The cover of the 2006 show program. The vehicles awarded the 2 lucky individuals that held winning tickets during the First Look For Charity black-tie benefit. Nineteen area charities shared in more than ( ) million raised by the 2006 Chicago Auto Show's benevolent event, held the evening before the annual auto show opens for its 10-day public run.
A halo-shaped Chicago Auto Show marquee and show banners hang from the majestic glass ceiling of the Grand Concourse Galleria inside McCormick Place South at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. Large arrows point to the South and North halls, which totaled 1.2 million sq. ft. of exhibitor space for the nearly 1,000 vehicles on display.
Inside the Toyota exhibit during the per-show preparations for the 2006 Chicago Auto Show, heavy-duty construction vehicles navigate around brand new production vehicles. Sitting in the foreground is a side view of the sixth generation, 2007 Camry four-door sedan.
A trio of 2006 Mustangs, construction ladders and rolls of carpeting share this pre-show scene along with a larger-than-life image of William Clay Ford, Jr., Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company on the video screen.
General Motors VP Brent DeWar addresses the assembled media during the debut of the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche. This is the next generation of the multipurpose, full-size utility pickup. Avalanche features include a family of flex-fuel-capable engines, a wide combination of interior and exterior options and the ingenious Midgate access from cargo bed into the rear passenger compartment. The model next to DeWar is the Avalanche LTZ.
Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper (left) introduces the new #85 Silverado racing truck along with driver Dennis Setzer to the media on February 8. Setzer will pilot the high-performance pickup in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) to promote GM’s - Live Green Go Yellow E85 initiative. E85 fuel blend is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
John Mendel, senior vice president, auto operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., enthusiastically praises the attributes of the sleek Honda Civic Si four-door sedan concept to the assembled media. Mendel said the concept shows styling cues for the new Civic Si sedan coming in the fall of 2006. Sports car performance is promised with a 197 horsepower engine, 6-speed gearbox, and 18-inch wheels.
On February 9, 2006, Toyota unveiled the 2007 Tundra full-size pickup truck during the Chicago Auto Show. The all-new Tundra stands five-inches taller, four-inches wider and gains10-inches in length. Under the power-bulge hood is all-new 5.7-liter i-Force V-8 engine manufactured at Toyota's Alabama engine plant, which is mated to a new heavy-duty 6-speed automatic transmission. In addition to the new 5.7-liter, the capable 4.0-liter V-6 and the legendary 4.7-liter i-Force V-8, are available. The new Tundra comes in 3-cab configurations, and in Base, SR5 and well-appointed Limited trim levels.
Kelley Enright, Central Region Communications Manager for the Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler (middle), waits to be interviewed by Brant Miller of NBC5 television. Chicago held the world debut of the 2007 Dodge Caliber SRT-4. With a 304 horsepower, 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual tranny, the Caliber SRT-4 can blast from 0-60 miles per hour in under six-seconds. Towering behind the group is a portion of the 24-foot tall, backlit Ram’s Head logo. The three-dimensional unit was illuminated by nearly 5,000 LED modules, was 28-feet wide and weighed approximately 70,000 pounds.
Peter Horbury, Executive Director Design North America stands next to the 2007 Lincoln Navigator during a media presentation at the Chicago Auto Show. A rear view of the new Navigator L model is on the far left. The 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV is on the right, with a 2007 Lincoln MKZ projected on the screen in the background.
Subaru Corporate Communications Manager Michael Whelan points out new features of the 2007 B9 Tribeca Special Edition during its debut at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. Distinguishing the Special Edition crossover vehicle from other Tribeca models were the new mesh grille design, chrome-finished 18-wheels and standard XM Satellite radio.
First Look for Charity ticket purchasers had chances to win a 2007 Infiniti G35 coupe and a 2006 Nissan Murano crossover SUV. Eric Stevenson of suburban Addison, Illinois held the winning ticket for the Murano and Nolan Erdman of DeKalb, Ill. won the 2007 Infiniti G35 coupe. Ticket sales for the 2006 formal event raised $2, 607,601 for 19 significant Chicago area charities.
Gentlemen dressed in formal wear and women in evening gowns sampled a variety of gourmet foods and drinks during the First Look for Charity evening at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. The ticket holders also had chances to win a new Infiniti G35 coupe and a Nissan Murano crossover sport utility vehicle that year. Since 1992, the Chicago Auto Show has hosted the elegant affair; and raised upwards of $24 million for 19 Chicago area charities.
Chicago Auto Trade Association (CATA) President and Auto Show General Manager Jerry H. Cizek III share a humorous moment with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley while touring the Chevrolet exhibit. Cizek said, "We were discussing the fashion industry shows and their relationship with Chicago and wondering if the Auto Show could be a backdrop for the fashion show, too." Behind Cizek is the Chevrolet Camaro concept car, voted by those who attended the 2006 show as the “vehicle I most want to see in my driveway.”
A 3/4 front view of the custom Pontiac Solstice features the professional baseball’s Commissioner's Trophy on the hood. The trophy awarded to the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox is made of pewter and brass with 30 flags representing the 30 teams in the National and American League.
Mayor Richard M. Daley, a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan, was proud to pose with a specially decorated Pontiac Solstice at the 2006 show. The car's decor celebrated the 2005 World Series Champions White Sox and had the actual trophy on the hood.
An amazing aerial photo of the colorful Chevrolet exhibit inside McCormick Place South, looks directly down on the silver Camaro concept car on the far left and three Corvette models in the front row. Parked behind the red Vette is a silver Impala; behind the yellow Corvette ZO6 coupe is a Malibu Maxx SS.
Debuting in Chicago, the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee comes equipped with the 6.1-liter Hemi V-8, producing 425 horsepower and 420 pound feet of torque. The engine is capable of blasting the SRT8 Super Bee from 0-60 mph in the low five-second range. The model on display is painted in ‘Detonator Yellow,’ with black hood and bumblebee stripes on the rear fenders. Other Super Bee enhancements include functional styling, world-class ride and handling, race-inspired interior appointments and benchmark braking.
A pair of 2006 Dodge Dakota trucks are put to the test on one of several DaimlerChrysler tracks situated on the show floor. Professional drivers took people through the courses, demonstrating the capabilities of the mid-size pickup’s suspension system. The 2006 Dakota model lineup expanded with four new high-performance models: Dakota TRX, TRX4 Off-Road, Dakota R/T and Dakota Night Runner.
Kids had the opportunity to drive battery-powered mini Jeep Wranglers around a circular track on the show floor, situated next to the full-size vehicle driving courses in the DaimlerChrysler exhibit.
With 36 percent share of the premier luxury SUV market, the Cadillac Escalade has upped the ante with the intro of the 2007 model. Its powerful 6.2-liter all-aluminum small-block V-8 is rated at 400 horses and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Drive Shift Control. Luxury features include factory installed 22-inch chrome wheels; climate controlled front seats, power articulating running boards, power liftgate and IntelliBeam headlamps.
Buick’s elegant upper medium price model for 2006 is the Lucerne. The front-wheel drive sedan marks the return of V-8 power to Buick passenger cars with a 275 horsepower Northstar engine. A 197 horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 is also offered. Lucerne wears contemporary portholes in the front fenders– four on each side for V-8 powered models and three for V-6 versions.
A major attraction in the Audi exhibit was the new Q7 four-door SUV with dramatic coupe-like silhouette. The 2007 performance model comes equipped with a 350 horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 FSI engine, or a 3.6-liter V-6 with 280 horses. High ground clearance of 7.9 inches and Quattro permanent all-wheel drive allows for serious off-roading.
On display in the Ferrari and Maserati exhibit area was the new Ferrari F430 Spider. Painted Grigio Titanio (metallic silver), and featuring contrasting red leather interior, the F430 was a crowd favorite. Under a glass cover behind the driver is the 490 horsepower engine that accelerates the supercar from 0-60 in about four second and can top 193 miles per hour.
For 2006, the beautifully proportioned Aston Martin DB9 Volante sports car comes with the 450 horsepower, 6.0-liter all aluminum alloy V-12. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Shapely exterior panels use a combination of aluminum, magnesium, steel and advanced composite materials to achieve low weight and class-leading rigidity. The convertible roof is operated by the push of a button and retracts within just 17 seconds.
Windy City auto enthusiasts were treated to a look at Suzuki’s all-new, media-lauded 2006 Grand Vitara. The compact SUV offers innovative design, a 185 horsepower, 2.7-liter V-6 and up to 68.9 cubic feet of cargo room. Also new, are a full-time single-mode four-wheel-drive system and a full-time four-mode four-wheel-drive system.
Mercury's all-new 2006 Milan mid-size four-door sedan is the brand's new entry point vehicle. The 2.3-liter Duratec four-cylinder provides 160 horsepower flowing through either a five-speed manual or automatic. A 3.0-liter Duratec V-6 pumps out 221 horsepower through an advanced six-speed automatic transaxle.
Brand new for 2006, the Pontiac G6 GT and GTP convertibles feature true 2+2 seating and the two-piece clamshell-style retractable hardtop. Sleek styling is complimented by a new 3.9-liter V-6 rated at 240 horsepower, matched with a standard four-speed automatic or an available six-speed manual transmission.
Eos, according to Greek mythology, is the Goddess of Dawn and the name anointed to Volkswagen’s new front-wheel drive Eos retractable-roof cabrio. Two engine choices are available including the turbocharged, 2.0-liter inline four with 200 horses, or the 250 horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6.
