Chicago Auto Show auto news

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eBay Find of the Day: 1993 Chevy Highlander is a Body Glove-era concept

05/13/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show, Time Warp, Trucks/Pickups, Auctions, Chevrolet

Chevrolet Highlander Concept

Oh, the early '90s. Gas was cheap; Seinfeld was at its peak, and apparently neon green and purple paint were appropriate for a concept car. The retina-burning Chevrolet Highlander concept is currently for sale on eBay, and it personifies the look of its era perfectly.

With a combination of bright green, gray plastic and purple trim, the Highlander certainly draws the eye. According to the Chicago Auto Show's history page, the concept was on display there in 1993 as a preview for the 1994 S-10 extended cab pickup. It was meant to show off an off-road ready truck and featured a tool compartment and adjustable roll bar. According to the current seller, the Chevy also has a fabric top that rolls down when the bar is up and a power rear window that can fold flat to access the bed. Power comes from a 4.3-liter V6 with an automatic shuffling those ponies to all four wheels. It carries a Buy It Now price of $17,000.

If you need this in your garage, keep in mind driving it could be tough. The seller does say that it runs and drives, but like most automotive concepts, there is no VIN or title, just a bill of sale. That makes getting it registered very difficult. The next owner is basically buying the Highlander based on its '90s looks, which means they had better feel awfully nostalgic for that particular era.

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Video: A closer look at the 2015 Subaru Legacy

02/17/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show, Sedans/Saloons, Videos, Subaru

2015 Subaru Legacy

The Subaru Legacy might not have been the hottest debut at the recent Chicago Auto Show, but for the Japanese automaker, it's hugely important. Much as we'd love to focus on Subaru's more engaging WRX, STI and BRZ models, the truth is, its the mainstream Forester, Outback and Legacy that make up the vast majority of the brand's sales, not to mention the Impreza and XV Crosstrek.

This new Legacy looks to gain a lot more traction in the mainstream market than its predecessor, with handsome, if familiar, styling, standard all-wheel drive, and more efficient powertrains. Under the hood, customers can choose between a 2.5-liter boxer-four, or a more powerful six-cylinder engine. Subaru says that the four-cylinder setup actually boasts class-leading fuel economy for all-wheel-drive vehicles in the Legacy's class.

West coast editor Michael Harley stopped by the Subaru stand for a closer look at the 2015 Legacy. Check it out in the video below.

Continue reading A closer look at the 2015 Subaru Legacy

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Video: A closer look at the 2015 Chevy Tahoe PPV

02/15/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show, SUVs, Videos, Chevrolet, GM, Police/Emergency

2015 Chevy Tahoe PPV

As lovers of fast driving, we at Autoblog normally try to stay as far away from police pursuit vehicles as possible. But in reality, the way automakers design purpose-built police vehicles is indeed worth a closer look. If we're going to task the boys and gals in blue with keeping us safe on the streets, they need to be given the best tools possible for the job. And while a lot of that comes down to their own equipment, the police cruisers themselves play a hugely important role in all of this.

Chevrolet has long offered police vehicles, from Caprice old and new, to various Impala and Tahoe models. That last one is a particularly newsy topic right now, as Chevy recently unveiled its all-new 2015 Tahoe SUV (complete with its Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade siblings). At last week's Chicago Auto Show, Chevy went a step further, giving us a closer look at Tahoe's brand-new police-spec version.

In the video below, Autoblog West Coast Editor Michael Harley talks with Chevy product specialist Scott Vandekerckhove, who gives a full tour of what's new with the Bowtie's biggest cruiser. We check out what's up front, under the hood, and out back. Scroll down for the full video, and just hope it's the closest you'll actually ever have to get to sitting inside one of these bad boys.

Continue reading A closer look at the 2015 Chevy Tahoe PPV

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Report: New Subaru Legacy may be getting smaller six-cylinder and sport models

02/13/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show, Sedans/Saloons, Subaru, Rumormill

Subaru Legacy

Subaru gave the next-generation, 2015 Legacy a brand new, more sophisticated platform and improved interior at the Chicago Auto Show, but the engines were carried over barely changed from the previous gen. However, if a rumor from Car and Driver turns out to be true, then the power trains may be getting upgraded as well.

A source within Subaru indicates that the aging 3.6-liter flat-six might finally be getting a replacement in favor of a smaller, more powerful six-cylinder engine, and the four-cylinder may get direct injection. Both of them would be ready for the new Legacy's mid-cycle refresh in about three years, and they would likely be shared by new Outback too.

The turbocharged, GT trim has been absent from the US-market Legacy for the last few model years, but the insider hinted that it might make a return in the coming years. The new version would use the 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four found in the Forester and the WRX. Though like the Forester, a turbocharged Legacy would likely only be available with the CVT.

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Editors' Choice: Top Five 2014 Chicago Auto Show Debuts

02/10/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show

2014 Chicago Auto Show

If you've been paying attention to the Chicago Auto Show over the past few years, it's no secret that there's less and less to talk about in the Windy City every year. (In fact, there's an inside joke here at Autoblog about how we want to skip the second press day and catch a boat tour of the city, despite the freezing temperatures.) But the thing is, Chicago is actually one of the most important North American shows, if only for the sheer number of people who come through the doors at McCormick Place to check out what's new from each automaker. And since these are the people who are actually going out and buying cars, it's still hugely important for automakers to have a presence here.

For us, the cars that debut in Chicago aren't nearly as exciting - or, some would say, important - as what's shown at the Detroit Auto Show just a few weeks prior, but there's still a lot to talk about. And as long as companies are still committed to bringing fresh product to the Chicago expo, we'll happily be there to cover it.

Like every other show, we've put together a list of what wowed us the most in Chicago. And like every other roundup of Editors' Choice picks, the Top Five list below comes straight from the heart - these are the cars that spoke to us more than all the others, not necessarily the most important debuts, or even the best ones. Check 'em out, below.

Continue reading Editors' Choice: Top Five 2014 Chicago Auto Show Debuts

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Toyota's Bob Carter says seat heater stop-sale due to inconsequential compliance error

02/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrid, Toyota, AutoblogGreen Exclusive, Chicago Auto Show

2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Last week, Toyota let it be known that a number of its more-popular vehicles were subject to a "stop-sale" order due to faulty seat heaters on these vehicles. No injuries were reported, but the problem affected a lot of models, including the 2013 and 2014 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Sienna, Corolla, Tacoma and Tundra. Toyota originally said 50,000 vehicles were involved, but Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, knocked that down to 30,000 during an interview at the Chicago Auto Show this week and said that the problem is not going to have a big impact on Toyota's sales.

"It's an important situation but it will have a very minor impact on February sales," he told AutoblogGreen. "Dealers will start receiving new heating elements this week and then we have a process to take out the heating element that was put in and exchange that for the new fabric. It's very simple. It's a quick repair." Quick in this situation means about three hours to swap out the heating elements in two seats, according to Toyota's John Hanson. Since the Avalon also has heated rear seats, that car will require a total of six hours in the shop. Hanson said there was no official timeline for when the exchange program would be completed, "but new vehicles are arriving at some dealerships with the new seat heaters already installed."

With a fix already in place, Carter would not comment on whether a recall is likely, saying only, "I'm not the expert on that. We're working with the NHTSA and ultimately it's their decision. We believe it's an inconsequential compliance error that was made by one of our suppliers and we're going to correct it."

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Chicago: Ford Mustang pinball machine has supple wrist, plays by sense of smell [w/video]

02/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show, Ford, Toys

Ford Mustang Pinball Machine

Ford didn't have anything major to show off at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, so it seems it instead opted to have some fun - it brought a row of pinball machines to the show. Yes, pinball machines.

We originally told you about the Stern Pinball Ford Mustang machine a few days ago, and as day two of the Chicago show is a bit of a slow one, we opted to head to the show floor and get some snaps of the bank of new machines. Not surprisingly, there's plenty for the Mustang fan in each of these machines, ranging frond different models, to logos to a full model.

Take a look below for our full gallery of live shots, available up top. Then head below for our original gallery of stock images, along with a video and press release on the new machines.

