  Ford intends to make fewer than seventy-five GTs this year; get your name on the list now if you want one!  It’s important to know that for the price of one “Liquid Carbon” Ford GT, $750,000.00, you can have three Lamborghinis or TEN of the new Sting Rays.

More exciting to most of us everyday folk is the new crossover Mustang eMach hybrid. My fears that a cross-over Mustang would dilute the Mustang image and brand have been allayed.  This is a good looking, and well-performing automobile, with an expanded interior and modern electronic features. Oh, don’t worry, the regular Mustang is still alive and well and readily available, as are the Focus, Explorer, Escape, and other models we expect from Ford.

Coming back to our much less expensive, normal, everyday world, family vehicles are everywhere. The Toyota Camry is America’s favorite sedan for good reason, quality, reliability, and of course affordability.  The famous hybrid Prius is joined by hybrids in almost every Toyota model, even the Highlander SUV, and all enjoy improved electronics and safety features.

The Sienna minivan introduced a convenience option two years ago for families caring for someone who is elderly or disabled. I have yet to see on on the road, but it’s here again, and I learned it’s an available option from your Toyota dealer and factory installed in the Indiana facility. The first seat in the second row will move, rotate, move out the door and lower almost to ground level to aid anyone who has difficulty getting into or out of a regular car seat.  It’s amazing. If your family could use a feature like this, you can see it demonstrated at the show or at Toyotamobility.com.

Speaking of minivans, Chrysler, who created the minivan so many years ago, has completely revamped the Pacifica, improving it’s versatility, capability, mileage, road control, and, most significantly, safety.  There are now 97 safety designs and features built into even the base model, and even more are available if you so choose. Visually, the Pacifica has been improved as well, and the new, sleek body style contributes better aerodynamics into the overall package.

If you just want to go really, really fast, head over to your nearest Dodge / Chrysler dealer and take a Hellcat Challenger or a Hemi Charger for a spin.  Truly affordable speed is the calling card of these cars. Affordable luxury is the standard for the Chrysler 300.

Hyundai has a full line of offerings and still provides new owners the highest mileage warranty in America at 100,000 miles.  They now also offer a three year service agreement with their cars and, personally, I find the three Ioniq models to be really intriguing and enticing.  They look longer than they really are, and the interiors are both comfortable and voluminous. The Telluride, made in America, was presented with a Family Vehicle of the Year Award, so you might really want to check Hyundai closely when you visit.

Stay tuned, readers, for Part 2 of this report, tomorrow, Saturday, February 8th, 2020.

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