Featured on the cover of the 2007 Chicago Auto Show program, were the GMC Acadia, Hyundai Azera and Volkswagen. These vehicles were awarded three lucky individuals that held winning tickets during the First Look For Charity black-tie benefit. Nineteen area charities shared in more than $2.8 million raised by the 2007 Chicago Auto Show's benevolent event, which was held the evening of Feb. 8th, the night before the annual auto show opened to the public. On the right, a view looking west down the majestic glass ceiling of the Grand Concourse Galleria inside McCormick Place during the 2007 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 during the ten-day run of the 99th edition 'windy city' automotive extravaganza.
Scion unveiled the all-new, redesigned 2008 xB urban utility vehicle during a press conference at the '07 Chicago Auto Show. Engineers increased the wheelbase by four-inches, overall length by a foot, width by almost three-inches and decreased height more than an inch. The 16-inch steel wheels are one-inch larger than the previous generation. Lounge-like interior provides 29.1 cubic feet of cargo area behind the rear seats. A 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine generated 158 horses, and came mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a three-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting.
Ford Motor Company’s Cisco Codina unveiled the 2008 Ford Taurus during media days at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. The '08 Taurus featured a new powertrain, new all-wheel-drive system, more standard safety features and structural upgrades to further enhance crash protection. Stock engine was a 3.5 liter Duratec V-6 that delivered 260 horsepower and came mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Unveiled to the public and media at the '07 Chicago Auto Show, the 2008 Ford Taurus X is a new full-size crossover that offers three-rows of seating. A powerful 3.5 liter V-6 engine with six-speed automatic transmission came standard. Safety equipment included side curtain air bags and AdvanceTrac electronic stability control. Innovative convenience features offered were one-touch, flip-and-fold second-row seating and a power rear liftgate.
Saturn staged the World Premiere of its brand new Astra compact car during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. Jill Lajdziak, Saturn’s general manager posed with the 2008 Astra five-door model after speaking to the media at the show. The Astra was part of the larger collaboration between Saturn and Opel. Early examples included the Saturn Sky and Opel GT, as well as the Opel Antara and 2008 Saturn Vue.
Dodge selected the 2007 Chicago Auto Show to unveil the 2008 Dakota pickup truck. The freshen Dakota was offered in two body styles - Club Cab and Quad Cab. Standard 210 horsepower, 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 or optional 4.7-liter V-8 that produced 290 hp were offered. At the time, Dakota was the only brand that offered a V-8 in the mid-size segment. The '08 Dodge Dakota standard cargo beds were 6 feet, 6 inches in the Club Cab and 5 feet, 4-inches in the Quad Cab.
Audi incorporated the name and the genes of its 5-time Le Mans winner into the spectacular 2008 R8 limited-production sports car. Endowed with an aluminum body, Space Frame and quattro permanent all-wheel drive, the R8 is Audi’s first mid-engine layout. Positioned directly behind the two-seat cabin was a 4.2 liter V-8, which pumped-out 420 horsepower, and enabled the R8 to spring from 0-to-62 mph in 4.6 seconds, on its way to a governed top speed of 187 mph.
For 2007, a completely new Sport Utility Vehicle joined the growing Acura product line, the RDX. This five-passenger Entry Premium SUV comes with a 240 horsepower, turbocharged and intercooled 2.3 liter VTEC four-cylinder engine. Standard-equipped five-speed automatic transmission has F1-style Seqeutial SportShift paddle shifters. The RDX features the first adaptation of the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system to an SUV, and Acura's first standard 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels and all-season high-performance tires.
Since 2005, DiamlerChrysler has set-up a half-mile indoor track on the show floor for vehicle demonstrations, like this Jeep hill climb from 2007. This is reminiscent of the 1901 show, when a wooden circular track inside the Coliseum provided spectators their first rides in horseless carriages.
View of the Bentley exhibit during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. Bentley was available in two-door 2+2 fastback and convertible body styles. A 6.0 liter twin turbo W12 cylinder engine, permanent four-wheel drive and a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission were standard equipment.
