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AddAutoblog Podcast #320

Chicago Auto Show, Holden VF Commodore, Top Gear USA Interview, Driving To The Arctic Circle

30Editors' Choice: Top Five 2013 Chicago Auto Show Debuts

On the international circuit, the Chicago Auto Show often gets slighted for being a rather dull show in terms of actual news and major vehicle debuts. But the Chicago expo is still hugely important. Not only is it the largest show in terms of overall square footage, it serves as the largest consumer showcase, with the highest amount of foot traffic from consumers. Sure, a lot of what's new here pales in comparison to all of the shiny sheetmetal we saw in Detroit last month, but it's all still ve

372013 Dodge Dart gets all Moparized

Last year, Chrysler announced it would be offering more than 150 Mopar parts and accessories on the 2013 Dodge Dart, and we got a look at some of these parts firsthand at the Chicago Auto Show. Showing off all the optional parts at once would surely create a gaudy monstrosity, so Chrysler chose to equip this particular Dart GT with just a handful of Mopar goodies, which still gave the car a nice and tasteful custom look that is available straight from the dealership (and with a full warranty, to

11After Think, BYD and Coda, Green Wheels ready to sell Wheego LiFe in Chicago

in 2012, Green Wheels, an eco-friendly car dealership in Chicago, sold "a ton" of Think City electric vehicles. Well, a ton for an underdog electric vehicle like the City, anyway, according to Green Wheels owner Doug Snower. The actual number was more like 50. Now, with the slow fade of Think – and the fact that Snower can't get any BYD e6 or Coda Sedans to sell – Green Wheels is gearing up to sell the Wheego LiFe alongside used hybrids and other used cars. The company has also sold

45Mopar '13 Dart is a bruiser of a compact

For the fourth year in a row, Mopar is offering a limited-production car decked with a plenty of add-ons and a unique look. This year's black-and-blue car is the Mopar '13 Dart, which was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show with the now-signature paint scheme. Like previous Mopar models, only 500 of the '13 Darts will be built. Past models include the Mopar '10 Challenger, Mopar '11 Charger and the Mopar '12 300.

55SRT adds new cost-saving Core models to Challenger SRT8, 300 SRT8

As the high-performance division of Chrysler, the SRT brand used the Chicago Auto Show to reveal new "Core" models for the Dodge Challenger SRT8 and Chrysler 300 SRT8. Similar to a move made by Chrysler in Australia, both of these new Core models will get a significant drop in price compared to the current SRTs, and each will get some new, exclusive styling elements as well. Both new models will arrive in showrooms this summer.

37Defiance Dodge Charger, saving Earth from aliens isn't clean work [w/video]

You'll be forgiven for not having heard about the TV show Defiance – it actually hasn't aired its first episode yet. The new science fiction show about an alien war against Earth in the near future seems like a perfect fit for the SyFy channel, and, apparently one that Dodge saw as a slick marketing opportunity for its Charger sedan.

5We obsessively covered Day One of the 2013 Chicago Auto Show

It's funny, you can technically refer to this week's Chicago expo as both the largest and smallest North American auto show on the media circuit. On one hand, McCormick Place offers the most expansive show floor, meaning that, technically, it's the largest; but in terms of the amount of actual news and vehicle debuts, Chicago is by far the smallest show. Ironic, don'tcha think?

72"Turbo" Chevrolet Camaro is a 700-HP fantasy car come to life [w/video]

For a concept car built to promote an animated movie about a snail that wants to go racing, this thing ain't half bad. The outsized monster you see before you started life as a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and then went through a big-time Hollywood makeover before being positioned on the Chevrolet stand here in Chicago.

792014 Promaster looks like a Fiat, hauls like a Ram

A new day is dawning, folks. The old-guard vans of our youth are being replaced with a new flock of European-inspired commercial vehicles from the likes of Ford, Nissan (Renault) and Mercedes-Benz. Here in Chicago, Ram pulled the covers off its entry into the reborn commercial van market with the 2014 Promaster, based on the well-known European Fiat Ducato.

