Hot wheels on a cold day
The 105th Chicago Auto Show debuts with hot cars on a freezing snowstormBy Alvin Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Despite the snowstorm over the weekend, the recently opened 2013 Chicago Auto Show had a lot of hot debuts and concept cars. Inquirer Motoring shares some exclusive photos showcasing some of the production debut models and concept vehicles.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
This is one of the most anticipated displays in the show. Designated as the “C7”, this seventh-generation Corvette is also a reincarnation of the iconic “Stingray” badge. Known as “America’s Sport Car,” the C7 model’s hatchback 2-door layout is packed with a 6.2L (376 cubic inch) LT1 V-8 engine that puts out 450h HP and 450 lb.-ft. of torque with a rear wheel drive. With a choice of a 6-speed paddle-shift automatic or 7-speed manual gearbox that features an “Active Rev Match” that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time. Its lightweight skin includes a carbon-fiber hood and composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels, making sure this Chevy rockets from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.
Dodge SRT Viper
The year of the snake welcomes one of the hottest and most powerful cars on exhibit—the SRT Viper and its other variant SRT Viper GTS. The Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) division proudly unveiled this striking new sports car from Detroit. Its classic low-slung, rearward cabin and familiar fender gills are still visible in this fifth generation edition of this American supercar. Its carbon fiber hood hides from plain view a handsome, handcrafted, all-aluminum 8.4L midfront V-10 overhead-valve engine. Engineers from SRT rated the Viper with a maximum 640 HP with 600 lb.-ft. of torque, considered the biggest torque output from any naturally aspirated sports-car engine in the world. Buyers will receive a 1-day driving experience by experts to maximize driving skills to handle this slick supercar. With some three seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph and a quarter-mile time of about 11 seconds, the SRT Viper has a top speed of 206 mph.
The All-New 2014 Ford Fiesta comes out with a stylishly new appearance, with a promise of increased fuel economy (up to 40 mpg) and its now familiar “European-like” driving dynamics. The Fiesta comes in several variants including the—Fiesta S, SE and Titanium, as well as the new ST series. Two popular Ford Fiesta drivers—gymkhana and YouTube sensation Ken Block and Top Gear USA TV show host Tanner Foust showed up during the opening day to promote the All-New Ford Fiesta ST GRC (Global RallyCross Championship). The Fiesta ST is a race car built for the street, so rally fans and enthusiasts saw up close the specially prepared Fiesta ST GRC car which Ford expects to capitalize on the growing popularity of the GRC series and X Games (extreme games) with its larger-than-life personalities, including the 2-time GRC champion Tanner Foust and Ken Block. Foust was in the Philippines as the principal vehicle stunt driver for the filming of “Bourne Legacy.” He intimated to Kyle Uy who was at the opening day of the show that he “made a number of friends there and misses the Philippines very much and would like to be back in Manila very soon.”
Honda EV-STER Concept
Honda Motor Co. showcased its next-generation electric small sports concept at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. With an innovative electric rear-wheel-drive and 2-seater layout, this convertible shows visitors that sports cars in the future can still look fabulous. At a full charge, the EV-STER has a claimed driving range of about a hundred miles using a 78-HP electric motor connected to a lithium-ion battery pack. Acceleration is a decent 8 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, with a 100 mph top speed. What is interesting is the controls of the car, instead of a steering wheel, the car has a set of easy-to-operate steering levers which adjust variables like motor output and suspension settings at a flick of a finger.
Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top Concept
Hyundai’s wild Veloster C3 Roll Top concept car created a stir during the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Penned by Hyundai’s North American design team, this concept’s styling cues were influenced by minimalist single speed bikes. Based on the production Hyundai Veloster’s 3-door coupe, the C3 stands for “convertible 3-door”.
Land Rover Range Rover
The All-New Range Rover debuts as an All-New model that Land Rover claims that it has engineered from the ground up to be the most refined, most capable Range Rover ever. This fourth-generation Range Rover model still holds much of the DNA of the original iconic SUV. It is the world’s first SUV to have a lightweight high-strength all-aluminum monocoque body structure. It has two engine choices—a supercharged 5.0L V8 engine that is rated a 510 HP and a naturally-aspirated version that delivers 375 HP. The more muscular supercharged Range Rover accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds, faster by almost a second over the outgoing model.
MINI Cooper Paceman
The New Mini Cooper Paceman debuts in the show with the following variants—the Cooper Paceman, Cooper S Paceman and Cooper S Paceman ALL4. The naturally aspirated Cooper Paceman models deliver a maximum of 121 HP, while the twin-scroll turbocharger variants are rated at a maximum output of 181 HP. This is the seventh model in the Mini family and is the second model to offer ALL4 all-wheel drive.
The All-New Cayman is the third generation of this often overlooked but very able Porsche. The mid-engine, rear-wheel drive 2-seater sports new body lines and bigger proportions. Despite having a longer wheelbase (plus 2.4 inches), the new chassis is 60 pounds lighter than the previous model. The Cayman has a choice between a 2.7L flat-six cylinder engine that is rated at 275 HP or the more powerful Cayman S that comes with a 3.4L engine that is rated at 325 HP. Both engines come with either the 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) automatic gearbox.
Toyota Corolla Furia Concept
People who visited the show saw a glimpse of the future of Toyota’s best-selling next generation of compact sedan. Toyota Corolla Furia concept took center stage during the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Toyota designers call it “Iconic Dynamism,” which presents a provocative and dynamic exterior form. With a longer wheelbase (181.9 inches) the Corolla Furia Concept becomes a better handling and able-bodied vehicle. Industry experts agree that much of this design language will cascade to future Corolla production models.