View of the Cadillac exhibit during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. In the center is the SRX luxury crossover that received a redesigned interior that model year. The all-new cockpit was more luxurious and spacious, with elite craftsmanship. New for 2007 was the 6L50 Hydra-Matic six speed transmission, now standard for rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive V-8 models.
View of the Honda exhibit during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show.
View of the Honda Civic NGV (natural gas vehicle) on display during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. Power was supplied by natural gas stored in cylinders, and could be refueled anywhere from existing natural gas lines. At the time, the Honda NGV alternative fuel vehicle was the only NGV commercially available in the United States market.
Wide view of the Hummer exhibit during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show.
View of the 2008 Buick Enclave on display during the 2007 Chicago Auto show.
Cutaway view of the interior for the 2008 Buick Enclave during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show.
Chevrolet displayed the next-generation Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell sport utility vehicle at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, demonstrating that fuel cell propulsion technology can be applied to real-world vehicles. GM planned to build more than 100 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles and begin placing them with customers who live in metropolitan New York City; Washington, D.C.; or southern California in the fall of 2007. It was part of a comprehensive deployment plan dubbed “Project Driveway." You had to be 21 years of age, a U.S. citizen and present a valid driver’s license. The fuel cell technology was seamlessly integrated with all of the comfort and safety of Chevrolet’s current-production, gasoline-powered Equinox, with the biggest difference that Equinox Fuel Cell didn't run on gasoline. Still, it was fully functional, carrying up to four-occupants and their gear, with a top speed of 100 mph. Due to extensive crash tests on the Equinox fuel cell, the GM system met all applicable 2007 U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Voted the "Best Concept Vehicle," and "Vehicle I Most Want In My Driveway" for 2007 by the auto show visitors, was the Chevrolet Camaro four-passenger convertible. Combination of Hugger Orange pearl tri-coat paint with twin gunmetal gray sport stripes, paid homage to the classic hues that were originally offered in 1969. A torquey V-8 engine sent power to the 22-inch rear wheels via a manual transmission. Other engineering details included a four-wheel independent suspension system, four-wheel disc brakes, and 21-inch front wheels. All rims had a deep-dish, five-spoke design and featured charcoal center sections with bright outer edges and a red outline on the wheel edge.
Created for an urban-centric lifestyle, the Chevrolet Volt was a 5-passenger sedan concept with a unitized frame, electric propulsion and front-wheel drive. About the size of the '07 Cobalt, the futuristic Volt’s styling featured short front and rear overhangs with the driver placed far rearward of the large 21-inch front wheels. The roof, side glass and beltline were constructed of GE Plastics transparent, glazed polycarbonate material that deliverd the scratch resistance and gloss surface appearance of glass combined with the formability of a plastic composite. Inside the cabin, the environment was defined by a host of current or near-term technologies and materials. The dual-mode instrument cluster used Super Imaging that provided 3D LED displays with 4-color illumination and animation data. Along with the electrically driven system, there was a 3-cylinder turbocharged engine to extend the range of travel.
Predicting the sweeping curves and design cues that’ll be featured on future Chrysler sedans is the Nassau 4-passenger luxury concept car. Based on a 2007 Chrysler 300C sedan chassis, Nassau's styling has concise front and rear overhangs, with the body surface wrapped around the large 10-spoke 21-inch wheels. Accenting the Mystic Blue Pearl color of the body, the sill and the lower portions of the front and rear fascias are finished in Starbright Silver. Powered by a specially engineered SRT 6.1-liter Hemi, the Nassau dream machine cranks out 425 horses and rockets the car from 0-to-60 miles per hour in 5-seconds.
Appearing at the '07 Chicago Auto Show, after debuting earlier at SEMA in Las Vegas, was a custom interpretation of the mid-size 2008 Sebring four-door sedan. The SEMA Sebring had a special mesh grille, working hood scoops, custom front and rear body panels, larger wheels, and a 4.0 liter V-6.
