Chicago Auto Show

A Q&A With Audi On The TT-RS

Posted in Audi, Chicago Auto Show, Favorite Cars, Videos by Kurt Ernst | February 18th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

I’ll admit it: I’ve got it bad for Audi’s TT-RS. Sure, I know it’s just like a Golf (or worse, a New Beetle) with a big motor and a better suspension, but I don’t care. Jeremy Clarkson has argued the same point about the Porsche 911 for years, and it hasn’t seemed a negative impact on Porsche’s sales. Besides, the TT-RS is as close as we’re ever going to come to Audi’s Avus concept car, which is (in my mind, at least) the most stunning concept car ever built. Though a bit later to the social media scene than some, Audi deserves credit for bringing enthusiast’s questions to the source of all product knowledge; in this case, the TT-RS’s product manager, Mark Fruechtnicht. Video below. Read More…

Bad News From Hyundai: Genesis Coupe Soldiers On As Is

Posted in Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai by Kurt Ernst | February 12th, 2011 | 4 Responses |
2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

A 2011 Genesis Coupe R-Spec. Image: Hyundai Motor America

If you’re like me, the first thing that came to mind when Hyundai announced a new 429 horsepower V8 for the Genesis sedan was a hotter version of the Genesis Coupe. Who wouldn’t want an R-Spec Genesis Coupe with that much horsepower and a six speed manual gearbox? It would be the ultimate track day terror for those of us on a budget, but it looks like Hyundai isn’t thinking along the same lines. Even worse, the Genesis Coupe won’t be getting the same upgraded 3.8 liter V6 as the sedan, which now puts out 333 horsepower and 291 ft lb of torque. The Coupe stays the course with the 3.8 liter V6 putting out a mere 306 horsepower.
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Shelby Shows Limited Edition GT350 In Chicago

Posted in Chicago Auto Show, Ford, Promoted, Shelby by Kurt Ernst | February 11th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |
2012 Shelby GT350

Image: Shelby American, Inc.

The last time you could order a drop-top Mustang convertible with a Shelby GT350 badge was 1970, but Shelby American will change that for 2012. The company is building a limited run of Shelby GT350 Mustangs, and only 350 will be built in either the coupe or convertible body style. New color options for 2012 now include both red and blue, but the traditional white with blue stripe color scheme also remains available. The GT350s are “post title” cars, which means that you ship a brand new Mustang GT off to Shelby American for the conversion. How much it costs depends on how fast you want to go and how many option boxes you check off on the build sheet. Read More…

Mazda Shows Special Edition MX-5 In Chicago

Posted in Chicago Auto Show, Favorite Cars, Mazda, Promoted by Kurt Ernst | February 11th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

The 2011 MX-5 Special Edition. Image: Mazda USA

Mazda missed launching a special edition to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the MX-5 in 2010. To make up for it, Mazda is launching a new special edition to celebrate the building of the 900,000th MX-5, which took place last month. If you were expecting a special edition on par with the 10th Anniversary Edition, released in 2000, you’ll likely be disappointed. The 2011 MX-5 Miata Special Edition is “special” in paint and interior trim only, and the cars come in your choice of Dolphin Gray Mica or Sparkling Black Mica with Bright Finish wheels. All Special Edition cars will be built as Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT) versions, since the hard top now outsells the soft top by a margin of four to one. Read More…

Audi Shows The TT-RS In Chicago, Ahead Of U.S. Sales

Posted in Audi, Chicago Auto Show, Event Coverage, Favorite Cars by Kurt Ernst | February 10th, 2011 | 1 Response |
2011 Audi TT-RS

Image: Audi

Audi is displaying the TT-RS in their Chicago Auto Show booth, and details on a U.S. sales date are forthcoming. Audi agreed to sell the hottest version of their TT Coupe on these shores after a Facebook petition gathered nearly 12,000 signatures in under a month, but we’re only getting a limited number of cars. How many Audi is importing, what they’ll cost and when you’ll be able to take delivery of one remain a mystery, but what I do know about the car leaves me wanting one in a bad way. Read More…

Volkswagen Shows The 2012 Jetta GLI

Posted in Chicago Auto Show, Featured, Volkswagen by Kurt Ernst | February 10th, 2011 | 3 Responses |
2012 VW Jetta GLI

