Front cover of the free 2012 Chicago Auto Show 30-page program featured the Cadillac Escalade and Cadillac SRX that were awarded to the lucky ticket holders during the First Look For Charity evening event. Held Feb. 9th, the $250 per guest tuxedo-mandatory gala raised more than $2 million designated to benefit 18 notable Chicago-area charities. New vehicle introductions included the 2013 GMC Acadia and Acadia Denali, 2013 Niasan NV200 van, 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe and Elentra GT, Kia Track'ster concept car, 2013 Ford Shelby GT 500 Mustang convertible, 2013 Nissan 370Z and 2013 Acura ILX compact sedan and 2013 Acura RDX crossover SUV. On the right, crowds surround the Lexus LF-LC, which was proclaimed the "Best Concept Vehicle" in consumer voting conducted over the 10-day public run of the 104th edition of the Chicago Auto Show.
The popular midsize Kia Optima sedan turned heads at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show with the release of the new range-topping 2012 Kia Optima Limited. Kia originally introduced the model in their 'Drive the Dream' Super Bowl commercial, but visitors to the Chicago Auto Show were the first to explore the Limited first-hand. Based on the fully loaded turbocharged Optima SX mid-sized sedan, the Optima Limited was offered exclusively in Ebony Black, Snow White Pearl and Titanium Metallic exterior colors. Standout red front-brake calipers could be seen through the Optima Limited's uniquely designed chrome 18-inch wheels while the 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine delivered class-leading 274 horsepower and achieved 22/34 mpg (city/hwy). Inside the five-passenger cabin, high-grade black or white Nappa leather adorned the seats, door panels, center console armrest and center fascia trim for a premium feel. Wood accents could be found on the steering wheel, interior door trim and shift knob. Available features included a panoramic sunroof, four-way power front passenger's seat, driver's seat memory, heated/cooled front seats, heated rear seats, navigation system with back-up camera and SiriusXM Traffic and Infinity audio system and speakers.
Chevrolet selected the 104th Annual Chicago Auto Show to debut the 2012 Camaro ZL1 Coupe, the most-powerful production Camaro ever. The heart of the new ZL1 was a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that created 580 horsepower and 556 lb. ft. of torque to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission. The 2012 Camaro Coupe supplied supercar performance, with acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, quarter-mile in 12.0 seconds at 119 mph, and a top speed of 184 mph. Starting at $54,995, including specially-tuned suspension and custom Brembo brakes, there were very few cars at any price that matched the power, braking, grip and track-capability of the 21st century Camaro ZL1. First developed in the late 1960s, the ZL1 label is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, with just 69 made on the original-production 1969 Camaro ZL1. The ’12 Coupe went go on sale in the spring of 2012, as a ‘12 model, while the Convertible arrived at dealerships in the summer of ’12 as a 2013 model.
Bowtie fans were excited to see the premiere of the 2012 Camaro ZL1 Coupe at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, and doubly surprised to be eyewitnesses to a pre-production 2013 Camaro ZL1 Convertible that was also on display. Both technologically advanced ZL1 models were built to be track-capable right from the showroom, with suspensions that came specifically tuned for high-performance driving. A supercharged 6.2-liter V8 generated a roaring 580 horsepower and 556 lb.-ft. of torque with power delivered to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Stopping power came via robust Brembo brakes composed of the largest rotors ever fitted to a Camaro. The Camaro ZL1 Coupe went on sale in the spring of 2012 as a ‘12 model, while the Camaro ZL1 Convertible arrived at dealerships in the summer of 2012 as a ‘13 model. Historic note: The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros.
Mustang fans had a lot to celebrate while attending the 2012 Chicago Auto Show (CAS). Not only did they see all the 2012 Mustang models on review, but Ford selected Chicago to unveil the 2013 Shelby GT500 convertible. This model also served as the celebratory vehicle of the 20th anniversary of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT). How fitting since Chicago was the official launch of SVT during the 1992 show, when Ford debuted the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra. For 2013, the Shelby GT500 came equipped with a 5.8-liter supercharged V8 aluminum-block engine that produced 650 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, establishing it, at the time, as the most powerful production V8 in the world. The car proved so popular at the 2012 CAS that it was voted "Best All-New Production Vehicle" AND "Vehicle I'd Most Like To Have In My Driveway" by those who attended the ten day extravaganza.