Dodge took a production Viper SRT10, added additional Mopar performance parts, and created the sinister looking concept coupe that made a surprise appearance during the '07 Chicago show. A custom-engineered version of the 8.4 liter V-10 growled from under the hood, and generated a stunning 675 horses. The transmission was the latest evolution of the Tremec T56 six-speed manual, and featured 10 percent wider gears for higher torque capacity. Tuner goodies included tubular exhaust header package, fully adjustable coilover suspension kit, high flowing, Cat-Back exhaust system, and six point racing restraints. Wrapped around the Sidewinder lightweight wheels with anodized finished were Michelin racing slicks, 18-inch in front and 19-inch back. An asymmetrical red Viper “Driver’s Stripe” flowed over the length of the vehicle, and included the steering wheel.
Ford’s idea for the future of crossover vehicles in 2007 was the Airstream, an ultra modern concept with a gleaming fuselage body. Visually the Ford Airstream concept paid homage to the riveted aluminum shell design of the celebrated Airstream travel trailers and motorhomes. The Airstream was powered by a plug-in hydrogen hybrid fuel cell drive train called HySeries Drive, and delivered 41 miles per gallon. Each of the concept’s bold orange-trimmed window graphics was a unique shape, and its doors were asymmetric. A 3-door hatch finished the rear of the crossover. The red & white interior featured a floating instrument panel, flush-mounted, touch-sensitive controls, pod-shaped swiveling captain’s chairs, and a sculptural, continuous cocoon-like rear-seating environment wrapped in bold red B&B Italia fabric.
Celebrating the best of American muscle with the crisp-lines of 1960s sedans, the Ford Interceptor concept was constucted on a lengthened Mustang chassis. The rear-wheel drive Interceptor was propelled by a Ford Racing 5.0 liter V-8 that generated a healthy 400 ponies, and was wed to a six-speed manual shifter. Painted a deep blue, the Ford Interceptor concept’s strength exuded from its strong, high shoulders, single body side character line, horizontal three-bar grille, powered clamshell “shaker” hood, and 22-inch wheels. Stylish cockpit contained four-low-back bucket seats that wore Ford GT-inspired squircle grommets finished with Titan Metal painted inserts. Inflatable safety belts were built-in for rear seat passengers. Chief designer was Andreas Nilsson.
Honda's REMIX concept car displayed a low-slung body with wrap-around canopy; all painted an aluminum color to accentuate every line and curve. The REMIX small sport concept is a product of the Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Advanced Design Studio in Southern California. Purely a design study, the vehicle is fashioned around a front-wheel drive small car platform with a four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. A sport suspension, along with aggressive tires and brakes, further supplement its performance side.
Kyle ‘K-Daddy’ Gann, owner and operator of K-Daddyz Kustoms in Bakersfield, California created the wild paint-job on the '07 Hyundai Accent three-Door. The car’s three tone scheme was done in DuPont Hot Hues: Iguana Run, Amazing Grape and Silva. Also setting this Accent apart from the crowd was the sunroof by Streetbeat Ragtop, and suicide doors by SP Fabrication. Enhanced 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine performance had a Nitrous Express two-bottle fogger setup, and Magna Flow exhaust system. Sitting low to the asphalt, the one-of-a-kind Accent rolled on Dunlop Sport Maxx tires, wrapped around 18-inch Konig Tuner 2 wheels. For added safety, SP Fabrication installed a hand-built roll cage.
Self-taught East Village artist called BILLY was commissioned by Hyundai to paint a 2007 Hyundai Tiburon for The National Hyundai Dealers Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. BILLY also painted the final vibrant touches of the car live while dealers and clients watched and asked questions about the artist and his designs. During the '07 Chicago Auto Show, the "Billy' Tiburon was on display for the general public.
Inspired by the exoskeleton of insects, Hyundai designers created the radical HCD10 Hyundai Hellion concept. Painted Dakar Gold, the aggressive exterior design featured a wide stance, piercing headlights that were angled towards its dominant grille, prominent scoop on the clamshell hood, and removable canvas roof panels. The dream machine was configured as a three-door, all-wheel drive, sport crossover utility vehicle. The 2+2 interior was finished in Black Desert Night with glossy white accents and matte aluminum details. Rolling on custom 20-inch aluminum five-spoke wheels that were Teflon coated, the HCD10 came powered by an eco-friendly 3.0 liter V-6 Common-rail Diesel that produced 236 ponies, and came connected to a six-speed automatic.
