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2012 Chicago Auto Show

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By: HellKnightHicks

March 23, 2012

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Ah...so many dealers, so many different things to see….

I started with Ford. I’m not really the biggest Ford fan, I’ve never cared much for their styling. Back in the 90’s their new stuff always looked like it was already old, gauge clusters were always bland, and looked like graph paper patterns in plastic. That being said I have a pre-disposition thinking that Ford wouldn’t have a good showcase.

Walking out from the ticket lines and into the line for the first half of the show room I could see a Ford Raptor with the body pulled from the frame and a giant turn table with an 80’s model mustang on it. You know the ones the real ugly old ones lol….Next to a new Saleen… Very nice display to compare where they have progressed and grown.

Next thing I saw kind of shocked me, another mustang on a Dyno… I thought that was a pretty neat idea… They were actually letting people out of the audience get up onto the dyno stage and run the car on the dyno…. I was impressed, they obviously put a lot of effort into their display.

Moving on I looked around the raptor and took a look inside… This is by far one of Ford’s best and sharpest looking trucks. Only thing that bothers me is the EPA rated 19 MPG on the beefy 6.2 L V8, it does have some nice 4.10 gears and a 6 speed tranny but really just 19 MPG?

I looked around some more mustangs and took a look at how they are incorporating the dual overhead cam with a roots style supercharger built into the intake…. Much like the LSA and LS9 engines. Pretty cool stuff.

Dodge/Chrysler was next, they had a test track for their pickup trucks. This was pretty neat… You could stand in line for an hour and drive one around the test course if you liked. I just shot some photos of the course and other people driving the Dodge rams around on the course. They did have some stuff I wouldn’t be willing drive my truck over out there lol.
Chrysler had one of their family cars cut open which was pretty neat you could see how thick the glass was and how there were added supports in the doors in case of accidents.

Dodge really surprised me with this; remember how they destroyed the legendary dodge charger name in the 80’s by bringing it back as a 4 door family sedan? Well they had one there packing a huge 426 big block. I thought that was pretty cool, I wonder what the gas mileage was on that puppy.

There were a few dodge challengers as well.

As far as test courses went, Jeep had the best. Their course had angles and what looked to be a 35 to 45 degree hill you could drive the jeeps up. There were some pretty crazy tilted areas as well on the track.

There was also a performance strip where you could run cars down a little test strip which was really really short but still the idea was neat. I didn’t see anyone crash into a wall while I was there. I’m wondering if they had safety shutoff on those cars, I just couldn’t trust the common population to drag race a car for 100ft then be able to stop it lol.

Moving on we went over to the second half of the show floor. This is where Chevy’s huge floor space was and the car I had really come to see, the ZL1. I was pretty excited to take a look at this car and sit in it.
When arriving over at the floor display for Chevy there were a bunch of their trucks sitting around that looked just the same as they had in the years passed. Nothing new really.

So I get to where the ZL1 is and am very disappointed in their choice of display method. The cars were roped off you couldn’t get close. Then they had another one that was inside of a booth that you could get your photo taken in 3d jumping in front of it. What are we, 5 years old? I really don’t care about a photo, I want to see this car and I want to see the engine and everything inside of it.

They did have one of the engines with cut away’s which I really thought was neat, it was a very sharp and well engineered engine.

All in all, Chevy had the most floor space and one of the most disappointing displays… Ford’s display totally blew them out of the water as well as most of the other displays that were there. It was like Chevy didn’t even try to impress you.. They just said “Hey look, some cars” Done.

There was a nice Nissan pickup truck out there that had some really neat bed cover options. I’ve driven a Nissan pickup before and I have to say for the price I don’t think you absolutely can’t beat them. They were cheap and seemed well made.

Lastly, straight from the streets of Japan there was this odd looking smart car. I don’t really know what to say about it, but I’ve never really liked the smart cars, they are like small little death traps.

Check out some of the pictures from the show, and enjoy!