All car lovers know that the US produces some of the most thrill-inducing cars in the world. From the famous Ford Mustang to the Chevrolet Impala, the US’s automotive industry dreams up some truly trademark cars.
While America is a very different country to Britain, with large open roads that favour muscle cars and trucks contrasted against our more city-based driving experience, the Chicago Auto Show is a chance for manufacturers to show off their newest models. Some of them really caught the eye…
Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid
Alternative fuel vehicles are still relatively slow to catch on, but hybrids are doing a great job of bridging the gap between energy-conscious and efficient.
This Kia Optima hybrid is going to be a popular choice, offering 154 horsepower in a 2-litre, 4-cylinder engine that pairs with an electric motor that can either give you 27 miles of electric-only driving or 600 miles of overall range.
A very USA-styled Nissan, the Armada is based on the Patrol and the Infiniti QX80 but is powered by a V-8 engine. This is a truck that looks like an SUV thanks to some keen styling changes by Nissan, but is still destined for heavy work with a tow capacity of 8,500lbs (3855kg) – making it a potential buy for UK workers who need a high performing truck like the Mitsubishi L200 Warrior with SUV style.
Another Kia that turned heads, the Kia Niro hybrid is a small crossover vehicle that will try to rival the Toyota Prius in terms of small city hybrids that offer great fuel economy. This model can apparently achieve 50mpg.
Another pick-up truck built for the US market but potentially interesting to UK buyers who want something a bit fiercer. It offers a 3.5 litre V-6 engine and has both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations alongside some attractive styling and a spacious interior.
Fiat 124 Spider
With the popularity of the Fiat 500, you could be forgiven for thinking Fiat is all about city cars. However, you’re definitely mistaken – Fiat was once renowned for producing the world’s most beautiful roadster, the Fiat 124 Spider. At the Chicago Auto Show, the Spider is getting a much-needed update. Targeted for a 2017 release, the Fiat 124 Spider is a beautiful machine complete with Italian styling, powered by a 160-horsepower 1.4-litre engine.
If you’ve ever wanted to buy a Fiat but wanted something a bit nippier, keep your eyes open for the Spider.