Troy Lee Designs, known for its custom-design racing helmets, sports equipment and apparel, applied its unique artistry to a Hyundai Santa Fe. The painters at Troy Lee merged three distinct paint illusions to create tension between futuristic and industrial design. Realistic-looking airbrushed flames, hard lines and shadows, and freehand brush strokes distinguish the body artwork scheme. Lamborghini reverse-opening doors create a dramatic entrance to the vehicle, and once inside, leather seats match the exterior graphic scheme. The driver will also enjoy the high-end audio system powered by Infinity. Though the power train is stock, the suspension is modified with Eibach Springs, and brakes are custom fabricated by JD Performance, which includes cross-drilled big brake kit by Wilwood Engineering. This custom Santa Fe rolls on 22-inch CEC wheels, handsomely wrapped in Pirelli Tires.
Built off the new body-on-frame four-door Jeep Wrangler, the Trailhawk concept offered an-road open-air excitement. The side windows and diagonal quarter windows were fully retractable, while the gray-tinted twin longitudinal glass panels over the first- and second-row seats and the glass panel over the cargo compartment were removable, as was the swing-up rear window. With a 116-inch wheelbase, the Trailhawk’s dash-to-front-axle dimension was dramatically long, while the front and rear overhangs tight and abbreviated. The long hood is fronted by a signature seven-slot Jeep grille, and with the headlights cropped and peering out from beneath a diagonal brow gives a hawkish expression, hence the ‘Trailhawk’ name. Framing the 22-inch, five-spoke wheels were robust fender flares that were dramatically offset from the body. Inside the four-passenger cabin was a full-length central floor console, and individual premium leather seating in Bark Black and Firewood Orange.
Developed by the KMA design team as an expression of Kia’s global design language, the Kue concept hinted at the styling direction for a future crossover vehicle. Kue was created first and foremost as a driver’s vehicle, packing a 400 horsepower, supercharged 4.6 liter V-8 that twisted out 400-pound feet of torque to the full-time all wheel drive system. The Kia Kue had a monocoque platform that sat on 22-inch tires with a wheelbase of more than 114 inches, packaged in an overall length of 186 inches. With exterior skin tautly stretched over its underpinnings, the Kue wore muscular wheel flares, swept back headlights, and scissor style opening single side door. On the inside of the four-passenger cabin were custom-built bucket seats, plus touch pad and motion-sensing controls
Kia debuted the Rondo SX Concept at the '07 Chicago Auto Show. Rondo was based on the Kia Optima platform, and the SX Concept version had a ride height that’s been lowered three-inches. Finished in a sophisticated four-stage metallic gray exterior color, the concept included a larger lower air intake, an integrated SX-styled front fascia, new brake cooling ducts as well as a restyled metal-mesh-insert front grille to match. Likewise, the rear fascia received a metal-mesh vent insert; a diffuser and dual exhaust outlets. On the inside, the SX Concept was enhanced with black leather, gray leather and contrasting red leather trim. Under the concept car’s hood sat a 2.7 liter V-6 that was enhanced with a cold-air intake and a cat-back exhaust system to boost the engine’s output to 192 horsepower.
Lexus released an updated version of the LF-A supercar concept first seen in 2005. Refined styling of the latest LF-A prototype enhanced its exotic nature with a greater use of curved surfaces and interesting details. Standing exactly four-feet high, the dream machine came armed with a 500 horsepower, V-10. The front mid-mounted engine, along with a rear-mounted transaxle and rear-mounted radiators, allowed for excellent weight distribution. With runaway horsepower, superior aerodynamics, and revised styling the LF-A had a top speed of 200-miles per hour. The "F" stood for "flagship." This was also the original Toyota code for what became the Lexus Division.
