Waiting for the tide to turn on un-special special editions…

Look, I’m gonna be honest with you guys – this year’s Chicago Auto Show wasn’t exactly the most amazing car show of all time. Sure, there were a few new debuts and a couple interesting rides in attendance, but as a whole, it was pretty forgettable. Nothing really jumped out as terribly exciting or groundbreaking. Rather, most of what we got instead amounted to little more than filler. And that means lots of special edition models that aren’t all that special. And I don’t know about you, dear reader, but we here at TopSpeed are sick of it. Someone has to take a stand and tell the major automakers that repainted wheels and a new badge is not enough to justify a special edition. As such, we’ve rounded up the recent offenders in this Worst In Show list.

We’re not playing favorites here, and we’re not singling anyone out. Pretty much every major automaker out there is guilty of this whole un-special special edition problem, and the entries on this list are merely the latest examples to cross our radar.

So with that, join us as we make fun of the lamest of the lame from the 2017 Chicago Auto Show.

Continue reading for the full story.

Worst In Show

Chevrolet Redline Edition (All Nine Of Them)

Chevrolet Unveils Nine Redline Editions in Chicago High Resolution Exterior
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The worst of the bunch here has to be Chevy. Not only did the Bow Tie bring nine un-special special edition models to CAS, but it had the nerve to label them all with the name “Redline.”

So, when you think about that word “redline,” what pops into your brain? Maybe a race car taken to the limit, maxing out the revs as it flies down a straight? Maybe you think about drag racing, charging down the 1320 in the blink of an eye as a screaming V-8 reels in the horizon?

All pleasant connotations, in my humble opinion. Unfortunately, Chevy decided to muddle the term with this less-than-impressive lineup up of slightly upgraded cars. In fact, I don’t think “upgraded” is even the right word to describe them – all you get with the Redline package are black wheels with a small red hash mark, a black grille, and a few new badges.

Ugh. So it’s a “performance look” package. Fine. But then to offer it on models like the Trax, Equinox, and Traverse? Someone put a limiter on this crap.

Read the full story here.

Nissan Midnight Edition (All Six Of Them)

Nissan's Rolling Out The Goods With Its New Midnight Edition Package High Resolution Exterior
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After the vast majority of Maxima customers decided to get their sedan with the option for darker trim and wheels, Nissan decided to extend the package to five other models, including the Altima, Murano, Pathfinder, Sentra, and Rogue.

With a name like “Midnight Edition,” it shouldn’t be too hard to guess what these un-special special edition Nissans are bringing to the table. Darker colors for the spoiler, side-view mirrors, and floor mats make the list. There’s a few unique touches depending on the model you go for, like illuminated kick plates for the Rogue and LED headlights for the Altima, but by and large, it’s little more than a aesthetics change and a false sense of exclusivity.

Read the full story here.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Limited Edition High Resolution Exterior
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To be honest, I feel kinda bad picking on Mitsubishi. The automaker isn’t doing all that great in the U.S. market right now, forced to discontinue its most interesting models (no Evo makes us sad) in favor of more accounting-friendly SUVs and crossovers. Speaking of which, Mitsu brought this un-special special edition of the Outlander to Chicago, so unfortunately, we have to label it as a Worst In Show contender.

First off, if you’re gonna put a name like “Sport” on a model, could you at least make sure the 0-to-60 mph time can be measured with a stop watch, and not a calendar?

Secondly, the upgrades for this Limited Edition are rather yawn-worthy. The HID headlights, heated seats, and rear view camera are ok, but beyond that, all you get is red stitching, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Support, and (surprise, surprise) wheels repainted in black.

But at least Mitsubishi didn’t call it the Outlander Sport Evo, right?

Read the full review here.

Infiniti QX80 Signature Edition

2017 Infiniti QX80 Signature Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Here’s a common un-special special edition tactic – bundle in a bunch of popular equipment options and call it a limited run. That’s basically what Infiniti did for the QX80 Signature Edition, tying together options like shiny side-view mirrors, a clear high-mounted stop-lamp, and 22-inch aluminum wheels in a dark chrome finish, all of which are offered elsewhere in the line, including as standard features for the range-topper. The only thing that’s really limited about this thing is the number of exterior paint choices you can get it in, none of which are unique to the Signature Edition.

Inside, however, you will find one new feature – lighter coloring for the upholstery. Yeah, right, totally worthy of a special name, don’tcha think?

Read the full review here.

Toyota Rav4 Adventure

Toyota RAV4 Gets New Adventure Trim in Chicago High Resolution Exterior
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Okay, so at least Toyota is doing the right thing here by not calling this Rav4 a “performance sport” vehicle because it added black wheels. Rather, it’s calling it a more rugged off-roader because it added black wheels. You win some, you lose some.

Further upgrades include a new power outlet in the cargo area, new kick plates, and a leather-covered shift knob. The rest of it, however, is like any other Rav4, and no more capable in the rough stuff.

So unlike Chevy, which put on some new Piloti foot wear and called itself a race car driver, Toyota decided to put on some new boots and called itself a cowboy.

Read the full review here.

Jonathan Lopez
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