Cool Cars Blow Into The 2013 Chicago Auto Show

Los Angeles and Detroit are two of the largest auto shows in North America, but automakers often save some big news for Chicago. From a new little diesel to a Superman sedan, big man van, and Texas-sized truck, there was a lot to see at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, which wrapped up last week. Here are some of the highlights:

2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel2014 Chevy Cruze Turbo Diesel
Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI gets company. Chevy is shoving a 2.0-liter diesel engine — which delivers 148 horsepower and 258 ft-lbs of torque — into the compact Cruze. In combination with low-rolling-resistance tires, rear spoiler, and lightweight 17” alloys, the engine enables 42 mpg highway. 0-60 mph arrives in 8.6 seconds. Prices will start at $25,695.

2014 Toyota Tundra2014 Toyota Tundra
Not to be left behind, Toyota debuted its new Texas-built pickup. Bold exteriors accompany luxurious interiors with available saddle brown leather, JBL audio, Entune infotainment, heated/cooled seats, and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Drivers will choose from a V6 and two V8 engines, delivering up to 381 horsepower.

2013 Nissan JUKE NISMO2013 Nissan Nismo Juke
Nissan’s in-house tuner works over the Juke with a race-inspired exterior, sport-tuned suspension, and firmer steering. Interiors feature bolstered suede seats with red stitching. Whether owners choose front- or all-wheel-drive, they’ll enjoy a 197 horsepower 1.6-liter turbo-four engine. Pricing wasn’t announced, but sales begin in March.

2014 Ram ProMaster Commercial Van World Debut2014 Ram ProMaster
Developed from the Fiat Ducato, this unibody front-drive Ram will become a staple of contractors and delivery services and could give the Ford Transit Connect a run for its hard-earned money. Doors are wide enough for pallets. Under the hood is a 174 hp, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel or 280 hp 3.6-liter V6. Bluetooth, hands-free texting, web access, and navigation aid drivers. Sales begin this fall.

Kia Cross GT conceptKia Cross GT Concept
Peter Schreyer’s design studios created another stunner. Penned in Frankfurt, but built in California, it previews a next-generation crossover. Motivation comes from a 400 hp V6 hybrid system with AWD, enabling 20 miles of all-electric range. A hexagonal glass skylight, leather tanned with veggie oil, and walnut trim the interior. (Ed. note: Kia is not a gay-friendly automaker)

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR
Inspired by a ‘70s Beetle of the same name, the GSR will echo its predecessor with yellow paint, black accents, and large rear spoiler. Interiors boast Fender audio, sunroof, alloy pedals, and a stopwatch (!). The 210 hp 2.0-liter turbo-four and 19” alloys should deliver peppy performance. A limited allotment of 3500 units arrives this fall, pricing TBD.

2013 Dodge Mopar Dart2013 Dodge Mopar Dart
Outfitted with Mopar accessories, this special Dart wears black paint with blue stripes, 18” gloss black alloys, spoilers, Katskin blue leather driver’s seat, and industry-first wireless smartphone charging. A lowered suspension, premium brakes, and Fiat-sourced 1.4-liter turbo engine enhance performance. Production is limited to 500 cars.

Ford Fiesta ST GRC Race CarFord Fiesta ST Racer
Ford has been a contender in almost every racing series over the decades, and will continue in the Global RallyCross Championship, including five North American events, with a special Fiesta ST that previews the coming launch of a production version. The cars will be expertly driven during 2013 by Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, and Ken Block.

Superman-themed Kia Optima HybridSuperman-themed Kia Optima Hybrid
The Optima Hybrid is already a superhero for Kia sales, but a partnership with DC Entertainment created this special car to help raise money for the “We Can Be Heroes” campaign to alleviate drought and famine in Africa. Widened fenders, adjustable suspension, and Superman color scheme gave the car super powers in Kia’s stand. (Ed. note: Kia is not a gay-friendly automaker)