2017 Chicago Auto Show: Emptying Our Notebook

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We had a good time at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, and after getting back home and sifting through our dirty clothes, press materials and notebooks, we found a few interesting photos and notes we wanted to share. Here are some of the most compelling from our outing.

Toyota Sequoia and Tundra TRD Sport

MW Tundra TRD Sport II

In the past, Toyota has treated the Chicago Auto Show well, revealing many of its biggest debuts there. This year, it added two in the form of a Tundra TRD Sport pickup truck and Sequoia TRD Sport SUV. Both packages include blackout badging and unique exterior features, bigger wheels and tires, Bilstein monotube shocks, and front and rear, bright-red TRD high-performance anti-sway bars.

The only problem we see is that the TRD brand lately has meant better four-wheel-drive performance, as with the popular Tacoma packages; however, anti-sway bars are typically meant to improve street performance. So a TRD Sport package on a Tacoma, clearly meant to improve its backcountry 4x4 performance, seems to have the exact opposite definition when applied to the full-size Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV. That seems weird.

 

Nissan Titan Wants to Grow

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During a clever bit of marketing and media outreach, Fred Diaz, Nissan truck and SUV guru (actually the division vice president and general manager for Nissan North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles), had a "tailgate talk" press event in the Nissan booth. He noted there that with the addition of the final piece in its commercial truck lineup — the Titan and Titan XD King Cab models — Nissan would now be ready to start targeting its competition with a full portfolio of offerings for vans and pickups. In fact, he added, Nissan already has started to outsell the Toyota Tundra in several mid-level markets such as Omaha, Neb., and Salt Lake City. It seems like a small first step, especially since Nissan is only selling a few thousand full-size pickups a month so far, but you can't blame it for aiming high.

 

State Farm Chevrolet Silverado 3500 RoadHouse

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There we were, wandering the aisles of the auto show, when this Chevrolet loomed ahead of us. We get that it's part marketing exercise, part traveling display, part just plain crazy custom pickup modification, but this Silverado 3500 has a pretty cool story behind it: Essentially, State Farm added about 10 feet of frame rail to the middle of the truck, extending all the other important pieces (wiring, brake lines, driveshaft, etc.) to make the beast run. The techniques aren't that unusual, though, when you think about other limousine-type vehicles.

And yes, it travels to auto shows, fairgrounds and other widely attended events to spread interesting home and auto (Get it? It's both a house and an auto) insurance news on its own power quite legally. Maybe you'll see this mobile display "house-gating" at the next big football game. Check out this YouTube link to see the build.

 

New Ford Expedition Has a Lot of F-150

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This was our first chance to see Ford's all-new 2018 Expedition that now weighs about 300 pounds less than the vehicle its replaces. Much of the underpinnings and electrical architecture are directly from the upgrades made to the current-generation F-150 — that means aluminum body panels and use of the new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine and 10-speed transmission.

We have no doubt this new Expedition will be exactly what big-family SUV buyers are looking for, especially when there's so much room in the third row for both cargo and extra passengers. Much of that room comes from the fact that the Expedition has improved its independent rear suspension to allow for more legroom and headroom for ipassengers. We did a quick comparison with the 2017 Chevy Tahoe (which uses a live rear axle and, along with the Suburban, dominates the segment) so you could see how the two direct competitors match up.

 

Nissan Titan XD Accessory Truck

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There's no question Nissan will have its hands full for a few years trying to lure faithful full-size pickup buyers away from their preferred brands, but that challenge may be easier if it can offer things the other truck makers can't — interesting and unique accessories with a factory warranty, for example.

To explore that point, Nissan displayed two different modified full-size pickups (one a Titan half ton and the other a Titan XD) to show off some ideas. The half-ton Titan had a small lift to accommodate more aggressive tires and a number of existing accessory parts available through Nissan dealers, including 20-inch wheels, side steps, a bed step, in-bed lockable storage, a tonneau cover and a bed-lip cover. The more muscular Titan XD had a taller lift, bigger tires and wheels, a new front bumper and light system, as well as a custom bed light bar and heavy-duty spare tire carrier.

These accessories were more about what Nissan could offer in the future, exactly what it needs to better differentiate from its mainstream competitors. We hope it offers both as special-edition packages.

