The Truth About Cars » 2013 chicago auto show The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » 2013 chicago auto show Ken Lingenfelter: New LT1 Engine A Challenge for Tuners Mon, 11 Feb 2013 13:30:02 +0000 Elteeone - photo courtesy of Cars In Depth

General Motors’ powertrain engineers have undoubtedly demonstrated with the LS family of V8 engines that pushrods still have a place in the 21st century. As successful and popular as the LS has been, I don’t think it’s much of stretch to assume that the new LT1 V8 in the all new seventh generation Corvette will eventually replace the LS engine in its various permutations and applications. The LT1, still a cam in block engine, and still with Ed Cole’s 4.40 inch bore centers, adds direct injection to the Small Block Chevy heritage. The LS family has also been popular as crate motors, used by customizers and high performance enthusiasts as well as with a small industry of companies that specialize in high performance GM products. While you can buy a LS from General Motors with up to 638 horsepower, if that just doesn’t satisfy your need for speed, companies like Callaway, Lingenfelter and Hennessey have shown that the LS engine’s basic architecture is capable of putting out almost twice that power. After talking with Ken Lingenfelter about the new Corvette, I wonder, though, just how tuner-friendly the new LT1 will be.

I ran into Lingenfelter in front of the Classic Car Club of America’s display at the Chicago Auto Show. Ken’s a noted collector of Corvettes and other performance cars who took over Lingenfelter Performance Engineering when his cousin, John, who started LPE, was killed in a car wreck. Ken’s a car guy’s car guy and I see him at tons of car events around the Detroit area, as an exhibitor, as a vendor and as an attendee.  A while back he graciously gave me access to shoot 3D photos and video of his collection. He was in Chicago to show some LPE massaged cars, including a very nicely done ’67ish StingRay body on a C6 Corvette chassis with Lingenfelter power, built by Karls Kustom Corvette .

Alex Dykes’ posted some nice pics of the cutaways at the Chicago Auto Show. They’re fine photographs but you haven’t seen cutaways until you’ve seen them in 3D. Talk about engine porn! To view in 3D without glasses, cross your eyes slightly so that your right eye is looking at the left image and vice versa. Then relax your eyes similar to when using a pair of binoculars, and a stable third, 3D image will fuse in the middle of the other two images. You might have to move closer or farther from the screen for the ideal distance

When I asked Lingenfelter if LPE has had a chance to work on the LT1 yet, he told me that GM’s been rather close to the vest with the new engine. He also said since the LT1 is the first time that GM has used direct injection in their V8 engine family, there’s going to be a learning curve for the tuners. One thing he said, though, may not bode well for 1,000+ HP LTs. Lingenfelter said that engines are designed with performance limits. Think of the way that Formula One used to use “hand grenade” qualifying engines, motors built to make crazy power but not last longer than a few laps. According to Lingenfelter, the production versions of the LS engine still leave a lot of room for performance improvement, they’re nowhere near the limits of the performance envelope. From what he’s learned about the new LT1, Lingenfelter fears that the motor, which has the highest specific output of any GM engine ever, 450 HP and 450 lb-ft of torque from 6.2 liters of displacement, may be closer to the limits of its performance envelope in production form than the LS. No doubt the LT1′s architecture can handle the 600 or 700 HP that the eventual ZR1 edition of the C7 will have, but 700 HP is commonplace in the LS tuning world and Lingenfelter is concerned that they may not be able to wring much more than that out of the new Corvette engine.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks – RJS

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Chicago Auto Show: Ford Transit 250 Thu, 07 Feb 2013 17:47:36 +0000

Ford’s commercial booth is very quiet at the Chicago Auto Show despite having on display the biggest news in commercial vehicles at the show. OK, so a new cargo van isn’t that exciting, I’ll give you that. While Ford had their cargo hauler locked, I was able to get a few impressions.

First off, my GOD the Transit looks like a hungy animal from the front. Second impression? This thing is huge.  A quick look at the frame display Ford had on the show floor appears to dash any hopes of finding a V8 under the hood of the transit for a while at least, there just isn’t any room. On the bright side it looks like engine serviceability will improve somewhat thanks to the smaller and shorter engines.

The new Transit appears to have a very low load floor for an (as labeled) 3/4 ton van. In side it also appears that Ford ripped the shifter and gauge cluster out of the current generation Focus while the infotainment options appear to come from the new Fiesta. By the looks of the screen you can bet MyFord Touch will be on offer instead of the cumbersome and awkward mini-computer system that Ford was selling in the Transit Connect for a while. Size wise the Transit appears to compete head on with the likes of the Sprinter and forthcoming RAM van.

2014 Ford Transit T-Series 2014 Ford Transit T-Series-1 2014 Ford Transit T-Series-2 2014 Ford Transit T-Series-3 2014 Ford Transit T-Series-4 2014 Ford Transit T-Series-5 2014 Ford Transit T-Series-6 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]> 42
Chicago Auto Show: 2014 Toyota Tundra Thu, 07 Feb 2013 16:23:21 +0000

Toyota chose Chicago to introduce the new 2014 Tundra. Following the lead of the big three, the Tunda is bigger and has a more premium interior. Unlike the big boys, Toyota still won’t have a 3/4 or 1 ton models, but they are touting the Tundra as having the highest North American parts content of any other 1/2 ton truck. Them’s fighting words.

Of course 1/2 ton doesn’t really mean half a ton of bed capacity any more. The Tundra with the 5.7L V8 will have a 2,000lb bed capacity and a SAE certified 10,000lb towing capacity. Helping tow lovers out is a new integrated towing controller and a redesigned rear bumper that’s only 2/3 chrome so when you smack your hitch into your bumper (you know who you are) it will be less obvious and perhaps easier to repair.