2012 FORD SHELBY GT500: Following on the heels of the reengineered 2011 Ford Shelby GT500, Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) added several upgrades to the 2012 edition. The 2+2 cockpit could now be ordered with race-inspired Recaro front bucket seats, leather-trim and embroidered "cobra" logo and stripes that were color-matched to the exterior stripes. Even the integrated head restraints were designed for drivers and passengers wearing helmets on the track. Under the aluminum power dome hood with functional heat extractors, rumbled the supercharged 5.4-liter V8 that putout 550 horsepower and 510 lb. ft. of torque to the 19- or optional 20-inch rear wheels. Standard transmission was the Tremec six-speed manual. The 2012 Shelby GT500 offered selectable steering settings that coulc be tailored for specific driving needs. Other optional goodies included SYNC technology with availability of AppLink, HD Radio digital jukebox hard drive that stored up to 2,400 songs, and a Clarion Navigation System. A mere 9.6 cu. ft. of trunk room was available on the soft top model, but the coupe offered up to 13.4 cu. ft. of cargo space
During the media days at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai took the opportunity to debut a new sport coupe variant to its industry-leading Elantra line-up. The 2013 Elantra Coupe GS and SE trim levels are on display during the 10-day Chicago show, and will be available at US dealerships this spring. Handsome styling marks the continuing evolution of Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design theme, translated to two-door, sporty design language. Complimenting the sleek exterior, the Coupe cockpit offers room for four and a trunk that holds up to 14.8 cu. ft. of sporting gear. Performance is supplied by a 1.8-liter Nu four-cylinder engine that develops 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. The powerplant can be matched to a six-speed manual gearbox or new in-house six-speed automatic transaxle with Shiftronic manual control. There are seven exterior paint colors available for the Coupe, three unique from Elantra sedan choices: Monaco White, Black Noir Pearl and Volcanic Red.
Making its world debut at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show was the 2013 Nissan 370Z, which wasn’t scheduled to go on sale till June of '12. Updates on the latest Z included spiced-up front fascia with vertical LED daytime running lights, revised 18-and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, red-finished brake calipers, Euro-tuned shock absorbers and two new exterior colors – Magma Red and Midnight Blue. The NISMO 370Z skipped some of the body changes, but added a new Bose Premium Audio Package with two additional speakers and two subwoofers, premium gun metallic dark-finish 19-inch wheels, Nissan GT-R style high-rigidity brake hoses and performance brake fluid. Once again, the 370Z was available in Touring Coupe and Roadster, each powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 332 horsepower, while the NISMO Z coupe upped the horses to 350. Depending on body style, buyers had their choice of six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed automatic.
Making its North American debut at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, was the 2013 Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Van. The NV200 joined the growing lineup of Nissan Commercial Vehicles in early 2013 at 300 Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealerships nationwide. Built on Nissan’s proven compact commercial platform, the NV200 featured an efficient 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine matched with a responsive and efficient Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). Measuring just 186.2 inches in overall length and on a 115.2-inch wheelbase, the NV200 was highly maneuverable in traffic and negotiating city parking spaces. Yet it allowed for a 1,500-pound maximum payload and offered a large cargo capacity of 123 cubic feet with a small exterior footprint. The driver-focused cockpit included both comfort and functional features, with six-way adjustable seats and “Mobile Office” functionality with center console. Available technology included a Nissan Navigation System, Bluetooth wireless communications, XM Satellite Radio, RearView Monitor, and telematics pre-wiring fleet tracker. At the time, the NV200 was being sold in over 40 countries throughout the world.
One of the most popular vehicles among youngsters attending the 104th Annual Chicago Auto Show was the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Transformer Edition. Kids immediately recognized the Autobot shield logo on front fenders, wheels and seat headrests. It seems that just as the "Transformers" movies have become a blockbuster series, the Camaro Transformers editions are now an iconic series in their own right. Offered on the top two trim levels – 2LT and 2SS – the 2012 Transformers look started with a stripe design consistent with the actual "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Bumblebee model. Additional features included Rally Yellow exterior paint with exclusive carbon-fiber-like weave rally stripes that travel on each side of the hood bulge, roof, decklid and spoiler. A high wing spoiler and black painted 20-inch rims are included, as are side gill decal stripes, borrowed from the 2011 Camaro Convertible Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replica.
