Posts Tagged ‘chicago motor show’

Toyota Camry, Corolla & Avalon Coming to Chicago

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

The 2015 Chicago auto show opens next week, and this week Toyota has been busy prepping us for the three new models they plan to showcase at the event. Well, one new model and two special edition models that will be shown in Chicago ahead of their 2016MY debut.

Facelifted 2016 Toyota Avalon

2016 Toyota Avalon Teaser

The star of the show, and the only one that Toyota is giving us a real teaser for, is the 2016 Toyota Avalon. This is a mid-cycle refresh for the fourth-generation full-size sedan, and all we know so far is that the front fascia will get a major overhaul with a new chrome-outlined hexagonal lower grille. The front lip looks slightly more aggressive, and it looks like the LEDs have been redesigned with new vertical LEDs.

The exterior design is all-around more refined than the current model’s, and we expect that the interior will get similar treatment with new upholstery and trim options, along with several new tech. updates. We expect the powertrain options to remain totally the same.

Toyota Camry Special Edition

2016 Toyota Camry Special Edition

Along with the facelifted Avalon, Toyota will showcase limited, Special Edition versions of their 2016 Camry and Corolla.

The Toyota Camry special edition will be based on the normal Toyota Camry SE trim. Toyota has added custom 18-inch alloys with glossy black accents. It will also get unique Special Edition badging, smoked taillights, and will be available in either Blizzard Pearl or Blue Streak Metallic.

2016 Toyota Camry Special Edition interior

The interior will be stylized with vibrant blue stitching to contrast the black-and-chrome interior. Even the gauges will get sleek electric blue dials.

Toyota Corolla Special Edition

2016 Toyota Corolla Special Edition

The Toyota Corolla special edition get similar treatment to the Camry, with the biggest difference being the red color scheme instead of blue. It will be based on the Corolla S Plus, with rich, glossy black alloys, Special Edition badging just like the Camry’s, and three new color options – Black Sand Pearl, Super White and Absolutely Red (pictured).

2016 Toyota Corolla Special Edition interior

Again, the limited Corolla’s interior gets largely the same treatment as the Camry’s, except the contrast stitching is red instead of blue.

Toyota plans to build 12,000 special edition Camrys and 8,000 Corollas, so if you like what you see at the Chicago Auto Show next week, be sure to order yours ASAP. Alternatively, if you want something more affordable, you can check out our Integrity Exports auction database to find cars like this:


Is the Mitsubishi Montero Coming to the Chicago Auto Show?

Posted by Stephen On Monday, January 26th, 2015

The 2015 Chicago Auto Show previews are officially coming in now, folks. After the teaser for a facelifted Honda Pilot, Mitsubishi has given us a teaser for a new SUV of their own. From the look of it, it’s larger than either of their current Outlander crossovers, and the Japanese automaker lauds it as “the return of a legend.”

Mitsubishi Return of a Legend Teaser

What could it be?

A revived US-spec Mitsubishi Montero, which was axed from the Mitsubishi’s US lineup in 2005 in order for them to focus marketing their smaller crossover offers. However, the Montero continues to be sold in other markets as the Pajero. Even in other markets, though, the now-fourth-generation Pajero just hasn’t had much traction in the past few years. Mitsubishi aims to change that with the next-generation model, which they previously told us to expect in 2018.

So, if the new Montero isn’t coming until 2018, what are we going to see at Chicago?

2013 Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept premiere

2013 Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept premiere

If you have a particularly long memory, you may remember Mitsubishi’s GC-PHEV Concept hybrid all the way back from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. A little more than one year later, we believe they’re bringing the next iteration of that concept to the US. Chances are it will be a lot more realistic, if not fully production ready.

Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept

Another version of the Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept

That being said, Mitsubishi hasn’t strictly specified that this new debut is anything but a carbon copy of the Tokyo model from 2013. It’s perfectly possible that we’ll just get a recolored model, or maybe a GC-PHEV Sport Concept or something like that. We just don’t know right now.

What we do know is that Mitsubishi will definitely offer a plug-in Montero/Pajero at some point, and that it will definitely be available in the US.

Current Mitsubishi Pajero

Current Mitsubishi Pajero

The best case scenario – the one we’re secretly crossing our fingers for – would be that Mitsubishi gives us a production-ready 2016 Mitsubishi Montero that’s also the next-generation model. Unfortunately, we probably won’t know for sure until the second week in February when ‘the legend’ returns!

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2010 Pajero Mini

2010 Pajero Mini

This is a really cool follow-up auction find to today’s Chicago Auto Show teaser. It’s a 2010 Pajero Mini in surprisingly good shape.

The Pajero Mini was released in 1994 as a way for Mitsubishi to enter the Japanese Kei car segment using the popular Pajero name. However, the mechanics of the two cars are totally unrelated. The Pajero Mini was actually built on the platform of the Mitsubishi Minica until the Minica was axed in 2011. The Pajero Mini ceased production the following year.

