In our latest recap of the Chicago Auto Show, we want to give you a quick walk-through in the order it happened for us on Day 2.
Cadillac never fails to have an impressive stand and the 2015 Escalade and Elmiraj Concept made that impression even deeper. The Elmiraj is a beautiful car. No matter what you see in print, I admonish you to get to an auto show near you and see it for yourself. It has a presence that pictures cannot relay. Once upon a time, there was a car in the lineup called the STS. It was a mid-sized car that slotted between the DTS and CTS. The new CTS have grown to the size of the long extinct STS. When I saw how large it has gotten, I understood the need for the ATS immediately.
Last year, Audi dazzled us with a sea of white cars that drew a lot of attention. This year, Infiniti and Lexus plagiarized that theme. Not to their detriment, but to Audi’s credit. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
Speaking of Lexus, I finally got my chance to see and touch the mythical LFA. Lexus had an IS-F on a 12-foot tall steel stand showing off the F improvements. The Concepts in the pictures tell us that there will be no shortage of Lexus Coupes in the foreseeable future. Goodbye, SC300. Hello RC-F Coupe.
Lexus RC-F Coupe
Stuttgart and Ingolstadt had a marvelous showing this year with the all new 4-series and S-Class being shown. Very inconspicuously, but you knew they were there.
Toyota showed off their new TRD Pro Series Timdra, an answer to the Ford SVT Raptor Jeep Rubicon and Chevrolet Reaper. Toyota’s presentation included one of the Engineers kicking dirt on a few front row press members during a demonstration (it was the talk of the press days).
The Pro Series models have blacked-out wheels, grilles and “Inferno” paint (black and white colors are also available). Pro Series is an option package for existing models which might be a good option for the off-road enthusiast who thinks a Wrangler is too impractical but still wants a truck frame underneath. The Toyota TRD Pro-Series models go on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
I couldn’t pass by Buick without at least snapping a couple of photos. Buick is like the girl in high school whom you thought was cute, but not dating material. Now that she’s all grown up, she is gorgeous!! If the new Lucerne is the least attractive of the bunch, Buick’s dance card is going to be full for a long time.
Yes! There were exotic cars! Comcast sponsored a small area which housed a list of precious metal: a Rolls Royce Phantom and the all-new Wraith, a McLaren MP4-12C and MP4-12C Spider, the new Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Continental GT, a Lamborghini Aventador in bright yellow, three Aston Martins; a Rapide a DBS Convertible and a Vantage S, a Ferrari FF (the window sticker of which somehow got into my bag), a Lotus Evora and the granddaddy of them all, a Bugatti Veyron. The first press day was the only time we were able to get close-up pictures and even sit in the vehicles. After that, all access was lost. Thank you, Comcast.
With so many things happening, I had a hard time deciding what our fans wanted to hear and see most (you will let us know in the comments section, won’t you?). One thing I knew for sure is that the presence of Maserati would be of great interest. The Trident hasn’t graced a Chicago show since the last Biturbo rolled off the assembly line. It seemed disrespectful to have Maserati placed so far back on the show floor, but believe me, everyone found it. I will do a full review of the all new Ghibli later this month. For now, know that the $66,000 BMW alternative has no shortage of modern tech or Italian flair. With a V-6 and 4-Wheel Drive available. The Ghibli is just what the company needs to show this generation what a proper Maser is supposed to be.
I learned my lesson from last year and came more prepared, with more equipped and was more informed. I hope that this year’s coverage of the CAS was more enjoyable. Trust me, next year, we plan to do even better and have HD video and a slew of interviews. Until then, we’ll see you at The World of Wheels!