The Chevrolet Camaro Concept for 2006 embodied the styling, performance and passion that made the first-generation (1967-69) Camaros some of the most sought-after collector cars. Backing up the bowtie prototype was a high-performance 400-horsepower, 6.0 liter LS2 V-8 engine, a six-speed manual gearbox and a sophisticated chassis with four-wheel independent suspension. Vented disc brakes with 14-inch rotors were visible through the flangeless five-spoke cast aluminum wheels, 21-inch front, and 22-inch rear. Camaro’s four-passenger black leather cockpit was a washed in indirect, orange-glow lighting that radiated from the dash, door panels and center console.
Chrysler’s elegant concept car reintroduced the legendary Imperial nameplate, and like the classic era Imperials, this rear-wheel drive prototype was designed to be a flagship model, hand-sculpted in the tradition of custom coachbuilders. Imperial’s rich heritage was expressed with higher hood and rear deck; central upright brushed and polished aluminum radiator grille, and the large 22-inch aluminum wheels. Hinged at the A and C-pillars, the wide doors opened from the middle, revealing the absence of the customary B-pillar. In contrast to the monochromatic Imperial Bronze exterior, the four-passenger cabin was smartly two-toned in rich Bay Brown and buttery Birch Crème leather and soft suede complemented by California burl wood and bronze metallic-like accents. Size-wise, the Imperial was 17-inches longer and 6-inches higher than a 2006 Chrysler 300 sedan.
Dodge resurrected another authentic American muscle car icon with the release of the Challenger two-door coupe concept. Constructed on a shortened version of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger chassis, the 116-inch wheelbase Challenger prototype came powered by the high-performance 6.1 liter Hemi V-8 mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Styling cues on the new concept were modern interpretation of the original 1970 Challenger, including the full width front grille, pairs of round headlights, raised rear fenders, wall-to-wall taillight and rectangular exhaust tips. The new Challenger also featured the subtle eyebrows over the headlights similar to the 2006 Dodge Charger production model.
Dodge married the width of the large Ram with the overall length of the Dakota compact truck to create the forceful and supremely versatile Rampage concept vehicle. Rampage combined unitized body construction, front-wheel drive, a unique independent rear wheel suspension, and a 5.7 liter Hemi V-8. Painted in a color called Liquid Carbon, the double-muscle flared fenders dominated the body with the widest part centered over the 22-inch brushed aluminum wheels. The stylish five-passenger cabin, and the five-foot cargo box had carrying capacity above and below the dual-bed floor with room enough to accommodate a stack of 4x8 foot plywood sheets.
Inspired by the American Super Chief railroad trains of the nation’s past, the bold Ford F-250 Super Chief concept truck came equipped with a supercharged V-10. Engineered to run for 500 miles between fill-ups, the Super Chief power plant could operate on hydrogen, E85 ethanol or gasoline. The F-250 Super Chief's locomotive-inspired front appearance and imposing grille set the tone for the exterior styling. Overhead, the entire roof was glass, bisected by a leather-wrapped grid of American walnut and the leather in the cabin was Spinneybeck, aniline-dyed in a rich brown. Public reaction to the Super Chief during the Chicago show allowed Ford to gauge future trends for stylish and rugged high-end trucks.
Proving that small cars could be bold, American and innovative, the Ford Reflex reflected a growing and important “small is big” trend in 2006 America. The Reflex was a technological showcase with its advanced diesel-electric hybrid engine – delivering up to 65 miles per gallon – solar panels, flexible interior made from synthetic and regenerated materials, and such advanced safety features as inflatable safety belts in the rear. Reflex’s aggressive 20-inch wheels were polished alloy, and the large diameter, narrow width and unique Michelin tire design provided low-roll resistance for improved fuel economy. Kid inspired red and robotic white cabin had a 2+1 backseat configuration, and the mesh seat covers were transparent for style and airflow comfort.
Taking Infiniti vibrant design vocabulary and elevating it to the next level, the Coupe Concept previewed the future of sporty coupes. The sleek body featured a full-length glass panel roof, gently waved shoulder line, modulated front fenders and hood, deep front spoiler, large projector headlights, polished bare metal-look paint, compact camera outside rearview mirrors, hidden door handles and large 20-inch, nine-spoke painted aluminum-alloy wheels. Inside, the performance-inspired instrument panel continued Infiniti’s signature “double wave” design, with large, violet-color gauge illumination and a dramatic, full-length center console. Specially textured aluminum accents projected the image of traditional Japanese “Washi” paper, providing an added sense of warmth and crispness.
The chiseled-body Kia Multi-S was powered by a 2.4 liter four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Firmly planted at the corners were 19-inch alloy wheels and slotted disc brakes that tucked snugly into curvaceous fender flares. Though Multi-S was not large, it’s cabin offered leather-suede seating for seven-passengers - adults, children and child seats. Overhead, dual full-length glass moon roofs provided an open-air feeling, and the Multi-S featured the latest in multi-systems interface technology for iPods, MP-3s, PDAs, cell phones, and notebook computers.
