I was fortunate enough this last week to visit Chicago during the incredible weather we had been having. I got to see The Bean, a Second City show, Hamilton, and, of course, the 2017 Chicago Auto Show! It was easily twice the size of the Twin Cities Auto Show and had triple the cars. Here were my top 10 from this year.
10. 2018 Ford Mustang
This one isn’t quite as exciting which is why it made number 10 on the list. The 2018 Ford Mustang gets a new nose, slightly new tail, and different wheel options. The interior is mildly upgraded but not much. It will come with a 2.3 liter 4-cylinder turbo or a 5.0 liter V8 pushing out more horsepower and torque but Ford hasn’t said how much yet. To me, the new Mustang has clearly taken styling cues from our friends in the Far East.
9. 2017 Nissan GT-R
Not much has changed here but it’s still Godzilla and it’s still impressive to see in real life. Although I still have yet to drive one, Nissan did fix all of the aesthetic gripes I had with the GT-R. The interior now reflects its price tag and the sharper angles on the front bring this car out of 2007 and into 2017.
8. Toyota i-ROAD
I’ve seen this car many times on YouTube but never in real life and guess what? It’s definitely smaller than you think it is. The Toyota i-ROAD has two wheels in the front and one wheel in the rear and a unique suspension that allows you to “lean” to the left or right to make turns. Toyota’s website says, “It’s just like skiing!”
7. Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution
This car was a treat to see in real life. The Mazda Speedster Evolution cuts off the top and the windshield to bring it down to under 2000 lbs. They also replaced the gauge cluster with a digital screen and put in a lightweight battery. Google this car and check out the interior, it is seriously cool.
6. 2016 Honda Civic Red Bull GRC
It has taken me a long time to get used to the new Honda Civic styling but this car sealed the deal for me. The proportions, the wheels, the wing, and the paint scheme are all perfect on this car. The Red Bull GRC uses the SAME 2.0 liter VTEC 4-cylinder in the standard 2016 Civic but by using witchcraft it pumps out 600 hp and can go from 0-60 in less than 2 seconds! Bwaaaahhhh!
5. 2018 Subaru WRX STI
This comes in at number 5 because I’m a Subaru fanboy and who doesn’t like a new STI? Everything is better about the 2018 WRX STI than the last makeover. It has better looks, bigger 19″ wheels that you’d actually want, higher quality interior, and those eye catching yellow brake calipers! This is high up on my next-car-to-own list.
Side Note: The 2018 WRX was also there but it looked like this except red.
4. Porsche 911 RSR
Seriously, how often do you get to see a Porsche race car?! The all-new Panamera was also at the Porsche display but the 911 RSR had all of my attention. It has a 510 horsepower 4 liter inline-6 and weighs 2,740 lbs. It also has a huge wing and splitter with sweet Adidas logos on it. In my opinion, this is the best looking Porsche race car I have ever seen.
3. 2018 Lexus LC500h
This is a car that somehow slipped by my radar because I was stunned when I saw it in person. The 2018 Lexus LC500h was not only one of the best looking Lexuses of all time, but one of the best looking cars of all time! It will be a hybrid coupe that has 467 horsepower V8 engine and two transmissions. Lexus says they want to revitalize the luxury coupe segment and this will surely do that.
2. 2017 Aston Martin DB11
One of the two showstoppers at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show was the completely redesigned Aston Martin DB11. The exterior takes cues from Aston Martin’s heritage and also from the gorgeous DB10 from the James Bond: Spectre movie. It has a 5.2 liter V12 engine, one-of-a-kind wheels, and the most unique stitching pattern on the seats I have ever seen. There were so many people around the DB11 that this was the only good picture I could get but trust me; it’s one of the few cars that actually looks as expensive as it is.
1. 2017 Ford GT
And the other showstopper is… the 2017 Ford GT! Duh! Again, this is a car that has to be seen to believe. Everyone has seen the pictures, videos, and read the specs so I’m not going to waste my time on that but I will mention a couple of things I noticed close up. The LEDs on the headlights and taillights are seamless, meaning the look like an actual “line” of light instead of individual LEDs behind a panel; seriously cool. Also, the wheels on this one were made of carbon fiber and they were visibly carbon fiber. I thought they would be painted or it would be hard to tell but you could see the weave in the wheels; also seriously cool!
Got $500,000 lying around and want to scoop one up? Too bad! Ford is only building 250 GTs per year and the first few years are sold out. The most recent news I read, however, is that if they keep selling GTs, production could run through 2020.