16Ford Fiesta ST GRC Racecar is hungry for podiums in 2013

As we reported earlier, the Chicago showing of this plucky Ford Fiesta ST GRC racer points to bigger and brighter days for Global RallyCross. For the upcoming season, you can expect to see Ken Block and Tanner Foust both driving the Ford racecar, and if last season's results are any indication, you can anticipate quite a few podium appearances, as well.

8Superman-inspired Kia Optima Hybrid helps those affected by drought and famine in Africa

Kia, DC Entertainment and Super Street magazine worked as a team to develop this one-of-a-kind Superman-themed Optima Hybrid that made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show today. The joint effort is designed to raise awareness for DC Entertainment's "We Can Be Heroes" campaign, a charitable relief effort to bring help and hope to people affected by drought and famine in the Horn of Africa.

272013 Volkswagen GTI Driver's Edition brings exclusivity to the granddaddy of hot hatches

The Volkswagen booth at this year's Chicago Auto Show was filled with various special edition models of the Beetle and GTI. In addition to the GTI Wolfsburg Edition, the Volkswagen GTI Driver's Edition helps to wrap up the 2013 model year as VW readies the all-new MkVII Golf next year.

402013 Dodge Challenger R/T hits the Redline

Dodge has added a bit of spice to its Hemi-powered Challenger for 2013, offering up this new Redline package that makes its official debut at the Chicago Auto Show. The R/T Redline builds on the Rallye Redline kit that was created for the V6 Challenger, and we like how these subtle changes add to the muscle coupe's already classic styling.

22014 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible gets the R-Line treatment

Volkswagen just launched the topless Beetle Convertible at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, but we're already seeing the next step forward in the topless Bug range with this, the R-Line. We'll admit, this treatment falls under the "all show and no go" category, but it's still a pretty potent little cutie.

34Toyota Pro/Celebrity race switching from Scion tC to FR-S [w/video]

Toyota has announced that the rear-wheel-drive Scion FR-S will replace the front-wheel-drive Scion tC as the racecar used by actors, singers and celebrities of all grades in its annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. It's the first time a rear-drive vehicle has been used for the event in 27 years, with the tC having been in use since 2005, and the FWD Celica before that. This year's race takes place on April 20th amidst the festivities of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend.

92014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR is black and yellow, black and yellow

Way back in 1973, Volkswagen decided it was high time to take the loveable air-cooled Bug racing. No, it wasn't painted in Herbie colors – Volkswagen called its sport-tuned machine the Beetle GSR, "Gelb Schwarzer Renner" or "Yellow Black Racer." Hence, the somewhat shocking paint scheme.

47Ken Block, fifteen52 team up to build awesome Ford Focus TrackSTer

Making its debut at the Chicago Auto Show, this Ford TrackSTer is a build done in cooperation between Ford, Ken Block and Los Angeles-based tuner, Fifteen52. Starting with a stock 2013 Ford Focus ST, the TrackSTer received extensive styling and performance enhancements.

2862014 Toyota Tundra appears with revised styling, same mechanicals

Toyota has pulled the curtain back on its 2014 Tundra, showing a truck that has gotten its most significant refresh since its launch as a 2007 model. For better or worse, however, the changes that Toyota has made to the fullsize pickup are mostly cosmetic, with the underpinnings of the vehicle staying unchanged.

602013 Nissan Juke Nismo is the runabout we've always wanted

The 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo has officially bowed at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Wearing a full body kit that serves up 37-percent more downforce than the standard front and rear fascias, the tuned hatchback also comes equipped with larger 18-inch wheels and a lowered suspension. Up front, LED daytime running lights join the festivities as well as contrasting side-view mirror covers and wider fender flares. Inside, buyers can expect to find a new sports steering wheel clad in Alcantara, as well as

422014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition loses rear seats, gains performance

Nissan is adding yet another tier to the GT-R hierarchy for 2014 with the GT-R Track Edition. Debuting at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, the bruiser ditches its back seat in the quest for a lower curb weight, and a set of more seriously bolstered front buckets keep occupants planted once the going gets twisty. The Nürburgring-developed Track Edition offers an integrated carbon fiber front splitter with brake cooling ducts as well as an even harder-core suspension. Engineers swapped the stock b

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