Kia's sporty CUV concept, titled "Soul," was a collaborative effort between Kia’s studios in California and in Korea. The word 'Soul' is a homophone for Seoul, the home city of Kia in Korea. Bold architecture featured wrap-around windshield, muscular wheel flares, stylish front headlamps, high taillights, and a sloped roofline. A lack of a B-pillar and rear-hinged side passenger doors allowed for easier entry and exit from the re-configurable cabin, and the dash was designed around the front audio speakers rather than the other way around. A 2.0 liter, inline four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability powered the front-wheel-drive Soul.
Lexus created a one-off signature series Paul McCartney Lexus to be raffled off for the Adopt-a-Minefield charity. The car's design was synonymous with McCartney, featuring artwork down either side of his famous Hofner Bass (as well as a real Hofner bass inside). The custom made seats inside looked like the Vox AC30 amplifer, and the gear stick was a Shure 55 Unidyne microphone.
On display at the 2006 show, the Lincoln MKS strongly hinted at the design direction of its upcoming new flagship sedan. Features included heated and cooled seats, intelligent all-wheel drive, and adaptive headlights that moved with the steering wheel to illuminating an additional 36-feet of road around a corner. A powerful 315 horsepower V-8 engine was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and this was Lincoln’s first sedan wearing 20-inch wheels. Its face was a modern interpretation of the classic Lincoln waterfall grille and the brand’s signature crosshatch star, and the exterior was finished in Juniper Frost offset by a lower body color of Celadon Green. Side vents in front fenders were accented by the Lincoln star, and a panoramic glass Vista Roof was set between polished alloy rails.
Created at the Mitsubishi Motors design center in Cypress, Calif., the Concept-CT MIEV showcased a forward-thinking study in small car packaging. MIEV translates to “Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electronic Vehicle.” Featuring the next-generation series/parallel hybrid system that used a special transmission to harness the 67 horsepower output of a one liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine. A 54 horsepower generator charged high-energy-density, lithium-ion batteries; to give a total combined peak force of 134 hp Each of the Concept-CT's 20-inch wheels housed an electric motor, effectively providing computer-controlled all-wheel drive that could transfer optimal traction independently to each tire as needed. A flat floor and "floating" seats for four-passengers provided a spacious feeling and interior flexibility, plus, the rear doors opened butterfly-style without a center pillar to provide maximum interior access.
One of the overlooked performance “badboys” on display at the 2006 show was the sinister Mitsubishi Eclipse Ralliart concept. Dipped in Hot Red mica paint with black accents, the Eclipse Ralliart was fitted with the Mitsubishi EVO turbocharged 4G63 inline four-cylinder engine, linked to an Evo VIII MR six-speed manual tranny and EVO all wheel drive system. Weight saving carbon fiber was used for the hood, front fenders, front and rear fascia, rear wing, mirrors, and wheel rims, with alloy centers. Poking out the back are dual 2.75-inch turbo back exhaust pipes with custom tips. The cockpit was upholstered in leather and Alcantara, and featured Recaro seats, Evo inspired steering wheel, racing gauges, and a rear seat filler panel that includes an integrated storage. For safety, a custom harness bar with four-point harness driver restraints was also installed.
Suzuki showcased the "Sea" concept vehicle, based on the Forenza Wagon, at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. Finished in a pale shade of green, the exterior styling of the "Sea" possessed subtle performance-based elements, including a custom air intake, front fascia, driving lights and rear quarter windowless panes. The Sea prototype was appealing to those active in water sports. Open the rear hatch, and there was a handheld shower wand to rinse off the sand and seaweed, and after changing clothes, the wet gear could be stowed away in a ventilated storage compartment. Other features included a custom audio system with iPod compatibility and rear subwoofer, custom roof storage rack for surfboards, wetsuit dryer and SmartPass Pro biometric technology for locking/unlocking the doors.
Displayed in the Toyota exhibit during the 2006 show was the “Rad Ride by Troy,” based on the Avalon four-door luxury sedan. Visually the Rad Ride Avalon was 2.5-inches lower than stock, and the exterior was finished in Glasurit custom paint, with the top Bright Cactus Green divided by a marbleized graphic, and the lower color was Safari Green Metallic. Body modifications included new front fascia with custom grille, lower spoiler and relocated running lights. Rear fascia gave the vehicle a more aggressive look, and the Flowmaster exhaust tips have been relocated. Rear spoiler metal worked into the trunk lid and taillights were removed from the trunk lid. Completing the bold appearance of this hot Toyota were the 20-inch, one-off Billet Specialties wheels. Seats and door panels included green suede inserts and marbleized trim panels.