This is my last installment about 2017 Chicago Auto Show. I am sharing some of the more unique vehicles that I got to experience while at this year’s show.
LEGO Batmobile – Using over 340,000 LEGO bricks, Chevrolet took the wraps off the LEGO Batmobile by Chevy. Originally introduced earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the automaker worked with students from the Motor City’s Cody Ridge Community to build the life-sized model. The 17-foot “Speedwagon” was part of a promotion for the upcoming “The Lego Batman Movie”. GM even added a tongue-in-cheek webpage to its Chevy site showing the “exciting available options”.
i-Road – Think city of the future. Toyota is actually evaluating this little “pregnant roller skate” for use in congested cities as a possible solution to mobility challenges. It is a three wheeled electric vehicle that has a maneuvering system that combined active lean with rear-wheel steering.
Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Cabriolet – Consider this one the rarest of the rare. Wearing the badge of the German automaker’s most exclusive make, the first ever 2018 Mercedes-Maybach S 650 Cabriolet will only have a production run of 300 units, of which just 75 are destined for the United States. While pricing has not been set, this much is known: power will be generated by a 6.0L biturbo V-12 engine bolted to a seven-speed 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The prime mover will produce 612 hp at 4800-5400 rpm at 738 lbs-ft of torque at 2300-4300 rpm.
Stelvio SUV – Alfa Romeo has officially joined the SUV craze with their initial offering – the Stelvio. The Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models feature an all-new, all-aluminum, 2.0L direct-injection turbo engine joined to an eight-speed automatic transmission that allows it to achieve 0-60 mph in an estimated 5.4-seconds and a top speed of 144 mph. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the “halo” model in the lineup and continues to highlight Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport expertise with best-in-class 505 hp, powering it from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph. The innovative Q4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) system – standard on all Stelvio models, including the Quadrifoglio, provides additional driving confidence and superior control. Iconic Alfa Romeo design and genuine Italian craftsmanship combine to create a premium mid-size SUV that truly stands apart from the crowd.
740e xDrive sedan – The new 2017 BMW 740e xDrive iPerformance is powered by a plug-in hybrid drive system using the precisely executed interplay of a four-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electrical machine integrated into the 8-speed Steptronic transmission to generate a system output of 322 hp. This iPerformance model features BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system to distributes the combined power of the combustion engine and electrical machine permanently and as required between the front and rear wheels. Like the BMW eDrive technology on the plug-in hybrid of the new BMW 7 Series, the intelligent lightweight design featuring carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) is also based on expertise forged in the development of BMW i cars. The body structure with Carbon Core, first presented in the new BMW 7 Series, is the result of the BMW Group’s unparalleled know-how in the industrial use of CFRP in the automotive industry.