General Motors selected the 2012 Chicago Auto Show to unveil the new 2013 GMC Acadia crossover vehicle. On hand during the debut was GMC U.S. Marketing Vice President Tony DiSalle, who highlighted the exterior updates that include a chiseled three-bar grille, LED lighting, wrap-around rear glass and new rear spoiler. Freshly minted 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheel patterns complemented the vehicle’s lines and bold stance. Acadia, which was launched in 2007 as GMC’s first SUV/crossover, was offered for 2013 with a fuel-efficient, 3.6-liter direct injection V6 producing 288 horsepower and 270 lb. ft of torque. Mechanically, the ‘13 Acadia benefited from a next-generation Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission, and the powertrain provided up to 5,000 pound towing capability. Front-wheel drive came standard on all trim levels, while the added control of all-wheel drive was available. Acadia’s popular options included rear-seat entertainment, a Dual SkyScape sunroof and a trailering package. With five passengers aboard, the Acadia held 24.1 cu. ft. of cargo, which increased to 70.1 behind the second row, and up to 116.1 cu. ft. of gear behind first row. The ’13 Acadia became the first vehicle on the market with GMC’s new front center air bag system.
Hyundai Motor America introduces the all-new 2013 Elantra GT in a North American debut at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The Elantra GT represents further evolution of the Hyundai form language, ‘Fluidic Sculpture,’ which is the company's distinctive design DNA. Slated to hit Hyundai dealerships this summer, the Elantra GT brings five-door functionality and European driving dynamics to the expanding Elantra lineup. The GT is powered by a 1.8-liter Nu four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque. Buyers have their choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transaxle with ShifTronic manual control, and the Elantra GT’s standard fuel economy is an estimated 28 mpg city, 39 mpg. The Elantra GT features seating layouts that can comfortably accommodate five people or four passengers, plus long items like golf clubs or snowboards. Fold down two seats, to seat three people and hold larger packages or fold all of the back seats to get 23 cu. ft. of CUV-sized cargo space.
Hyundai was strutting its all-new 2013 Veloster Turbo during the 10-day run of the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. Aimed at the next generation of drivers favoring the sport coupe segment, the Veloster Turbo came equipped with the 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder that produced 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The engine came matched to either an in-house six-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox. Among the dozen exclusive Turbo features was sport-tuned engine intake with robust exhaust note (which will delight enthusiasts), sport-tuned steering, unique front fascia, foglights and ground effects, custom 18-inch alloy wheels and LED lighting. Among many exterior paint choices, the Turbo offered a special Matte Gray shade that added to the cars aggressive personality. The Turbo also had a chic Graphite Black four-passenger cockpit containing blue accents and headliner graphics. Like its non-turbo Veloster hatchback sibling, the Turbo provided up to 15.5 cu. ft. of room for all-size sporting gear.
Acura selected the 2012 Chicago Auto Show to stage the premiere of the 2013 RDX five-passenger crossover SUV. The 2013 models offered new engine, transmission and the availability of front-wheel or all-wheel-drive variants. This was the second generation RDX, which evolved from a sporty compact SUV to a more formal SUV that boasted a sleeker and more aerodynamic body. Replacing the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder used with the previous RDX, the 2013 RDX was equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine that produced 273 horsepower-- 33 more than the outgoing model. For even higher performance and improved fuel economy, the RDX made use of an all-new six-speed automatic transmission that included a new lock-up torque converter. The new body offered larger door openings, more passenger room, increased cargo volume and an available power rear tailgate. A list of electronic options for the ‘13 RDX included Pandora internet radio interface, keyless access with pushbutton start, three view rear camera, satellite communication, and navigation systems.
