Billed as the largest automobile exposition of its kind in North America, the 2002 Chicago Auto Show featured a complete range of cars, trucks, SUVs, and experimentals like the Dodge "big bang" M80 concept truck, and the "cutting edge" Razor dream car. Ford's new Thunderbird graced the cover of the official show program, and it was displayed along side the limited-edition '02 Mustang Bullitt. On the right, 2001 Mrs America winner Nicole Brink visited the Chicago Auto Show, signing autographs for admiring fans.
Auto show banners were hung in the hallway of McCormick Place South's Grand Concourse, located on the second level of the building. In the middle of the banner's artwork was a stylized 1955 Chevrolet front end.
A special exhibit in the street level hallway of McCormick Place South was a new 2002 Ford Thunderbird. It was the official vehicle of the 2002 Chicago event and a First Look for Charity door prize. The Thunderbird is shown wearing the removable hardtop, with the classical small porthole windows. A single engine was offered, a 260 horsepower 3.9-liter V-8, connected to a 5-speed automatic transmission.
Jeep Liberty Renegade made its first public appearance on February 6, during media days at the show. The Renegade used during the presentation, was painted in bright cactus green and sported an activity light bar, bolted-on appearing wheel flares, removable side steps and a two-tone front fascia. For serious off-roading explorations, the running boards could be removed. Standard engine consisted of a 210-hp 3.7-liter V-6. Available in either 2 or 4-wheel drive, the Liberty came fitted with 16-inch white-letter tires mounted on aluminum wheels. Interiors were upholstered in woven cloth and leather, accented by an aluminum-trimmed instrument panel.
On February 6, Peter M. Butterfield of Kia Motors Corp. in the U.S., introduced the new 2003 Sorento midsize sport-utility vehicle to the assembled media. This would be the second_ SUV from Kia, larger and more powerful than the Sportage, which was introduced in 1995. Sorento could be ordered with rear wheel, part-time or full-time four-wheel drive systems. The 5-passenger Sorento was truck-based with body-on-frame construction and used a 192-hp 3.5-liter V-6 with a standard four-speed automatic transmission. That same V-6 was also used in the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.
Presented during media days February 6-7, the 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis 4-door sedan featured updated front and rear fascia, grille, and taillights, along with improved rack-and-pinion steering. This full-size, rear-wheel drive automobile housed a 4.6-liter V-8, which could be ordered with either 224, 239, or 302 horsepower ratings.
(L to R) Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White joins CATA president Jerry H. Cizek, III to hold up a large-scale facsimile check for over $1.8 million. This amount received from the sales of tickets for the First Look for Charity event was divided among 18 participating charities. The photo was taken the evening of February 7, during the gala black-tie affair
On display at the 2002 auto show, was the brand-new 2003 Cadillac CTS luxury sport sedan. Built on an all-new rear-wheel drive chassis, the boldly chiseled look of the CTS replaced the softer-edged Cadillac Catera. Along with the fresh design, the CTS featured an all-new chassis, the choice of an automatic or a Getrag five-speed manual transmission, and a 220-horsepower engine with 0-60 mph performance under seven seconds.
Appearing at the Chicago show were the exotic cars from Maserati. After an 11-year absence, Maserati reentered the U.S. market in March of 2002. In the foreground of the Maserati exhibit, was the Spyder GT two-seat roadster. Several GT coupe models can be seen in the background. The powertrain layout for coupe and roadsters included a 390 horsepower 4.2-liter V-8 engine coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission. Base price on the Spyder GT was $83,165 at U.S. port of entry.
Redesigned for 2002, the Escalade luxury SUV is shown in the Cadillac exhibit with a video screen placed facing the windshield. The screen was setup so while show-goers sat behind the steering wheel, a movie of various highway scenarios projected on to the screen. Available as rear-or all-wheel-drive, the full-size vehicle offered both_5.3-liter and 6.0-liter V8 engines. The Escalade shared a platform with the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon/Denali.
Posed in an off-road diorama at the 2002 show, was the 2003 Subaru Forester compact sports-utility vehicle. This was the second-generation Forester SUV and was based on the Impreza subcompact platform. Fresh styling and more legroom distinguished the new Forester wagon from its predecessors. Forester was all-wheel drive and powered by a horizontally opposed 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Projected on a large screen in the background were front and rear views of the Forester.
Inside the GMC display, a special-exhibit featured the new 2002 Envoy XL midsize sport-utility vehicle. The XL model was an extended version of the regular Envoy. To highlight the additional of third-row seating for 2002, the body-side panel of the XL swung-upwards revealing most of the interior layout. Envoy was available with rear-wheel or 4-wheel-drive_and shared the same basic body and 4.2-liter inline 6-cylinder with the Oldsmobile Bravada and Chevrolet TrailBlazer. Historically, the Envoy replaced the GMC Jimmy model.
