By Mary Lowry
Here’s a look at a few more highlights from the media preview at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, the biggest auto show in the nation. New offerings from Nissan and Chevrolet were featured in a blog post last Thursday. Today’s spotlight is on Kia, Subaru and Lincoln.
Kia made an energetic presentation complete with live rock music befitting the spirit of its Soul, for the car’s 2014 all-electric version, which arrives in third quarter 2014. The Soul EV has a real-world range of 80 to 100 miles, and is capable of an 80-percent charge in 33 minutes. It has 109 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. Navigation, backup camera and hands-free connectivity are standard equipment. Initial rollout of the Soul EV will be in Oregon and California only.
A radical-looking Kia concept called the Niro took the stage after the Soul EV. Niro is powered by an electric hybrid system. As for its chances of going into production, Kia reminded media members in attendance that the company does have a history of producing its concepts.
Kia also announced that the 2014 Optima Hybrid, with a combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 38 mpg, will be arriving at dealerships within the next few weeks.
The center of attention for Subaru was the 2015 Legacy sedan. Legacy marks its 25th anniversary with an all-new version that is even more refined than the previous version, and is the roomiest, most technically advanced model in the car’s history. Features include all-wheel drive, Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system, a generous 38.1 inches of rear-seat legroom, and fuel-saving technology that boosts highway miles per gallon to 36. Two boxer engines are offered: a 175-horsepower four-cylinder, and a 256-horsepower six-cylinder. The 2015 Subaru Legacy goes on sale this summer.
On the evening before media day at the auto show, Lincoln provided a sneak preview of its 2015 Navigator during a special event at ZED451 restaurant. The new Navigator’s interior and exterior styling have been updated, and a new engine is available: a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 generating 370 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. With the now-standard Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Package, the 2015 Navigator can tow up to 9,000 pounds.