The most popular car in the Lincoln exhibit was the head-turning MKR prototype that introduced a new design language of “elegant simplicity” on a four-door coupe, and debuted the all-new, fuel-saving TwinForce engine. Developed to perform comparable or better than V-8 engines, the 3.5 liter gasoline twin-turbocharged direct-injection V-6 deliverd 415 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque on renewable E-85 ethanol. This one-of-a-kind automobile sat on chrome aluminum wheels wrapped in unique Michelin tires that featured the Lincoln star in its treads. Chrome-trimmed gauges illuminated with Ice Blue lighting, and the concave spoke steering wheel included retractable paddle shifters. Visually, the MKR had clean, uncluttered surfaces, with a significant C-pillar that smoothly transitioned into the cantilevered roof. The double-wing grille was inspired by the 1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet.
Mazda’s Ryuga (pronounced: ree-yoo-ga) concept vehicle was an exploratory design study that brought a higher level of sophistication through the use of rich fabrics, engineered fits and hidden details. The MZR 2.5 liter engine supplied power to the front wheels; could operate on sustainable bio fuel like E85/gasoline mixture, and came mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Stunning wind swept exterior featured a small front, and larger rear panels that wrapped around and over the wheels. To impart motion, the 21-inch wheel spokes – different on the left and right sides – were slightly twisted, and the trailing edges of the wheel spokes were accented with a tinge of body color.
Mitsubishi’s Evolander concept was an urban performance vehicle, equipped with a 300 horsepower, 3.0 liter V-6, and sporting an ATI/Roadrace Engineering Procharge system, and tuned center mounted exhaust. Linked to the engine was a six-speed automatic transmission, with magnesium shift paddles mounted to the steering wheel. The electronically controlled all-wheel drive Evolander concept rolled on custom 20-inch OZ wheels and high-performance Yokohama Advan ST high-performance tires. Designed with the American market in mind, the vehicle was created at Mitsubishi Research and Design studios in Cypress, California.
Confirming its commitment to style and performance, Pontiac introduced a show car version of an all-new, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. The 2008 Pontiac G8 would be available as a five-passenger, four-door sedan, and the first North American application of GM’s new global rear-wheel-drive architecture developed by Holden, GM’s Australian subsidiary. Both the prototype in Chicago and the coming production GT model used the 362 horsepower, 6.0 liter V-8 with optional six-speed manual gearbox. Sitting one-half inch lower than street version, the show car also wore custom 20-inch “shadow chrome” wheels and performance tires, high-performance brake rotors with painted brake calipers, exclusive exterior paint color titled “Phantom Grey,” and custom interior trim color, including a leather-wrapped dash. Besides the ’08 GT package, the base G8 model received a 3.6L V-6 with variable valve timing, rated at 261 hp, and came paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode.
GM’s Performance Division created the Solstice Weekend Club Racer prototype with an aggressive package that would allow Solstice owners to compete in amateur track events with a minimum of upgrades. Pontiac’s wild prototype came with a detachable hardtop, and the whole vehicle was painted in a golden-bronze finish. Other custom touches included the modified front clip with lower air intake chin, louvered hood and fender vents, rocker panels with molded-in rear brake cooling ducts, a large wing, and dual exhaust chrome tips. Filling the wheel wells were five-spoke, 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 rubber. The Spaco racing seats and ceiling of the hardtop were upholstered in Ebony Suede, with carbon fiber trim complimenting the two-place cockpit. The Solstice Weekend Club Racer came equipped with a 325 horsepower, turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine, T-2 race suspension package, larger diameter disc brakes, and Cat-back performance exhaust system for a heavenly exhaust tone.
Based on the '07 XL7, Suzuki created the Flix concept vehicle as the ultimate mobile movie experience for film and entertainment enthusiasts. Once parked, the Flix’s clamshell roof opened, revealing a maximum-size moonroof that served as a 40-inch movie screen. Additionally, the front roof panel opened for a high-density digital projection system to display movies. Inside the cabin was a high-definition DVD player with integrated hard drive for maximum AV storage, a professional THX/SDS-theater quality sound system, pivoting quarter window speakers and red door/floor strip lighting that enhanced the in-vehicle movie experience. Four individual bucket seats pivoted 180 degrees to view the elevated giant screen. Built by Carlab of Orange, Calif., the Flix’s XL7 body was finished in midnight black paint with platinum accents and deep crimson "theater red" perimeter LED linear emitters encircling the lower valence of the midsize SUV.