Consumers at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show (CAS) picked the Cadillac XTS Platinum as the "Best Concept Vehicle" that year. For all those fans, a production version of that stylish prototype, the 2013 Cadillac XTS, was on exhibit during the 2012 CAS. Larger than the CTS, the full-size XTS featured a 3.6 liter V-6 that developed 300 horsepower and 264 lb. ft. of torque to the advanced Haldex all-wheel-drive system. The engine came matched with a Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission with tap-shift control, and the XTS was the only luxury sedan with standard Magnetic Ride Control – the world’s fastest-reacting suspension. Like Magnetic Ride Control, XTS borrowed the Brembo braking technology from Cadillac’s V-Series of high performance models. Standard 19-inch rims and tires could have been upgraded to the 20-in. option. And when it came to trunk space, the XTS was in a league of its own, with 18 cubic feet, exceeding both midsize and full-size competitors. OnStar was standard, as was the new cap-less fuel tank filler for easier, cleaner refueling. Safety packages included sophisticated technologies such as lane departure warning, forward collision alert, side blind zone alert, front and rear automatic brake and automatic collision preparation
Do you remember the Dodge Dart of the late 1960s that offered style, performance and innovation. Well, for 2013, an all-new, front-wheel drive Dodge Dart was back in the U.S. compact sedan segment. It became the first Chrysler Group vehicle based upon a Fiat architecture – adapted from the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The new five-passenger Dart was available in five trim levels: SE, SXT, Rallye, Limited and R/T. Drivers could select from three different four-cylinder powerplants - the Tigershark 2.0-liter; a 1.4L MultiAir Intercooled Turbo and a new Tigershark 2.4-liter MultiAir engine. Horsepower and torque ratings range from 160hp/145lb.ft. to 184hp/171lb.ft. These I4s were linked to a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic or dual dry clutch six-speed automatic transmission. Combined with responsive steering, four-wheel independent suspension, and available 18-inch wheels, the Dart brought fun back to driving in the compact car segment, and built in the Chrysler Group’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois. New exterior pearl coat paint colors had bright names like, Header Orange, Blue Streak, Winter Chill, and Citrus Peel.
A rare treat awaited Dodge muscle car lovers attending the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. On display was the just released 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Yellow Jacket model, featuring the exclusive Stinger Yellow body color. This special paint came accented by a black grille surround that matched the standard black body-side stripes and the newly developed Yellow Jacket logo on the rear fender. Large 20 x 9-inch, five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels with black painted pockets provided a unique performance look. Proven 392 cubic-inch (6.4-liter) Hemi V8 engine generated a pulsating 470 horsepower and 470 lb. ft. of torque to the rear wheel while also delivering 23 miles per gallon on the highway. The standard Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission and a dual-disc high-performance clutch were proven performers that were first offered on the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10. Both automatic and manual models featured a standard limited-slip differential to maximize performance.
In eye-catching yellow with black graphics, the 2012 500 Stinger package was a standout in the Fiat exhibit during the 104th Annual Chicago Auto Show. Created by in-house Mopar, the unique styling features set it apart from the other Fiat 500 models on display. The Stinger came with 17-inch Abarth Hyper Black aluminum alloy rims framed by high-performance tires, Katzkin leather seating with Alcantara inserts, embroidered 500 logos, yellow accent stitching, Mopar shift knob and simulated carbon-fiber accents. This special edition was in honor of Mopar’s 75th anniversary, and came powered by a 1.4-liter 16-valve four-cylinder engine.
Customers globally would start seeing the all-new ‘13 Ford Escape beginning in 2013. But, those attending the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, got to see and examine production models of Ford’s newest, smarter Escape sport utility vehicle. Escape was America’s best-selling SUV, and to keep that crown, the 2013 Escape wore a sleek new design with hi-tech five-passenger cabin, and offered buyer’s a choice from a trio of four-cylinder engines and front-wheel or Ford Intelligent four-wheel drive systems. The 2.5-liter I4 provided 168 horsepower, 167 lb. ft. of torque and 1,500 lb towing capacity. Two EcoBoost I4 engines, a 1.6L (173hp/177lb ft) and 2.0L (237hp/250lb ft) were available, with 2,000 and 3,500 lb tow ratings. All engine variations came fitted with standard six-speed automatic transmissions, and versatile vehicle features included new hands-free liftgate with motion-sensing technology similar to video games’ and upgraded MyFord Touch system that made connecting with digital devices on the go even easier. Stowing and towing were even easier thanks to a low liftover height of 27 inches, and cargo volume that surpassed the outgoing Escape – with 34.3 cu. ft. behind the second row and 68.1 cu. ft. of space behind the first row.
