CARS.COM — The 2018 Chicago Auto Show may have been light on new-vehicle debuts, but it was heavy on snow, which made our Best in Show winner all the more fitting — even if it’s not a vehicle you can snowshoe out to the dealership and buy.
Related: More 2018 Chicago Auto Show Coverage
We were tempted by the new-for-2019 Volkswagen Arteon, but that very stylish sportback wouldn’t have a chance of cutting through all this white stuff in the Windy City. There’s only one vehicle here that could embrace the challenge of fresh powder: the Nissan 370Zki (pronounced like “ski”) project car. With a custom 3-inch lift kit to fit massive American Track Truck Dominator tracks in place of rear wheels and industrial metal skis instead of front tires, the 370Zki is a snowmobile masquerading as a car. Cars.com editors Aaron Bragman, Fred Meier and Brian Wong weigh in below on why the Nissan took top honors.
Wong: I am tickled by Nissan’s choice to use a 370Z roadster as a base for the 370Zki — and even more tickled that the top still works so you can rip around in the snow with the roof off (as God intended). It’s unconventional for us to pick a one-off custom car as our Best in Show, but working in the 370Zki’s favor is that it has an untouched powertrain. That’s a stock engine and transmission under the hood, and Nissan has already run the thing in the snow to prove that those treads aren’t just for show — they work in the real world, too.