2010 Pajero Mini auction find

Even though it’s no longer manufactured, the mini-SUV actually had a very successful run. In fact, in 2008 Nissan paid the smaller automaker to produce an OEM version that they went on to sell as the Nissan Kix.

2010 Pajero Mini interior

Today’s auction find is a 2010 model, so it would have been one of the final versions of the car. All in all, it’s a fairly basic compact SUV, but a reliable one. The turbocharged 660cc four-cylinder isn’t too shabby too drive either. Get more details below this car’s auction sheet:

2010 Pajero Mini auction sheet

“Grade 4.5, interior B, exterior condition B, first registered January 2010, Pajero Mini model, aftermarket stereo, AC, FAT, power steering, power windows, original AWs, airbag, first time in auction, stone chips in front windscreen, interior grime, marks as per map”


Refined 2015 Subaru Legacy Unveiled at the 2014 Chicago Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

When most automakers find themselves with a failing vehicle in their lineup, their first goal is to make the car appear more exciting. You can just imagine the conversation that some higher-up would have with a designer: “I really want you to make this car stick out; we want a car that’s exciting to drive.”

Subaru has a different approach. Instead of exciting, they want refined, and that’s exactly what they showed us with their 2015 Subaru Legacy, unveiled this week at the Chicago Motor Show:

Subaru Legacy 2015

Sales for the Subaru Legacy fell by a little more than 10% in 2013, and the mid-size sedan was never really at the top of the pack to begin with. So, with the latest redesign of their flagship sedan, Subaru has gone in a different direction. Where the current Subaru Legacy is/was bulbous and curvy, the 2015 Subaru Legacy will be crisp and linear.

Best of all?

If you compare the production-version of the Subaru Legacy unveiled yesterday in Chicago to the Legacy Concept we saw last fall in LA – guess what? They’re almost identical! That’s the sort of thing that makes an automotive journalist happy; we hate being misled by exceedingly over-the-top concept cars, and the Legacy turned out as nothing of the sort. Check out the Subaru Legacy Concept from last year:

Subaru Legacy concept

The biggest differences lie in the interior design and the absence of air vents from the front and rear. The Legacy Concept had a much more futuristic interior, but you can’t fault Subaru for dressing up its show car.

But, enough about old concepts, let’s talk about what lies beneath that luxurious redesign of the new Subaru Legacy.

The 2015 Subaru legacy will keep the same powertrain options as the outgoing model, with the exception of its manual transmissions. Instead, Subaru has mandated that a Lineartronic CVT shall be the transmission of choice for all Legacies. The engines will remain with the same displacement, but the 2.5L boxer will get a tune-up to 175bhp from 173. However, both the 2.5L and the 3.6L will get an extra 3mpg on average, putting the car’s fuel efficiency at the top of the AWD mid-size sedan class.

You wouldn’t be able to tell it from the picture, but the 2015 Subaru legacy has also been stretched out by approximately 2 inches, which equals more space for rear passengers, and a little extra volume in the trunk. According to Subaru, this is the roomiest Legacy ever with the largest-size passenger cabin of any vehicle in the midsize segment. It’s also apparently the quietest Legacy ever, with much special attention paid to interior comfort and refinement. That interior comfort also includes entertainment, with the sedan featuring a brand-new infotainment system and 12-speaker “premium audio”.

The sedan also gets a plethora of new safety technologies, including EyeSight driver assist, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

All in all, the 2015 Subaru Legacy looks primed and ready to break the downward spiral of its predecessor. The only question left is pricing, which we will learn more about closer to the car’s unspecified launch date sometime in the latter half of 2014.

Until then, thanks for reading, and come back next week for more Japanese car news!


Toyota Debuts New TRD Pro Series at 2014 Chicago Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Toyota TRD Pro series

Last week we looked at teasers for Toyota’s new TRD Pro Series of off-road vehicles. This morning, with the grand opening of the 2014 Chicago Motor Show, we now have full specs for the entire TRD Pro Series.

As you continue reading, we will go through each of the three performance-tuned trucks and SUV to see what’s so special about these new upgraded vehicles.

First, though, let’s quickly go over why Toyota has chosen to unveil this TRD Pro Series at this particular time. As it happens, 2014 is the 35th anniversary of Toyota Racing Development, or TRD, so it’s an important year to give Toyota’s many loyal fans something special. Each and every vehicle listed here has received a plethora of enhancements and upgrades from the TRD team. It’ll be tough, but we’ll do our best to cover the most important upgrades for each vehicle.

