The Chicago Auto Show isn’t one of the major events on the auto industry calendar but at this year’s show, on this week, we saw quite the bevy of new model reveals. The highlight, no doubt, was the unexpected reveal of Chevrolet’s new Camaro 1LE. Unlike previous 1LE packages, this time around buyers can add the package to V-6-equipped cars as well as the V-8 model.
Another major surprise was the return of the Nissan Armada full-size SUV nameplate. This time it’s worn by a version of Nissan’s Patrol SUV sold overseas. The vehicle is also closely related to the upmarket Infiniti QX80 and comes with a V-8 engine plus an impressive 8,500-lb towing capacity.
The real stars of the Chicago Auto Show were the assortment of pickup trucks. One of the favorites was the 2017 Ram Power Wagon. For the latest model year, the Power Wagon was given a revised look and some updates in the interior. Thankfully, there’s still a big HEMI V-8 under the hood.
Another sporty truck was the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. The latest version has all the off-roading gear of the previous model plus a more powerful V-6.
2016 Infiniti Q50 (3.0T Red Sport 400), 2016 Chicago Auto Show
One of the cars that flew under the radar was the 2016 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400. This 400-horsepower sports sedan packs the Nissan luxury brand’s new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. It’s also the first of the brand’s models with the new Red Sport performance trim.
It wasn’t all about fast cars and big trucks. Another car making its debut in Chicago was the 2017 Kia Niro. This is the first dedicated hybrid model from the Korean automaker but if you saw it on the street, you’d think it was just another compact crossover—one capable of returning up to 50 mpg combined, though.
2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid, 2016 Chicago Auto Show
Kia also launched its first plug-in hybrid in Chicago. The car is the new Optima Plug-In Hybrid, which on electric power alone should be able to cover around 27 miles. It will go on sale in the fourth quarter of the year alongside a new Optima Hybrid.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning the other new pickup from Ram, the 2500 Off-Road. It’s got the suspension and four-wheel-drive system for taking on the rough terrain, and you can order it in pretty much all of the 2500’s configurations including Crew Cab and Mega Cab, gas and diesel powertrains and short- and long-wheelbase chassis.
That’s not all there was at the show. You’ll find the rest of our Chicago Auto Show at our dedicated hub.
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