2019 Chicago Auto Show

February 11, 2019  •  1 Comment

2019 Acura NSX

The second week in February is one of my favorite weeks of the year in Chicago, which should probably make anyone who lives in the Midwest suspicious. The weather around here is terrible. We've just survived the polar vortex, there's already more snow on the way, rock salt has turned our roads into cratered minefields and there's no such thing as a clean car for more than about an hour. But there's light at the end of the tunnel that has nothing to do with a rodent in Pennsylvania. It's Auto Show time, and ours is the largest in North America (take that, Detroit!). As usual, the manufacturers have brought us current models, concept cars, and pre-production prototypes. Let's take a look at this year's celebration of all things automotive.

2019 Acura NSX wheel


Acura pulled out all the stops for the 30th anniversary of their NSX supercar. This mid-engine speedster has captured the imaginations of gearheads for two generations now and will likely continue to do so for decades to come.

Lexus brought the heat with a convertible LC concept car, which staff on hand assured me was at least somewhat likely to go into production, and these two RC-F coupes, one in the track edition and one heavily customized. Both of those cars would be sure to appall James May, which makes them pretty good contenders in my book. With the exception of the LF-A, Lexus has never been a brand most people would associate with anything track-ready, so these are bold choices that stand out at the show.

Lexus LC Convertible

Lexus RC-F custom

Lexus RC-F Track Edition

BMW and Mercedes were conspicuously absent from the Chicago Auto Show this year, but that really only served to make some of the other European luxury brands stand out. Porsche and Alfa Romeo, especially, had strong showings at their exhibit areas. Audi never disappoints in the sporting department, and this year brought a matte white R8 V10. They also included a fun aural simulation of the driving experience with exhaust notes available on demand by pressing accelerator pedals mounted below speakers.

Audi R8 V10, matte white

Audi R8 V10 wheel

Audi RS throttle pedals

Porsche Panamera 4S gauge cluster

Porsche 911 Carrera S

2019 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Of course, the Big Three didn't want to be left out either. Chevrolet's still-exciting Corvette ZR-1 was front and center in their exhibit. Jeep took a more hands-on approach with the return of the Camp Jeep test track. It's impossible not to be impressed with the capabilities of a Wrangler Rubicon when it's holding on a downhill 30-degree incline or handling 11" concrete stairs with ease. The masses also finally got to see Ford's newest fire breather, the Mustang GT500. The 700hp beast manages to look intimidating even in powder blue.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1

2020 Jeep Gladiator pick up

2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon JL

2020 Ford Mustang GT500

Ford GT, Gulf Oil livery

2019 Corvette ZR-1

The entire Chicago Auto Show, all one million-plus square feet of it, is always a highlight of the Midwestern winter. There's so much to see, so many exciting new cars to drool over, and its arrival reminds us better than the groundhog that spring is really only a few short weeks away. As car enthusiasts, it's everything we could ask for.

2020 Mazda3 interior


2019 Nissan 370Z

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

Nissan Rogue DJ booth

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

2019 Corvette Grand Sport

Bugatti Chiron gauge cluster, interior

2020 Toyota Supra



Cute DJ. Not much rear visibility happening with those 10" in the back window, though.
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