Image: Volkswagen

Volkswagen’s new Jetta, launched last summer, didn’t have much appeal for driving enthusiasts. Cost cutting on interior materials aside, the new Jetta also eliminated the expensive independent rear suspension in favor of a cheaper semi-independent torsion beam setup, which didn’t do anything to endear the car to those who prefer twisty roads to straight ones. “Wait for the GLI”, we were told, and I’m happy to say that the new GLI is here. Not “here” as in “at the dealership”, but “here” as in “on display at the Chicago Auto Show”, which means the car is one step closer to U.S. sales. Read More…

Dodge Launches ‘Green With Envy’ Challengers

Posted in Chicago Auto Show, Dodge by Kurt Ernst | February 9th, 2011 | 1 Response |

Image: Chrysler Group LLC

Bummed because you missed your chance to buy a vintage “Sublime” Challenger? Did you consider buying a “Snakeskin Green” Viper, just to fuel you passion for neon green Mopars? Dodge has good news for those who love the new Challenger, but prefer their paint the color of radioactive waste: both the Challenger R/T Classic and the Challenger SRT8 392 will be available in “Green With Envy” for the 2011 model year. Like the “Snakeskin Green” Vipers, you’ll have absolutely no chance of ever losing your car in a parking lot, and you will most definitely not blend in with the rest of the muscle car crowd. Read More…

2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Stuns Chicago

Posted in auto industry, Camaro, Chicago Auto Show, Favorite Cars, Featured, News by Kurt Ernst | February 9th, 2011 | 15 Responses |
2012 Chevy Camaro ZL 1

The 2012 Camaro Zl 1. Image: © GM Corp.

When it comes to muscle cars, more power is always a good thing. Not content to rest on the Camaro outselling the Mustang in 2010, Chevrolet rolled out their answer to Ford’s Shelby GT500 at the Chicago Auto Show. Called the Camaro ZL1, the car represents the highest performing Camaro ever built, and Chevy is calling it the most technically advanced muscle car ever developed. Maybe the biggest surprise was the car’s name: Chevy opted for ZL1 in honor of a limited production, aluminum block racing engine available for 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were ever built, but the cars have achieved near mythical status. Chevy hopes the same will happen with the 2012 Camaro ZL1, and leaves the door open for future models between the Camaro SS and the ZL1. Camaro Z/28, anyone? Read More…

2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 Readies for Chicago!

Posted in Auto Show, Chicago Auto Show, Dodge, Domestic Rides, Event Coverage, Rides by MrAngry | February 9th, 2011 | 6 Responses |

2012 Dodge Charger SRT8

If you’re a fan of Chrysler’s SRT8 series then you’ve no doubt been waiting for their new line of vehicles to come out for 2012. We’ve seen the 2012 Challenger SRT8 and while it’s a beautiful machine, there are those of us who like the four-door look. Thankfully Dodge has answered the call with the newly redesigned 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 that is set to debut at the Chicago Auto Show. The Charger will be equipped with the same 465 HP / 465 lb.-ft. of torque 6.4-liter HEMI that sits between the frame rails of the Challenger SRT8. The new HEMI incorporates Chrysler’s fuel saver technology (four-cylinder mode), and a new active valve exhaust system that delivers better fuel efficiency. The transmission is the same W5A580 five-speed automatic that’s we’ve seen since 2005, but this go-round it’s been fitted with standard paddle-shifters on the steering wheel.
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Hyundai Gives The Genesis More Power

Posted in Auto Show, Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai by Kurt Ernst | February 8th, 2011 | 6 Responses |
2011 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

The 2011 Genesis V8. Image Hyundai Motor America

We speculated on this last year, but Left Lane News now says it’s official: Hyundai will show a Genesis sedan with an upgraded 5.0 liter V8 at the Chicago Auto Show. The new engine is said to be good for 429 horsepower, up from 378 horsepower in the outgoing 4.6 liter Tau V8. At a time when most automakers seem preoccupied only with fuel economy, Hyundai Motors America president John Krafcik had this to say about the new engine: “We like to have our cake and eat it too. We want to lead the industry in fuel economy. At the same time, we’re launching 429 horsepower V8 engine cars that get amazing fuel economy.” Read More…