In recent years the Chicago Auto Show has been a showcase mostly for new trucks. And that sense of ruggedness was certainly evident at its 112th edition.

Jeep’s new Gladiator pickup arrives in Mojave trim as the brand’s first Desert Rated vehicle. It goes beyond the legendary off-road reputation… as a high-speed desert runner built to power through sand. 

While the Jeep Wrangler JPP 20 gets the Mopar treatment with performance parts for an elevated outdoor adventure.

The 2020 Nissan Frontier embodies the present and future. The current long servicing adds the new 310-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 and 9-speed automatic that will appear in the next generation Frontier due a year from now.

Toyota showed Trail Special Editions of the Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner… with the looks and wheels designed for going off the pavement.

While the two pickups plus Sequoia join the list of models offering the dark hues of Nightshade Special Editions.

The first Toyota Highlander XSE debuted with bolder new looks and steering and suspension tuned for a sportier experience. 

Another family star is the revamped 2021 Chrysler Pacifica. It will offer a segment first electric all-wheel drive option while retaining its popular Stow’n-Go folding seats. A larger 10.1-inch touchscreen and Uconnect 5 with Amazon Alexa are also along for the ride.

A facelifted 2021 Volkswagen Atlas took a bow. It borrows the bolder look of the Atlas Cross Sport while also adding 3 inches in length.

The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox gets a fresher look. The sporty RS trim also comes to Chevrolet’s compact utility.

Ford’s GT super car arrived with a new unpainted carbon fiber finish and an uprated twin-turbo V6 now boasting 660 horsepower. A Titanium exhaust is also standard to compliment the extra muscle.

On the car side, a refreshed 2020 Honda Civic Type R rides on a revised suspension with upgraded brakes, and now comes standard with Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive technologies.

Fresh from its Super Bowl commercial, the all-new 2020 Hyundai Sonata is becoming more eco-friendly with a hybrid model. A solar-panel roof charges the 12-volt and hybrid batteries…. keeping the electronics going while adding a few extra miles.

And, Kia’s largest and most upscale sedan, the Cadenza evolves for 2020. It’s sleeker inside and out with more technology.

And that’s our whirlwind tour of the Windy City and this week’s Motor News.