Top three debuts at Chicago Auto Show 2017

2017 Chicago Auto Show
Chicago Auto Show 2017 is on until Feb. 20 at McCormick Place.

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit may be the United State’s premier automotive event, but the Chicago Auto Show holds the distinction of being both the largest and the longest running, with more than one million square feet of exhibition space and entering its 109th year.

Traditionally an event with a heavy utility vehicle focus, this year was no different with interesting entries from Volkswagen, Toyota, and a big non-truck announcement by Hyundai. 

2018 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition

2018 Volkswagen Atlas Weekend Edition

A brand new VW crossover, the Atlas, is coming later this year, and to whet appetites the automaker created a Weekend Edition concept to show how the three-row, seven-passenger SUV could look with some nifty factory accessories. As a throwback to its camper models of old, there is an Urban Loader rooftop box that pops up to reveal 500 litres of cargo space.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas Chicago Auto Show

Inside, there’s a built-in pet area and a tablet mount for entertainment on the go. Other special edition extras include 18-inch anthracite Prisma alloy wheels, hood and window deflectors and a heavy-duty luggage compartment liner.

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport

Part of an overall refresh for the full-size pickup, the Tundra receives a styling and performance upgrade from the folks at Toyota Racing Development. The exterior features colour-matched front and rear bumpers, side mirrors and hood scoop, 20-inch sport wheels, smoked LED headlights, mesh grille and TRD body graphics, matched with a TRD shift knob and floor mats in the cabin.

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Chicago Auto Show

On the road, the pumped up Tundra benefits from specialty-tuned Bilstein shocks and beefier front and rear anti-sway bars. Look for it in showrooms this fall.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

The European Hyundai i30 arrives on our side of the pond as the all-new 2018 Elantra GT. Lower, bigger, lighter and containing nearly double the amount of high-strength steel than the outgoing version, the compact car is an entirely different beast. The standard GT is powered by a 2.0-litre 162 horsepower four-cylinder engine, while the GT Sport gets the same powerplant as the Elantra Sport: a 1.6 L turbo pumping out 201 hp. 

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Chicago Auto Show

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights