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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The Ram Laramie Limited debuted at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show offering some luxurious options from Dodge subsidiary, Ram for the popular pickup.
Saddling up in the high-end pickup comes with a hefty price as we’ve learned today. The Laramie Limited boasts a starting price of $45,700 for the 4×2 model making it the most expensive Ram model yet. To put it all into perspective, a bare-bones 1500 starts at just $21,820.
Some would put up a good argument that you get a good bang for the buck though. The Laramie Limited comes with a color-matched front bumper, fog lights, a chrome grille, and 20-inch wheels. All the badges are also replaced with “Limited” ones while the interior features leather with greystone piping. The center console has been highlighted with piano black high gloss details along with chrome vent rings and liquid graphite side bezels.
Luxury in spades, the Laramie Limited is outfitted with a remote start system, backup camera, a heated steering wheel, adjustable pedals, and front vented seats. Really, the Ram Laramie Limited is a bit of a bargain if you think of it more as a luxury vehicle — as long as you’re ok with the pickup truck packaging.
It’s rather interesting to see American automakers offering such luxurious amenities on pickup trucks. Then again, it’s not like you can toss all your hardware into the truck of your Mercedes E-Class without a care.
GALLERY: Ram Laramie Limited
A busy auto show can feel less like a civilized venue and more like a petting zoo, depending on how many people crowd in.
Unfortunately, when he got to the show the Audi representative refused to open the RS5. Smith felt understandably disappointed. He currently owns an S5, A6, and an A3 but thought the RS5 might make a good fourth. After such a disappointing experience, Smith drove home and sent a letter to Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen. What happened next was probably beyond his (and our) wildest imagination.
Smith received a lengthy response from de Nysschen explaining Audi’s reluctance to let show-goers sit in the RS5. First, it was a pre-production vehicle. Second, it was the only one that Audi of America had for the entire auto show season. Getting replacement parts would be a huge hassle if anything was damaged in the prototype. Nice as it was to respond, the end of the message is what most people are paying attention to now. It read:
“One of my team members will contact you shortly to arrange a private viewing of the RS5 for you. We will be pleased to truck the car to your home so that you can take a close look at this stunning driving machine. The car will be in Chicago until March 9th when it will be moved to the next Auto Show.”
When the RS5 showed up at Smith’s front door, it wasn’t alone. The entire truckload of show cars from the Chicago Auto Show: the RS5, S6, S7, S8, and A8 3.0T were all present. Even though it probably wasn’t the cheapest option for Audi, they certainly won back a loyal customer that became hesitant to purchase the RS5 after his poor car show experience. The free press can’t hurt either.
Watch the videos that Joshua posted on YouTube after the break.
GALLERY: Audi RS5
Cadillac Global Vehicle Line Executive, Dave Leone, recently disclosed at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show that future models of their new ATS will offer a torque-vectoring system in either its rear- or all-wheel drive configurations.
Even though torque vectoring won’t be available when the ATS hits dealerships this summer, Leone wanted to make sure everyone knew that Cadillac is already looking at future improvements on the 3 Series rival. “That comes later,” Leone said, adding, “Is it necessary? No. But it’s the next step in refinement.”
And the torque vectoring that will make its way to the ATS won’t be the run-of-the-mill pinch-a-brake setup that most automakers describe as torque vectoring. Cadillac is planning to make the ATS differentials deliver extra torque to an individual rear wheel – or front wheel in the AWD models – when required.
Interestingly enough, Leone also said that he expects that 35- to 40- percent of all ATS sales will be all-wheel drive. And even though Cadillac still hasn’t officially announced pricing on the new ATS, Leone still believes it’ll be in the mid-$30,000 range to stay competitive with the BMW 3-Series models and the Audi A4.
GALLERY: Cadillac ATS
[Source: Inside Line]
If you were able to keep your eyes off of Adriana Lima to acknowledge that there was indeed a car in Kia‘s Super Bowl ad, then you should find this Optima SX Limited familiar. The top-of-the-line Limited Package for the 2012 Optima SX was made official today at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.
The fully-loaded trim sits on top of the turbocharged Optima SX and starts with a $3,300 package as an option. Included at that price is black or white Nappa leather added to the seats, door panels, and center console, LED daytime running lights, wood interior trim, additional exterior chrome, 18-inch wheels, red front brake calipers, a first-aid kit, and the ever-important SXL badging.
But here’s the catch. Reaching for the Limited package requires you to also purchase the $4,350 SX Technology and Premium package, bringing the Optima SX Limited to a whopping $34,900. With it however, you will also get a backup camera, in-dash navigation, eight-speaker Infinity audio system, heated and cooled front seats, four-way power front-passenger seat, panoramic sunroof, heated rear outboard seating, and power-folding mirrors. Unfortunately only three colors are available for the Optima SX Limited: Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl, and Titanium Metallic.
Regardless, you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of a turbocharged, 2.0L engine with 274-hp and a six-speed automatic transmission.
GALLERY: 2012 Kia Optima SX Limited Package
GALLERY: 2012 Kia Optima SX Limited Reveal
Recently the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Touring was spied testing in Canada, and it appears that the second generation of its Hyundai Elantra Touring model will make its American debut at the upcoming 2012 Chicago Auto Show.
The new Elantra Touring won’t be the only Elantra variant making its debut as the Korean automaker is also planning to unveil a two-door version of their popular compact. But like the current Elantra Touring model in America, the new one will surely be just like the European Hyundai i30, which debuted at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Interestingly enough, reports are coming in that Hyundai will lose the Touring badge from the model’s name, simply branding it as a five-door hatchback – perhaps trying to get away from the unhip stigma of being a wagon. It is expected to be powered by the same 1.8L engine in the current Elantra model, with 148-hp and achieve 40-mpg on the highway – if you believe Hyundai’s claims. Reports of a 200-hp turbocharged model and a plug-in hybrid variant are still a possibility.
GALLERY: 2013 Elantra Touring Spy Photos
GALLERY: European Hyundai i30 Hatch
The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI will be going on sale this summer and will make its official debut at the upcoming 2012 Chicago Auto Show. VW has fed us some information ahead of its debut, however, revealing that it’ll be available in three trim levels and is expected to get 29-mpg city and 39-mpg highway.
The Beetle TDI will be powered by a 2.0L turbocharged diesel engine with 140-hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. The engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or Volkswagen’s innovative, dual-clutch DSG six-speed automatic. For the inside, the TDI models feature an extra instrument pod with oil temperature and boost gauges along with a stopwatch.
The three models the Beetle TDI will be available in are TDI, TDI with Sunroof, and TDI with Sunroof, Sound and Navigation. The upgraded models are pretty self-explanatory, with the base model coming with 17-inch wheels standard while the Sunroof model also adds a Premium VIII audio system with a full-color touchscreen display. Lastly, the top-of-the-line model has an RNS 315 navigation system with a five-inch touchscreen display and Fender Premium audio system.
Pricing has not yet been announced.
GALLERY: 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI
Mazda will debut its 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition at the upcoming 2012 Chicago Auto Show, a limited-production model of just 450 units. The special edition MX-5 will feature a black-only power retractable hard top.
Other features exclusive to the special edition model includes two new exterior colors, 17-inch gunmetal wheels, black exterior accents, heated black leather seats and piano black interior finishes. The debut of this Special Edition MX-5 at the Chicago Auto Show also pays tribute to the Miata’s global debut at the same show back in 1989. It’s since gone on to become the world’s best-selling roadster with more than 900,000 produced.
The limited edition model will be available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The special edition model is based on the MX-5 Miata Grand Touring model. Both the Premium and Suspension packages will be standard on the Special Edition which includes Bluetooth, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Bilstein shocks and a sport-tuned suspension.
Mazda will also have their Turbo2, Dempsey Racing No. 40 GRAND-AM Road Racing Race Car, a 1990 Miata and the Star Mazda Championship Open-Wheel Race Car at their booth for the Chicago Auto Show.
GALLERY: 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition
Ford will unveil its 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible in the Windy City next week at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The Shelby GT500 is shaping up to become one hell of a sports car and its convertible variant just might be the ultimate, top-down cruiser.
