2014 Chicago Auto Show Winners and Losers

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There weren't many high-profile debuts at this year's Chicago Auto Show, but there was plenty to see. From an upscale yet pint-sized Winnebago to a Stanley Cup champion themed Chevy Camaro, show-goers will find plenty to check out. Among the auto show debuts, our editors graded them on their impact at the show and individual merits.

Kia Niro Concept

David Thomas: Winner
In a day and age when true concept cars are few and far between, the Niro (above) is very welcome. I love the outlandish hinged doors, color scheme and wheels, but if you look at some of the design elements, especially in front and back, I can see a future Kia Sportage in a few places.

Aaron Bragman: Winner
I'm a fan of small urban runabouts, and this one ticks all my boxes. I especially love the brushed metal upper surfaces, which will, of course, never make it to production. I also see some old Isuzu Vehicross in the overall shape, and that makes me happy, too. I look forward to seeing how this translates into a production car, which it almost certainly will, in some form.

Joe Bruzek: Winner
Looking nothing like a traditional weak-styled, pastel-painted hybrid concept, the Kia Niro's aggressive appearance and off-road-ready stance sound promising with the indicated powertrain. The 160-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine powering the front wheels and 45-hp electric motor powering the rear could be an interesting competitor to a Nissan Juke NISMO.

Mike Hanley: Winner
The Niro's lifted stance and compact dimensions look great. Tiny crossovers are showing up everywhere these days, and something like the Niro would fit in well with that trend.

By David Thomas | February 8, 2014 | Comments (6)

Where To Find the Concept Cars at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show

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Some of the most exciting, intriguing and unique vehicles you'll see at auto shows are, without a doubt, concept cars. However, automakers aren't churning out the wild concepts of old much these days, and you'll have to look hard to find any at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. We scoured McCormick Place's show floor during the press days, leading up to the public opening on Saturday, and found seven concept cars. Yes, only seven even though there are 41 automotive brands with their own distinct booths.

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Here is a list of the seven concepts and where they are located within their various brand booths:

By Robby DeGraff | February 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro SS Photo Gallery (20 Photos)

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For the past few years at the Chicago Auto Show, a company based in Gurnee, Ill., has built and displayed a custom Chevrolet Camaro in honor of the local NHL franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks. This year is no different.

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Real Wheels makes custom parts for an array of vehicles from semitrucks to SUVs, but it’s the Chicago Blackhawks Camaro that likely gets this company the most attention. This year’s car is a 2014 Camaro SS convertible with some new tweaks. There’s still the Indian head logo cutouts in the custom grille, but there is no logo on the hood, just a stripe job around the hood scoop.

By David Thomas | February 7, 2014 | Comments (8)

2014 Chicago Auto Show What You Missed: Day One

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We're live from the Windy (and frozen) City for the 2014 Chicago Auto Show where dozens of exciting new vehicles filled McCormick Place. Debuts included the newest generation of the Subaru Legacy midsize sedan and the unveiling of Toyota's new hardcore off-road TRD Pro Series packages for its Tundra, Tacoma and 4Runner trucks and SUV.

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Kia showed off an electric version of its popular Soul, a refreshed Optima Hybrid and a cool concept hybrid crossover called the Niro (pictured). Nissan also showed us a diesel-powered version of its light-duty Frontier pickup truck. Check out the list below to see what else made news at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.

By Robby DeGraff | February 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Subaru Legacy: Concept Vs. Reality

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It is rare that any production car carries over completely from its concept precursor. However, Subaru has been taken to task the past few years for unveiling enthralling concepts only to follow them up with considerably more sedate production cars.

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The 2015 Legacy seems to follow that tradition, but there are some interesting similarities. Check out the comparisons below, and let us know if you think the production car went far enough in terms of design to steal some stares from midsize-sedan shoppers.

By David Thomas | February 6, 2014 | Comments (10)

2015 Subaru Legacy at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show

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Competes with: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Chrysler 200
Looks like: A Chevy Malibu from the front and a Hyundai Sonata from the side
Powertrains: 175-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine; optional 256-hp, 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine, CVT, standard all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Summer 2014

Subaru has taken the wraps off of its redesigned midsize 2015 Legacy sedan at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, revealing a more spacious and aerodynamic family car that retains the company's classic boxer engines and standard all-wheel drive. Four trim levels will again be offered: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited.

By Aaron Bragman | February 6, 2014 | Comments (2)

Chrysler Adds Frills to No-Frill 'Core' SRT8s

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Chrysler's SRT high-performance Core models are no-frills versions of the 470-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT8, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Chrysler 300 SRT8 with fewer convenience options in exchange for a lower price. For 2014, Chrysler adds a new Satin Vapor Edition appearance package to up the base Core models' unassuming looks with satin black highlights.

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Satin Vapor Editions sit on 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels and wear a satin black chrome finish and satin black mirrors, a gray 6.4-liter Hemi badge and red brake calipers. Inside, they feature Nappa leather seating with suede inserts. Each package has its own unique cost and slightly varying content and is tied to certain exterior colors.

By Joe Bruzek | February 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

Did Custom Camaro Herald Blackhawks' Stanley Cup Victory?

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Let's see here: February 2010, Windy City-area RealWheels Corp. unveils a special-edition Chicago Blackhawks Chevrolet Camaro; June 2010, Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. February 2013, RealWheels unveils a new special edition Blackhawks Camaro; June 2013, Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup again. Coincidence?

If netting Chicago its second NHL championship victory in three years was the goal, adorning the two-tone red-and-black Camaro with logos, badging and other details seems to be working. Will the Hawked-out Camaro make an appearance at the victory parade in Chicago this Friday? It's hard to say as the car was to be hawked in a raffle during the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, but join us in reveling in last night's victory over the Boston Bruins; check out the photo gallery by Cars.com photographer Evan Sears.

Chicago Blackhawks Chevrolet Camaro SS: Photo Gallery

By Matt Schmitz | June 25, 2013 | Comments (2)

Study: Traffic Worst in Los Angeles

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As you gradually slip into gridlock-induced madness this week during your daily commute, try to think of it this way: At least people have jobs to go to. According to INRIX, an international provider of traffic information and driver services, spiking traffic congestion following two years of decline is attributable to a U.S. economy on the mend. The most bountiful beneficiary of this recovery is Los Angeles, where drivers waste the greatest proportion of their lives staring at someone else's brake lights.

INRIX's Traffic Scorecard Annual Report shows that in the first three months of 2013, congestion was up 4% compared with 2012, when it dipped 22%. Traffic was up in 61 of the nation's 100 most-populated cities, while seven of 2012's cities with the worst traffic experienced greater congestion (led by Boston with a 30% spike). Those increases accompanied a 1.3% rise in U.S. employment, the report stated.

By Matt Schmitz | May 9, 2013 | Comments (13)

2013 Chicago Auto Show Favorites: Photo Gallery

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The 2013 Chicago Auto Show closed Monday, and it was a raging success with the public, attracting a huge crowd during its 10-day run, said Mark Bilek, the show's director of communications and technology. Though he couldn't give us a specific attendance number, "We are very confident in saying we are the best-attended auto show in the nation," he told Cars.com.

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Although the show is over, it'll be hard to forget our favorite cars, from the futuristic Kia Cross GT concept to the bug-eyed Nissan Juke NISMO and fan-friendly Chevrolet Camaro Blackhawks edition. Cars.com photographer Evan Sears has collected a few of his favorite shots from this year's Chicago Auto Show for a unique photo gallery. Check it out below; click on each photo to enlarge it.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 19, 2013 | Comments (2)

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