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Early Look at 2013 Vehicles from the Chicago Auto Show

While the Chicago Auto Show doesn’t officially start until Feb. 10, automakers have given industry insiders and select media a look at their new featured vehicles for 2013. As things are looking right now, the 2013 line-up of vehicles is all about pushing boundaries and ensuring you are as comfortable as possible wherever you are going.

Over 1,000 vehicles will be showcased at the 10-day Chicago Auto Show that is taking place at McCormick Place, in Chicago, Illinois. This is the 104th edition of the auto show and will be showcasing the latest and greatest in vehicles in a 1.2 million square foot exhibition space.

During a Wednesday previews, members of the media and industry insiders were treated to some early looks at the best of the leading automakers for 2013. Here is a look at some of these highlights:

General Motors: hot on the good news about the second place spot in volume brands for this venerable American automaker, General Motors revealed its new 2013 Acadia. This vehicle is simply jam-packed with family-friendly features including Internet connectivity, a central air bag system that deploys between passengers (a first in the industry) and a stylish new front grille.

Hoping to build on the growth in sales of the Denali, General Motors is looking to make more inroads in the crossover market. The vice-president of marketing for General Motors says that the bulk of its Terrain and Acadia sales are to new buyers - highlighting the growth in this vehicle style.

Ford: 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team and in honor of this, the automaker featured its 2013 Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible. With 650 horsepower and an on-track speed of over 200 miles per hour, this car is all about speed and more speed. The 2013 Shelby clocks in at 3.5 seconds faster than the 2011 and 2012 models.

Ford is also making some strong gains with police departments across the country with its specially-designed Interceptor. This vehicle has been in production since Jan. 9 and so far Ford has contracts with over 40 police departments in Illinois for this niche vehicle.

Kia: we all know how popular the Kia Soul is (not to mention a smart buy - watch the review) and now building on this success, Kia revealed on Wednesday its Kia Track’ster. This car is in the early stages of development and is still considered a concept-car by Kia.

Hyundai: earlier in the year, the Hyundai Elantra was voted the North American Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show, and Hyundai is continuing to build on this success for 2013. To extend the Elantra line and options, Hyundai revealed the coupe and Euro hatchback options - setting the Elantra apart as the only full-line compact on the market.

The coupe is expected to hit show room floors in the spring, and company officials are expecting big things from the car. One aspect that could hamper growth for the Elantra line is production - currently the Montgomery, Ala., plant is running at full capacity.

Volvo: safety on the roads is key and the safety numbers for a vehicle go a long way in the buying process. This is something that Volvo is banking on, and the company is pledging to continue to raise its safety ranking with a pledge that no one will be killed or seriously injured in an accident in a new Volvo by 2020.

To enable this, Volvo is spending a lot of research time and dollars on improving the stopping systems of its vehicles during low-speed crashes.

These brief highlights speak to good things for you as buyer and driver. Vehicles are getting safer, have improved family-friendly features, and if you’re into going fast - well there are lots of great options for you. The next few days at the Chicago Auto Show should provide us with even more great news about what to expect from auto manufacturers.