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GM's New Cars Shine At 2013 Chicago Auto Show

By Benjy Lipsman in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 11, 2013 8:00PM

Over the weekend, we spent over seven hours walking the floor of the Chicago Auto Show admiring (and sometimes mocking) the 1000 vehicles on display. While the show floor seemed teeming with vehicles, post-financial crisis austerity appeared to rule most automakers' display booths. The lack of R&D funds also seems to have limited the number of concept cars on the show floor. Instead, many brands displayed special editions of their normal cars sporting different body cladding and (all too often) matte paint jobs.

The clear stars of the show were both out of GM's stable. The new 2014 Corvette Stingray wowed show goers in its stunning red outfit, while Cadillac's 2014 EVR electric hybrid provided the combination of a sexy, luxurious coupe with GM's electric hybrid power train first launched in the Chevy Volt.

European makers showed off some of their newest models which most haven't even see on the streets yet, like the new Range Rover, Jaguar F-Type roadster and the BMW 6-series 4-door coupe. Mercedes displayed a concept which takes the currently popular 4-door coupe styling into the next generation and clearly inspired the upcoming CLA hyped during the Super Bowl. VW showed off it stable of R-Line trim versions of almost its entire line.

The Asian car makers had the largest stable of concept cars, from Toyota's Corolla concept that's probably close to the reality for the car's next re-design, to Honda's futuristic EV-STER electric roadster. Hyundai showed off a nifty canvas-top version of its Veloster coupe that opened up to accommodate a bike. Mazda showed off its upcoming 6 mid-size sedan, which will compete with the re-designed Honda Accord also on display. Kia continues to move upmarket, showing off its upcoming Cadenza entry luxury sedan. Lexus recycled it's LF-LC concept from last year, giving it a new paint color but changing little else. Infiniti and Acura showed off some underwhelming new models that suggest they'll continue to fade in popularity compared to Lexus and their European competition.

No auto show is complete without some truly lust-worthy metal. With many of the most exclusive makes skipping the show, a Comcast-sponsored section grouped about three dozen Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston-Martins, Bentleys, Fiskers and others costing as much as a house. we'd gladly welcome most into our garage... even if it means having to learn how to drive stick.

The Auto Show continues through Feb. 18, running 10 a.m. to 10 p.m daily (closing at 8 p.m. on the final day) at McCormick Place.