2009 Chicago Auto Show Preview

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Did you miss out on seeing some of the cars that made a splash at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit? You’ll have a second chance, as some will make an appearance at the Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the public on February 13.

Most of the buzz created in Detroit was caused by electric concepts like the Cadillac Converj, Dodge Circuit EV, Chrysler 200C EV and Jeep Patriot EV. These will all be available for your viewing pleasure in Chicago, though hotties Fisker and Tesla are skipping out on the Windy City.

Plus, if you want to oogle a Maserati or drool on a Bentley, Chicago is where you need to be.

For the slightly more practical-minded though, Chicago will also see some exciting debuts, including the:

2009 VOLKSWAGEN TOUAREG V6 TDI

This premium midsize SUV is powered by a 3.0-liter, turbocharged six-cylinder engine that produces 225 horses. With a fuel tank capacity of 26.4 gallons, expect a driving range of more than 600 miles per tank, all while emitting fewer emissions.

2010 LEXUS HS 250h

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Some will say this is a Prius with a spit shine. Lexus, though, says it’s the world’s first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle, and the fourth hybrid and the most fuel-efficient vehicle in Lexus’ lineup.

2010 KIA SOUL

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The original Soul prototype was displayed at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show, and the front-wheel-drive 2010 Soul remains true to the five-passenger concept design. 

2010 HYUNDAI GENESIS COUPE

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This is a rear-wheel-drive sport coupe offered in three trim levels: the affordable GS; the premium-sport GT, featuring the 306-horsepower, DOHC 3.8-liter V6; and the high-performance SE, available with either the 212-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or the 3.8-liter V6 engine. Both engines are mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission. The Genesis Coupe is scheduled to join the Hyundai lineup in the spring of ‘09.

CHEVROLET ORLANDO CONCEPT

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Chevy says the Orlando is a compact, seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle with the versatile attributes of a sport-utility, a family van, and a wagon. At first glance, I’m hoping it’s not a rebirth of the Pontiac Aztek.  

2009 SPYKER C8 LAVIOLETTE

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Making its Chicago Auto Show debut is the exotic Spyker C8 Laviolette, an advanced mid-engine two-seater with an aluminum Audi V8 producing 400 horsepower.

If you were going to the Chicago Auto Show, which automakers would you be sure to check out? Do you go to auto shows to shop or to dream?

-tgriffith

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