2008 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

February 5, 2008

Chicago's auto show is on - and TheCarConnection.com is reporting from the Windy City, through rain, sleet, snow and hail - maybe all four this evening, if predictions hold.

This year’s Chicago auto show may seem like a subdued affair at the moment. We’ve only been able to confirm a handful of world debuts, including the launch of Dodge’s Challenger musclecar. But with the vast expanses of space available at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center — and the sizable fleet of journalists headed into town for the show — we expect there to be a few surprises alongside the Challenger, VW's Routan minivan, and others.

Take a look at the first round of Chicago debuts:

Dodge Challenger

After announcing a base price of  $37,995 recently, Dodge has confirmed that the Challenger SRT8 will hit the auto-show circuit next February 6 in Chicago. The first Challengers to roll out of Chrysler's Canadian factory will all be SRT8 models, with a 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 pounding out an unnamed level of horsepower, and each of those first Challengers will get a special plaque to commemorate its status. Three colors will be offered — black, silver, and HEMI orange — all decorated with dual hood stripes. Dodge promises that the Challenger will have resonant styling, a racing-inspired interior, a world-class ride and handling set, benchmark braking, and a standout powertrain. Pricing for the rest of the Challenger lineup will be announced later. With gas-guzzler taxes included, the SRT8 Challenger will cost more than $40,000 when it goes on sale in the spring.

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Preview by Marty Padgett (1/23/2008)
A Chicago show debut, just in time for CAFE.


Chevrolet Traverse

2009 Chevrolet Traverse

2009 Chevrolet Traverse

The name may not be carved in stone, but the Traverse could be the tag applied to the long-rumored Chevrolet version of GM's big new "Lambda" architecture crossover vehicles. The other Lambdas include the Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook, and GMC Acadia. Unlike that trio, the Chevrolet version is likely destined for a production line in Spring Hill, Tenn., the former home base for the Saturn division. Codename GMT 561, this Chevrolet crossover will likely begin production in August of 2008, making this a 2009 model. Based on those dates, we expect to see an auto show debut in Chicago.


Volkswagen Routan

The Routan, Volkswagen confirms, is the minivan that VW will sell in the U.S. starting in the 2009 model year and will show at the Chicago auto show. VW says the name is a newly coined word indicating the bond between Volkswagen and America, a conflation of “route” and VW’s “-an” suffix, which indicates its people movers. The Routan may wear the VW badge, but at heart it’s a Chrysler minivan built by the American automaker at its Canadian minivan plant across the Detroit River. The Routan is part of VW’s new strategy to grow sales in the U.S. The company’s stretch goal? Some 800,000 sales a year by the year 2018.





At the L.A. Auto Show in 2004, General Motors first introduced the idea of a smaller HUMMER pickup. It was the H3T Concept. The production version of the concept, the 2009 H3T, is scheduled to be on GM's stand at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show in February. While the '04 concept featured a standard cab with an integrated the bed (similar to original HUMMER H1 variants), the new H3T is a traditional pickup with a separate crew cab and five-foot bed. Click on the link above for the latest info and photo galleries.



Suzuki pickup

2009 Suzuki Equator

2009 Suzuki Equator

American Suzuki is planning to unveil its pickup truck at the Chicago Auto Show, and it could carry the Equator badge. It expects to have three different truck “concepts” on stage for the Chicago show, according one source. The truck will be built by Nissan North America at its Smyrna, Tenn., plant. The Suzuki pickup will be a version of Nissan's mid-size Frontier pickup, though neither company has specified whether it will be a four-door or two-door truck, long or short bed, four- or six-cylinder. The pickup will enter production next year, and will only be sold by Suzuki in North America, and in no other global markets. Though the truck will be a rebadged Nissan Frontier, it will get a new fascia and other differentiation. It's not planned to be a high-volume vehicle, though.

2009 Suzuki Equator Preview by Marty Padgett (1/30/2008)


2009 GMC Sierra Hybrid Preview by Marty Padgett (2/5/2008)
GM adds gas-electric power to another big truck.

2009 Ford Edge Sport Preview by TCC Team (2/5/2008)
Crossover gets a sharper Edge.

2008 GMC Denali XT Hybrid Concept by Marty Padgett (2/3/2008)
The return of the El Camino -- via Oz?

2009 Mitsubishi Galant Preview by Marty Padgett (2/3/2008)
Mitsu gives a new nose, tail to the Galant.

2009 Hyundai Sonata

2009 Acura RL Preview by TCC Team (2/6/2008)

2010 Ford Transit Connect Preview by TCC Team (2/6/2008)




Wednesday, Feb. 6 
8 a.m. Chicago Auto Show/MAMA Breakfast
9:15 a.m. General Motors
10 a.m. Acura
10:45 a.m. Chrysler LLC
11:30 a.m. Volkswagen
12:15 p.m. American Suzuki
1 p.m. Ford
1:45 p.m. General Motors
2:30 p.m. Hyundai
3:15 p.m. BMW
4 p.m. Bentley
4:30 p.m. MotorWeek Awards 
Thursday, Feb. 7 
8 a.m. Porsche News Breakfast
9:15 a.m. Mitsubishi
10 a.m. Volvo
10:30 a.m. YES!
11:15 a.m. International 



2008 Detroit Auto Show Coverage by TCC Team (1/14/2008)
Ford F-150, Hyundai Genesis and Corvette ZR1.

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