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Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Top Cars at Chicago Auto show 2011
The Chicago auto show is the most attended motor show in the U.S., even though it's less than a month after the headline-stealing Detroit event. So while most of the heavy-hitting reveals happened at Detroit, the auto makers still save plenty of good stuff for the Windy—and cold—city. Here's a collage of the newest models.
Supercharged, supersized, and superbad, the ZL1 will be the best performing Camaro ever produced when it debuts later this year. A version of the Corvette's blown V8 produces about 550 horsepower and channels the torque through a six-speed manual gearbox. Chassis upgrades include 14-inch front brake rotors, 6-piston calipers, and GM's MR adjustable shocks. Inside, the the base Camaro's awkwardly shaped steering wheel and shifter have been replaced with more ergonomic alcantara-covered pieces. An aluminum hood with carbon-fiber bulge shaves some weight, but expect the ZL1 to still come in around 4000 pounds. The price has not yet been determined, but 50 grand seems a good guess.
The ZL1's 6.2-liter V8
Chevy says the supercharged engine will produce about 550 horsepower, but don't be surprised if that number creeps closer to 600 when the car debuts later this year.
Rhys Millen Hyundai Velostar RallyCross Car
As Hyundai prepares to launch its new coupe, the Velostar, the company has teamed up with Rhys Millen to run the new car in the U.S. Rally Cross Series. While the standard car isn't especially powerful (138 hp), the race car ups that considerably to 500.
Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec
By boring the Genesis V8 to 5.0 liters (from 4.6 liters) and adding direct fuel injection, the sporty large sedan will roll with 429 horsepower—43 more than the standard car. Perhaps most impressively, the R-Spec should cost less than 50 grand.
Hyundai Genesis V8
The Genesis V8 appears to have plenty of space under the intake manifold to fit a supercharger, a long rumored upgrade that seems unlikely now that the R-Spec will soon arrive
2011 VW Jetta GLI
With a 200-hp turbo engine, sprightly suspension, and unique trim, the Jetta GLI promises to be a sedan version of the GTI hatchback, which is one of our favorite driver's car.
Chicago's McCormick Place
Chicago's McCormick Place is such a large hall that there's room for four, small test-drive courses. Here Ford's new Explorer navigates a seesaw course and simulated sand pit.
2011 Dodge Durango R/T
The R/T is Dodge's attempt at a "driver's" SUV. THe formula includes tauter suspension, special trim and a zero exterior chrome. Since the standard Durango already handles quite well, we're curious to see if Dodge can imporve the dynamics without killing the ride.
2012 Dodge Charger SRT8
Like the Challenger 392, the latest Charger uses the enlarged, 6.4-liter Hemi V8. The 465 routes power to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission. THe upgraded interior looks terrific and Dodge claims a 175 mph top speed. That's heady stuff for a roughly $45,000 sedan.
2011 Dodge Caravan R/T
Dodge calls it a "Man Van" which is yet another attempt to remove the minivan's mommy-mobile stigma. We know few minivan driver's clamoring for such a thing, but we have to admit that this van's 40-percent stiffer suspension and blacked-out interior would be items we'd appreciate anyway.
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8
At Chicago, Dodge debuted a new color for the Challenger dubbed, appropriately, green with envy.
2012 Nissan GT-R Black Edition
For the 2012 model year "Godzilla" the nickname for this Japanese supercar, gets an additional 45 horsepower (530 total) and chassis enhancements that improve feel. The car now also comes with an automated launch-control system that catapults the car to 60 mph in about three seconds.
2011 Cadillac CTS-V Black Diamond Edition
Cadillac will build only roughly 500 of these special cars. The signature feature is a metal flake black paint job that positively glows. It also comes with black wheels and yellow calipers. Like we said, it's an acquired taste.
2011 Audi TT RS
Audi never planned to offer the uber TT, the RS, for sale in the U.S. But, we're happy to report, that the 340-hp coupe will soon be available here. Customers can choose between a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Plus there's a launch-control system for flawless automated getaways.
2012 Acura TL
The TL was one of the few all-new cars to debut at Chicago, although at quick glance that's tough to recognize. They've softened the nose somewhat—"it's refined yet aggressive," a company rep said with a straight face. Mechanically, however, much of the car is carryover two version of the V6, 3.5- and 3.7-liter, power either the front or all four wheels.
2011 Mazda MX-5 Special Edition
Mazda's folding hardtop MX-5 now outsells the softtop two to one. This year, the company has added a trim and paint package, dubbed simply "Special Edition." It's basically a fully loaded $30,925 MX-5 with unique body color
2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible
Officially, Chrysler calls this one a concept, but this is basically the 200 convertible that will appear in the next few months. Unlike the last one, which had a folding soft top, the new one features a hardtop that should greatly increase top-up refinement.