2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show
The gates are open at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, and with those pesky journalists finally out of the way, the public can now enjoy all the vehicular goodness that North America’s “largest” auto show can muster. Special editions, refreshes, and brand-new models all dropped cover this year, with crossovers and SUVs served up as the main course, and new sedans and sports cars added as a tasty side dish. Picking winners and losers here is not exactly easy, but hey, this isn’t some elementary school talent show. Time to be ruthless.
There were a few clear standouts for Best In Show right from the start, but cutthroat competition to fill the remaining slots quickly followed. Picking vehicles for Worst In Show was also pretty tricky, but that’s why they pay me the big bucks.
So, without further ado…
Continue reading for the Best and Worst In Show at CAS 2016.
There are so many auto shows throughout the course of the year that it’s hard to keep up with all of the cool concepts brought to each one. Then again, some of these concepts are so outlandish that they will never see the light of production day anyway, leaving us with the feeling of being offered a delectable chocolate cake only to be reminded of our New Year’s weight loss resolution.
Even if production chances are slim for some, concepts hold a special place in all of our hearts because of the attention to detail automakers put into them. Automakers use these concepts to put out just how much they are capable of doing and quite possibly may do on their future models.
From three different, color coordinated layers of information to V12 engines with spectacular power outputs, concepts have a way of getting underneath our skin and staying there until the production model is attained. This year, our choices are unmistakable and in no particular order: the Jaguar C-X16 Concept, the BMW i8 Concept, the Aston Martin V12 Zagato Concept, the Chevrolet Mi-Ray Concept, and the Nissan Juke Nismo Concept.
Hit the jump for details on each of these imaginative concepts.
The sport of Drifting is catching on like wildfire the world over, and that’s not exactly surprising considering it carries the most entertainment value of any motorsport out there. Even F1 has become mundane with cars lapping continuously in a “follow the leader” fashion for two hours. There isn’t much in the form of action, except when spectacular crashes happen, sending carbon fiber shrapnel everywhere. Not exactly safe, but it’s action nonetheless. Yes, aerodynamics make it difficult to overtake blah blah blah.
Drifting brings together the most exciting aspects of our favorite forms of racing in an exciting showcase. What could be better than watching massive horsepower cars going sideways, door to door with each other at breakneck speeds with smoke bellowing out their arches? Okay, well, participating would be better, but not all of us have the type of skill and precision needed to pull off some of these stunts. Of course, some may, so learning a bit about the best vehicles to take out onto the track is important.
The recipe for a great drift car is a generic affair with the following characteristics at the fore: RWD (Duh!), good chassis balance, engine tuneabilty, a limited slip differential, and obviously accessible tuning parts to make the aforementioned a reality. In the list below, you will find a short description on what unique attributes each of the cars bring to drifting, and hopefully will give you a better understanding of the sport and what building a good drift car requires.
Hopefully this will get you swatting bugs with your side windows in no time. Proceed with caution though, as this is a highly addictive adrenalin rush waiting to happen.
Hit the jump to see the list.
During our drive of the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, we overheard many shoppers commenting about a need for four-wheel drive in their vehicles. Now, let’s be honest for a moment. Most of these moms and dads will never use the abilities of a four-wheel drive machine. The parking lot at the local grocery store doesn’t have rocks that you need to scale in order to get into the parking lot or deep lakes in front of the door.
Yet, there are those who do use these machines the way they are supposed to be used. A real four-wheel drive machine can do so much in the rough stuff that it’s hard to be stopped. Crossovers and luxury SUVs – besides the Range Rover – would be left for dead.
When looking at the top ten vehicles that have wonderful off-road abilities we first need to find ten of them. It was actually quite a task to find ten vehicles like this. It seems the days of the big off-road SUV are in the past. When we managed to locate them, we looked at build quality, off-road ability, on-road ability, style, comfort, and power.
Hit the jump to see the list.
Now that the sedans have been taken care of, we are moving on to something a bit more fun. Sports cars may not be for everybody because of their limited interior space and minimal cargo room, but they do provide an excellent driving experience that most of the other car segments can’t match.
The sports car segment is littered with different makes and models, the terrible and the good, the fun and the not so fun. Luckily, TopSpeed is here to give you a unique look at the sports cars that we love. Like usual, we don’t care about sales or anything of that nature. We are looking for driving experience, comfort, power, handling, interior space, and something very important in the sports car segment, styling.
We have set a price cap of $30,000, which should be enough for any sports car lover. So, hit the jump to see our top ten sports cars.
Midsize sedans are the bread and butter cars of most companies. Yet, even if typical bread and butter may seem like a bland food, that doesn’t stop these cars from being stylish, sporty, and fun to drive.
The best selling cars in the country are midsize sedans and the best selling cars for most automakers are their sedan offerings. The midsize sedan offers practicality without the reputation crushing style of a minivan.
At least, that’s what they want you to think.
The Toyota Camry was once the most popular car in the world and a year ago, the Camry’s annual American sales typically exceeded the total annual new car sales in the average European country.
There are many choices for car buyers and that allows people to demand many different things from these four door cars. Some people buy them as family cars, opting for more room over a compact sedan, without sacrificing small car handling and fuel economy. Other people like a bigger car over a smaller one and then there’s people who prefer the Honda Accord to the Civic because it has a bigger presence on the road. The larger car makes you feel safer and more secure during highway travel.
These are our top ten midsize cars under $30,000.
Hit the jump to read on.
There are certain vehicles that just sell well. Take the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry for instance. No matter what happens or how good the competition is, these two will sell well for their companies. We’re not saying that there is anything wrong with these two models, except for the Camry, which is dull as a dishwasher, but a buyer needs to look at what else is on the table. The first choice might not be the best choice.
In many cases, the cars that are often ignored are the better buys. These are the dark horses of the automotive world. These are cars that fly under the radar of the American public.
Below are our ten best cars that aren’t quite known to the general public. Sure, us car people know about them, but your average consumer might be unaware. This list is not a top ten; so don’t think that one is better than ten, because it might not be.
There are a few models on the list that won’t be under the radar for long, but as of now, we still consider them dark horse models.
Hit the jump to see the list.
A Coupe version for the Nissan Altima is announced for 2007, as a 2008 model. The new model will debut at Chicago or New York Auto Show 2007.
Brenda Prridi caught the new Altima Coupe on testing, but the guys from Nissan covered the new coupe with miles of white tape and black spray paint and the only thing we can tell for sure is that this is for sure the long-awaited Altima (...)
The Nissan 350Z has added another award to its bulging trophy cabinet by picking up the gong for Japanese Performance Car of the Year for 2007, announced in the December issue (on sale now). Beating off competition from rivals including the Mazda RX-8, the Mistubishi Evo IX and the Subaru Impreza, the 350Z was praised for its “stunning looks, equipment levels and value for money.”
Chris Rees, Editor of Japanese Performance Car described why the 350Z took the crown: “The Nissan 350Z sums up (...)