The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Auto Show Recap

By Benjy Lipsman in Miscellaneous on Feb 11, 2008 3:04PM

2008_02_sports_autoshow.jpgThere are few days of the year that Chicagoist look more forward to than our annual trip to the Chicago Auto Show. When we were a kid, we dreamed of the day we'd be able to drive any one of the shiny machines we admired so. Now, we fantasize about being able to trading up to something a bit more sexy and exotic that our current ride.

The stars of this year's show were two muscle cars from opposite sides of the globe, and seemingly different eras. The new Dodge Challenger, which was official debuted this week, does nothing to hide its lineage in Dodge's muscle car heyday of the 60s. Meanwhile, Nissan's new GT-R is a purely modern iteration of the legendary Japanese supercar that'll finally make its way to the U.S.

A couple of other trends we noticed this year: GM designers have gotten their groove back, and there's a huge boom in "green" cars. While we still don't see ourselves behind the wheel of American metal anytime soon (we're unabashedly Europhile when it comes to cars), we were impressed with some of the General's newer models, like the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G8. Maybe they won't all be relegated to rental car lots anymore. We also noticed that nearly ever car maker offered new hybrids, clean diesel models or electric concepts. Those that want more fuel efficient cars without settling for a Prius will have countless options in coming years, even sports cars and large SUVs. We were disappointed to see that the likes of Maseratti and Ferrari were absent from this year's show. Are the Italians mad at us or something?

Some additional highlights and lowlights of the show:

Favorite Production Car
A trend among European makers has been coupe-like sedans. Mercedes has been selling its CLS for a while, and Porsche, BWM and Aston Martin have all shown swoopy concepts. But the next one to hit our shores will be the new VW Passat CC this fall. According to salespeople at the show, it'll start in the mid-20's and top out around $40k. We think we've just found out next car!

Least Favorite Production Car
What do you get when you crash a BWM into a Pontiac Aztek? The new X6 apparently. We seriously don't get how something like this is making it into production. BMW doesn't make many flops, but we're willing to bet this one tanks.

Favorite Concept Car
The Hyundai Genesis sedan about to go on sale looks like it mugged a Mercedes of its grill, and stole both it's side profile and tail lights from different Infiniti models. But the Genesis coupe concept? Wow! Hyundai's designers show they can design a unique car... so why steal other brands designs if you don't need to?

The 100th Chicago Auto Show continues through February 17 at McCormick Place and is open from 10am - 10 pm every night (8pm close on final night).