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Wow, if there is one auto show to go to this year, it’s definitely the 2022 Chicago Auto Show. If you’re reading this now, you probably won’t be able to make it by the time the show ends, but this year, we managed to send one of our own to the show to get the low down on some of the coolest technology this year. We’ll be honest, this is an auto show, not a tech convention, so most of the exhibits on the floor were more like large dealership showrooms. Last week, we talked about Camp Jeep and the Ram Truck Test Track returning to the 2022 Chicago Auto Show, marking its 18th year for Jeep, as well as the three new concepts being introduced by Nissan – all based on the 2022 Frontier mid-size pickup. Electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) were also popping up, with competition Ford with its 2022 F-150 Lightning electric truck rearing its head, but if you ask me, Kia America was dominating the 2022 Chicago Auto Show in terms of EVs and technology.
We’ve talked quite a bit about the Kia EV6, and so has every other automotive journalist out there. It’s no surprise with the huge success the all-electric hatchback has become. The Kia EV6 isn’t only the first of its kind in the lineup, the first all-electric vehicle from Kia with no predecessor, but yours truly got into the front passenger seat and the driver’s seat of this Kia EV, and it is definitely not playing games. They say some EVs can give sports cars a run for their money, but that is not a bluff with the Kia EV6. Able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, I got to experience that for myself on the streets of Chicago. With multiple driving modes, I chose Sport Mode, and the power and control behind the wheel is unlike anything else you’d expect from an all-electric vehicle.
Not only were there several EV6 models on the showroom floor, but the new 2022 Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid shared some of the spotlight this year. Revealed in August 2021, the 2022 Sorento Turbo (PHEV) SUV is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, combined with a 66.9 kW electric motor. It wasn’t available for a test drive, but it was nice to see such a new vehicle out in the open. Speaking of new vehicles, in late 2021, Kia Corp teased its upcoming all-electric SUV, the Kia EV9. Making its debut at the 2022 Chicago Auto Show, the EV9 was on full display (photo above) in its own special corner of the exhibit. Maybe it’s just me, but that looks like the Kia Telluride, right?
Just Like in the Simulations…
Also in the Kia exhibit were two arcade game-type simulations where show attendees could get into a seat and drive a video game based off of either the Kia Telluride or the Kia Stinger. The former offered an experience of the capabilities the Telluride SUV offers when going off-road and tackling varying terrain. For the driver in control of the Kia Stinger, it was a sports car, and they seemed to have trouble not crashing. Still, it was a neat change of pace, and for those that didn’t want to get behind the wheel of a real vehicle and take a test drive, these arcade simulations were a good substitute.
Yes, Camp Jeep was cool, and it’s all it promised in our article last week. Climbing a 28-foot mountain is easy, but feeling the full weight of a Jeep Grand Cherokee while looking down the long ramp feels a bit like a roller coaster. At times driving at a completely different angle, I was in a ride-along for Camp Jeep, and it’s crazy how these SUVs don’t roll over when it feels like you can high-five the ground if you stuck out your arm far enough. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you can check out the whole route from a first-person point-of-view in the video below.
We’ll be posting more media on NowCar social media so be sure to follow along with us for more car tech and auto show content.