Continue reading Ford Mustang pinball machine has supple wrist, plays by sense of smell [w/video]

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Chicago: We obsessively covered the 2014 Chicago Auto Show

02/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show

Chicago Auto Show banner

Of all the major auto shows we cover each year, Chicago is by far the smallest in terms of new product debuts. But for consumers, the Windy City expo is hugely important - not only does McCormick Place boast the largest floor space of any of the US shows, it's a huge source of foot traffic from people who actually buy new cars.

So while the vehicles you see below might not necessarily be big-ticket items, they're important to us, just the same. Have a look at our full roundup of what's new here in Chicago, below.

Ford Mustang pinball machine has supple wrist, plays by sense of smell [w/video]

Refreshed Kia Optima Hybrid continues to blend good looks and efficiency

2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD CNG wants to save the working man's money

2014 Hyundai Veloster Re:Flex brings the bling

Volkswagen GRC Beetle is Herbie's angry progeny

Honda builds custom Civic Si based on Forza Motorsport design contest

Lingenfelter Chevy Reaper is ready to make Ford's Raptor go extinct [w/video]

Toyota demos its TRD Pro Series line [w/video]

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Black Widow comes to the rescue in Chicago

SRT reveals Satin Vapor Edition 300, Charger and Challenger SRT models

2014 Volkswagen Passat Sport does its best GTI impression

Nissan NV200 Chicago Taxi looking for a #HailYes

Mopar-modified Chrysler 200 reappears in Chicago

2015 Chevy City Express is something very familiar [w/video]

2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad soldiers on in the Chi

Volvo shows off 345-hp S60 and V60 Polestar

2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive does diesel in a big way

2015 Lincoln Navigator gets lots of updates, still not all-new [w/video]

2015 Subaru Legacy is fresh-faced and more frugal

2015 Nissan Versa Note adds sporty-ish SR trim [w/video]

2015 Kia Soul EV whirrs into the Windy City

2014 Kia Optima Hybrid shows its freshened face

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Chicago: 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD CNG wants to save the working man's money

02/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show, Trucks/Pickups, Commercial Trucks, Chevrolet

2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD CNG

Always a venue for the debut of new trucks, configurations and technologies, Chevrolet has chosen the Chicago Auto Show as the place to roll out its 2015 Silverado 2500 HD CNG work truck. That "CNG" of course stands for "Compressed Natural Gas," the second fuel, in addition to gasoline, that the Silverado is able to run on.

As reported earlier, the HD CNG truck features a bi-fuel setup for its 6.0-liter V8 engine - this "LC8" version has hardened valves and valve seats to allow it to run natural gas. The mill produces a robust 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque when burning gasoline and 301 hp and 333 lb-ft on CNG.

Of course the positive side of the CNG trade-off is lower running costs and emissions. Chevy estimates that a CNG Silverado HD could save its its owner $2,000 per year over 26,000 miles if the vehicle in question is firing on CNG 75-percent of the time. Multiply that advantage over a few trucks in a fleet, and you've really got something.

We've got live images of the new 2015 Silverado 2500 HD CNG from the Chicago show floor in our gallery above. You can also dive deeper into the specifics of the truck in the press release, below.

Continue reading 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD CNG wants to save the working man's money

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Chicago: Refreshed Kia Optima Hybrid continues to blend good looks and efficiency

02/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Chicago Auto Show, Hybrids/Alternative, Sedans/Saloons, Kia

2014 Kia Optima Hybrid

With all the excitement at the Kia stand surrounding the new Soul EV, it's easy to forget that there were other cars on display at the Korean marque's Chicago Auto Show display. The Niro Concept from the Frankfurt Motor Show made an appearance, but the other production model on display was the refreshed Optima Hybrid (which was tucked away in a corner).

Like the standard Optima, which was refreshed at the 2013 New York Auto Show last year, the hybridized sedan gets a slightly restyled face and rear end. As we told you in our official post on the car yesterday, the gas-electric powertrain of the 2014 Optima Hybrid still deploys 199 total system horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. Buyers of the base LX car will net 36 miles per gallon in the city and 40 on the highway, while the upmarket EX loses a mile per gallon in both environments.

Have a look at our live gallery of the new Optima Hybrid, from the floor of the Chicago Auto Show.

Continue reading Refreshed Kia Optima Hybrid continues to blend good looks and efficiency

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