Built by Road Race Motorsports of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., the performance-tuned version of the sporty five-door Suzuki SX4 was designed for ultimate street maneuvers. Engine upgrades included Road Race SRI intake system, piggyback ECU controller, performance catback exhaust and UDCNC pulley system. A Carbontrix shift knob and Suzuki Works Techno fiber trim kit graced the car's interior, while the suspension was improved with progress-Road Race sport springs and front and rear anti-roll bars. The custom all-wheel-drive SX4 also featured 18-inch Enkei NTO+3 wheels and Toyo Proxes 4 Sport tires. A two-tone paint scheme, shaved roof racks, Carbontrix front sport lip, vented carbon fiber hood and rallispec lip added the finishing touches to the one-of-a-kind Suzuki.
Since it went on sale in late March, 2006, the FJ Cruiser captured the imagination of the consumer, especially the styling that harkens back to the legendary Land Cruiser FJ 40's. Toyota commissioned ASC (American Specialty Cars) of Huntington Beach, California to produce the soft-top prototype. A TRD supercharged 4.7 liter I-Force V-8 was used and ASC installed a customized InfiniVu roof, which included a canvas top that could be opened toward the front or rear of the vehicle. The body was finished in Heritage Orange, trimmed in dark gray Teflon trim, and capped by a bright white top. Also new was the small cargo bed/tailgate assembly, a dropping rear window, wraparound rear-quarter glass, 33-inch Mickey Thompson tires and American Racing wheels.
Created at Toyota's Calty studio in Newport Beach, California, the sleek FT-HS is called a “suitable sports car for the 21st Century,” and may hint at the next-generation Supra. The FT-HS is built around a 400 horsepower 3.5 liter V-6 engine with a sophisticated hybrid system and essential sports car fundamentals. This 2-plus-2 concept is a front-engine, rear-drive sports car with a projected 0-to-60 acceleration in the four-second range. Futuristic telescoping hub-less steering wheel incorporates semi-automatic paddle shifters. Chief designer was Alex Shen, with exterior by William Chergosky.
A joint collaboration between German tuner Heico Sportiv and Burton Snowboards produced the custom Volvo C30 displayed in Chicago. The compact car was equipped with a 300 horsepower, 2.5 liter five-cylinder engine, factory electronically controlled all-wheel drive, height adjustable suspension, and custom cut 18-inch Toyo tires. Mated to the engine was a Volvo/Haldex modified AWD-system, including custom software integration. Decorating the exterior proved to be an incredibly complex seven-stage Heico-Ice pearl-effect camouflage paint job that allowed the car to blend into mountain environments. Inside, there's was a portable GPS system, gleaming Burton snowboards and boots, plus modified Volvo sport seats upholstered in black and alpaca gray hides, with stitching in gray and embossed Burton logos.
Overhead view captures the custom Y-shaped structure and transparent, dark-tinted glass roof panels on the Volvo XC60 concept car. Exterior styling gave a glimpse at the next generation Volvo XC model, which was expected to debut in early 2009. With imposing 20-inch wheels, accentuated wheel housings, and aluminum scuff-plates, the muscular XC60 came painted in a dashing Tin Bronze color. The contours of the tall taillights accentuate the vehicle’s muscular shoulders, and the tailgate’s trapezoidal shape was a further development of the glass tailgate. Powering the all-wheel drive show car was a six-cylinder, 3.2 liter bio ethanol engine with 265 horses. Test results indicate that the XC60 accelerates from 0-to-60 mph in 8.2 seconds and has a top speed of 143 miles per hour. New technology called “City Safety” senses when a low-speed collision is likely to occur, and will pre-charge the brakes to assist the driver in avoiding an accident. Daring interior on the XC60 features slim, visually floating front and rear seats.