This week marked the start of the Chicago Auto Show, showing us new Hyundais, Kias, a family crossover from GMC, and more, sustaining its reputation as the “consumers’ auto show.” Oh yeah, and there was a 650-horsepower Mustang GT500 convertible, surely an outlier. Regardless, it was a week of news, controversy, success, and failure. Read below for the biggest stories of the week that was Feb. 6 through Feb. 10.
Monday, February 6
Chevrolet traded the latest barb with cross-town rival Ford in the never-ending battle for pickup truck supremacy. In a one minute spot aired during the big game last Sunday, Chevy made a claim that its trucks will continue to run even after the world ends. The Blue Oval Boys (who are quick to remind everyone they’ve had the best-selling truck for 35 years running) were less than happy with Chevy’s swipe and asked for it to be taken off the air. Chevy smugly smiled and shrugged off Ford’s plea saying it was “a fun way of putting this claim in the context of an apocalypse.” Nonetheless, Ford still wasn’t pleased. Read on here to see the original ad that got Ford all riled up.
Tuesday, February 7
Chevrolet may have pulled a BURN! on Ford with the Silverado, but Ford is about to pull a burn on Chevy—a burnout. (OK, I apologize for that one.) The Shelby GT500 finds its top off and nowhere to go, except forward, and really fast. Built to commemorate SVT’s 20th anniversary, the GT500 Convertible comes with the same 650-horsepower supercharged V-8 and Track Pack goodies for going left and right, whatever that’s like. But burnouts are more easily enjoyed when there’s no pesky roof to prevent rubber bits from getting in your teeth. Ever see a toupee blow off at 150 miles per hour? In a Mustang?
Wednesday, February 8
It appears rapper Rick Ross may be the only one left listening to “Maybach Music” as Mercedes-Benz ultra-luxury arm is shutting its doors for good in 2013. The move to kill off the super-limos stems from poor profit figures and decrepit sales numbers. Over the past several years Maybach has only been able to find 3000 new homes for popular models like the 57 and 62. That’s not too bad when you think each model goes for somewhere in the neighborhood of $440,000. However it is, Maybach losses $438,568 for every $440,000 car it makes. Maybe it’s time to go back to “Aston Martin Music” Ricky Roszay. Click here to read the full story.
Thursday, February 9
Although Tesla’s Model S sedan is not quite on the market yet, that isn’t stopping it from introducing its next vehicle, the Model X crossover. Yup, on Thursday, our very own Jason Davis went to Tesla’s double-secret Los Angeles office to check it out, as well as take one of the electric prototypes for quick spin. Much of the Tesla Model X is what you’d expect from any other car, focusing on safety, LATCH points for child seats, and three-row seating. But there’s plenty there that isn’t, from the vehicle’s front and rear electric motors for all-wheel drive, massive 17-inch panel in place of buttons on the dashboard, and cameras at either window instead of rearview mirrors. Tesla expects it to go into production by late 2013. Click here to read Jason’s full rundown on the Model X.
Friday, February 10
The 2012 Chicago Auto Show is positioned in between the Detroit and New York auto shows. It’s known as the “consumers’ show” for its usually practical product introductions versus a sea of high-flying concepts and new models often introduced in Detroit, the Big Apple, and other places around the world. We had a few studs—cars that wowed us—amid a fairly shallow pool of new-car introductions. But at a show that had Chrysler calling a press conference so it could hand out cupcakes—no new news, just cupcakes—we had one major dud: The Chicago Auto Show itself. Click here to see why.
Trevor Dorchies, Blake Rong, and Jacob Brown contributed to this wrap-up.