A big hit with the crowds at the 2002 show, was the fun-loving Mini Cooper sports coupe. Reminiscent of Britain's legendary 1959-2000 Mini, the 2002 BMW-owned Mini Cooper was one of the shortest cars sold in the United States. Though a mere 142 inches in length, the front-wheel-drive car was large enough for 4 passengers. All 2002 Mini Coopers used a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, with 115 horsepower on the base model and on the supercharged Cooper S.
Oldsmobile's front-wheel-drive Aurora four-door could be ordered with either a 3.5-liter V-6 or a muscular 250-horsepower_4.0-liter V-8. Aurora shared the same platform with Pontiac Bonneville and Buick LeSabre. Since 2000, the rumors around the auto shows persisted that General Motors planned to phase out the entire Oldsmobile model line by 2004. The rumors proved to be true. On Thursday, April 29, 2004, the final Oldsmobile model, a 2004 Alero GLS, rolled off the assembly line in Lansing, Michigan.
2003 Mercury Grand Marquis 4-door sedan. Appearing at the 2002 show was the 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. The updated model included fresh front and rear design, plus nine-spoke wheels. An improved frame and front suspension, along with a new speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion system make-up the engineering changes. The Grand Marquis was available in several series and trim packages, including the new hot rod Marauder. Sole power train consisted of a 4.6-liter V-8, with three horsepower ratings up to the Marauder's 302 horsepower.
Pontiac offered three Firebird models for 2002, including the base, Formula and the Trans Am. Each was available as 2-door coupe, but only the base and Trans Am came as convertibles. Stock engine on the Trans Am was a 310-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8, with an optional 325-horsepower version available. 2002 would be the final model for the Firebird pony car, after a 35-year run.
From Feb. 13-15, people who gave a minimum of two nonperishable food items received a $3 discount off the $8 ticket price. This was the eighth year for the food drive. All food was donated to the Chicago Christian Industrial League.
The 2002 GMC Terra4 was the third in the consecutive series of Terra-named concepts. First came the 2000 Terradyne pickup, followed by the 2001 Terracross wagon. For 2002, the Terra4 used an experimental power train that consisted of a 5.3-liter V-8 matched with a 4.8-kilowatt motor/generator. The combo decreased fuel consumption by 15 percent over conventional models. Terra4 also used GM's Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system, which improved handling and shortened turning radius. Fitted with rear quarter-panel doors for side loading and a retractable aluminum bed cover, the Terra4 allowed for 8 feet of cargo bed when the cockpit 's woven leather rear seats were folded and the cab pass-through was utilized.
To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Cadillac debuted the Cien concept car for 2002. Constructed in carbon fiber composite, this mid-engine two-seater featured scissor-style doors, a removable hardtop, and a speed-sensitive rear spoiler. A 750-horsepower, 7.5-liter Northstar XV-12 concept engine provided power. GM Executive Director of Advance Design Studio in England, Simon Cox, was responsible for the Cien's design. He made an appearance at the Chicago Show during the First Look for Charity black-tie event.
The Cadillac LeMans Prototype (LMP) displayed in 2002, was the second generation racing car, with the first appearing in 2000. While the car was assembled near Atlanta, Georgia, its carbon fiber monocoque chassis and suspension components were fabricated in England. Somewhat similar to the 3.5-liter Chevy Indy V8 engine, used in Indy Racing League (IRL) oval-track series, the LMP featured a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter Northstar V-8 with 600 horsepower. Paddles mounted on the steering wheel activated a special Xtrac 6-speed semi-automatic transmission, with gear change done through a pneumatic shifting mechanism.
Following up its rugged-looking Power Wagon and Power Box concept trucks, Dodge applied the bold retro-look styling to the smaller Dakota-sized pickup and came up with the M80 concept displayed at the 2002 Chicago Auto Show. Powering the M80 was a 3.7 liter Magnum V-6 engine mated to a five speed manual gearbox. Prominent PET-plastic exposed fenders and storage boxes gave an off-road flavor to the four-wheel drive truck and contrasted with the yellow painted body.
Inquiring media representatives gave full attention to the Dodge Razor concept car, during a DaimlerChrysler preview. The model name came from Razor USA, known for popular kick scooters that sold in excess of five million units in 2000. With cutting edge design, the Razor prototype was a small two-seat coupe, with four-point seat belts, and storage space behind the seats. A turbocharged, inter-cooler 250 horsepower, 2.4-liter DOHC four cylinder engine, combined with a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. Dodge claimed that the Razor did 0-to-60 mph in 6-seconds flat and could reach a top speed of 140 mph.
Like a rally car, the two-door Jeep Compass had all-wheel drive, a short wheelbase and a low center of gravity to hug the road. Compass featured a lightweight steel 'uniframe' construction and a 210 horsepower 3.7 liter PowerTechTM V-6 engine, offering ample power whether traveling on pavement, gravel, dirt or snowy city streets. "The 'Force Green' exterior paint was reminiscent of a military color scheme, and the instrument panel looked like the cockpit of a fighter jet. Four bucket seats offered all occupants a command-of-the-road seating position, comfort and support. The seats were trimmed in green leather and Goretex with 'G Force Green' soft touch grommets, while the spare tire came incorporated into the rear hatch.
