Mega Photo Gallery! 2018 Chicago Auto Show Recap
Hot Trucks in the Windy City
The traditionally laidback nature of the Chicago Auto Show is always a welcome reprieve after the more serious Los Angeles and Detroit shows. Chicago gives automakers room to stretch out and show their creative sides. Nissan, for example, built a giant indoor snow globe winter wonderland, complete with scheduled snow showers and hot chocolate dispensers. Campsites and forests line the various displays, and if you’re lucky you may even catch a selfie with a giant hamster. Toyota and Kia both built indoor test tracks, while Jeep pulled together a massive off-road course, complete with boulders and a lake. Fun aside, there was plenty of business conducted as well.
Toyota pulled the wraps off the new TRD Pro family, with the Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner now all sporting Fox internal bypass dampers and TRD-tuned springs. Tundra also receives unique 18-inch BBS forged wheels, while Tacoma gets an optional “Desert Air Intake” and 4Runner a Baja-inspired roof rack.
Nissan showed us a new dealer-installed, warranty-friendly 3-inch ICON lift kit that will be available for Titan and Titan XD very soon. The company says install time should take about four hours, and pricing will be competitive. Nissan also rolled out their Snow Patrol Armada concept, used to tow the wild 370Zki. Rounding out their display was a plow-equipped single-cab Titan XD.
Ford got in on the announcement game with an updated Transit Connect Wagon, complete with a new 1.5L EcoBlue four-cylinder diesel engine. Ford hasn’t announced numbers yet, but they did say that the goal is for better than 30 mpg. We expect to see the cargo version of the new 2019 Transit Connect in the not-so-distant future.
Ram pulled the covers off its new 2019 1500 in Detroit, then showed the Laramie Longhorn trim in Houston, and this week displayed a truck decked out with a dozen Mopar accessories, including a 2-inch lift, 35-inch tires, and beadlock-capable wheels. Also on display was the new Black Edition, a unique take on the new Ram’s sport package.
Loads of custom trucks, SUVs, and vans littered the show floor, along with some of the toughest heavy-duty vehicles offered. There were wild exotics and cars that made us rethink the definition of cool. With nearly 1,000 vehicles from 36 manufacturers there’s sure to be something for everyone. GMC even brought out some new hardware in the way of our own Billet Piston award for winning the 2018 Pickup Truck of the Year with the GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali. The 2018 Chicago Auto Show runs from February 10-19, so if you’re in the area be sure to stop by and check it out. And if you’re not, thumb through the gallery below to feel like you're there!