The Cars You May’ve Missed at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show

After relaunching with a new format, the 2021 Chicago Auto Show is officially over. Although it won’t be the only major car show this year, CAS was the season’s kick-off. And given its consolidated run, it’s understandable that not everyone got a chance to see everything. That’s why MotorBiscuit has made the guide below to show what the 2021 Chicago Auto Show had to offer.

The 2021 Chicago Auto Show was the launch point for several new cars

Chicago’s car show has seen its fair share of new car launches over the years. And the 2021 Chicago Auto Show was no different, with several manufacturers debuting new models.

BMW and Ford arguably had the greatest number of new cars and vehicles to show out of the present carmakers. The German company officially launched its new M3 and M4, as well as its first electric SUV/crossover, the iX. As for Ford, it used the 2021 Chicago Auto Show to launch the hybrid 2022 Maverick and the electric F-150 Lightning. And the Blue Oval also showed off its Rocket League Edition IRL F-150, though it’s just a one-off.

But BMW and Ford weren’t the only two companies with new electric cars to show at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show. Kia launched its first-ever EV, the 2022 EV6. Like BMW, Chevrolet launched an electric crossover, the 2022 Bolt EUV. So did Nissan: its first electric crossover, the 2022 Ariya, also bowed in Chicago. And rounding out the electric crossover releases is the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4.

Volkswagen didn’t just show off an electric crossover at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show, though. VW also launched the 2022 Taos there. And although they’ve been available in Europe for some time, CAS marked the US launch of the 2022 Golf GTI and Golf R. While we’re not getting the Estate wagon, for the first time, the US-market models are just as powerful as the Euro-market ones, Autoweek reports. For the GTI, that means 241 hp; and the Golf R makes 315 hp.

Rounding out the new cars at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show, Kia also launched the 2022 Carnival. And finally, Toyota showed off the new 2022 Corolla Cross crossover.

Others were refreshed or updated

Besides the new cars sprinkled around the 2021 Chicago Auto Show, there were also a few refreshed or otherwise updated models.

The side 3/4 view of a gray 2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk on a simulated gravel rise
2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk side 3/4 | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Jeep Compass, for example, has the same powertrain as before, but a new trim, updated looks, and a better interior. And the 2021 Jeep Wrangler now offers a new off-road package, the Xtreme Recon, as well as a new ‘Sunrider’ flip-top option for hardtop models. It’s also available on the Gladiator. And speaking of trucks, the Ram 1500 got a new BackCountry Edition.

While the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is new, it’s joined by the redesigned 2022 Bolt. And besides the new Ariya, Nissan also displayed the redesigned 2021 Rogue, 2022 Pathfinder, 2022 Frontier, and 2021 Armada, Cars.com notes. Plus, Kia brought along the “mildly updated” Sorento, complete with the brand’s new logo, to the 2021 Chicago Auto Show, MotorTrend reports.

Although Honda didn’t have any new cars to display, it did bring the 2022 Odyssey, which is “mostly unchanged from the 2021 model,” Cars.com says. And as for Toyota, it showed off the updated 2022 GR 86, a new Tacoma TRD Pro paint color, and the redesigned 2022 Lexus NX.

The 2021 Chicago Auto Show also had a few classics and supercars, too

One new car that wasn’t present at CAS was the Nissan 400Z. That car won’t be revealed until the New York International Auto Show in August. However, the Z Proto Concept was on display, and it looks even better IRL than in photos.

CAS isn’t solely about modern consumer cars, though. In the past, the show has featured classics as well as some high-end supercars and hypercars. And this year, both returned to McCormick Place.

On the classic side, Corvette Heroes gave away several of the Lost Corvettes as part of its national sweepstakes to benefit veterans’ organizations. Plus, parked alongside the Bronco ‘off-road course’ were several vintage Broncos.

As for supercars, WinTrust Bank brought along several Lamborghinis, Rolls-Royces, Aston Martins, Bentleys, and a Lotus in its Supercar Gallery. But I was more taken by what the Hamilton Collection brought—a Bugatti Chiron, a 2000s Ford GT, and a Lamborghini Countach 5000 S.

After 2021, CAS plans to return to its traditional February timeslot. But the show’s organizers say this summer format could make a comeback, too. Hopefully, that means more viewing time for everyone.

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