Powered by a potent 5.8-liter supercharged V8 engine, the GT500 packs 650 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, making all Mustang fanatics worldwide salivate in joy. Despite Chicago hardly being the optimal city to imagine driving with the top down – especially in February where the weather is freezing – Ford seems to enjoy unveiling performance models at the Windy City. 20 years ago, the American automaker revealed the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra at the Chicago Auto Show which ultimately became known as the GT500′s forerunner.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500
The refreshed iconic SUV gets updated exterior styling with a new front grille and headlights with HID low-beams, LED daytime running lights, chrome side molding, redesigned outer side mirrors and taillights.
The Land Cruiser recently celebrated its 60th anniversary from its original launch and has been seen in Toyota’s US lineup for more than 50 years. Over time, it has evolved from a basic, run-of-the-mill four-wheel-drive utility vehicle to the eight-passenger, luxury SUV now seen today. More importantly the Land Cruiser can be seen at dealerships in 188 countries.
In addition to the updated exterior, Toyota gave the interior additional refinements including perforated leather trim with ventilated front seats, higher-gloss wood grain finish, silver instrument-panel decor, chrome-plated air registers and gave the meter-cluster lighting an update. Lastly for 2013, Toyota made the rear-seat DVD entertainment system, color-matched spoiler, rain-sensing wipers, center-console cooler box, headlight cleaners, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift lever, multi-information display, Bluetooth hands-free, and heated second row seats all standard – popular features that were previously available as options.
The Land Cruiser will be powered by a 5.7L DOHC V8 engine with 381-hp and 401 lb-ft of torque and will be arriving at Toyota dealerships nationwide in February.
GALLERY: 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser (European Spec)
In a bit of surprising news, Japanese automaker Nissan has confirmed that it will be unveiling two vehicles at the upcoming 2012 Chicago Auto Show, one of which is its a refresh to their popular sports car, the 370Z.
The 2013 Nissan 370Z will reportedly be getting some changes, which comes as a surprise since there have been no rumors of such an update. The current model 370Z convertible and coupe last saw changes in the 2009 model year, so it is about time for a refresh.
The other vehicle Nissan will be unveiling is part of the NV commercial vehicle line. There’s a strong possibility that it will be the NV200, which is currently sold in 40 other countries and Nissan had already spoken about plans to bring it to the US market. Earlier this year, Nissan had debuted the e-NV200 Concept at the Detroit Auto Show.
Look for coverage from the Chicago Auto Show on February 8th and see the complete Chicago Auto Show preview here.
[Source: Chicago Tribune]
Acura will reportedly unveil the production versions of the new ILX sedan and RDX crossover at the upcoming 2012 Chicago Auto Show starting on February 8th. Both vehicles were displayed at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in concept form but we don’t expect the production models to stray much from the concepts we saw.
It’s a safe bet that the production RDX that’ll be making its way to the Chicago Auto Show will have very minimal, if any changes. The ILX sedan however, had the majority of its interior hidden at the Detroit Auto Show, so Acura will probably be showing off a more complete interior at Chicago.
The ILX will come with three different powertrains: a 2.0L four-cylinder with a five-speed automatic transmission, a 2.4L with a six-speed automatic, and a 1.5L four-cylinder hybrid powertrain borrowed from the Honda Civic Hybrid. Hopefully Acura will also confirm the pricing on their ILX sedan, which they said at Detroit Auto Show will be “well below $30,000.”
Beyond these two models, Acura’s next big reveal will be an all-new RL flagship luxury sedan, which will be revealed at the New York Auto Show in April.
GALLERY: Acura ILX At Detroit Auto Show
GALLERY: Acura RDX At Detroit Auto Show
The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI is set to make its debut at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. Though there aren’t any confirmed details yet on the diesel-powered Beetle, it’s expected to feature a 2.0L turbocharged, inline-four in its engine bay.
The same 2.0L can be found in the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta and Passat, with 140-hp and 236 lb-ft of torque with six-speed manual and DSG transmissions available. In the Passat, this powerplant has been good for up to 43-mpg on the highway, so it’s safe to assume the Beetle will get the same, if not even a little better.
What is even more interesting is the speculation that VW might give its Beetle Convertible a diesel variant, making it the first clean diesel convertible in the United States. That’s not confirmed yet though, but stay tuned to AutoGuide.com as we head towards the 2012 Chicago Auto Show to get all the details later on in early February.
