Automakers rolled out their latest models, newest technology, and hot concepts for all to see at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. This year marks the 107th edition of the show which is the largest in North America, covering nearly a million square feet of Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. And we’ve got to say that this year the manufacturers really pulled out all the stops to show off their latest vehicles.
Visitors to the show were able to get behind the wheel and navigate indoor and outdoor test tracks, strap on a virtual reality headset to go racing in some Detroit muscle, and even test out the awesome handling power of Hyundai with their Hyundai Team Racing. Though it was the supercars and good old-fashioned horsepower that took center stage, so we decided to highlight a few of our favorites.
Be sure to check out our gallery below, which features an up close look at most of them, and it won’t cost you the $2.1 million needed to put that Bugatti in your garage. There you can also find the high-powered and luxurious latest from Alfa-Romeo, Lamborghini, Lotus, Bugatti, McLaren, and others that were featured on this year’s showroom floor.
The Chicago Auto Show was one of the few places where people were able to see the exotic BMW i8 Hybrid sports car (since its been sold out as of this moment). BMW’s marketing for the i8 is “Progress in Motion,” in part due to the sleek and evocative design, its impressive performance, fuel efficiency and emissions figures that would be an environmentalist’s wet dream. The innovative eDrive plug-in hybrid technology is a merges the modified electric drive system from the BMW i3, which produces 131horsepower at the front wheels, together with a three-cylinder TwinPower turbo motor producing 231hp at the rear. These motors work together allow the two drive systems to show off their talents and deliver a drive performance of a true supercar, with an acceleration of 0-to-60 mph in 4.4 seconds while capable of achieving up to an estimated 94 mpg.
It can work purely on its electric power alone for up to 22 miles, which means no driving tailpipe emissions to a maximum. However those of us who love BMWs for the prestige and style may be more impressed by the gorgeous exterior whose silhouette lends the vehicle an iconic appearance. There’s even a visibly large, transparent greenhouse over the 2+2 cabin, and how the doors swing upwards like the wings befitting a supercar. The dual drive systems are similar to that of all-wheel-drive vehicle, which helps the i8 stand apart from it’s other high performance peers.
This is Rolls-Royce’s most powerful model ever: the Rolls-Royce Wraith fastback is both an excellent example of a super-luxury motorcar and high-performance speedster. Beyond it’s chic styling, she has a twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12 engine with an eight-speed automatic ZF transmission that would ensure a power delivery that is effortless and boldly dramatic. With 624-horsepower available to the driver, the Wrath can sprint from 0-to-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, but it has a governed top speed of 155-mph top speed. With 590-ft. lbs. of torque available, a wide rear track, shorter wheelbase and lower roof height further underwrite Wraith as the most powerful, involved driving experience of any Rolls-Royce in history. However, Wraith is no GT bruiser. Agility improvements have been achieved with absolutely no compromise to the sensation of riding on a bed of air.
Furthermore, the debut of Satellite Aided Transmission technology takes the powertrain to a new level of effortless delivery, one that perfectly suits the Rolls-Royce brand. While at the Chicago show (Feb. 14-22, 2015) check out the cabin ambiance in the Wraith, highlighted by Starlight Headliner, featuring 1,340 fiber optic lamps hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky. Coach doors open to reveal a sumptuous interior complete with softest Phantom-grade leathers and expanses of wood. Named after the famous cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design and engineering teams spent their winters, the Canadel finish sweeps through the contemporary interior, cosseting four occupants in a space bathed in light and warmth. The model on display at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show has a retail price of $364,125.
ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE
Aston Martin’s (made famous by the Jamed Bond movies) 2015 Vantage range consists of the three distinct models utilizing two advanced engines; V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage S and V12 Vantage S, all available in both Coupe and Roadster formats. There is also the stylish Vantage GT special edition that represents the most dramatic expression of V8 Vantage ever created. Ideally proportioned, compact and close to the ground, the long low hood line and sweeping side profile of the Vantage presents balance between beauty and sporting intent. A bold new carbon fiber front grille and optional lightweight forged wheels are features on some of the models, and an advanced aluminum structure sits at the heart of every Aston Martin. The front mid-mounted 4.7-liter V8 engine produces 420 horsepower in the Vantage and 430 in the Vantage S.
The powerplant is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox or optional seven-speed ‘Sportshift II’ paddle-operated automated manual transmission and short final-drive ratio delivering exceptional in-gear acceleration. For even greater performance, the Vantage combines its next-generation AM28 V12 engine with the lightest sports car Aston Martin can create. The V12 is linked with the seven-speed automatic, and the rear-wheel drive sports car can reach a top speed of 205 mph. There is a custom exhaust muffler and bypass valve map offered that is combined to create a distinctive and highly vocal exhaust sound. Inside the cockpit, there are two styles of seats offered – Sport and Lightweight – and a choice of Luxmill leather or Alcantara. With high-performance numbers, sporting suspension setting, a superbly responsive steering rack and wide tires, the two-seat Vantage and Vantage S is the benchmark sports car.
FERRARI CALIFORNIA T
The new Ferrari California T is the latest release from a distinguished line of California models. Penned by the Ferrari style centre in collaboration with Pininfarina, the new California T on display is finished in Rosso Mugello [Red]. As a Grand Tourer berlinetta with retractable hardtop, the 2015 California T features a world first with a new Ferrari mid-front engine Turbo V-8 that provides instantaneous response, blistering performance, impressive torque and a signature soundtrack. Thanks to the talents of Maranello’s engineers the 3.8-liter V-8 delivers 553-horsepower and maximum torque of 557 lb.ft.in seven gear. Standard transmission is an F1, dual clutch seven-speed.
The model on display includes optional 20-inch forged diamond rims, Scuderia Ferrari shields, yellow brake calipers, and more. When on the track, the California T streaks from 0-to-62 in 3.6-seconds; 0-to-124 in 11.2-sec. and tops off at 196-mph. The California T has a 2+ cockpit with Daytona style front and rear seats with horse stitched on headrest, touch screen navigation, Bluetooth, pop-up rear roll bars, USB and satellite radio, plus, the two-piece retractable hardtop opens or closes completely in 14-seconds. A tailored trunk offers 12 cu.ft. of luggage room, or 8.5 cu.ft. when roof is closed. The manufacturer suggested port of entry retail price is $196,973.00, and with air freight, prep, and a large list of options brings the total suggested retail price comes to $282,480.00.