Cruising with CornerstoneDad: Chicago Auto Show Wrap-Up
What was hot?
What was cold?
You decide and let me know as below are all of the vehicles that were so special, the manufacturers held press conferences to tell us all about them…or at least about themselves.
Launch: Camaro ZL1 version
– LSA supercharged 6.2L V8 engine
– estimated 550 hp / 550 lb-ft. of torque
– high-strength hypereutectic pistons
– Eaton supercharger
– six-speed Tremec TR6060 manual transmission
– new exhaust (first used on the Vette)
– fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet and most technically advanced Camaro ever
– planned launch: beginning of 2012
– Key competitor: Ford’s Shelby GT500
Launch: Limited edition Camaro SS Convertible
– Replica of 1969 pace model
– Only making 500.
Launch: Genesis Sedan 5.0 R-Spec
– 5.0L Tau V8 with DI
– Most powerful Hyundai engine yet at 429hp, 11.5:1 compression
– D-CVVT variable valve timing
– Estimated fuel economy is 16 city and 25 highway
– “unique R-Spec transmission”…Hyundai’s own 8-speed
– DI added to Lambda 3.8L bumping HP up to 333 (this should really help the Coupe!)
– 3 engines now available for the sedan: 5.0L V8, 4.6L V8, and 3.8L V6
– 5.0L / 8 spd. powertrain will also be standard in the Equus
Launch: Veloster Rally Car
– The only news here is that Hyundai appears to be using this vehicle to go up against Mitsubishi’s Lancer and Subaru’s Impreza. In other words, this is the “boy-racer” model in the line-up. While the company is commercially touting the fuel efficiency of its vehicles, there is obviously money in the budget to focus on vehicle performance as well.
Launch: New 2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
– 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine
– 200 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,700 rpm
– Expected to deliver 31 mpg highway with the manual and 32 mpg highway with the DSG® automatic.
It was interesting that VW spent more time talking about social networking and the popularity of its recent Darth Vader Super Bowl ad than it did the vehicle.
Launch: 2012 TL
– “newly refined”
– received 6-speed automatic transmission.
Launch: “Man Van” Grand Caravan
– 3.6L Pentastar V6 and 6-speed transmission
– 283 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque.
The outside of the van did not look much different, but the interior is supposed to be a “man cave” with its all black color. What do you call a minivan with the most horsepower and torque in its class and an R/T badge? A minivan.
Launch: Durango R/T
– 5.7L HEMI producing 360 hp / 390 lb.-ft. of torque
– Best in class 7,400 lb. towing capability
Launch: Charger SRT8
– 6.4L HEMI with 468hp and 465 lb.-ft. or torque
– Improvement of 15% for the city and 25% for the highway compared to the 6.1L in the 2010 model
Launch: Tradesman 1500
– Standard 5.7L HEMI (390hp/407lb.-ft.)
– Five-speed transmission
– Highway fuel economy rated at 20 mpg
– Pricing starting at $22,780
Launch: 3500 HD
– turbo diesel engine and emits no diesel exhaust fluid, reducing cleaning time; 800 lb.-ft. of torque
– Maximum tow rating of 22,700 pounds
Since Ford decided to talk about nothing but using social media to launch the new Explorer and other vehicles in the future, I just decided to post the shot of their best vehicle at the show. Like any good reporter, if there’s no news, you just make some up.