Did you know it's February 2015? I hope so. If you didn't, move out from under your rock and buy a calendar, dammit. Anyway, this month marked the 107th annual Chicago Auto Show. It was sort of a big deal. And it also totally sucked this year.
Why did it suck? Well, it wasn't much interesting than my local auto show. There were tons of exclusive reveals at Chicago 2015, and yet none of them got my blood pumping. Every "new" model was just a tired refresh of a tired model we're ready to see get replaced. After Detroit last month, Chicago was a reminder of how depressing auto shows used to be during the height of the Great Recession.
Alright, I can already hear you out there. So I'm going to get this out of the way now: I don't care that Ford painted the GT silver for Chicago, OK? The GT's new wore off about a week after the Detroit show for me. I realize this is where I'll bid adieu to most of you.
With that out of the way, for those of you left, let's take a look at the all of the boring stuff automakers trotted out at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.
The RDX is a big seller for Honda's luxury division Acura... which actually doesn't sell all that many cars. Afraid to mess with success — because God only knows they can't get enough of it — Acura gave the RDX some extra LED lighting and a new bumper and grille for 2016.
In other news, Acura still hasn't figured out to clean the egg off the NSX's face, courtesy of Ford's GT unveil at the Detroit show.
At least Acura was the only brand that made us suffer with a boring refresh of a boring crossover SUV. Wait a second. Ohhh shit...
Like the RDX is to Acura, the Equinox is a real sales winner for Chevrolet. Despite automotive journalists/car bloggers/angry car enthusiasts pleading for buyers to purchase Ford Escapes and Mazda CX-5s instead, Joe and Jane America continue to buy Chevrolet Equinoxes like they do smartphones and mayonnaise.
For 2016, Chevy ripped the face off of its poor selling Malibu and glued it onto the Equinox. Then they tweaked the taillights, put a new color touchscreen in the center stack and called the base model "L." Aside from that, I'm about to start regurgitating old press releases from 2009 and 2013 here.
This is the new Chevrolet Colorado pickup with some factory accessories bolted on. Real fun. Which, speaking of factory accessories, does anyone really buy them unless the dealer forces them to? Let's let that be today's burning question.
Here's the skinny on these two Chevy trucks: basically, Chevrolet picked up a Ram brochure from 2013 one day, looked at the specs on the Ram Express and Express Blackout and thought, "Why can't we make our cheap trucks look that nice? Why can't we make one that's all black?"
The end result is the Chevrolet Silverado Custom and the Silverado Midnight Edition (pictured above). Real original then. And yet Chevrolet still fails to understand that a V8-powered Ram pickup is actually affordable, not what Ram thinks is affordable. If I wanted to buy a V8-powered Silverado, I'd have to eat gruel and sell my first born child.
It's a Dodge now. Like it ever wasn't. You can apparently custom order one, like how you can custom order a McDouble from McDonalds with BigMac sauce and shredded lettuce instead of ketchup and mustard. (It's called the BigMac Superleggera. You're simplifying and adding lightness by getting rid of the sesame seeds, one piece of bread and cheese. Ask for it by name.)
Is that... is that a cop behind me? Dude, I'm pretty sure that's a cop behind me. No, like, I'm totally sure. Yes, I'm sure. D-Dude, I'm trying to be chill. I'm chill, dude... I, I think he's running my tags, man. Dude, he's running my tags... Awwwww shit. Like, what if he pulls us over man? What if he sees that your, like, stoned — that I'm stoned? What if he brings out the dog, man, and finds the fuckin' weed in the glovebox. Dude, I can't, I can't do this... I can't be chill... No man, no. I think I'm, I'm starting to fr-freak out man. I knew I shouldn't have done this. I knew it... I...
He's turned on his lights. Ohh shittt...
I didn't say earlier I wasn't going to include this car. I only said I didn't care Ford repainted it for Chicago.
Alright, look. For those of you still reading, please understand: I actually like the Ford GT. I really do. It's a brilliantly designed car, and one that makes me proud to be 'Murrican.... um, regardless if it's going to be built in Canada.
Does it suck? Well no. I suppose what I should say is that — as much as I like this car and respect its engineering — this and other supercars are simply objects of apathy for me, rather than objects of aspiration like they are for most people. Supercars are ultimately just laptop wallpapers and bedroom posters to me.
You admire a Ford GT in the same way you admired Batman when you were five-years old. And like how that five-year old you never grew up to be Batman, the current twenty-something you will probably never earn enough money to ever buy a Ford GT.
But that's OK. It's after you learn to stop lusting over cars like the Ford GT you learn to love and respect real supercars. Supercars like the very one that sits out in your driveway — sometimes in the freezing cold because you're too poor to buy a decent house with a warm garage to park it in — and starts up without question so that you can get to work or class on time.
With all that said, I'm moving on.
Everyone's favorite car with asymmetrical doors, the AMC Pacer, soldiers on for 2016 with a new seven-speed dual clutch gearbox across the board, and a new Rally Edition model limited to 1,200 units. No word if the cool beans Levi's Edition with denim seats will come back next year.
