Top Five LA Debuts Coming to Chicago
Auto show “season” has officially kicked into high gear…with the LA Auto Show recently concluding and the Chicago Auto Show less than two months away, there will be a smattering of new vehicles to see firsthand come February. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights, launched at the LA Auto Show, which will be on display at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show (Feb. 10-19) at McCormick Place.
2019 Volvo XC40
Why the buzz: The XC40 is the brand’s smallest compact SUV and is designed to appeal to city dwellers who need a nimble, smart vehicle to get around. It’s also a part of Volvo’s subscription service, Care by Volvo, where buyers can make a single payment which will include insurance, maintenance, repairs and an enhanced concierge service to appeal to those strapped for time.
Standout features: In addition to loads of standard safety features such as automated emergency braking, pedestrian detection and oncoming lane mitigation, the XC40 offers surprises like a hook designed specifically to hold bags of carryout food and a special space carved out to hold a box of tissues, for example.
When does it officially come out? The XC40 will launch in 2018. Volvo will begin rolling out the AWD version in early 2018 and the front-wheel-drive will come a little later in the year. Pricing kicks off at $34,195.
2018 Jeep Wrangler
Why the buzz: the 2018 Jeep Wrangler is redesigned for the first time in a decade. 2018 Chicago Auto Show attendees can experience the all-new Wrangler by taking a ride inside as part of Camp Jeep (bonus: the test track is also indoors).
Standout features: It’s equipped with three more fuel-efficient engines, including a mild hybrid and diesel; more advanced connected and safety tech (more than 75 available safety features); and offers more power.
When does it officially come out? Jeep says the 2018 Wrangler will be out this spring (pricing TBA).
2019 Subaru Ascent
Why the buzz: Subaru’s new flagship three-row SUV is brand new to the segment. It’s the largest, heaviest, most expensive Subaru to date, and is available as a seven- or eight-passenger vehicle. Subaru product specialists will be on hand at the Chicago Auto Show to explain all of the Ascent’s features in more detail.
Standout features: The all-new Ascent has Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system, hill descent control, auto hold for parking on a hill and X-Mode to reduce wheel slip. Also on the safety front, the Eyesight dual-camera system can bring the vehicle to an emergency stop from any speed and a smart rearview mirror camera is available. There is more cargo room behind the third row compared to others in its segment, and there’s a third-row bench option to fit eight people (or captain’s chairs are available at no additional cost).
When does it officially come out? The 2019 Ascent will hit dealerships in the spring of 2018, and has an estimated base price of $32,000.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible
Why the buzz: Chevrolet dropped the top on its Corvette ZR1, and performance is the main story: the ZR1 Convertible achieves 0-60 mph in under three seconds with a top speed of “more than 200-mph.”
Standout Features: The most powerful Corvette ever, with a 755-hp supercharged engine and carbon-fiber intensive construction, the topless ZR1 reaches a top speed of 212-mph. This is also the first drop-top since the 70s.
In the ZR1’s case, Chevy says it has the same underbody as the coupe, the same aluminum track chassis with no extra bracing required and the same suspension tuning. The only structural changes are to accommodate the convertible top and repositioned seat belt mounts.
When does it officially come out? It’s on sale this spring with a starting price of $123,995. While the ZR1 is not a limited-edition model, Chevy doesn't expect to sell more than 3,000 units per year.
2019 Hyundai Kona
Why the buzz: The Kona is the smallest entry into Hyundai’s SUV lineup, and is is the first of seven new or re-engineered crossover utility vehicles the brand will introduce to the U.S. market by 2020. Designed to appeal to those with an active lifestyle, the Kona is expected to also appeal to urban dwellers, with an exterior design theme the brand describes as “urban smart armor.”
Standout Features: Good for a city environment, the Kona will offer a host of safety features including forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, a driver attending warning (which alerts the driver if it detects careless or drowsy driving) and lane keep assist.
In terms of tech, the Kona is equipped with wireless device charging, rain-sensing wipers and – according to the brand – the segment’s largest heads-up display to show vehicle data so the driver doesn’t have to divert their eyes from the road, as well as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration.
The vehicle will come with two different engine options including a 147-hp two-liter or 175-hp 1.6-liter turbo.
When does it officially come out? Hyundai says the Kona is expected to go on sale in March of 2018 with an affordable starting price of $20,000.
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There will no doubt be plenty to see and experience at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, with nearly 1,000 vehicles on display, test tracks and interactive fun for the whole family. To purchase tickets, click here
or buy them through the show’s official mobile app and receive a $3 discount.
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