For Lexus, it's every Hollywood hopeful's dream come true: a featured role alongside Tom Cruise in Steven Spielberg's upcoming summer blockbuster.
The filmmaker has cast the luxury auto brand as the car of the future in his highly anticipated film, "Minority Report," due to be released by Twentieth Century Fox this summer. But anxious moviegoers and car buffs will get an advance preview of the sports car when it makes its debut at 2002 U.S. Auto Shows.
Designed as a high-performance two-seat personal sports car for the year 2054, the futuristic Lexus flexes a muscular design with the ultimate in cab-forward seating, a low, enclosed wheelbase for sportiness, aggressive lines, and proportions so unexpected that, at first glance, it's not entirely evident which end is front and which end is the rear.
Lincoln’s design team had two important goals when creating the Continental concept, to maximize interior space and optimize entry and exit. This led to the creation of the Continental's cabin being centered within the wheelbase. The passenger space was exceptionally large, as was the cavernous trunk. A 6.0-liter V-12 engine supplied power to the prototype, and the car rode on 22-inch polished aluminum wheels wrapped in Continental Rubber tires. Up front, the signature Lincoln grille housed Philps Lighting fiber optic headlights that required less power than halogen bulbs, but produced two and a half times more light. A combination of Rhode Island Sand and Midnight Blue leather trimmed the seats, instrument panel and doors, which coordinated handsomely with the Silver Sea Spray exterior paint.
During media days at the auto show, February 6 and 7, DaimlerChrysler introduced the innovative F400 Carving concept car, with enhanced safety and handling control. The 2-seater body design was constructed out of carbon fiber with reinforced plastics. Power train consisted of a high-performance V-6 engine and Sequentronic controls to operate the transmission were housed in the steering wheel. A sophisticated drive-by-wire system used computers instead of cables to control steering, acceleration and braking. An experimental system that varied the camber angle on the outer wheels, and specially-developed Pirelli tires with asymmetrical tread design enabled the F400 to outperform contemporary sports cars while cornering.
Captured for posterity, was the moment the cover was pulled off the 'bad-to-the-bone' Marauder convertible concept car. This was the world's first glimpse at Mercury's new hot rod show car. Built as a 5-passenger ragtop, the concept used a power-operated roof, which stored neatly under a hard tonneau cover. Based on the Marauder 4-door sedan, the monochromatic black concept convertible was lowered and ran a custom supercharged version of the 4.6-liter V-8, which generated 355 horsepower and 355 lb-ft torque.
Capturing the rush of a jet-fighter’s sonic boom in its athletic stance and sleek lines, the Grand Prix “G-Force” was unveiled by Pontiac on Thursday, February 7, 2002 at the Chicago Auto Show. Configured as a 2+2 sport sedan, the G-Force previewed the next generation Grand Prix's design and performance characteristics. The concept G-Force came equipped with a 280 horsepower, supercharged V-6 engine, and speed-based electronic throttle control. Large Z speed-rated tires wrapped the 19-inch open spoke wheels.
After concept cars which explored styling extremes, Pontiac pulled it all together and showed off the Solstice concept sports car at the 2002 Chicago Auto Show. While most of Pontiac's concepts of the previous several years never made production status, the Solstice would be on a direct line to the showrooms, but it took until the 2006 model year. Aimed at the basic sports car market, Pontiac's stunning Soltice concept roadster featured a supercharged Ecotec 2.2 liter four-cylinder that developed 240 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. Connected to the engine was a Corvette/Borg-Warner six-speed gearbox.
Saturn's first venture developing a future roadster/convertible model was with the Sky concept from 2002. Even with a small 102.4-inch wheelbase, the Sky had two adult buckets up front and two child-size seats in the rear. Making it easier to get in and out of the rear, the driver side of the roadster had a rear access door, like on the Saturn S-Series coupe. Inside the cockpit of the concept, were center-mounted gauges, a small steering wheel and a special gear shift lever that folded away when not in use. The front-wheel-drive Sky prototype used a low-boost supercharged 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine with 180 horses and 190 pound-feet of torque, connected to a 5-speed manual transmission.
One of the most unusual vehicles on display during the 2002 show was the POD concept car, jointly developed by Toyota and Sony. POD, stood for personalization on demand. The car could sense the mood of the driver, whether happy or upset. Light emitting diodes accentuate the POD's front design and changed color according to the driver's frame of mind. Around the rear of the car, a radio antenna could wag like a pet dog tail. In place of a steering wheel and pedal controls, the car had a single joystick to control vehicle direction, acceleration and braking. Chicago was the first North American showing of the cartoonish POD concept.