Uhmmmm, let's see. What's the deal with this fella? OK. Seems Hyundai made the grille bigger. Right.
The 2016 Honda Pilot, ladies and gentlemen, is the new face of incest. Clearly the inbred lovechild of a wanton Honda CR-V and a lecherous Honda Oddessy, the new Honda Pilot carries on the original's mission of providing sensible all-weather transportation to the average nuclear American family. Just don't be off-put if it challenges you to a banjo duel (sorry, this was the only incest joke I could think of).
All kidding aside, if you are still in your 20s, you'd better get used to the idea of a Honda Pilot. This is the car you'll wind up buying instead of a Ford GT when you reach your mid to late 30s. And that's just fine.
So, Honda decided to bring its next-generation Ridgeline pickup to Chicago. Well, except not really. It actually brought along a high school senior's art project and told everyone that it was the next-gen Ridgeline.
Details on the 2017 Ridgeline are scarce, but judging from what I can see from Honda's doodle, it appears it could be a 2016 Pilot with a separate bed on it. So it's a version of an inbred car for actual inbred people (sorry, this was the only pickup truck stereotype I could think of).
Meet the fourth boring ass refresh from the Chicago show: the 2016 Kia Rio. Will it sell? Sure. Especially to customers with poor credit/no credit/divorce.
I'm not a big advocate of the whole "buy used vs. new or you're just a sucker" mantra that's repeated in the automotive press these days. However: if you want an example of where I think buying used actually does makes sense every time over buying new, here you go. Actually, between this, the Hyundai, the AMC, the Chevy Equinox and the Acura RDX, you can take your pick.
Awwww, are you jelly of the new Jeep Renegade, Kia? That's so cute!
If you couldn't tell, what Kia has done to make the Trail'ster is add a few inches of ground clearance and some body cladding to its evergreen Soul hatchback-thing. Then they made the front of the thing look like a VW minus the huge badge. Oh, and it's also electric too. So there's that.
Get used to the thought of this being around, minus the flashy wheels and lighting and the electric powertrain. Small CUVs are trendy right now, and a LL Bean'd version of the Soul will probably be Kia's entry. I'd rather have a Renegade, but to each his own.
Nope. I'm not even going to bother with this. I can't say any more than what has already been said, good or bad. Just watch this video, if you haven't already:
What are you doing Mitsubishi? Seriously. What is this? I don't even.
Ugh. Alright, here's what you need to know: Mitsubishi first rolled out this particular concept SUV at the — ahermermm! — 2013 Tokyo Auto Show. No, I did not mistype that. This is from an auto show that was almost two years ago. It's supposed to preview a brand-new Montero, which waved goodbye to US soil almost a decade ago.
Now, I'm fine with the Montero coming back and all. I always thought the old one was sort of cool. And hey, if it comes back and its successful maybe we can get a PROPER FUCKING ECLIPSE, LANCER AND EVO. HUH MITSUBISHI? CAN'T YOU JUST MAKE THAT STUFF!? I MEAN GAWD! IS IT THAT HARD YOU SLACKERS? JESUS WEEPING CHRIST. THAT'S WHAT MADE YOU SUCCESSFUL HERE.
Nissan still makes the 370Z? Seriously? It isn't dead yet? Wow. Good for you, Nissan.
Anyway, moving on.
Although we had already seen their newest LeMans racer ahead of the Chicago Auto Show, Nissan decided to drag it along anyway. Nissan says — oh, I can't... I can't hold it in anymore... IT'S A FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE HYBRID THAT WEARS THE GT-R BADGE. WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW? NISSAN DOESN'T GIVE A FLYING RAT'S ASS. YOUR GOD IS DEAD. AND NO ONE CARES! HA HA HA HA HA HA!
Over the years, the Chicago Auto Show has gained a reputation as being the show where automakers show off their new trucks. Between Honda's art exhibit and its new Pilot, Ford's stoner freak-out machine, the missionary position edition of the Chevy Equinox, the Acura Forgettable Crossover and this new Ram Laramie Limited, I would concur.
So what makes this new Ram truck stand out? Well, uh... are you looking at it? Look at the schnoz on this thing! In truckland, I guess the size of your grille and your logo is now considered to be proportionate to your dick size. Like the size of your boots and gloves or whatever.
Do I have to cover these cars? Ugh. Fine then.
For 2016 Toyota will have two new special versions of its best-selling Camry and Corolla. The Camry Special Edition has snazzy new seats and some special wheels, and the Corolla Special Edition (pictured above) is a blatant rip-off of a Dodge Dart Blacktop. Seriously. Even Toyota is ripping off Chrysler now. It has, like, black wheels and trim and everything.
For 2016, the Toyota Ava--yawn... ... ... ... Sorry, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah! The Toyota Ava—yawn... .... ... ... ... ... God, I need a nap. I'd tell you to follow me on Twitter, but forget it. I'm tired of this bullshit.