 

Mercedes-Benz Tower of Terror, Graz, Austria

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It wouldn't be the Chicago Auto Show if you didn't have a number of interactive driving experiences right in the middle of the new-vehicle displays, and Mercedes-Benz had the thrill ride of the show with its "tower of terror." In order to give interested customers a chance to see what lengths it goes to in testing its top-level 4x4, the G-Wagen, Mercedes set up a mock proving ground theoretically designed to duplicate some of the same types of rough terrain and steep hill climbs it has at its test facility in Graz, Austria, on a 5,000-foot mountain called the Schoeckl. Mercedes-Benz has been testing both military and personal-use Gelandewagens (now called the G-Class) there for decades.

 

Best Booth of the 2017 CAS: Ram Activity Booth

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We have to say that Ram had the best, most action-packed drive event display of the show with its multistage, multitask pickup truck test drive. Depending on the route you wanted to take, you could pull a massive wall down, lift a hefty concrete block 30 feet into the air, run an industrial-size 4x4 obstacle course or check out how well an air suspension can carry a stack of concrete blocks. Combining the Ram truck display and Jeep Drive Experience, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had the most popular displays and highest approval ratings based on the lengths of the lines we saw.

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Other 2017 Chicago Auto Show Stories:

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams

 

Comments

Considering the money Nissan is putting on the hood of the Titan they should be outselling the Tundra everywhere.

From garbage motors. Hahahah hahahah hahaha

Trash Motor Company's Expedition looks like a carbon copy of the Tahoe and Suburban. Guess that's how Trash Motors thinks they can gain sales, look like another brand of the great General Motors.

The Ford Ranger will be my next truck.

My local Nissan dealership owner told me a couple weeks ago that Nissan will not warranty a lifted truck like GM and Ram will. He also said Toyota and Ford will not either. He has a big used car lot and he says he puts 10-15 lifts in trucks per month. Maybe in the future Nissan will let them, or probably just their appoved lift.

People gave up on the Expedition 10 years ago, not sure if they will find it again, unless they market it heavily

The TRD sport package is not the same as the TRD off road package (which they already offer on the Tundra) which is why it has front AND rear anti sway bars - to offer more sporty handling yet still hold its own off road.

The New Expedition is awesome, much more peppy, Ford has been holding out.

The Expedition will hand it's lunch to the GM Twinkies from 0-60 with that TTV6.

F350 Dually already handles the Duraturd.

I don't care what running gear you brought to the race.


The CHEVY LOST!!! Period!!!

Thanks for proving me right. :D

One of the guys in my neighborhood put a loud exhaust on his 2014 ecoboost F150.

Boy is he sorry.

It sounds like a loud VW beetle going by. Seriously.

One of the guys in my neighborhood put a loud exhaust on his 2014 ecoboost F150.
Boy is he sorry.
It sounds like a loud VW beetle going by. Seriously.
Posted by: papajim | Feb 22, 2017 5:03:16 PM

I can assure you he has more power than your turd
Posted by: Frank | Feb 22,
/QUOTE

You can tell that by loud exhaust the vehicle has more power??LOLOLOL

You probably believe that chrome valve covers increase hp too right!?

FCA is working on new inline 6 gasoline and inline 6 4.5L diesel as well.
My next truck with inline 6 RAM. Very exciting times.

FCA is working on new inline 6 gasoline and inline 6 4.5L diesel as well.
My next truck with inline 6 RAM. Very exciting times.
Posted by: RAM | Feb 22, 2017 6:22:28 PM

HHAHAHAHA!!!, coming from the guy who was praising Hemi V8's & their rumble...keep following the leader...again.

Here is the brutal truth Ford F-350 vastly outsold the combined GM total of 3500 Silverado & Sierra. Thats what counts, its not 0-60 times and its not mpg. I Choose the Mfg. combined total as that is your usual retreat when you are consistently beaten by brand. Make all the excuses you care to, however it will not change the reality.
For GM 2017 is going to be rough and 2018 even worse.

Think you mean rough for Ford, can't use massive cheap fleet/rental sales to prop up sales numbers forever.

