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Now Car Cars We Love Chicago Auto Show 2017

Cars We Love at the Chicago Auto Show

Written By, Jordan R.

What does a car enthusiast do on the week Valentine’s Day falls? Falls in love with all of the new concepts and models debuting at the Chicago Auto Show this week. Whether you are single or taken, lusting over the hottest cars is totally okay. Here’s a few of our most loved models on display at the Chicago Auto Show.

2018 Dodge Durango SRT

This isn’t the same Durango Shaker concept that was shown off at SEMA 2016, but the new Durango SRT that is currently on display at the Chicago Auto Show is better. Why? Because it is the fastest SUV in its class and it is actually going to be produced and sold.

“SRT,” or “Street and Racing Technology,” is the same group of engineers that created performance vehicles like the Dodge Viper and Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Now their performance technologies are being put into the Dodge Durango, a monster already capable of carrying enough cargo for a small army.

Made for families and able to seat up to seven passengers, no family will be late to a soccer game or backyard BBQ ever again. Powered by a 475-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine, this baby covers a quarter mile in 12.9 seconds. The streets better be clear of traffic when this is on the road. A lot of the power comes from the Durango SRT’s hood design, which includes a  functional cold-air duct and heat extractors.

Paired to an eight-speed transmission, all 470 lb-ft of torque is sent to all four wheels - yep, it runs on an all-wheel drivetrain. However, there are several drive modes the driver can choose from to fit their driving style and various driving conditions: auto, sport, track, snow, tow, valet and ECO. Riding on five-spoke 20-inch wheels and a set of Scorpion Verde all-season tires standard, we suggest slower drivers pull over to the right lane - and stay there! No MSRP has yet to be determined, but we should see it later this year.

New Ram Trucks

On the eve of the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, Ram unleashed a new special-edition heavy duty truck package and a new limited edition light-duty model, and we love the new looks.

With a little color change, new graphics, and an upgraded interior, say hello to the limited edition Ram 1500 Copper Sport. This new Ram 1500 edition is covered by a copper body paint job, of course, but kept in check with a black Ram head grille badge, black tailgate badge, and black side badges. There are two drivetrains (4x2 and 4x4), with the 4x2 drivetrain running on 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and 20-inch wheels for the 4x4 drivetrain.

The new interior has an all-black headliner, copper color stitching, an upgraded Alpine nine-speaker sound system standard, and more. A true limited edition model, only 3,000 units will be produced, all built with a crew cab and powered by the 5.7-Liter V8 HEMI MDS VVT engine. Starting MSRP is $46,950 and the new models will be available at the end of this month.

Also added to the Ram lineup is the new special-edition Night packages for the Ram 2500 and 3500 HD pickup trucks. Having already found its way onto the Ram 1500 lineup, now the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 will become one with the night. Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks with the Heavy Duty Night package feature with blacked-out wheels, a sharper-looking grille, and badges that make it stand out from the pack.

The special package is available on single rear-wheel crew cab configurations with a 4x4 or 4x2 drivetrain. The package is also available with any of the engine options, like the 5.7-liter V8, 6.4-liter V8 and 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel. MSRP starts at $46,840 and the models will be available this month.

New 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Hatchback

The Hyundai Elantra GT has been a hatchback for some time, but the 2018 model debuted in Chicago and has taken a couple of styling cues from the European model, the i30. It also has some construction changes, now with only 53 percent high-strength steel, so it is rigid but also 60 pounds lighter. In addition, the interior is a little roomier, with over 50 cubic feet of cargo space. You can’t have just one new model at the Chicago Auto Show, and that’s why a Sport variation of the GT model will also be made available.

In the Hyundai Elantra GT is a 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine that generates up to 162 horsepower with either a manual or an automatic transmission. In the GT Sport however is a 1.6-liter engine. Made with a turbo-four cylinder engine, although it holds less, the power output is an estimated 201-horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.

Many features were shown off, such as LED daytime running lamps and an eight-inch display audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - both standard features. Extras consist of smart cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and more for safety. Technological advancements like wireless device charging and convenient dual-zone climate control are some of the other available options. MSRP later this summer.

2018 Ford Expedition

Another SUV that debuted over the weekend was the 2018 Ford Expedition. While still providing power and fuel efficiency, this SUV is now 300 pounds lighter due to an aluminum skin. We talked about the benefits of switching to aluminum for auto construction not too long ago, and this is proof. So we can expect a trend definitely taking over in the coming years.

The power comes from a turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine with stop-start technology, paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The inside is filled with two rear-bench seats, but can be folded flat to hold enough building material to fill a 4x8 foot-area. Some convenient features such as wireless charging and Pro Trailer Backup Assist have popped up.

Not to be left out of modern tech, Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system has been included, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Available is a 12-speaker sound system, a 360-degree camera, lane-keep assist systems, adaptive cruise control, and more. Plus, this 2018 Ford model will be offered in two sizes- regular and Max. MSRP not yet determined.

2017 Nissan Titan King Cab

Shortly after the Nissan-Mitsubishi merge, the two auto companies said they were still competitors, not partners. So just like we expect to see some Mitsubishi models like the Outlander Limited Edition, we can also expect to see models from Nissan. This year is the Nissan Titan, now with a King Cab model to complete the lineup for the 2017 model-year.

With a King Cab, passenger capacity extends to six passengers when a front bench seat is installed; otherwise a rear-seat delete option can be chosen for a flat floor with cargo tie-down hooks. The Titan is powered by a 5.6-liter V8, generating 390 horsepower, and paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. It can tow 9,240 pounds and carry a payload of 1,640 pounds. An option for the Nissan Titan XD though is a 5.0-liter Cummins diesel engine for more towing power at 555 lb-ft of torque. That comes out to 12,510 pounds of towing power; if equipped with the gas engine, the payload still increases on the Titan XD to 2,710 pounds.

The Nissan Titan now comes in 5-grade levels, three body styles, with the option of three bed-length options, and King Cab models will be available on the S, SV, and PRO-4X. No MSRP at this time.

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