From new concepts to pickups to full-size work vans reconfigurable thirteen different ways, there were a lot of all-new vehicle introductions at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show Press Preview as the manufacturers gave the media and bloggers like us a sneak peak before preparing for the most important audience – the public.
2014 Toyota Tundra. If pickups are your thing, then stop by the Toyota display as team Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc. revealed its all-new, redesigned, full-size 2014 Tundra pickup in silver (this one in black was on the turntable in the stand).
This is big for Toyota, as the Tundra hasn’t seen a real, inside and out, redesign since 2007. (For the press release and speeches, go to the Toyota section on this page to the right.)
Kia Cross GT. Kia has a new crossover concept vehicle, and we admit, we had to stop and take a second look. Beautiful design, luxury feel, the Cross GT has a powerful stance and nice flowing lines. Can’t wait to see this one move on to production. The exterior color in bronze is stunning. If you want an entry-lux people hauler, this vehicle is it. The Cross GT’s wheelbase is 15.7 inches longer than the Sorento at 122.0 inches and its overall length of 192.8 inches is 8.4 inches greater. The Cross GT’s has an overall height of 65.3 inches, giving it a lower roofline than most large crossovers. (See the Kia section for more information.)
2013 Volkswagen Beetle GSR. Over at the Volkswagen display, the company unveiled a performance Beetle that you just want to jump in and race around the show floor – as fast as possible – hitting every tight corner you can find. That was the original intent of the vehicle, inspired by the 1970s Yellow Black Racer. It’s a lot more “masculine” Beetle, and with the award-winning EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder TSI® engine that generates 210 horsepower and the 19-inch “Tornado” aluminum-alloy wheels, a competent driver could have some fun with this one.
2014 Chevy Corvette. If you missed the Detroit Auto Show, make a bee-line to the Chevrolet stand to see the new 2014 Chevy Corvette. The red Stingray will be there, sitting pretty like the cherry on top of a hot fudge sundae.
2014 Chevy Cruze. While we were in the Chevy stand at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show Press Preview, we heard from Chevrolet Small Cars Marketing Director Cristi Landy who introduced the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel. It features an advanced 2.0-liter clean diesel engine with an estimated 42 mpg highway (automatic transmission). According to the folks at GM, this is the cleanest diesel passenger car engine the company has ever produced. So put aside your visions of the “driving dirty” diesels of the past; this is the future – with clean diesels generating at least 90 percent less Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and particulate emissions. It’s a good-looking car too, with a surprisingly roomy interior. Make sure you sit inside one when you get to the show.
2014 Ram ProMaster. When we all thought that there’s no way a big white work van could have any appeal, we were proven wrong. Ram Truck unveiled its latest vehicle in its new Ram Commercial series – the 2014 Ram Promaster – showing all 13 ways the truck can be reconfigured to meet the needs of any small- to medium-size company.
Based on the Fiat Ducato, one of the most popular full-size vans in Europe, the ProMaster is available in two roof heights, three wheelbases, and four body lengths.
And while the media has a history of climbing in and out vehicles, we had a lot of fun getting to know this van. Our 6-foot 3-inch photographer was able to walk through this truck effortlessly from front to rear. And with front wheel drive, you can move from the front seats to the rear without the big hump in the middle.
Another impressive feature is the EcoDiesel engine (yes, another diesel), new to North America, with 174-horsepower 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 lb.-ft. at just 1,400 rpm. It has an oil-change schedule of up to 18,500 miles, which helps lower the total cost of ownership. This “big white van” has a lot of best-in-class features. Read more about the ProMaster in the Ram section.
2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8. While leaving the Ram reveal, we were drawn to the center aisle by a paint job that screamed retro bold performance – it was intense. We later learned that this 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 had been painted “Plum Crazy” —
a color befitting of its performance stats, with the proven 392-cubic inch (6.4-liter) HEMI V-8 that delivers 470 horsepower (351 kW) and 470 lb.-ft. (637 N•m) of torque, accelerates from 0-60 mph in the high 4-second range; run the quarter mile in mid-12-second range with the automatic transmission (high 12-second range with the manual); can go from 0-100-0 mph in the low 15s, reach a top speed of 182 mph with the manual transmission (175 mph with the automatic) and stop from 60-0 mph in just 117 feet. It just looks fast, and so does its counterparts, a silver 2013 Chrysler 300 SRT8 and the “TorRed” painted 2013 Dodge Charger Super Bee displayed at its flanks. (See the SRT section to learn more about this vehicle.)
These are just some of the cars and trucks you don’t want to miss at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. With so much to see — all the flashing colors and lights and booming music and announcers — we’re glad to have survived seizure free. Just kidding, we love the bright lights and shiny objects. It’s all a part of the auto show experience.