Auto-show season has rolled into Chicago at the same time as giant-snowstorm season, but if you can dig yourself out of the snow in time for the public opening this weekend, there are definitely some things worth the extra effort. Volkswagen debuted the U.S. version of its CC-replacing Arteon[NB1] sedan; Ford wants baby boomers to go on a surfin' safari[NB2] in its 2019 Transit Connect Wagon van; and Nissan took home our Best in Show award for the bonkers 370Zki[NB3] snow-treading sports car. Here are some other things to check out when you visit McCormick Place.
Klassic Kars (see main image)
Chicago's own Klairmont Kollections brought a host of its classic cars to the show floor: an Adam West-vintage Batmobile[NB5]; a 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Aero coupe in stunning purple; a 1948 Lincoln Continental; a 1959 Cadillac Broadmoor Skyview[NB6], once used to take up to 11 passengers on sightseeing trips at the Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs, Co.[NB7]; and a personal favorite, the 1955 Ford "Beatnik Bubble Top."[NB8] It's not every day that you get a chance to see decades-old cars that still seem ahead of the times.
Crossfit for Crossovers
Kia, taking a cue from numerous automakers, brought an obstacle course for its Sportage and Sorrento crossovers. Unlike Jeep's Camp Jeep, this course doesn't involve off-roading since that's not really a selling point for a Kia. Instead, hitch a ride with a trained driver and experience an urban obstacle course designed to show off the crossovers' capabilities. Unfortunately, the general public can't get behind the wheel, but treat it as an opportunity: Find out what you think about the passenger seating of a Sorento or Sportage if you're considering buying one.
Car Seat Safety Tips
News Editor and certified child-safety seat installation technician Jennifer Geiger wants show goers to stop at the car seat safety booth on the show floor: "This may not be the sexiest, most exciting booth at the auto show, but it's definitely among the most helpful. Tucked in a quiet corner of the show floor is the car seat safety booth, sponsored by Rush Copely hospital and the Illinois Department of Transportation. Staffed by certified car seat installation technicians, the booth is a great place to learn car seat safety tips, get your questions answered — or just commiserate about how annoying car seats are."
Get a Better Driver's License Photo
"Need to renew your Illinois driver's license but can't bear a visit to the DMV? Hate your existing driver's-license photo? (Doesn't everyone?) At the Chicago Auto Show, you can shop for your next vehicle while stayin' legal and[MP9] lookin' better in photos — all while avoiding the horde of weird, tense, random people forming long lines at State of Illinois facilities. For the bargain price of five bucks at the Office of the Secretary of State booth, I was able to right the photographic abomination that is my driver's license; the attendant even gave me four separate tries to get just the angle of the light just right on my mug. Try getting that kind of service at your local DMV." This helpful suggestion is courtesy of Senior Editor-Daily News, Matt Schmitz.
Hyundai has a #HyundaiRacingChallenge co-sponsored by Forza Motorsport 7, allowing drivers to get behind the virtual wheel and complete the best lap time. Numerous other booths, including Volkswagen and Dodge, have virtual racing activities, as well. Try them all and win the Chicago Auto Show Champion trophy that I just made up and does not exist — but you can still compete for bragging rights, at least. For less competitive attendees, check out this video of the interactive display wall at the Volkswagen booth:
You can find the rest of our coverage of everything we've seen at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show here.[NB10]
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