2005 Chicago Show: TCC’s Top Picks

February 13, 2005

2005 Chicago Auto Show Index by TCC

Greg Sanchez

Greg Sanchez

Greg Sanchez
TCC en Español Publisher

Best New Concept: Dodge Nitro. Superb and unique SUV that is definitely Dodge, with the big, crosshair grille and the slanted roofline reminiscent of the Magnum wagon. You could sense the aaahhhsss and the uuuhhhsss amongst the journalists when the Nitro hit the stage.

Best New Production Car: Mercedes S65 AMG. I have always been a sucker for powerful luxury sedans, and this puppy has got it all together for me. Not to mention all the fun you can have out there with any and all tuners!

Most Significant Production Vehicle: There I go again, in my eternal romance for the new Corvette Z06 — Chevrolet got it right this time, building the fastest, most powerful car ever offered by GM. Everything in this new C6 is comprised of an unprecedented level of capability and technology, and perhaps one of the greatest performance values on the market anywhere.

2005 Dodge Nitro concept

2005 Dodge Nitro concept

Enlarge Photo
Best Press Conference: Dodge Nitro. No surprises here! The folks at DaimlerChrysler sure know how to put a press conference together filled with expectations, excitement and a great entrance. Between the mariachis, the gigantic condiment bottles, and the great product introduced… they remain the leader!

Worst Press Conference: International Trucks. Who is going to buy this thing anyways? Who cares? The CEO sounded like Sly Stallone, and during the Q & A, every time one of the journalists would ask their vice-president of sales and marketing something, he would reply: “Hey Bill, Hey John, Hey Pete… would you take this one?” What was that?

Who’s On Top: My hat off to DaimlerChrysler and their line-up of exciting products. And how about that test track throughout the entire

McCormick Place
? I went back to the show with friends over the weekend and there were huge lines — about a two-hour wait — for this attraction. It seemed like everybody wanted to test-drive a Chrysler product. Good job guys!

Who’s In The Barrel: Let’s hope the new Buick Lucerne is not the final straw for Buick’s comeback or shall we say — revitalization. Let’s hope Buick does not follow in the footsteps of Oldsmobile.  

Personal Best: Once again, my heart bleeds for the fast luxury sedans or coupes. The new SL65 AMG swept me off my feet! Stunning! This is a spectacular, coach that embodies sporting luxury with exhilarating driving dynamics. Can’t wait to see what Lexus will answer with.

Prediction for 2005: I’m very much sold on Alternative Fuel Vehicles. The next decade shows potential for biofuel and hybrid vehicles and to a certain extent, diesel. Many people think that such mainstays as natural gas and propane are dead, but I don’t agree with that idea. In fact, many of these markets from around the world are steadily growing and here in the states, proponents of these fuels are working to expand their positions and to carve their own niches in the marketplace.

Marty Padgett

Marty Padgett

Marty Padgett
TCC Editor and Producer

Best New Concept: Honda Civic Si. Honda’s latest Civic has squandered some of its fast-n’-furious reputation with the tuner crowd, but the looks of the new two-door could woo them back, particularly with a 200-hp engine under the hood. The rapid aging of the Focus — without any inkling that Ford will jump back into the game with a new compact anytime soon — can’t hurt.

Best New Production Car: Honda Civic Si. C’mon… you and I both know they’re not kidding.

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