Considered by many automotive aficionados as the world’s most elegant four-door sports car, the 2012 Aston Martin Rapide was a stunning evolution of the brand’s unmistakable design language and performance legacy. All four doors used Aston Martin’s trademark ‘swan wing’ mechanism, rising up and out at 12 degrees. The flowing elegance of the Rapide’s exterior was carried through to the four-passenger interior with hand-trimmed individual seats and onwards to the 14.0 cu. ft. luggage area. At the heart of the Rapide was Aston Marin’s iconic, race-proven V12 engine that produced 470 horsepower and 443 lb. ft. of torque to the rear-wheels. With Touchtronic 2 six-speed automatic transmission, adaptive damping and lightweight dual-cast brakes, the Rapide’s handling was taut, predictable and pliant. The Rapide sprinted from 0-to-62 mph in 5.2 seconds and clocked a maximum speed at 184mph. There was no question that the Rapide became a milestone model for Aston Martin, bringing the company’s values to a whole new audience. MSRP: $207,895
Since its introduction nearly 50 years ago, the Porsche 911 has present the ultimate pairing of performance and practicality to be driven daily on the road and enjoyed during weekends at track events. During the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, the seventh-generation Porsche sports car dazzled the crowds in 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S trim levels. Viewed from the front, the wide-arched fenders emphasized the broaden front track; headlights were new, air intakes larger, and at the rear, a new and wider spoiler and narrowed LED taillights highlighted the redesign. The aluminum-steel body construction reduced weight by around 100 pounds compared to the previous generation 911. There were four variation of the horizontally opposed “boxer” six-cylinder offered – a 3.4-liter, 3.6L and two versions of the 3.8L. The top 3.8L delivered a massive 530 horsepower and 516 lb. ft. of torque. Powertrains were matched to rear-wheel or all-wheel configurations, and along with a six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic, the Carrera 911 was the world’s first passenger car equipped with a seven-speed manual gearbox. And, for additional sunshine, a new optional electric sunroof opened 30% more of the roof area.
Lighter and more rigid, with a sophisticated all-aluminum bodyshell, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL took the meaning of the famous letters "SL" - super lightweight - quite literally. Weight reduction across the board was one of the most outstanding design characteristics of the new SL, and continued a tradition that began 60 years ago. Trim levels for 2013 included SL550 and SL63 AMG, both two-passenger, rear-wheel drive convertibles. The SL550 featured a 5.5-liter V8 that created a healthy 382 horsepower and 391 lb. ft. of torque. For more thrills, the SL63 AMG packed a 6.2L V8 that cranked-out 518hp and 465 lb. ft. of torque. Standard and only transmission for either engine was a fuel-saving seven-speed automatic gearbox. All 2013 SL models came standard with Active Body Control, and available panoramic glass panel for the folding hardtop.
Joining the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe with gullwing doors, was the all-new open-top 2012 SLS AMG Roadster. As seen at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, the Roadster was powered by a front/mid 6.2-liter V8 that generated an amazing 563 horsepower and 479 lb. ft. of torque to the rear wheels. When revved, the distinctive AMG eight-cylinder sound brought a smile even to harden auto enthusiasts. The engine was happily married to a fuel-efficient rear transaxle AMG seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Reports claim that the SLS AMG bursts from zero-to-sixty mph in 3.6 seconds. Prominent features of the two-seat, aviation-inspired cockpit included the wing-shape dashboard, finest leather, matte-finished solid metal or optional, genuine carbon-fiber trim and E-Select lever in the shape of an aircraft’s thrust control. Three soft top colors – black, red and beige – were available to suit the nine exterior and eight interior colors. The compact fabric soft top of the Roadster opened and closed in just eleven seconds, and could be operated on the move at speeds up to 31 mph. Window sticker was in the $200,000 price range.
A must-see exhibit at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show was for the exotic super cars built in Modena, Italy by Automobili Lamboghini S.p.A. On display during the 104th annual extravaganza, was a 2012 Lamboghini Gallardo Spyder ready to receive the “Oh, Wow” reaction when showgoers made eye contact with the vehicle’s curvaceous form. Behind the jet fighter style two-seat cockpit sat the longitudinal mid-rear mounted engine mated to either a six-speed manual or six speed automatic transmission. The 5.2-liter V10 powerplant generated 560 horsepower and 398 lb. ft of torque to the standard permanent four-wheel drive and viscous traction system. On dry pavement, the machine snapped from 0 to 60 mph in four-seconds and topped at a governed 200 mph. Depending on how it was driven, the Gallardo Spyder fuel rating was between 10 to 16 mpg in the city and 16 to 24 highway. At the show, the manufacturer’s total retail price was $276,035.00. But, that included the optional multimedia system, HomeLink, high rear wing, carbon package, rear view camera and orange brake calipers
Built in Modena, Italy by Automobili Lamboghini S.p.A., and displayed during the 2012 Chicago Auto Show was a perfect example of an LB715 Gallardo Spyder. Painted “Giallo Midas Pear Yellow” and rolling on light weight alloy wheels/19 inch tires, the Gallardo was capable of 60 mph in four-seconds and when pushed, would reach 200 mph. Powering the mighty machine was a 5.2-liter V10 engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, capable of producing 560 horsepower and 398 lb. ft of torque to the permanent four-wheel drive and viscous traction system. Consumers understood that their gas consumption range would be in the 10 to 16 mpg city and between 16 to 20 highway. Base sticker price at the show was $221,000.00, and when equipped with options like Q-citura leather, HomeLink, Bluetooth, electric and heated seats the total climbed to $260,755.00.
