Revised Feb. 8, 2018, to reflect expanded auto show news.
Chicago new car reveals and concepts from McCormick Place.
The 2018 Chicago Auto Show kicks off this week and yours truly will be in attendance for the media days scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The public days begin Saturday, Feb. 10 and extend through Monday, Feb. 19. If you’re in the Chicagoland area, plan a visit to the McCormick Place to take in upwards of 1,000 new vehicles, concepts and displays.
The Big Show
The Chicago show doesn’t have the number of new reveals as do Los Angeles, Detroit and New York, but it does make up for it by offering the largest display space and most visitors of any show. The original show launched in 1901 and continues at the location it has used for more than a half century. Indeed, the McCormick Place is the show’s venue, benefitting from numerous updates down through the years and boasts sufficient space to carry off a show of this magnitude.
I’ll be representing Auto Trends Magazine directly at this show and will share much of what I discover through my social media interactions as well as in articles published here and elsewhere. Feel free to follow my Twitter (@theautowriter), Facebook (RealAutoTrends) and Instagram (matt.keegan.auto.trends) accounts to track my many updates. I’ll be using the #CAS18 hashtag most of the time during the three days I’m in Chicago, along with various manufacturer tags.
The Hit Parade
Among the models on display in McCormick Place are the following:
Toyota Introduces 2019 TRD Pro Line
Off-road fans know that Toyota is a significant player in the segment, delivering three models for your selection. The 4Runner SUV, Tacoma midsize pickup truck and the Tundra full-size pickup truck are the trio of Toyota models comprising the brand’s off-road capabilities.
At the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota unveiled three TRD Pro versions off its powerful threesome, offering important changes, including Fox 2.5-inch Internal Bypass Shocks across the TRD Pro line. Further, the Tacoma TRD Pro now offers an available TRD desert air intake while the 4Runner TRD Pro earns a TRD roof rack. As for the Tundra, Toyota fits this model with available Rigid fog lights and BBS wheels.
Customers have a choice of three exterior color schemes for the trio: Super White, Midnight Black Metallic and Voodoo Blue, the latter exclusive to the TRD and a color once popularized with the now retired Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Ford Rolls Out New Transit Connect Wagon
The Ford Motor Company introduced a new vehicle today. Instead of targeting young buyers as they usually do, the automaker chose to go after Baby Boomers with its new 2019 Ford Transit Connect wagon. The Transit Connect comes in smaller than today’s minivans, but it does offer room for seven. The idea here is for owners to carry their grandchildren, pets and maybe make some room for their geriatric equipment (kidding. not kidding).
Ford asked Chicago native Jim Belushi to introduce its new wagon. Belushi sang, “My Sweet Chicago,” before Mark LaNeve — vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service — took over.
Key among the may changes for the 2019 Ford Transit Connect is a newly available 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Ford expects this new powertrain combination to deliver at least 30 mpg highway. The standard engine is a 2.0-liter gas user, paired with the same transmission.
Chicago Auto Show Concept & Technology Garage
Each of the models mentioned here are showcased in the McCormick Place’s Concept & Technology Garage. Journalists are supplied with a two-hour preview window to view each vehicle, take photos and video, and interview OEM representatives. It is an invaluable opportunity, therefore yours truly will take every advantage while there.
See Also — Live! From the 2017 Chicago Auto Show!
Photos courtesy the respective OEM. All rights reserved.