Report from the 2015 Chicago Auto Show

Red Race Cars and Updated SUVs Dominate in Windy City

Nissan GT-R LM Nismo race car

By Jonathan Spira on 12 February 2015
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The Chicago Auto Show, first held in 1901, correctly bills itself as the largest auto show in North America, with over one million people attending each year.  It also has the distinction of having been the first auto show to have been held 100 times, a milestone that was reached in 2008.

While the Detroit show, held in January, is more about new car launches and debuts, the Chicago show is more about buzz and refreshed vehicles.

The hybrid Nissan GT-R LM Nismo race car made its first appearance in Chicago (it did appear in a cameo role in Nissan’s Super Bowl commercial this year). Developed by engineers in Europe, Japan, and the United States, the GT-R LM will compete in the Le Mans 24 this year.  The front-wheel drive car was developed and powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that also has a kinetic energy recovery system.

Meanwhile, Buick showed off its elegant Avenir concept flagship sedan.

Buick's Avenir concept car

Buick’s Avenir concept car

A few of the cars making their debut in Chicago include the updated Chevy Equinox, a small crossover SUV that promises good fuel economy, a redesigned Honda Pilot crossover, and an off-road version of the popular Kia Soul called the Trail’ster.  Acura debuted 2016 Acura RDX luxury sport-utility.

Chrysler introduced the Jeep Renegade subcompact SUV and Buick showed off the Avenir concept car.  The next generation Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle was also on display.

Several concept cars were revealed on the eve of the show including Alfa Romeo’s 4C Spider, which was on display during the Concept and Technology Garage on Wednesday.

Finally, Volvo had its brand new 2015 XC90 luxury SUV on display. The new XC90 (the original was launched in 2003) is the first car to come out of Gothenburg with Volvo’s newly designed Scalable Product Architecture or SPA technology.  Volvo says that SPA is a “stronger” platform that has allowed for weight reduction while improving safety and efficiency.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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