There will be a TRD model, a Limitied model and since everyone else is going Platinum, so will the Tundra. Aping the King Ranch themed F-150, Toyota is getting their on ranch edition with saddle brown leather, a higher price tag and some dubious Texas ranch tie-ins. Every model gets a redesigned interior, Toyota’s latest infotainment systems and more soft touch dash bits. Toyota hasn’t announced pricing yet, so that just means you’ll have to visit TTAC daily for that release.

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If You’ve Got 115 Years To Spare, The Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Makes Sense Thu, 07 Feb 2013 16:11:09 +0000  

Some rough, back of the napkin calculations based on available information suggest that the Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has a break-even point fit for Methuselah

Rather than blindly buy into the “rah-rah Europe” hype that surrounds so much of the diesel discourse, we decided to analyze just what kind of cost savings can be had by picking the diesel over an equivalent Cruze 2LT with the 1.4L Ecotec turbo engine. For argument’s sake, we used TrueCar’s formula of driving 15,000 miles per year, though we used Chicago, IL as our sample for gas and diesel prices. The lowest prices found on GasBuddy was $3.50 for regular and $3.80 for diesel respectively.

Since city and combined figures haven’t been announced yet for the Cruze diesel, I decided to only use the highway figures for a similarly equipped 2LT . As the calculations show, the Cruze diesel does use a smaller quantity of fuel annually, but that’s offset by the price premium one is required to pay for diesel. The significant delta in the MSRP of the two vehicles is another blow against the oil-burning Cruze. With a mere $22 in annual fuel savings and a $2,550 price gap, it would take over a century -roughly 115 years – for a potential owner to “break even” on the Cruze diesel.

GM has only released the highway mpg figure (42 mpg) so far. But even if one repeats the exercise using the Jetta TDI’s fuel economy numbers (30/42/34 mpg) for the Cruze diesel, it would still take roughly a decade to break even and save about $255 annually over a gasoline Cruze. Green cars aren’t necessarily about the financial proposition (see: Toyota Prius for the best example), but the Cruze diesel is attempting to lure away extremely loyal buyers in a niche segment with very low opportunities for “green status signalling” (i.e. letting everyone know you’re saving baby polar bears via your consumption choices, ala the Prius). In light of all this, it seems that the Cruze Diesel is facing a dim future of slow sales and plenty of cash on the hood to help move them.

Edit: The data is in the photo gallery below, but commenter redav created this chart as well showing the cost-per-mile breakdown.


Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail 2014-chevrolet-cruze-diesel. Photo courtesy cruzetable


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Diesel Citroen With Brembo Brakes Debuts At Chicago Auto Show Thu, 07 Feb 2013 06:05:21 +0000

Behold, the Citroen Jumper…err, the Fiat Ducato. Ok, it’s the Ram Promaster. Instead of the Mercedes-based Sprinter, this is the new commercial van from Chrysler. It can be equipped with a Pentastar V6 or a 3.0L diesel four-cylinder. It has two-piston Brembo brakes and, horror of horrors, it’s front-drive. I’m not sure that really makes a difference, but somebody will doubtlessly criticize Ram for importing a “wrong-wheel-drive” commercial van.

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Chevrolet Cruze Diesel: Where’s The Value Proposition? Thu, 07 Feb 2013 05:55:23 +0000

In a few hours, we’ll have live shots of the Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel (what a mouthful), but in the mean time, here’s a preview of the long awaited oil-burning Chevy.

The heart of the diesel Cruze is a 2.0L 148 horsepower engine that puts out 258 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is expected to ape the Cruze Eco, at 42 mpg highway, though the diesel Cruze costs $25,685 – $1,845 more than a TDI Jetta and $4,000 more than a base Cruze Eco with an automatic transmission. While the diesel is available in the higher-spec 2LT trim level, it’s hard to justify another $4,000 just to get things like disc brakes and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Apparently, Chevrolet isn’t targeting Cruze buyers, but buyers of Volkswagen TDI cars. But Chevrolet is only offering an automatic gearbox, and TDI drivers are one of the few demographics that tend to buy manuals in any significant numbers. Furthermore, how many Veedub diehards will give up their beloved brand and its Euro-snob appeal for a Bowtie-brand Cruze?

GM will launch the Cruze diesel in select markets first, similar to the Volt, with sales occurring first in markets that are considered to be more diesel friendly.

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2013 Nissan 370Z Debuts With Minor Changes, Ugly Wheels Tue, 07 Feb 2012 18:47:07 +0000

We just got our first look at the 2013 Nissan 370Z, set to be unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show on Wednesday. The changes are brief but good god, what did they do to those wheels?

Nissan lists the 2013 changes as

  • Refreshed front fascia with vertical LED daytime running lights
  • Revised 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels (Sport Package equipped models)
  • New 18-inch wheels for 370Z Coupe
  • Red-finished brake calipers (Sport Package equipped models)
  • Dark-finish fuel gauge trim
  • Euro-tuned shock absorbers (Sport Package equipped models)
  • And two new exterior colours – Magma Red and Midnight Blue 
Hopefully the car is just as good to drive as the previous Z cars, but if I ever bought one, I’d have a nice shipment from TireRack waiting at home, and a buyer lined up for those tacky ninja-star-esque 18s.
Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail 2013_3707_large2 2013 Nissan 370z Magma Red Airport 2013_370z_MagmaRed_125 2013_370z_MagmaRed_119 2013_370z_MagmaRed_112 2013 Nissan 370z Magma Red Airport 2013-370z-MagmaRed-105 2013 Nissan 370z Magma Red Airport 2013-370z-MagmaRed-102 2013 Nissan 370Z. Photo courtesy Nissan.
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