Whistling past the graveyard, with excuse after excuse, too bad, so sad.

Excuse no, just compare 2016 GM and Ford profits. Facts are Facts, Ford had to give their junk away.

@Lionel
Do you even know the difference between V8, V6 and I6 ?
I didn't think so.

It's nice to see pickup trucksmaking a comeback, especially the 2018 Tundra TRD.

I hope that the EPA rolls back the 2020 fuel economy mandates. Ford has already asked for this. Were that to happen maybe Toyota can offer a 6.5-liter V8 to blow the Raptor off the road.

@Lionel
Do you even know the difference between V8, V6 and I6 ?
I didn't think so.

Posted by: RAM | Feb 22, 2017 7:38:10 PM

@RAM
You forgot I own a 24 yr old Wrangler with an I-6 - original/untouched virgin that still runs perfectly well today. All though I'm very faithful with oil changes/top synthetic only etc, I do abuse it a lot; have gone through 3 suspension changes & time to change current one that's a bit tired (Sky Jacker); might go for a Rubicon 4 inch lift next.

But you missed the point again as usual; there is no question RAM (& shaky GOVT motors) will all be following Fords footsteps of smaller power plants & lighter materials.

LOL GM been lighter then Ford for like 30 some years now, also had turbo 6 trucks in the 1960 *look up rampside*. Ford and their clown boys always late to the game. cough ranger HAHAHA!

"We have to say that Ram had the best, most action-packed drive event display of the show with its multistage, multitask pickup truck test drive."

Dam right. Ram has the most to offer in trucks. Award winning line up with best in class and class exclusive options. You can buy Ram or A.E.V. at the dealer with full warranty. Love my longest lasting RAM trucks. Combat proven trucks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZy5uGEHdaQ


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AxpvBT0Sug&t=51s

HAHAHAHA!! Ford's V6's are mopping the floor with all the competition's V8's including shaky GOVT motors halo 6.2 V8...ouch!!!

Um no, that's all in your Trash Motor Company dreams.

http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/texas-truck-showdown-2016-max-towing.html

grabbing straws from history books of 30-40 yrs ago LOL...what's wrong; got nothing else to brag/boost poor shaky GM?

How can Ford be a so called *leader* when GM did it 30-50 years ago. Your right, Trash Motor Company boys like yourself are grabbing straws.

@Lionel
So you don't have a Ranger and you didn't go through the 3 feet deep river?
How FCA can follow,when Ford doesn't produce I6 ?
You are delusional and should seek some help immediately.

Turbos blow. So 80's. lol I'm sure plastic would be better for drag racing. lol You can have your beer can truck. I like my steal body and solid frame thanks.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/sc-modern-turbocharging-autocover-0216-story.html

Well I can definitely say Ford is trying to look more rounded like a Ram.

I'm surprised that the Titans went from being a nice looking truck, to a big ugly front end.

I hope they don't do the same with the new Frontier

@Frank
The question is, whats the cost of that smoking.I would say time life and MPG.
Ecoboost V6 with 2 turbos is going to smoke a long time before I replace the spark plugs in my HEMI. No recall, no one part replaced, 200,000 kms and counting. I'll take that over ecoboost any day.


I have to agree with papajim on the ecoboost exhaust sounding terrible. Frank, Ford even knows that and build a v8 sound track to play over the speakers. HAHAHA!

My 6.2 chevy sounds fantastic, and she's all natural. LOL! Nothing fake with my ride.

My 6.2 chevy sounds fantastic, and she's all natural. LOL! Nothing fake with my ride.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Feb 23, 2017 10:13:14 AM

But it's slow as fvck

Posted by: Frank | Feb 23, 2017 10:30:49 AM

Read the following review from "2014". 0-60 in 5.4 seconds.

That's from a truck that can pull 12,000 lbs. Yeah, try that in your Tonka Raptor. HAHAHA!

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-chevrolet-silverado-62l-v-8-4x4-test-review

Hey, it's 2017, not 2014. I didn't bother with your stupid link.

Welcome to 2017, it's time to change the rock you live under.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p43BAqhbHg

@ Franky: Oh, here is the GMC test with the 0-60 and 1/4 mile times tested. Now that's a truck and not a Tonka Raptor.

