Because in Chicago, what’s old is often new again.

Look back through this year’s Chicago Auto Show coverage and you’ll notice a theme. More than anything else, this show is used as a place to showcase special, limited edition models. It’s a good way for automakers to give attention to products that might go unnoticed at shows like Detroit or New York, with all their glitzy new debuts and big concepts. I mean, when else would we ever give a new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport trim level so much attention?

In addition to that dumpy little Mitsubishi, this year brought a huge number of special editions to the show. Nissan debuted six Midnight models. Chevy took to the stage with nine Redline cars. Infiniti rolled out Signature Edition versions of its Q50 sedan and QX80 SUV. Two Ram trucks showed off unique colors and trim. Toyota gave some TRD Sport flair to its aging Tundra pickup and fullsize Sequoia SUV. And that’s not even all of them.

Like I said, I get the tactic – show a special edition in Chicago, and you’ll make a headline. Show that same car in New York, and no one will care. So while the Chicago Auto Show tries to remain relevant moving forward, don’t be surprised to see more and more of these one-off models debut here in the Windy City.

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