Performance cars always seem to turn heads anywhere they go.  Whether or not you're an enthusiast, here's a trio worth checking out at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show:

The 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible may be one of the most exhilarating open-air performance cars made.  Under the hood is a new 5.8-liter supercharged V8 making 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque.  Add to that the GT500's incredibly muscular and aggressive design and Mustang fans, especially, will be weak in the knees.

The ever-popular Nissan 370Z has arrived in a fresher form.  The last time this high-performance coupe saw any real changes was back in '09.  Now, for 2013, the Z-car looks curvier and more dynamic then before.  The front fascia has been revised and now features vertical LED daylamps.  Other changes include new wheels, enhanced shocks and a red reflector for the rear fascia.  Overall, the revisions to the 370Z are subtle, but noticeable.

Mazda has picked the Windy City to showcase the Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition.  This aggressive-looking droptop will bring a black power-retractable hard top, black alloy wheels and matching trim on the outside.  Within, it will feature black leather seats and black accents.  And to elevate performance, this Miata will be fitted with sport-tuned Bilstein shocks.  Only 450 of these Special Edition Miatas will be built.

And those are the Performance Cars. Be sure to check Autotrader.com frequently for more articles, photos and videos from the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.

author photo

Shamit Choksey has a love for automobiles that worked into an early career writing and developing cop shows for network television. Later, diving even further into the world of wheels, he became a writer/producer for the Emmy-nominated PBS/Discovery Channel series "MotorWeek." These days, Shamit lives in Southern California, serving as a media consultant and journalist within the automotive industry. Incidentally, his wife and two sons are not impressed by any of this.

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