Welcome to 2017, it's time to change the rock you live under.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p43BAqhbHg

Posted by: Frank | Feb 23, 2017 11:20:19 AM

Ford finally matching the times set by GM back in 2017 with their 6.2.

Actually, it's welcome to 2017 from GM. HAHAHA! LOL! Ford guys, always following the leader.

Sorry! Ford, welcome to 2014. Hehe!

Here is a real world test on your Shiterado 6.2L. 0-60 7.6 sec.

http://www.tfltruck.com/2013/09/0-60-mph-quick-2014-chevrolet-silverado-6-2l-high-country/

Ok Ford Clapter lover.

@Lionel
So you don't have a Ranger and you didn't go through the 3 feet deep river?
How FCA can follow,when Ford doesn't produce I6 ?
You are delusional and should seek some help immediately.

Posted by: RAM | Feb 22, 2017 11:14:57 PM

@RAM recall; once again you missed the point like a thicker than a brick fangirl...
By the way, my Ranger has a 3" lift with mud NITTO's & crossing 3 ft rivers is easy as a pancake. In fact my wife's nephew with his RAM 2500 got stuck & we had to pull him out.

@ Franky: Oh, here is the GMC test with the 0-60 and 1/4 mile times tested. Now that's a truck and not a Tonka Raptor.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Feb 23, 2017 11:25:32 AM

Here is the link that didn't paste earlier. Hey Ford! Welcome to the performance level of a 2014 GM.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-gmc-sierra-1500-62l-4x4-test-review

@Frank
I appreciate, you don't want to touch any engine lifetime issue.

@Liinel
What about your Ranger . LOL.

@Liinel
What about your Ranger . LOL.

Posted by: RAM | Feb 23, 2017 2:28:18 PM

@RAM recall; I'm certain my global Ranger with tiny 3.2 TD will last longer, fit trails, cross rivers & run rings around your RAM recall truck...LOL

@Lionel
So how many clicks do you have already ?

@RAM
So how recalls you've had already?

Frank
I don't think GM puts the 6.2 in thier pickup TRUCkS for drag racing.
Lol.

@ Lionel
One. Rear differential Nut Loctite could be missing. Inspected, not loosened, nothing wrong, replaced anyway.Do you know what Loctite is ?

Soooo, how many clicks do you have already.

Frank
I don't think GM puts the 6.2 in thier pickup TRUCkS for drag racing.
Lol.

Posted by: What the heck | Feb 23, 2017 5:17:39 PM

Agreed, they did it to allow the GM 1500 series trucks to pull12,500 lbs trailers, higher than any F-150 including the ecoboost engine cookie cutter models.

@Frank "The New Expedition is awesome, much more peppy, Ford has been holding out..."

Frank is right Ford has been holding out...must be the fumes from their Ford Exploders....lol

http://www.wtsp.com/news/feds-investigating-popular-ford-suv/317437678

Lionel is right "I'm certain my global Ranger with tiny 3.2 TD will last longer, fit trails, cross rivers & run rings around your RAM recall truck..."

Great point!

https://www.trucks.com/2017/01/26/ford-recalls-2017-f-150-pickup-truck-fix-instrument-cluster-defect/

Right on!

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/ford-recalls-model-year-2016-focus-and-c-max-vehicles-020817.html

You said it!

http://www.autoblog.com/2016/12/02/ford-recalls-over-680-000-ford-fusions-mondeos-and-lincoln-mkz/

Yeah man!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy1UZfzICi4&t=6s

heeeeheeeee

@RAM recall;you would know as you've probably opened up your RAM recalled rear end differential so often you've counted the "clicks" & need differential Nut Loctitea LOL

But I understand; my wife's old '99 Grand Cherokee (was so happy to dump that lemon), the rear end was replaced twice & same for my Wrangler - 4 times!). Latest one, an Eaton w/4.10 gears is holding up so far with all the abuse I put it through.

Now for my Ford trucks, never had a problem once or needed to open it for any reason - never!! Now I'm going back even 50 yrs w/Dad's '56 F100, '74 & '78 Bronco right up to today (approx 9 Ford trucks toal) - now that's Ford Built Tough!



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