GALLERY: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle
The 2012 Detroit Auto Show has just began, but it’s never too early to start talking about the next major American auto show, the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. GMC confirmed that the new 2013 Acadia will debut at the Chicago Auto Show next month, giving their truck division something new to get excited about.
For the most part when GM first debuted their three-row crossovers back in late 2006, they were revolutionary and made strides in changing the market. But now that we’re in 2012, a refresh is desperately needed on many of their models in order to compete with other automakers, and it appears that the Acadia will spearhead the next-generation of GM’s crossovers.
The Acadia shares GM’s Lambda front-drive, three-row crossover platform with Buick‘s Enclave, Chevrolet‘s Traverse and the now defunct Saturn Outlook. Not much has been announced on the new Acadia, but speculation has us believe that it’ll incorporate an updated version of the Lambda platform and could see GM’s 3.6L V6 under the hood with around 315-hp.
The infotainment department will surely get a refresh with all of the current generation toys including GMC’s IntelliLink audio and navigation system.
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show, is expected to have a base price of $47,000 when it launches in February, 2012. While it undercuts its chief rival, the Ford Shelby GT500 by about $2,495, a base Corvette, which has a 0-60 time of under 4 seconds, but only 430 horsepower, retails for $48,950. The Corvette also avoids the gas guzzler tax, which will likely plague the Camaro ZL1 and bring the effective price up to $48,500.
Of course, this begs the question as to why one would buy a ZL1. Obviously, the potential customer is heavily invested in the idea of a Camaro, and the Magnetic Ride Control and 550-horsepower supercharged V8 are a big draw. But with the Corvette being significantly lighter than the Camaro, and designed from the ground up as a sports car, the two are effectively within spitting distance of one another, and we can’t wait for the inevitable performance shootout.
[Source: Car and Driver]
The Dodge Journey R/T is the kind of vehicle we really can’t see a point for, but it’s here to stay and could end up in the hands of an eccentric few customers.
Under the hood is a 283 horsepower 3.6L Pentastar V6 with a 6-speed automatic transmission, that will at least give the R/T badging, aggressive wheels and new body kit something to stand behind. Dodge says the suspension geometry has been completely overhauled, and the steering system revised – changes that, if you ask us, should be carried over to the rest of the lineup. Chrysler’s ubiquitous UConnect system, featuring satellite radio, an integrated Garmin navigation system and Bluetooth integration is also standard.
The Journey R/T will set you back $28,995 for the front drive model, or $30,695 for the all-wheel-drive version, plus a $750 destination charge.
During our drive of the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, we chatted with one engineer about GM’s Zeta platform, which underpins rear-drive full size cars. Among remarking how much we adored the Pontiac G8 sedan and how we longed for a revival of the car, the engineer broke into a broad grin and said “well, these things have a way of happening.”
Cut to Saturday, where GM’s Mark Reuss announced the debut of a vehicle based on the Camaro platform at the Chicago Auto Show. The only other car built on the platform is the Holden Commodore, which formerly underpinned the G8 and is the basis for the Chevrolet Caprice PPV, a model only sold to law enforcement agencies for police duty.
In recent weeks, photos of the Caprice have emerged that show it looking very ready for civilian duty (seen above). Gone are the steel wheels, push bars and flashing lights, and to the untrained eye, the car could be any other full-size American sedan.
There’s a strong chance the car will be a new variant of the Caprice, although a high-performance Camaro Z28 is also rumored to bow in Chicago. With Chrysler’s new 300 sedan (and Dodge’s Charger) being the only rear drive full size car on the market (and receiving rave reviews), Chevrolet will certainly want to capitalize on this and smash the 300′s monopoly. The only question is whether the vehicle will be the long-wheelbase police version (based on the Holden Statesman) or the standard length Commodore based car that was previously given to Pontiac as the G8. Engine choices will likely be the familiar 3.6L V6 making 300 horsepower or more, and a small-block V8 of indeterminate output.
[Source: Detroit News]
See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Chicago Auto Show Preview here, with coverage starting Wednesday, February 9th.