Before we walk away from the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, we want to make sure we ring out all of our favorite exhibits. Sure, there were several interesting pieces of information we were able to gather and there were even some newly revealed vehicles that caught our eye. But the beauty about this show is how popular it with the locals.
This is one of the most interactive auto shows we've ever been to and provides plenty of opportunities for show-goers to get into a new vehicle and see how they perform. The Chrysler booth was probably the leader in this category, as they had separate Fiat, Ram 1500, and Jeep driving courses.
Even Ford had a running dyno on the floor that erupts in a giant roar when someone wants to find out what the maximum torque for a GT500 Mustang convertible might be. With that said, here were a few of our other favorites.
This heavy hauler was in the U.S. Army booth, along with a platoon of energetic enlisted men ready to talk about trucks. The HETS (Heavy Equipment Transport System) is an 8x8 tow rig weighing in at 20 tons and the 40-tired trailer normally behind it usually tows another 80 tons, typically hauling around an Abrams tank. The M1070 Tractor is has a GCWR of 230,000 pounds.
GMC showed us a new Acadia and Acadia Denali that is likely to echo some of the same changes coming to the next GMC Sierra and (we're guessing) Sierra Denali. There are some ripples of Audi design in the frontend and headlight look but the interior is a huge improvement over the previous layout and quality level. We can only hope that will fully traslate to the pickup trucks as well.
WALL OF WHEELS
Any good auto show understands that eveyone who attends an auto show event like this isn't just interested in purchasing a new vehicle; they are also looking to keep their current ride and find a few upgrades. This wall of wheels gives buyers a chance to see which wheel they might like and find out how heavy it might be.
EQUATOR BED ARB
After the success the Suzuki Equator had in our Midsize Shootout last month, it looks like they want to take their RMZ-4 off road package into the back-country. This Equator is a equipped with the Australian built and designed bed-top, fold-out camper tent. The design is quite popular overseas where there are more poisonous and nasty critters crawling on the ground than you can fight. Sleeping up in the air makes a lot of sense in that case.
TOBY KEITH F-150
Bet you didn't know there was a Toby Keith F-150? The truth is, there really isn't. This special edition truck is put together by Keith's production company as part of a sweepstakes giveaway connected to his concert tour called the Locked & Loaded Tour Sweepstakes. The truck has all sorts of TK signature details inside and out, as well as being a 4x4 EcoBoost SuperCrew F-150. For more info, click here.
CAMP RAM TRUCK
As noted earlier, Ram Truck stole the show with the display of their new Laramie Limited top-of-the-line (non-western) trim package, and having a huge driving exhibition where Ram 1500s drove over logs, twist ditches, up hills, and into tight corners. Consumers will not only be able to see how the truck looks, but they'll also know how it rides over various terrains.