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

First up, we have the new and improved Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. This one gets new 18” black alloy wheels with Michelin ORP tires, along with 2” of additional wheel travel in the front and 1.25” in the rear. In fact, the entire front of the vehicle has been lifted 2” for additional off-road clearance. The shocks have also been made more resilient with overall less cavitation, while the springs have been loosened for “improved ride quality over harsh terrain”.

The Tundra TRD Pro also gets a new stainless steel dual exhaust system that Toyota says exhibits a manly “throaty rumble sound”. Design-wise, the exterior of the TRD Tundra gets a new front grille, new TRD Pro stamping around the bed and doors, and exclusive color-schemes of Black, Super White and Inferno Red (applies to the other TRDs too).

Inside, the Tundra gets a new shift knob and floor mats (again, this is included in all the vehicles listed below), along with a new seat color and red stitching unique to the Tundra TRD Pro.

2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota’s compact pickup gets new TRD-tuned springs and that same decreased spring rate we saw in the Tundra. But, instead of 18” wheels it gets 16” black beadlock-style wheels, and BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires. However, the Taco TRD Pro only gets 1” of additional wheel travel in the front, but 1.5” in the back, while the front of the vehicle still gets an overall 2” lift. The TRD Tacoma also gets a 1/8” thick stamped silver skid plate, and a TRD Cat Back Exhaust system.

The Tacoma also gets the same TRD Pro badging throughout, both interior and exterior. However, unlike the Tundra, the Taco gets a nice little hoodscoop to go with its revised grille and bumper.

2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Just like the littlest bear in the tale of Goldilocks, the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is juuuuuuust right. It’s got new 17” black alloy wheels, 1 inch of extra wheel travel on both front and back, and a 1” higher ride overall. It still gets the same shock treatment as the others though – it’s got the upgraded remote reservoirs of the Tacoma and Tundra TRDs that allow for improved heat management and cavitation control (in other words, it rides smoother over the kind of rocky terrain seen in the image above).

Unlike the Taco and the Tundra, the TRD Pro 4Runner keeps the same exhaust system as the original. However, it makes up for it with perhaps the best new grille of the bunch… Just look at how aggressive that front clip is. What a beauty!

Of course, it also gets the same TRD-badged shifter and floor mats, and all the TRD badging around the exterior too. It also shares the Tacoma’s hoodscoop for that little bit of extra edge.

All in all, Toyota has done an excellent job of making each off-road vehicle in the TRD Pro Series feel substantially more rugged without taking away from the overall thrust of each vehicle.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more coverage of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show!


2014 Subaru Legacy Teased Ahead of Chicago Debut

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, February 1st, 2014

The 2014 Chicago Motor Show is next week, so it’s not too surprising that we’ve begun to see an influx of automotive previews this week as automakers drum up hype for their newest creations.

The latest teaser to hit the web is that of the next-gen Subaru Legacy. To preview the production version of their flagship sedan, they released the below image with a short press blurb.

New Subaru Legacy Teaser Image

As it happens, 2014 is actually the Subaru Legacy’s 25th birthday, making it a special year for the Japanese brand’s beloved mid-size sedan. In this, the Legacy’s 25th anniversary year, it seems proper that Subaru will turn a new leaf and reignite their fans’ passion for their flagship model. We’re hoping that the new Legacy will finally be the car that breaks the cycle of ‘exciting concept, boring car’.

By way of comparison, this is the Subaru Legacy Concept we saw at the 2013 LA Motor Show:

Subaru Legacy concept

As you can see, it looks as if the production model has retained most of the Legacy Concept’s most appealing stylistic attributes. Even in the darkened teaser, you can still see the elegant, swooping beltline, the coupe-ish silhouette and a similar-but-tamer version of the head and taillights. The teaser showcases several new attributes as well – the front clip has been elongated slightly, and the roofline has been heightened for more interior space.

Subaru’s short press release says mostly the same:

“The all-new Legacy is a mid-size sports sedan which offers enhanced driveability and functionality while achieving a design required for a flagship model with a quality feel. Its styling fused with functionality such as roominess and visibility embodies the design direction proposed by the “Legacy Concept” at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.”

Unfortunately, we really don’t know anything more than what we can glean of the car’s exterior from the teaser photo. We have no idea what the interior will feel like, or what kind of enhancements the various trim packages will offer.

We can safely assume that the powertrain will feature some sort of combination of boxer engine and CVT, likely configured for all-wheel drive, but we’ve no actual numbers to give you.

What we can tell you is this:

The Subaru Legacy is ready to compete.

The mid-size sedan segment is a competitive one – Accord, Camry, Fusion, Altima, just to name a few – and with this new, modernized Legacy, Subaru’s looking to take on an even bigger chunk of that market. When the car goes on sale (likely) at the end of 2014, Subaru hopes its Legacy will be even more appealing to the young and the sporty than its boxy predecessors. All in all, we’re just waiting to be impressed when the car is finally unveiled on February 6th, next Thursday.