The Chevy dealers of Chicagoland decided to add a little extra pizzazz to the Chicago Auto Show this year by toting out some of their best accessorized concept vehicles from the past few years -- cars and trucks that help customers see what they can do with their own Bowtied babies. Love it or hate it, the HHR is like Chrysler's PT Cruiser in more ways than one. It's also a blank canvas for customizers. While there were a few modded wagons on display, our favorite was the neo-Nomad white HHR two-door. Lowered and sporting a 270-horse 4-cylinder, this is one stylish, relatively understated ride. The rest of the display was a bit more Xtreme.
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Dealers on hand showcased a whole range of Chevys that had been given Xtreme makeovers. (You'll recall that the "Xtreme" moniker dates back to a kitted-up, all show, no go factory S-10 package.) Cars displayed ranged from a 2004 Equinox, to a more recent Malibu and even a fresh Aveo as well. Unlike the old S-10 Xtreme, these cars had the goods underhood, too.
The Equinox features a turbo 3.5L V6 with 305 hp and 300 ft-lbs of torque under its lowered and bulging yellow body. The traffic-cone-orange Malibu Xtreme has a 240 hp Cobalt SS mill and aggressive but stylish body mods. And then there's the Aveo. This was actually the Street Edition follow-up to last year's Xtreme Concept. With acid green bodywork that reminds us of the old Festiva SHOgun project from the '80s, this car looks like it's straight out of Need For Speed: Carbon. A little bit of excitement for those not into the BFVs or International Trucks nearby.