Chicago Auto Show: Best Cutaways of the Show

Alex L. Dykes
by Alex L. Dykes
chicago auto show best cutaways of the show

What is the best part of a modern auto show? It’s not the constant running from one press release to another. It certainly isn’t fighting your way to the front of the throng to get some blurry photos of the latest sports car. It isn’t even the airport-grade lunches and cheap booze. No, it’s the cutaways. Nowhere else will you find the sheer quantity and quality of mechanical cutaways as an auto show. There are engine cutaways, transmission cutaways, and cutaways of entire vehicles. Click past the jump to see 28 of our favorites from the Chicago Auto Show.

Join the conversation
4 of 20 comments
  • Darkhorse Darkhorse on Feb 09, 2013

    Best cutaway engine in the world is at the Edvard-Hazy Smithsonian Aviation Museum in Dulles Virginia. The Pratt & Whitney R-4360 radial aircraft engine. It's a 4 row, 28 cylinder aircooled engine displacing 71.5 liters! Over 4000 HP. Used in many military and civil transports between 1945 and the advent of the jet age. It's amazing to me that the engineers that designed this complex machine did not have computers, just slide rules and log-log paper.

    • Nikita Nikita on Feb 12, 2013

      The Convair B-36 had six of them, buried in the wings in a pusher configuration. Do the math, a "tuneup" consisted of changing two spark plugs per cylinder, 28 cylinders per engine. Now, imagine doing this outdoors at a SAC base in Alaska. P&W had lots of test cells. Without computers, prototype engines were built and usually exploded. Redesign the failed part, rinse and repeat. Once in production, they rarely lasted very long in service. The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser airliner was nicknamed the Boeing Tri-motor, because it often arrived with only three of the four 4360's still turning.

  • GS650G GS650G on Feb 09, 2013

    what happens to these cutaways? Someone would love to buy one for a man cave.

    • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Feb 10, 2013

      GM has engines, intact and cutaway in their Heritage Center so I assume most of them are kept by the companies. I'm sure that the specialty shops that make the cutaways will be happy to take your money and make you one. Two of the leading cutaway fabricators, Webb and Sterling Performance, are in southeastern Michigan. I sent each of them a request for media access and I hope to do a story about how they make these amazing displays.

  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.
  • Lorenzo In Massachusetts, they used to require an inspection every 6 months, checking your brake lights, turn signals, horn, and headlight alignment, for two bucks.Now I get an "inspection" every two years in California, and all they check is the smog. MAYBE they notice the tire tread, squeaky brakes, or steering when they drive it into the bay, but all they check is the smog equipment and tailpipe emissions.For all they would know, the headlights, horn, and turn signals might not work, and the car has a "speed wobble" at 45 mph. AFAIK, they don't even check EVs.
  • Not Tire shop mechanic tugging on my wheel after I complained of grinding noise didn’t catch that the ball joint was failing. Subsequently failed to prevent the catastrophic failure of the ball joint and separation of the steering knuckle from the car! I’ve never lived in a state that required annual inspection, but can’t say that having the requirement has any bearing on improving safety given my experience with mechanics…
  • Mike978 Wow 700 days even with the recent car shortages.
  • Lorenzo The other automakers are putting silly horsepower into the few RWD vehicles they have, just as Stellantis is about to kill off the most appropriate vehicles for that much horsepower. Somehow, I get the impression the OTHER Carlos, Tavares, not Ghosn, doesn't have a firm grasp of the American market.