Kia is set to join the fully electric vehicle space this year, with the fresh-faced 2015 Soul EV. The all-electric Soul made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this month, and Autoblog west coast editor Michael Harley had a chance to speak with Orth Hedrick, Kia's vice president of product planning, about the new electrified hatchback.
The Subaru Legacy might not have been the hottest debut at the recent Chicago Auto Show, but for the Japanese automaker, it's hugely important. Much as we'd love to focus on Subaru's more engaging WRX, STI and BRZ models, the truth is, its the mainstream Forester, Outback and Legacy that make up the vast majority of the brand's sales, not to mention the Impreza and XV Crosstrek.
As lovers of fast driving, we at Autoblog normally try to stay as far away from police pursuit vehicles as possible. But in reality, the way automakers design purpose-built police vehicles is indeed worth a closer look. If we're going to task the boys and gals in blue with keeping us safe on the streets, they need to be given the best tools possible for the job. And while a lot of that comes down to their own equipment, the police cruisers themselves play a hugely important role in all of this.
If you've been paying attention to the Chicago Auto Show over the past few years, it's no secret that there's less and less to talk about in the Windy City every year. (In fact, there's an inside joke here at Autoblog about how we want to skip the second press day and catch a boat tour of the city, despite the freezing temperatures.) But the thing is, Chicago is actually one of the most important North American shows, if only for the sheer number of people who come through the doors at McCormick
Of all the major auto shows we cover each year, Chicago is by far the smallest in terms of new product debuts. But for consumers, the Windy City expo is hugely important – not only does McCormick Place boast the largest floor space of any of the US shows, it's a huge source of foot traffic from people who actually buy new cars.
Ford didn't have anything major to show off at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, so it seems it instead opted to have some fun - it brought a row of pinball machines to the show. Yes, pinball machines.
With all the excitement at the Kia stand surrounding the new Soul EV, it's easy to forget that there were other cars on display at the Korean marque's Chicago Auto Show display. The Niro Concept from the Frankfurt Motor Show made an appearance, but the other production model on display was the refreshed Optima Hybrid (which was tucked away in a corner).
Always a venue for the debut of new trucks, configurations and technologies, Chevrolet has chosen the Chicago Auto Show as the place to roll out its 2015 Silverado 2500 HD CNG work truck. That "CNG" of course stands for "Compressed Natural Gas," the second fuel, in addition to gasoline, that the Silverado is able to run on.
Despite launching in late 2011, Hyundai has managed to keep its funky Veloster hatchback relatively fresh in our minds, with the Turbo and R-Spec, several special edition models and even a cloth-roofed concept. Here at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, we're seeing the next iteration of Veloster creativity, the limited-edition Re:Flex.
Volkswagen and Andretti Rallycross unveiled the new GRC Beetle on the floor of McCormick Place, marking the German brand's first entry into the world of global rallycross following a championship season in the World Rally Championship with its Polo R WRC.
Forza Motorsport games are known for a few things, one of which is the extensive range of customization options available for each car. Gamers have complete control over the look and size of wheels, window tints, paints and decals, as well as various different finishes. For Forza Motorsport 5, players even have access to carbon fiber, gold, chrome, brass and camouflaged finishes.
Lingenfelter and Southern Comfort Automotive piqued our interest late last month with the digital unveiling of the Chevrolet Reaper, a customized Silverado designed to tackle some seriously rough terrain. While that vehicle made its original debut at the North American Dealers Association show, the 2014 Chicago Auto Show marks our first in-person viewing of it, as well as the truck's public debut.
With a rich history of creating off-road worthy trucks and SUVs and a somewhat bland impression of its brand overall, Toyota has wisely created a line of TRD Pro Series vehicles to spice up its showrooms and newly engage customers. Debuting at this year's Chicago Auto Show before rolling into dealers this fall, the TRD-tuned vehicles include the 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra, all with added rough-road gear and amped-up looks.
Fans of Captain America can expect to see Chevrolet's seventh-generation Corvette Stingray when the superhero's latest flick, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, hits theaters on April 4. But it won't be Cap driving the Stingray on the big screen, it'll be the beautiful and deadly Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson.
With the exception of some notable truck and van introductions, Chrysler brands have tended to use the Chicago Auto Show to bring out new special editions, pimp their aftermarket parts support or indulge in the occasional flight of fancy. That plan is holding true for 2014, as well. Cases in point are these new Satin Vapor Editions of the 2014-model-year Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 – all from SRT.
In the past, buyers that desired a sporty Volkswagen were rather limited in terms of choice. You could have a GTI, a Jetta GLI or a Golf R. If you wanted to move beyond the compact segment, you were stuck looking elsewhere. For 2014, though, VW decided to try and sportify it's big Passat sedan.
Nissan may be loaning out its small van to General Motors for its Chicago Auto Show debut, but that doesn't mean that Chevrolet is the only one with new NV200-based wares to share. On the heels of launching its Taxi Of Tomorrow for New York City, the Japanese automaker is giving America's Second City a livery of its own.
Chrysler made what was one of the biggest debuts of the 2014 North American International Auto Show last month when it debuted the heavily redesigned 200. While impressive on its own, the sleek sedan's Mopar counterpart, which was tucked away in a corner during the Detroit show, adds even more visual flair.
In the words of a Nissan public relations person, meet the "second best-looking van in Chicago." That's right, Nissan's taxi-friendly NV200 has donned a Bowtie here in the Windy City and been branded the 2015 Chevrolet City Express.
Volkswagen is finally set to launch its seventh-generation Golf family in the States this year, but the German automaker's stalwart Jetta sedan will be getting some love, as well. For the 2014 model year, Volkswagen launched a new 1.8-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine in its Jetta (and Passat). But here at the Chicago Auto Show, Vinay Shahani, the company's vice president of marketing, has confirmed to Autoblog that we'll be seeing an updated Jetta before the end of the year. It won