Mazda North American unveiled its 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition two-seat roadster on February 8, 2012, during a media event before the opening of the 104th Annual Chicago Auto Show. With striking black accents, including an all-new black-only power retractable hardtop, the Special Edition was a limited-run model of only 450 units in the United States. Available in two exclusive colors, Velocity Red and Crystal White Pearl, the Special Edition model was based on the Miata Grand Touring model and included black outside mirrors, body-colored door handles and black trim surrounding the front grille and fog lamp assembly. It was also outfitted with 17-inch Black Gunmetal aluminum alloy wheels. The cockpit came tastefully appointed in supple black leather upholstery with contrasting gray stitching, and the roll bar garnish also is now black. Weighing in at only 2,593 pounds, the 2012 MX-5 Miata offered both the six-speed manual gearbox with short-throw shifter and six-speed Sport automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters to enjoy the 167-horsepower, 140 lb. ft. of torque 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. And for the record, Miata had one of the industry's fastest power-operated retractable hard tops at 12 seconds.
On display during the 2012 Chicago Auto Show was the exotic Lotus Evora with its swept-forward cabin and aggressive poise. Both the Evora and Evora S trim levels came fitted with a mid-mounted 3.5-liter V6 and rear-wheel drive, weighing in at a mere 3,000 pounds. The stock engine developed 276 horsepower/258 lb. ft. torque, and for more attitude, the supercharged Evora S delivered 345hp and 295lb. ft. of torque with a breathtaking 0-60mph time of 4.6 seconds. Buyers had their selection of either a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission, as well as 18- or 19-inch alloy rims framed by Pirelli P-Zero tires. Surprisingly, there was a combined 23.0 cu. ft. of cargo space behind the front seat and in the trunk. For 2012, the Evora was a Lotus created to take you further, for longer, and in greater comfort than ever before. Once behind the wheel of the Evora, the “so many roads, so little time” Lotus tagline became quite evident.
Known for impressive racing machines, McLaren released their second-ever roadgoing automobile, the McLaren MP4-12C in time for the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The MP4-12C was an exotic mid-engine, two passenger sports car that created 592 horsepower and 443 lb. ft. of torque from a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. All that power was directed to the 20-inch rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. Weight-saving was an obsession at McLaren, starting with the compact downsized engine, which combined with the new one-piece MonoCell cabon fiber composite chassis. The close position of the driver and passenger allowed for a narrower, lighter body while giving improved visibility with a clearer perception of the car’s extremities. Inside the cockpit, the airbags, steering column and a significant number of interior components all mounted to a single one-piece pressure die cast magnesium beam that was 75 percent lighter than steel. With its low rate of weight to high horsepower/torque, the McLaren MP4-12C was capable of 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, and could reach 205 mph top speed, all for an MSRP of $229,000.
Show-goers glimpsed the future of Volvo large flagship sedans after visiting the Volvo exhibit during the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. On display was the stunning Volvo “Concept You” hybrid vehicle that combined a sleek coupé-like exterior with a handcrafted four-passenger cabin. The fastback, four-door body came finished in a light blue, liquid metal paint that emphasized the 21-inch polished aluminum wheels, unique grille and innovative headlights. Power was supplied by a four-cylinder engine that drove the front wheels, combined with Flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) linked to the rear axle. This innovative powertrain was married to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Within the four-passenger cockpit, off-black leather front seats were fitted with suede centers for optimal grip. The soft beige rear seats were designed for pure comfort with leather in the center and suede on the sides. Large pieces of handcrafted walnut accented the interior, as did the Dinamica suede roof lining and carefully chosen aluminum details. The wooden and carpeted floor echoed Scandinavian homes, and the experimental Alpine sound system applied the unique "FreshAir" subwoofer technology that used the air outside the car to create the ultimate listening experience.