Chicago Auto Show
February 7, 2019
MotorWeek is on the floor of the Chicago Auto Show. The spotlight shined bright and early on the refreshed 2020 Kia Sportage. The Euro inspired design includes new bumpers, headlights and tail lights. Designers were also at work inside adding their touch to the steering wheel. An 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard, and a smartphone wireless charging tray is available.
Toyota rolled into the Windy City with the 2020 Tacoma. The third-generation of this midsize pickup sports a new grille and wheel designs. The look may be inspired by desert race trucks, but Toyota is adding comfort inside with a new 10-way power adjustable driver seat with power lumbar support. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa are part of the new multimedia system.
That technology is also along for the ride when the road gets rough in the 2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro. The chassis of this full size SUV is equipped with a TRD-tuned Fox shock absorber suspension. Multi-Mode 4WD is standard. On or off the pavement, this body-on-frame hauler keeps the family comfortable with a four-wheel independent suspension.
Rugged riding also comes in a smaller package in the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road. The Rally RAV4 Race Team had a hand with the suspension. This trail ready ute rides 8.6-inches above the ground. Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive sends power to the 18-inch wheels wrapped in Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail All-Terrain tires. As much as 50-percent of the power can go to the rear wheels.
An indoor off-road experience course set the stage for the 2020 Range Rover Evoque. The next generation of this luxury ute will offer two powertrain options: an all-new 48-volt 296-hp mild-hybrid or the 246-hp Ingenium four-cylinder gas engine. It will also feature what Land Rover calls ClearSight Ground View’ technology. It allows the driver to see what’s under the front end of the vehicle.
The Chicago Auto Show is known for being a showcase for trucks. The 2019 Ram Chassis Cab was in the spotlight. This work truck is powered by either a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 producing 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque or the revised Cummins 6.7-liter inline-six turbo diesel generating 360-horsepower and 800 lb.-ft of torque. Here are some bigger numbers: payload is 12,510 pounds and towing reaches 35,220 pounds.
Ford filled us in on the 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickup truck lineup earlier in the week. Engine choices include an all-new advanced 7.3-liter gasoline V8, and upgraded third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8. An all-new heavy-duty 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission selects the gears. The new F-Series Super Duty makes towing easier with Pro Trailer Backup Assist, and Trailer Reverse Guidance now compatible with fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers.
Some trucks truly make a statement, and that’s the case with the 2019 Harley-Davidson F-150. Harley-Davidson is collaborating with Tuscany Motor Co. to create this motorcycle inspired pickup. Seventy proprietary parts make it unique, including a specially engineered suspension lift, Harley-Davidson branded Fat Boy style 22-inch milled aluminum wheels, and custom tuned exhaust.
As many as 15 camera views are available while towing with the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 & 3500 HD models. These big brutes are longer, wider and taller than their predecessors. The standard powertrain is a new 6.6-liter V-8 gas engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower increases 11 percent to 401… torque is up by 22 percent to 464 lb-ft. The Duramax 6.6-liter Turbo-Diesel V-8 produces 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque. It works with an all-new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission. Maximum towing increases by as much as 52-percent to 35,500 pounds.
Subaru came to Chicago with the all-new 2020 Legacy. Their all-weather family sedan has been comfortable and reliable for 30-years. The all-new seventh-generation builds on that legacy. Underpinned by the Subaru Global Platform, there are more options for enthusiastic drivers. A turbocharged engine returns to the Legacy in new XT models. 260-horsepower comes out of the 2.4-liter direct-injection Subaru Boxer engine. Tamer models get an enhanced 182-horsepower 2.5-liter direct-injection Boxer engine. Drivers have a new 11.6-inch tablet-style high-definition multimedia infotainment system at their fingertips. Subaru is also raising the bar on safety with the DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System.
A year after the Volkswagen Jetta went through an overhaul, they’re raising the fun factor with the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI. That’s not a typo. This Jetta combines features you’d see in the GTI and Golf R. Naturally it has a stronger engine than the base model. This performance sedan is propelled by a 2.0-liter TSI engine that puts out 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. If you’re counting that’s 18 more horsepower and 41 more lb-ft of torque than the previous GLI. The MQB architecture rides on 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Combine that with the VAQ limited-slip differential, Golf R brakes, and multi-link independent rear suspension, and suddenly the daily commute isn’t so boring.
Nissan is also up for an adventure revealing the 2019 Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition. The outdoorsy image includes black trim and a standard trailer tow hitch and harness and splash guards.
It’s been 30 years since the original Mazda MX-5 debuted at the Chicago Auto Show. The little car that became a big deal is back in the Windy City sporting a Racing Orange coat of paint for the 30th Anniversary Edition.
Another small cool ride is the limited-edition 2020 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Italia. The special treatment for this two seater includes Misano Blue Metallic paint, piano black front air intake and rear diffuser, and unique graphics. This limited edition is truly limited. They’ll only make 15.
Acura is also celebrating 30 years of the NSX Supercar. This mid engine exotic sports car with its aluminum construction and daily driving comfort marked a big moment the auto industry when it first debuted in 1989.
A big dose of luxury rolled into McCormick Place with the Lexus LC 500. This long, low and lean coupe is the third vehicle in the Lexus Inspiration Series.
Unique seats and sound system are among the premium accessories of the Lexus NX F SPORT Black Line Edition.