2011 Chicago Auto Show's Indoor Road Courses Video

The Chicago Auto Show may not be known for getting the most anticipated model launches, but for consumers, the show offers the most entertainment value for your friends and family. The show is the largest in the country, and the space allows exhibitors to do some creative stuff, including in-house road courses. The Jeep course has been a staple of the show, but now Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota have set up shop with their own displays. Watch as Cars.com editor Joe Bruzek gives the highlights and his top pick.
By Colin Bird | February 15, 2011 | Comments (1)

Cars.com Podcast: 2011 Chicago Auto Show Edition

Toyotachicagoshow
The Chicago Auto Show is in full swing, and the crowds are bouncing from booth to booth trying to get some time with the newest models on the auto-show floor. If you’re heading down to McCormick Place, download the latest Cars.com podcast to hear editors Mike Hanley, Kelsey Mays and Joe Wiesenfelder discuss which cars are a must-see.

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By David Thomas | February 15, 2011 | Comments (0)

2012 Acura TL Video

The Acura TL used to be the brand’s best-selling vehicle (emphasis on the past tense). While the 2009 redesign was a fine vehicle overall, its bold styling offended enough people to hurt the car’s popularity. For 2012, Acura has addressed those concerns with some carefully orchestrated cosmetic surgery. It’s surprising what a little rhinoplasty and a brow and rear-end lift have done to the 2012 Acura TL. The car is definitely easier on the eyes. Match that with a more fuel-efficient powertrain and some interior modifications and all of sudden there’s the potential for real success, according to Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder.
By Colin Bird | February 11, 2011 | Comments (1)

2011 Chicago Auto Show: Winners & Losers

As auto shows in Chicago go, 2011 brought a decent crop of announcements. Fast cars have been a pariah in recent years, so the gearheads in us like that they’re back — especially among mainstream nameplates. Editors Kelsey Mays, Mike Hanley, David Thomas and Joe Wiesenfelder weigh in on this week’s Windy City debuts.
 
2012 Acura TL
Kelsey Mays: Winner
The TL’s toned-down grille suits the car better, and I can abide (barely) by the lower-bumper openings, which mirror those on the ZDX crossover-thing. With a rear bumper that doesn’t protrude to quite such a hard point in the middle, the rear is a certain improvement. Last year’s TL “really sagged down” in back, an Acura spokesman said. I agree. Add to that the car’s gas mileage improvements — which are considerable with its base V-6 — and the TL rides high.

Mike Hanley: Winner
Give Acura credit for recognizing a problem with the design of the TL and doing something about it. The sedan's new face has removed the controversial elements of the car but in the process created one without much of a design identity. It's a clean look, but not particularly memorable. Still, I'm betting TL sales will increase.

By David Thomas | February 11, 2011 | Comments (22)

2012 Dodge Charger SRT8: Up Close

The 2012 Charger SRT8 looks commanding upfront. Kudos to Dodge for reshaping and repainting the front bumper, creating visual continuity between the grille and lower air inlet. The rear isn’t as inspiring; it has a lot of different surfaces at odd angles and the results look slapped together. I’ve never thought Chrysler’s full-size sedans wore a rear spoiler well, either, and the Charger SRT8 is no different.

More 2011 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

However, these are minor things when you consider the 465 reasons to want this car. That’s the number of horsepower the 6.4-liter beast of a Hemi V-8 makes. Want one more? In the time it takes you to read this paragraph out loud, the SRT8 does the quarter-mile.

By Kelsey Mays | February 11, 2011 | Comments (13)

2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Video

Chevrolet has slowly but surely built out its Camaro lineup to compete with the sprawling derivatives offered on the Ford Mustang. We have a convertible body style finally, and now there’s the ZL1, which is Chevy’s answer to the GT500. The model certainly looks the part, and there’s a lot of borrowed tech here from the Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V, according to Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder. We can’t make a final judgment, though, until we get to drive the car, and that’s nearly a whole year away!
By Colin Bird | February 10, 2011 | Comments (4)

2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 Video

If you’re one of those rare breed of car people who can’t look at anything with less than 400 horsepower then the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 will probably grab your attention. The high-performance model can propel this four-door family sedan from zero to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, and there are some interesting looks that separate it from your everyday Charger trim, according to Cars.com editor Kelsey Mays.
By Colin Bird | February 10, 2011 | Comments (1)

Honda Civic Sedan Concept is in Chicago

Civicsedanconcept
A funny thing happened in Detroit after Honda debuted its Civic coupe and sedan concepts. The white sedan shown to the media disappeared and wasn’t on the floor when the show opened to the public.

More 2011 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Instead, it was hustled off to Montreal for a major auto show there. The Civic is as popular in Canada as it is in the U.S., so the company figured it could have the Civic in two places.

But Chicago Auto Show attendees get to soak in both coupe and sedan concepts during the show’s two-week run at McCormick Place. They’ll also be able to compare it to the current Civics in the stand and weigh in on if the changes are a good or bad evolution of the design.

By David Thomas | February 10, 2011 | Comments (10)

Caption This: What Are You Looking At?

Engine
Sometimes when we sit down to edit photographs — namely staff photographer Ian Merritt does — we notice something we didn’t catch at the time.

That’s the case with this photo of Ram’s new diesel heavy-duty truck. The talk at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show is all about the engine, which is sprawled out in this photo, but this onlooker seems interested in something off-camera in the other direction.

Give us your best photo caption in the comment section below.

By David Thomas | February 10, 2011 | Comments (23)

2011 Toyota Matrix: Up Close

You need to look hard to see the changes to the 2011 Toyota Matrix hatchback, and even if you do, you might miss them. In this regard, it's just like the 2011 Toyota Corolla, which received some styling updates a few months ago.

More 2011 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

The Matrix's most readily apparent design change is a new lower bumper that incorporates a wide honeycomb grille, which aids the hatchback's proportions. There's honeycomb trim all over the car's exterior, actually, as it's fitted to the thin upper grille and the rear bumper.

By Mike Hanley | February 10, 2011 | Comments (5)

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