We wrapped up our coverage of the 2013 Chicago Auto Show on a high note, proclaiming that our Studs and Duds list of new vehicle introductions was rather sparse. Then again, only seven all-new models graced the show–and that was even stretching the “all new” definition–so that made for some slim pickin’s. Most of the big intros were scheduled in Detroit or for next month’s New York Auto Show.
Alas, there’s another expo of automotive exotica afoot in the meanwhile across the Atlantic Ocean at the Geneva Motor Show. With the two upcoming shows, it’s forcing us to keep busy covering what can best be described as one of the most exciting show seasons in ages. Plenty of news is afoot, and we’ve covered it. Below is what was big this week, besides your credit card statement after trying to impress your Valentine.
Monday, February 11
You know that Studs and Duds list we talked about? It wasn’t too expansive this time around, but neither was the show. Still, between the Ram Promaster commercial van, refreshed Toyota Tundra, Kia Forte 5-door and Cross GT concept, Chevrolet Cruze diesel, Volkswagen Beetle GSR, and SRT Core models, there was enough to get decent lists going for both the studs and the not-so-studly. Our very own Matt Askari and Trevor Dorchies went to the Windy to City to evaluate its wares and came back with a few takeaways for the future of the car market. Check out what they had to say.
Tuesday, February 12
Billionaire playboy philanthropist and creator commercial space flight company SpaceX and cofounder of Tesla Motors Elon Musk is having a bit of a war of words with New York Times blogger John Broder after the writer badmouthed the Model S. In Broder’s article, he states that the car under-delivered on its claimed electric range, leaving him stranded. Musk has since fired back with an electronic data report that states Broder fudged his story to make the Model S look bad. As they say, figures don’t lie, but liars don’t always figure. Or is Broder telling the truth against a mountain of evidence that speaks to the contrary? What do you think? And would you seriously challenge the guy who inspired Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in Iron Man?
Wednesday, February 13
A long time ago, Italian automaker Alfa Romeo graced our shores with premium cars. But then it fizzled out, not to return for nearly 20 years. Or so we anticipate. Or so we hope. At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, Alfa Romeo is scheduled to introduce a production version of its 4C sports car, equipped with a 1.8-liter engine that pumps out 237 horsepower and weighing just under a ton. We’ve now seen pictures of it, and it looks remarkably like the concept version. If you’re sad you can no longer get a new Lotus Elise in the U.S., this looks like a good consolation. That is, if Alfa finally keeps its promise to return to our shores.
Thursday, February 14
Love is in the air, or at least a love for Lincoln’s latest attempt to revive itself with the MKC concept that debuted last month in Detroit. Matt Askari talked to the MKC’s design staff, picking their brains on the new compact luxury crossover and checking its viability for production. All signs look good. While Lincoln’s sales have been dwindling, it’s a positive sign that MKZ preorders are doing all right and that Lincoln is trying to quickly stock the pipeline with new vehicles. Will it make a dent, though? Read his story to get the lowdown.
Friday, February 15
Quick exposition: The Pontiac G8 was a fantastic sports sedan that left our shores too quickly due to GM’s bankruptcy. It was based on the VE Holden Commodore from Australia. Now that a much more luxurious VF Commodore is getting introduced around the world, we’re getting the car back, except as the long-awaited 2014 Chevrolet SS sedan. Rear-wheel drive and powered by a hulk of a 6.2-liter V-8, this 415-horsepower monster is ostensibly the closest thing we’re going to get to a four-door Camaro. It will also be the flagship Chevrolet sedan, raising its image with an international pedigree and matching wits with the Dodge Charger, smokey burnout for smokey burnout.